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                           The Kalmyks have been fervent and faithful Buddhist, following the faith of their
                           forefathers. Cases of abandonment of Buddhism in favor of another religion were
                           not known among the Kalmyks in Serbia. Quite to the contrary - there are reports
                           that due to the fact that kinship and clan ties were very strong among the Kalmyks,
                           the marriage between people of the came clan and distant cousins were discouraged,
                           virtually there were no Kalmyk girls around - so, the Kalmyks married the girls from
                           host society (more than dozen cases have been reported) and all of these women
                           voluntarily converted to Buddhist faith (see bellow).
Family life, descent lines, marriage relations, and inheritance of property are all principally regulated by the paternal connection. The family is traditionally an extended one composed of parents, married sons and their families, and unmarried sons and daughters. Several families are grouped into nomadic kin villages. The kin villages are grouped into lineages and clans, and these in turn were formerly grouped into clan confederations. Traditionally the Kalmyk were divided into a princely estate, which ruled the various confederations; a noble estate, which ruled the lower social hierarchies, clans, and lineages; and a common estate. There was also a clerical order forming an estate of its own. All but the common estate have disappeared.
Marriage was formerly a symbol of adulthood among the Kalmyk. Marriages were ordinarily arranged by the parents,  and an astrologer was consulted about the compatibility of a bride and groom. Couples were sometimes engaged as early as six years of age, and married between the ages of 16 and 18. 
TOC > Ova > marriages