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Matchmaking Traditions Around the World

Experiencing true love is the same everywhere around the world. However, there are many different ways through which people find their special someone depending on where they are from. Here are 3 traditional matchmaking practices from different cultures.

Japan

A traditional Japanese arranged marriage is called an omiai. The process starts with engaging a Nakodo, who is a professional matchmaker. This matchmaker knows about the preferences and credentials of the bride and groom to be and facilitates the conversation between the two families. The Nakodo can help families decide if they are well suited for each other. After two compatible families and people are matched, the Nakodo arranges a meeting. The two families meet after which the bachelor and bachelorette spend time together to get to know each other. Nakodos are not formal matchmaking agencies. They may be friends of the family or couple. With family involvement, the bride and groom can be sure that their future starts with a strong base of support and guidance.

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Eastern European Jews

Eastern European Jewish communities use the help of a professional matchmaker called a Shadchan to arrange meetings between prospective brides and grooms. Because of the smaller size of the Jewish communities, Shadchans would play an important role in introducing the right people to each other. Additionally, since modern style dating was frowned upon, a go-between process was needed to ensure that the match was approved by the family. This tradition rose to prominence during the middle ages in Eastern Europe and Russia but still continues today in some forms. Followers of this tradition believe that two people with similar mindsets, outlooks and backgrounds make the best long-term matches.

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China

In traditional Chinese matchmaking, the parents of the groom sent a proposal with a matchmaker to the family of the prospective bride. Not only was the family taken into consideration, but the name, birthday and zodiac of the girl was matched with the family to understand if she would be a good fit. The groom’s family presented many gifts to the family of the girl to offer goodwill and ensure that they could take care of the girl. A female matchmaker helped both families come together to make the match happen. If a match was made the matchmaker was rewarded with gifts and cash. Once finalized, the families would choose an auspicious date based on the zodiac calendar to ensure a happy marriage.

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