Five years ago, I met with a matchmaker. I went in scornful. Like many of my progressive South Asian peers, I denounced arranged marriage as offensive and regressive. But when the matchmaker recited her lengthy questionnaire, I grasped, if just for a beat, why people did things this way. Do you believe in a higher power? No idea. Should your partner share your creative interests?

‘Indian Matchmaking’ is bringing up uncomfortable issues my culture needs to address

Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage , but the word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in business, in online video games and in pairing organ donors. In some cultures, the role of the matchmaker was and is quite professionalised. The Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan , or the Hindu astrologer , were often thought to be essential advisors and also helped in finding right spouses as they had links and a relation of good faith with the families.

In cultures where arranged marriages were the rule, the astrologer often claimed that the stars sanctified matches that both parents approved of, making it quite difficult for the possibly-hesitant children to easily object — and also making it easy for the astrologer to collect his fee. Social dance , especially in frontier North America, the contra dance and square dance , has also been employed in matchmaking, usually informally.

and West, but conflates upper-caste Hindu culture with Indian culture. How Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking scratches the glossy surface of.

By Anika Jain on August 19, While the two lovers have the opportunity to go on actual dates and have some liberties when it comes to deciding their spouse, Sima Aunty is more or less setting up arranged marriages — an ancient tradition in many Asian countries, especially in India. In addition to these superficial preferences, families are very clear about their desire to match their children with a spouse from a high caste — despite the abolishment of the Indian caste system in Rather, it is unapologetically Indian, from the glamorization of fair skin to the marital pressure from families.

Notwithstanding the intense colorism and classism, the stakes for these singles is much higher than any other reality TV show. Now, this is not to say that arranged marriages are entirely forced and restrictive. As an Indian American myself, more than half of the married couples I grew up around had arranged marriages, including my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents.

How Rupam from Indian Matchmaking finally found her happily-ever-after via a dating app

They spoke in the kitchen, her mother pretending to wash dishes in the background and her brother hiding in a cupboard, eavesdropping. Thus, the beginning of her matchmaking experience ended almost as soon as it began. Executive produced by Smriti Mundhra, it follows Sima Taparia, a Mumbai-based matchmaker Mundhra met when her own mother solicited matchmaking services for her a decade ago.

Mundhra, who was raised in the U.

Though the ethnographic research has been conducted in India, this book is of relevance to social scientists studying matchmaking practices, youth cultures.

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. At other points, the show presents brutal truths about Indian culture: the emphasis on being “fair”; the enormous pressure to wed; the focus on caste and class; the stigmatization of independent, working women. But the show fails to contextualize or even question these problematic beliefs when they’re brought up by its characters, presenting them instead as the status quo.

Review: ‘Indian Matchmaking’ balances tradition and modernity, despite controversy

And what we learnto value in these cultural environments stays with us for life. Yahya R. Kamalipour 1. The world is going online and it seems that how we choose to life our lives is more related to opportunities offered by the online world than to the cultural values we are born in and raised with.

The Netflix reality series Indian Matchmaking has been a viral hit, but mostly because people are talking about the controversies around it.

The pronunciation of Tomato which sounds like Tomahto in English and Tomayto in American became the hook in the song for a difference in speech that could be a reason to end a relationship. Just how engrained are we in our own culture, vocabulary, tastes, and lifestyle that makes us stand out? Is it possible to cross the cultural divide and make a relationship work? Before you even get to a relationship, what is the cultural norm for dating? In Italy and Russia it is expected that the man will pay for dinner with zero expectation.

Germans are about precision so being late for a date is completely unacceptable. In Korea, men are expected to initiate hand holding and kissing. Ghosting, which means suddenly not texting or returning calls will not happen in France. The men in Paris and Marseilles will dish out the compliments and they will also tell women up front that they are not interested. Of course all of this is generalization but there is no getting past the fact that certain nationalities behave in certain ways.

Indian Matchmaking, Total Recall, and the best things we watched this weekend

Jump to navigation. It was not that long ago parents of young Japanese men and women arranged marriages themselves, or with the use of a matchmaker called a “nakodo. These marriages were arranged more for political or wealth reasons rather than for love and attraction. The two people being set-up had no, or little, say in the choosing of their spouse. Things are different today.

After World War II, western traditions and romantic notions spread throughout Japan, and more people wanted to rely on true love rather than a financial arrangement.

However, “Matchmaking” does compellingly examine the challenges faced by desi women who want a relationship with their culture and an.

Then there was the time my dad told me I was disinvited to his future funeral, because my preference was to date whomever I wanted as opposed to accepting an arranged marriage and that was an embarrassment to the family. He conveniently denies this ever happened, for the record. The reality show follows Sima Taparia, a professional matchmaker from Mumbai who travels around the world helping Indian clients find suitable matches for marriage.

Rather, marriage is a transaction between two families. Some of her clients are parents who are desperate to get their children married, others are marriage seekers themselves who turned to her service after they were unsuccessful meeting people on dating apps and elsewhere. What struck me most was that, in many cases, the characters we meet are not seeking acceptance and affection from a partner, but from their own families.

Seeing the pressure unfold literally gave me anxiety. Critics have been quick to point out how problematic the show is.

I Grew Up In The Biodata Culture Of ‘Indian Matchmaking.’ Here’s What I Want You To Know.

You are here Home Events. Matchmaking event – Romania: Culture Programme. September 12 – 13 The event will take place in Bucharest, between 12th th of September The Programme aims at strengthening social and economic development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management.

Shows like Indian Matchmaking and Family Karma are entertaining, but when will South Asian people get reality TV that doesn’t depict our culture.

August 7 Indian Matchmaking makes culture into a joke. August 7 Graduation commemorates class of For centuries, our society has used stereotyping to define people, their backgrounds, and their cultures. Hiding behind highly broadcasted forms of racial stigma, stereotyping has plagued all races and pushed them into tight corners where pressure and prejudice silently lurk. Taking each of their personalities, goals, and careers into account, Taparia uses assistance from her database to match her clients with someone who would positively impact them.

Taparia uses Indian traditions with a modern twist to share the Indian matchmaking experience. As an Indian-American, people often have the expectation that I will end up in an arranged marriage. When these statements are delivered to me, I stare dumbfounded, not knowing how to respond to the person without blowing my top off in rage over their ignorance.

Part of me wants to place sole blame on the person for their act of covert racism; however, I know the media is partially to be blamed for not properly representing my experiences as an Indian-American person. The reality show dives into the love lives of various Indian characters. Personally, as an Indian-American myself, I would have appreciated seeing my culture explained right off the bat, rather than having people unfamiliar with Indian practices piece together fragments of Indian traditions and make a conclusion based on them.

The show definitely focused on specific aspects of the Indian societal structure, shedding light on the problems of misogyny and colorism. Along with doing a terrible job of sharing the Indian practice of matchmaking, the show delivers on cheesy dialogue and easily dislikable characters.

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