All this seems to be something new to most of the world, but not to the two of us.

When we married in Honolulu some 25 years ago, one of us was brought up in a Jewish home in the Midwestern United States and the other came from the overseas Indian community in the Far East.

Her parents tried, but there were very few ways that they could fulfill the traditional match-making function.

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Perhaps he knew that Sikhism and Judaism were not as incompatible as they might appear to others. Sikhism, a religion founded on the Indian subcontinent, is, however, staunchly monotheistic.

I had first encountered the Sikh religion and people during my stint as an English teacher in Southeast Asia in the late 60's and early 70's, but my marriage really brought me into a fairly close relationship with this community.

So, upon arrival at her parents' home, she announced that she wanted to get married.

Her intended was a Western young man whom her parents did not know and who came from a background they had barely even heard of.

Kamla's parents, who were both raised in a traditional Sikh tradition, saw that my two brothers belonged to a tradition that was similar in many ways to their own.

They observed that the two young men were devoted to each other and their family, and that they were polite, well-educated and full of plans for the future.

For some time there was a considerable commotion in the household.

Her father and mother were very leery of this proposed marriage, as they knew that divorce, which in Indian culture is still severely sanctioned, was very common among Westerners.

He had found a way to identify with a Jew, and it helped to smooth the way to having a Jewish son-in-law.

As far as my own parents were concerned, I believe that they were just relieved that I finally wanted to settle down and get married.

In the "old country," someone, usually the older members of the family, decided who the younger members of the family would marry, leaving the narrowest margin of choice to the children themselves.