Are Indians ready to marry firangs?

Recently we received an interesting email in which the sender wanted to know if it was mandatory to be an Indian to register on iBluebottle.

We replied that nowhere did we explicitly bar non-Indians from registering if they met the membership criteria. However we did expect members to have a substantial Indian connection. But are Indian professionals ready to marry foreigners? Expats

Let’s first look at Indians abroad. Based on limited data collated from a quick poll of our Indian friends abroad, a plausible hypothesis emerges. If you are single and have lived in a foreign country for more than ten years, you have a 20% chance to marry a native of your adopted country.

And the younger you are when you move, the higher is the probability that you will marry a foreigner. Probably a certain level of education coupled with extended living in an open society makes it socially acceptable to marry outside your countrymen.

But how likely are Indians to marry a foreigner in India?

Not very it seems. It is difficult to come by any official statistics and surprisingly we couldn’t gather any first-hand anecdotal data either. Surprising because a large expat influx along with the CV value of an India stint has resulted in a fairly substantial presence of eligible western bachelors (though less of bachelorettes) who are mostly keen to integrate into the Indian society.

What does google have to say about this? A few searches did throw up two distinct, but ultimately both uninspiring, streams of results.

One was the discussions on India expat forums about the legal issues involved if a foreigner wanted to marry an Indian. An eager Dutch national in Pune concerned about an advance notice before the court ceremony. Another French guy fussing over the documents that he needed to present at the marriage office.

The second stream was how-to-marry-an-Indian-if-you-are-a-foreigner advice columns written by foreigners who are presumably married to Indians and are offering their experiences as a guide.

Some of these search results were from as far back as 2005 – a sure sign that there is only sclerotic activity in whatever your search term was.

So it appears that even though people no longer stare open-mouthed at a gora talking in Hindi, it will probably be many years before it becomes commonplace for Indians to tie the knot with the firangs.