Matchmaking illustrates the ills of Indian society | Opinion

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The rhetoric of modernity, education, and progress is a powerful one that deludes us into thinking that regressive and repressive aspects of match-making are either a thing of the past, the rural, or the uneducated and uninformed. Denting this urban self-fashioning is the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking , which has held up a mirror to Indian society.

Rather, it has shown how casteism and sexism merge with money, high-status, and modernity in the urban milieus of Mumbai, Delhi, New York, and Chicago. Crucially, they consider their role as not limited to suggesting matches but of also undertaking a maternalistic paternalistic approach by advising prospective brides and grooms to change their attitudes and expectations in order to have a happy married life. Most important, this series has brought attention to an oft-repeated woe that the onus of sustaining the marriage squarely falls on women.

That is the value we have been brought up with. Prospective grooms, on the other hand, are disconcertingly presented as reluctant men, who are to be cajoled and emotionally manipulated by their mothers, sisters into even agreeing to meet a prospective bride. No such reluctance, however, is shown on part of the women, who are mainly depicted as eager brides. This show has generated much debate on social media and has been criticised for promoting problematic standards in matchmaking.

Given that my doctoral research was on the matchmaking practices of urban Indians, I can say that this show is not far from reality. We are perhaps uncomfortable and angry because this show has said it as it is, and has done so on a global platform, leaving little scope for pretence. This is, of course, not to say that there are no inter-caste, inter-class marriages, or marriages where women are happy along with having successful careers.

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Coronavirus: How Covid has changed the ‘big fat Indian wedding’. India’s richest family caps year of big fat weddings. A new Netflix show, Indian Matchmaking, has created a huge buzz in India, but many can’t seem to agree if it is regressive and cringe-worthy or honest and realistic, writes the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi. The eight-part docuseries features elite Indian matchmaker Sima Taparia as she goes about trying to find suitable matches for her wealthy clients in India and the US.

In the series, she’s seen jet-setting around Delhi, Mumbai and several American cities, meeting prospective brides and grooms to find out what they are looking for in a life partner. Since its release nearly two weeks back, Indian Matchmaking has raced to the top of the charts for Netflix in India. It has also become a massive social phenomenon. Hundreds of memes and jokes have been shared on social media: some say they are loving it, some say they are hating it, some say they are “hate-watching” it, but it seems almost everyone is watching it.

The in-your-face misogyny, casteism and colourism on display have caused much outrage, but also inspired many to introspection.

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The notion of teaching them to adjust is at the crux of her process, as she works with entire families to find the right partner for their would-be brides and grooms. In some ways, the show is a modern take on arranged marriage, with contemporary dating horrors like ghosting and lacking the skills for a meet-up at an ax-throwing bar. But issues of casteism, colorism and sexism, which have long accompanied the practice of arranged marriage in India and the diaspora, arise throughout, giving viewers insight into more problematic aspects of Indian culture.

As an Indian-American girl growing up in Upstate New York, one part of my culture that was especially easy to brag about was weddings. They were joyful and colorful, and they looked more like a party than a stodgy ceremony. While living under the same roof in quarantine, my mom and I have had a lot of time to watch buzzy Netflix shows together.

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In India, urbanization, education and the rise of matrimonial websites has played matchmaker, helping whittle away at an ancient tradition.

Now available to stream, the series follows Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia as she painstakingly works with singles and their families in India and America to find desirable mates for marriage. One client, New Jersey-based event planner Nadia, wonders if her Indian-ness will come into question because of her Guyanese heritage. With the global reach of Netflix, Mundhra saw an opportunity to present a look at dating and relationships through the very specific lens of the South Asian experience that would reach a wide audience.

That we have all sorts of different backgrounds, different ideals and ideologies. I think you can sort of learn a lot just from the examples and the specific journey of the participants. Mundhra ultimately met her now-husband in graduate school. There was this refreshing honesty about her, and absolute passion for what she does. Even as dating sites such as shaadi. Viewers get a glimpse of that process, which includes an emphasis on horoscopes and astrology.

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Indian Matchmaking, a new Netflix show, has become a huge hit, of professional matchmakers and hundreds of matrimonial websites have.

On Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking,” marriage consultant Sima Taparia travels the world to meet with hopeful clients and help them find the perfect match for an arranged marriage. The format of the show is simple. Hopeful brides- and grooms-to-be meet with Taparia — often with their overbearing parents in tow — for an initial consultation.

Criteria are laid out, potential suitors are presented on paper, dates are arranged, and then it’s up to the couple to decide if it’s a match. In some respects, the producers should be commended. This is a show that turns away from the “big fat Indian wedding” trope and offers something fresh: a look at how some traditional-facing couples meet through the services of a professional matchmaker.

The characters’ stories — as well as cringier moments — play out in entertaining ways, at times revealing the absurdities and awkwardness of matchmaking. I laughed when, for example, Taparia sought the consultation of an astrologist and a face reader. Matchmaker Sima Taparia meets with hopeful clients. Credit: Netflix.

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Vivahakala Matrimonial has Embarked an online matchmaking platform via which people of all religions interact with each other with the goal of finding their​.

The show follows the journey of a Mumbai-based matchmaker who arranges marriage alliances between wealthy families in India and the US. What is disconcerting is not simply the easy acceptance of social conservatism by the young and elderly, not the least by Indian diaspora in the United States. What stands out for Indians is the importance of marital status.

Arranged marriages, the norm in India, are tightly bound within the caste of the bride and groom. In crude forms like matrimonial websites, caste preferences are the main criteria, followed by physical appearance and salary potential. In covert forms, even individuals who choose their own partners, tend to self-censor their options within their own community and class.

The focus on similar social background or family compatibility points in the direction of caste that governs our decisions — who we socialise with, who we hire, where we live, and who we marry. The notion of arranged marriage has long been considered intrinsic to Indian culture.

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Indian Matchmaking, Netflix’s new show follows Mumbai-based even alliances done without a matchmaker over say matrimonial websites.

About one out of every eight Internet users in India is signed up on one of the country’s so-called “matrimonial websites. Nash Jenkins. Jenkins is an American man living in India who discussed the trend for The Atlantic after signing up briefly with matrimonial site Shaadi. A commercial for Bharat Matrimony’s personalized service touts marriages that are not arranged but “assisted!

Jenkins seems quick to paint the websites as little more than arranged marriages -lite, based in part on one personal encounter with a woman whose profile was written by her parents. But the fact that these matrimonial sites are so popular points to the fact that more young Indians aren’t being set up for marriages by others — most of the users, says Jenkins, are urban, middle-class young Indians.

And while the sites are geared toward the marriage-minded, they’re not all that different from American dating websites , especially the more relationship-oriented ones. Users message each other first. They meet for a date. There’s nothing saying they have to immediately decide to marry or do so in any time frame. By Elizabeth Nolan Brown. Imagine eHarmony if it cut to the chase. Unlike online dating services, which at least superficially foster some sort of romantic connection, and which are effectively nonexistent in India, matrimonial websites are predicated on the idea that the first meeting between two paired users will be to chat about their wedding.

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