Lami A matchmaker or 'Lami' is a person who connects two people or parties together.
It can be in a marriage, a gambling sport, a singing duet or joining a mit or mitini together. The term lami in Nepali is a matchmaker which signifies a person who goes as a mediator between the activities as mentioned above. However, the main theme of the connotation lies in joining the girl and boy together for marriage.
In Nepalese or a Hindu system of marriage, as it used to be an arranged marriage until quite recently and it occupies a large proportion of marriage in Nepal and India. It is regulated by religious beliefs and mainly by astrology. As soon as a boy or a girl is born an astrologer is consulted and he according to the lunar-based calendar, or 'patro' refers to the date and time of the birth to find where it falls in the horoscope. Then he observes the stars and planets and gives the name to the baby. He also prepares a 'Chinaa' or a birth certificate which is kept with the utmost care by the parents of the baby and it is consulted for all major events in life such as the mantra daan, marriage, performance of religious ceremonies, death rites and overall fate of the person.
The same Chinaa is considered to foretell the person's well being or future prospects in life but how it can state these things accurately is a matter to consider but there is a rampant belief that people still take it to heart and go to consult an astrologer whenever they feel a need for it. In the same vibe, the marriage is another prime event in one's life and no doubt, the birth certificate or chinaa is shown to an astrologer where he studies it in minute detail, both of the bride and groom and that of the likely bride. Both of their Chinaas are put together and weighed as to what result it shows in terms of family, reproduction, conjugal friendship, longevity and social coherence or mutual amicability. If any of these points bring an adverse effect, then the marriage, even if the parents concerned are in accordance, could be checked or disrupted that is the true essence of matchmaking or Lamis in olden or even modern days in villages and remote areas.
However, with a change in lifestyles and way of living, the old matchmaking system has been taking a new shape. We can see a friend suggesting the person of his know-how to another boy and girl and sometimes the families or relatives can play a role of hinting someone of their kin to the concerned parents or the candidate themselves where there is not much emphasis on the horoscope consultation as in olden days. But as always both in old and in modern time, a matchmaker or a lami is not sent empty-handed either in cash or kind and he is not sent away empty-handed.