Matchmaking in Middle Class India

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This book is an extensive and thorough exploration of the ways in which the middle class in India select their spouse. Using the prism of matchmaking, this book critically unpacks the concept of the ‘modern’ and traces the importance of moralities and values in the making of middle class identities, by bringing to the fore intersections and dynamics of caste, class, gender, and neoliberalism. The author discusses a range of issues: romantic relationships among youth, use of online technology and of professional services like matrimonial agencies and detective agencies, encounters of love and heartbreak, impact of experiences of pain and humiliation on spouse-selection, and the involvement of family in matchmaking. Based on this comprehensive account, she elucidates how the categories of ‘love’ and ‘arranged’ marriages fall short of explaining, in its entirety and essence, the contemporary process of spouse-selection in urban India. Though the ethnographic research has been conducted in India, this book is of relevance to social scientists studying matchmaking practices, youth cultures, modernity and the middle class in other societies, particularly in parts of Asia. While being based on thorough scholarship, the book is written in accessible language to appeal to a larger audience. Jindal Global University, India. She was also a Visiting Scholar at St. Only valid for books with an ebook version. Springer Reference Works and instructor copies are not included.

Why Wasn’t Netflix India Involved in ‘Indian Matchmaking’?

By Naman Ramachandran. Netflix launched in India in , and homegrown commissions became available from in a market that thrives on local fare. They were replaced eventually by Monika Shergill in , who joined existing director of originals Srishti Behl Arya. The same year, the Los Angeles-based Mundhra pitched her idea for an Indian dating show with a global-facing matchmaker to Netflix in the U.

Over in India, Netflix — trailing behind turbocharged local streamers and global rival Amazon Prime Video — was trying to grow its customer base by trialling cheap subscriptions.

Netflix’s new hit ‘Indian Matchmaking‘ misses the full story on arranged of the most pernicious biases that plague South Asian communities.

By Sajmun Sachdev August 11, But while I was celebrating what I found to be a super authentic look into the world of matchmaking, arranged marriages and Indian family dynamics, many reviewers and tweeters made me realize that I may be the only South Asian woman who was. So seeing that representation in Indian Matchmaking made me feel proud: Finally an Indian filmmaker had accomplished what we got into this industry to do: She put us on TV.

Indian Matchmaking could never be everything to everybody and still be the success it is. She is, simply, a stereotypical aunty. A divorced woman is a failure. Like the criticisms of Taparia, several people online were unhappy with the traits the participants prioritized when looking for their partners. For example, Ankita is dark-skinned; coupled with the fact she has modern viewpoints, she therefore only receives one match.

Skin lightening creams are a billion-dollar business in India, Asia and Africa. Critics, and even some of my friends, found them to be stereotypical and ugh-inducing Indian parents, their worst qualities reminding people of their own fathers and mothers. But I found their familiarity exciting, because I knew these people. I was either related to them or grew up running into them at the temple. Instead of being embarrassed, we South Asians should commend these parents for going on TV and giving us authentic representation by fully being themselves; especially considering most Indian parents I know would be too concerned about how other people would perceive them to go on TV in the first place.

And not only did these parents just go on the show, but to be fair, some of them did portray some real growth.

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Through the lens of courtship and marriage, the show presents a class of Indians who easily straddle East and West, but conflates upper-caste.

Critics accuse the show of stereotyping and commodifying women, lacking diversity and promoting a backwards vision of marriage where astrologers and meddling parents are more influential than the preferences of brides and grooms. They complain that the series, which follows matchmaker Sima Taparia as she jets between Mumbai and the U. In fact, the real problem may be their discomfort with the way marriage works in India, with social stability prized over individual happiness.

A small fraction still practices child marriage, with some communities holding betrothal ceremonies as soon as a girl is born. At the other end of the spectrum, there is growing acceptance of queer relationships, divorce and even avoiding marriage altogether. But most Indian marriages are still arranged. Even college-educated, urban, middle-class Indians show a strong preference to marry within caste.

Muslims in South Asia marry within their biradari or jaat — a stand-in for Hindu caste. The reason Guyanese-born Nadia faces a limited set of options in the show is not because of her South American birth, but because Indians who were shipped as indentured laborers to the New World were mostly lower castes, or so perceived. When the purpose of marriage is to find love, companionship and compatibility, then the focus is on the characteristics of the individual. The marriage market is akin to a matching market, similar to Tinder or Uber.

But, in a world where marriage exists to maintain caste lines, the nature of the marriage market more closely resembles a commodity market, where goods are graded into batches. Within every batch, the commodity is substitutable — as in wheat or coffee exchanges. This is why reading matrimonial ads or listening to Sima going over biodatas — a kind of matrimonial resume — is triggering for many Indian women.

Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ is only too accurate

I can give her…95 marks out of It is reflective, sometimes painfully, of a custom with which we are all too familiar: arranged marriages. For desis, either your parents were arranged or you know a couple that was.

Sima Taparia, the star of Indian Matchmaker, offers an inside look at today’s Indian marriage customs in the Netflix reality show. Photo: Netflix.

The Netflix hit “Indian Matchmaking” has stirred up conversations about issues like parental preference in marriage, cultural progress, casteism — and ghosting. Taparia answered questions via email from Mumbai, discussing why none of the matches worked out, her own arranged marriage and how business is booming despite the coronavirus pandemic. Sima Taparia: They are not separate things. Matchmaking is just a tool to help people find a life partner.

In India, the process also often involves parents. Has the show generated new interest in matchmaking with more people wanting to do it? Business is booming!

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The reality show about a high-flying Indian matchmaker named Sima Taparia has spawned thousands of articles, social media takes, critiques.

Reading it reminded him of a period in my life, my mids, when we were searching for a groom for me. I am a South Indian who grew up in Mumbai. But of course, I had to track it down. Since its release on July 16, Indian Matchmaking is all my Twitter stream can talk about. In the first episode, Taparia lays out the sociological context of the show for a Western audience: Arranged marriages are the norm in Indian society. A marriage is a union between two families, not just the bride and groom.

Families are heavily involved in the process. Even as matchmakers and families rarely bend on the caste, color, or status of prospective matches, they expect young women to let go of the few things that matter to them. My heart broke as I watched a supposedly progressive matchmaker warn Bansal, an entrepreneur with her own clothing line, that she should be ready to give up her career and relocate if her husband demanded it.

In the arranged marriage process, strong independent women are expected to relinquish so much that their identities are reduced to nothing. I cringed when I heard that. These three words, the bedrocks of patriarchal society, were repeatedly peddled through the show. The words reminded me of arguments I had with my family as they sought a match for me.

Sima Taparia of ‘Indian Matchmaking’ on family dynamics, ghosting and failed matches

But we improvised — we had weddings. It was a stage production, a moment when family, ritual, food and culture coalesced. As a little queer boy, I was enamored by the performance of it all. I watched from behind the curtains as entire productions came togethe r writes Gabriel Hoosain Khan. But with any good stage production it takes the right cast.

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Even For A Queer Person In South Africa, Indian Matchmaking Hits Close To Home

These men and women — or boys and girls, as they are referred to in Indian society, perhaps to reinforce their youth and innocence — of Indian origin are in their 20s and 30s, living in India and the US. Credit: Netflix. Indian Matchmaking just takes this concept further.

new show Indian Matchmaking. Arranged marriages are something that are very commonly associated with the South Asian community, but.

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?

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