At the age of about 16 every girl is announced to be mariageable and as many people as they can are invited to this festival. She is the centre to be admired discussed by all present as arrangements are made on the spot to give her away to one maybe possible future husband. This the first step to an arranged marriage.
The more glamour and people the more promising the dowry !
Pitchai, fisherman of Devaneri was really proud to present his daughter here.
Indeed it was spectacular for me as a foreigner, I suppose, I had for a few moments the impression that there was an open sale going on a colorful fancy-fair. Daughters are very costly to the family. In spite that the dowry is banned by law, they are being trade and often the parents have still so much dowry to pay that they live in debt for years with loans on the bank. The habit in Tamil Nadu is that first the daughters have to marry , then only the sons always starting with the eldest, the rest have to wait. That makes that when a son marries he has an average age of 27 and he will marry a wife far more younger then him.