How the reality show ‘Indian Matchmaking’ hides the reality

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.

We Need to Talk About ‘Indian Matchmaking’

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The eight-part series, which everyone can’t stop talking about, chronicles the business of matchmaking in India — the arranged Indian marriage.

Every reality show has at least one villain. As Sima and the show itself frequently remind us, arranged marriage is not quite the form of social control it used to be; everyone here emphasizes that they have the right to choose or refuse the matches presented to them. But as becomes especially clear when Sima works in India, that choice is frequently and rather roughly pressured by an anvil of social expectations and family duty.

In the most extreme case, a year-old prospective groom named Akshay Jakhete is practically bullied by his mother, Preeti, into choosing a bride. Indian Matchmaking smartly reclaims and updates the arranged marriage myth for the 21st century, demystifying the process and revealing how much romance and heartache is baked into the process even when older adults are meddling every step of the way. Though these families use a matchmaker, the matching process is one the entire community and culture is invested in.

Director Smriti Mundhra told Jezebel that she pitched the show around Sima, who works with an exclusive set of clients. Yet the show merely explains that for many Indian men, bright, bubbly, beautiful Nadia is not a suitable match. The parents task Sima with following multiple stringent expectations. Some are understandably cultural, perhaps: A preference for a certain language or religion, or for astrological compatibility, which remains significant for many Hindus.

Other preferences, though, are little more than discrimination. Divorced clients are also subjected to particularly harsh judgment. Sima bluntly tells one fetching single mom, Rupam, that she would typically never take on a client like her. The options she finds for Rupam are pointedly, pathetically slim pickings; Rupam ends up leaving the matchmaking process after meeting a prospective match on Bumble instead.

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

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The day of the wedding these “nakodo” are the first to speak at the wedding party and wish the couple a happy marriage. A very good friend of my family who is.

The conversation started from afar, in allegorical form, and the bride’s parents usually took time to respond. The final word was given after the second or the third call of matchmakers. In case of positive decision the bride’s parents accepted bread from the matchmakers and cut it. In the event of refusal the bread was returned to the matchmakers intact. To make the process successful, special rituals were to be observed. For example, it was believed that Wednesdays and Fridays were not good for any wedding-related activities.

It was also considered that both matchmaking and weddings were not supposed to take place on the 13th. At the same time, such odd numbers as 3, 5, 7 and 9 were thought to be lucky. Matchmaking was not supposed to take place before the sunset to avoid jinxing. It was bad omen for anyone taking part in matchmaking to meet or talk to anybody on the way.

Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ is only too accurate

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.

larly its involvement in matchmaking. In her study of marriage in Japan, Hendry draws attention to the. Japanese saying, ‘for the cracked pot a rotten lid’, and.

I was in the middle of an editorial meeting at the newspaper I worked for in when it came out of nowhere: an overwhelming sense of fear, the trembling hands, the absolute certainty that my heart was going to burst out of my chest. It would be years before I understood that what I had experienced that day — and would on three subsequent occasions — was a panic attack. I was 24, and just two hours before, my parents had called to ask me to be home on time that night.

I had no intention of watching it. I had been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt and made a bonfire from it. It is a practice that is followed in several Middle Eastern countries, Japan and Turkey, among others. They all came recommended through friends and family, that larger collective that works very hard to bring together not two individuals but two families — mirror images of one another, both wearing a thick cloak of respectability going back generations — into a union, under the guise of pragmatism, that promotes caste and economic hegemony.

Vyasar, as he worries throughout the show, would have indeed found the going very tough. What did I mean I was uncomfortable with the questions he asked? I should give him the benefit of doubt: marriage is a compromise.

Is ‘Indian Matchmaking’ realistic? Four UAE couples on how arranged marriages are evolving

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Marriage, especially between “dominant” and “untouchable” castes, can pose a threat to that hierarchy. That explains why people in dominant.

Essentially, she practices the age-old art of encouraging these crazy kids to just get together, already. By the show’s finale, has Taparia lived up to the title of matchmaker extraordinaire? Are any of the burgeoning couples on Indian Matchmaking still together? Indian Matchmaking gives no answers about the couples’ futures. The show’s finale is open-ended—purposefully so. She’s going to continue doing this work, on camera and off.

The story continues,” creator Smriti Mundhra tells OprahMag. The story continues, but apparently not for these couples. Spoiler: According to interviews conducted with the L. Times and OprahMag.

Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Is The Talk Of India — And Not In A Good Way

The Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia delivers this meme-friendly one-liner in the seventh episode of the hit Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. But she departs from this well-worn model in her attention to one extra characteristic: caste. This silent shadow hangs over every luxurious living room she leads viewers into. She lumps an entire social system, which assigns people to a fixed place in a hierarchy from birth, together with anodyne physical preferences.

This prejudiced treatment includes, but is hardly limited to, workplace discrimination in the United States.

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What makes a show like ‘Indian Matchmaking’ possible? This book examines marriage in India

What influences our youth to set aside their enterprising, free-wheeling spirit to follow the well-trodden path of arranged marriages? Part of the answer lies in the deep socialisation process, which is woven into the fabric of the close-knit extended Indian family, and its rootedness in the larger network of society. The young too seem to believe in the cultural definition of marriage as a family affair, rather than an individual undertaking.

Harmony and shared values arising from common backgrounds are seen as more important than individual attraction. The common grounds provided by an arranged match — familiar customs, foods, relatives, incomes, etc — also helps in negotiating the dark thicket of matchmaking. The upside is also that this aids the adjustment process with the new partner and family, a stand-in for what is seen as the variable element of love.

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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.

In fact, my grandmother had never met my grandfather until their wedding day. All she had was a picture of him that she convinced her cousin to steal for her. And yet, they have maintained a long and loyal relationship for over 50 years. Part of the reason arranged marriages are still so prominent among Indians is because marriage is not seen as two people falling in love.

Marriage is seen as two families joining together, and as a duty and privilege by the bride and groom that will bring prosperity and posterity to their families. The couples joke around with each other and express the shared sentiment that, while they never spent time together before marriage, they were happy to uphold tradition. Because of the heavy role family plays in marriage in Indian culture, marital pressure begins from as early as the age of 25, sometimes even sooner.

‘Indian Matchmaking’: The Dark Reality Behind Your Latest Netflix Binge

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.

However, when farming families were widely separated and kept all children on the farm working, marriage-age children could often only meet in church or in such mandated social events.

The last fans saw of Indian Matchmaking‘s Akshay and Radhika, they were celebrating their upcoming wedding with a pre-engagement.

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? Must read, though preferably not write, novels. Do you want children?

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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. Of course, each of these comes with their own good, bad and ugly. I think the entire experience felt like going on a journey with no idea as to what could turn up next.

There have always been matchmakers and, more recently, marriage agencies that connected families.

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