Since the questions I had in my matrimonials post were burning in the back of my mind, I asked about them on IndiaMike; a travel forum made up of Indians, NRIs, Expats and other westerners who love India. It is a great place to get the lowdown on a particular town, hike, cultural habit or whatever.
It seems that the caste thing is not peackock tail wagging, but that marrying within your own caste is a real preference. Everyone wants to be with someone who understands them. Then an Indian NRI posted about a question he had from singles ads in the UK; specifially what someone meant when they said that they were looking for “fun and beyond”. To me, this sounds like a variant on “friendship and possibly more”, which is simply being coy and not trying to sound desperate. Nobody ever posts “I want to marry” in a personal ad in the West.
India is a high context culture and America and Germany are low context. Something that I’d never considered is that there are aspects of life where we are the high context culture; and love appears to be one of them.