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Of marriage and migration: Bengali and Bihari brides in a U.P. village

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This article focuses on long-distance or cross-regional marriages in a village in Badaun District of Uttar Pradesh where brides have migrated from the states of West Bengal and Bihar. These marriages cross caste, linguistic and state boundaries and the marriage distance exceeds 1,000 kilometres. At destination, it is a combination of factors such as landlessness or marginal landownership, higher age or prior marital status and 'flawed' reputation that makes it difficult for men to find local wives. These factors have to be seen in the context of the low sex ratio (causing a shortage of brides) of the district and the state. At source, the compulsions include poverty and the inability of parents to meet the dowry demands of local men. The article argues that the long-distance/cross-regional marriages are not dowry marriages. Nor are the brides bought, given in exchange for a bride-price or trafficked. They are a new kind of commercially mediated marriage involving payment to a go-between.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/39018/

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