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. For example, the state of California sued the tech company Cisco in June for allegedly failing to protect a Dalit employee from discrimination by his higher-caste Brahmin managers. When a popular show like Indian Matchmaking neglects this alarming fact of the Indian American experience, it quietly normalizes caste for a global audience.
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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.
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But being an Indian woman , and rarely seeing myself represented on the small screen in dating show contexts, I knew I had to watch it as soon as it aired. My expectations were low, but somehow I was still disappointed. The series follows Taparia as she meets with clients including Akshay, Pradhyuman and Ankita, finds out what they want, and aims to set them up with their perfect match. But rather than point out that the caste system which ranks Hindus through a hierarchical structure is, in theory, abolished but still holds sway, the show sidesteps it entirely.
In its place, there is veiled language. This is what bothered me the most. We have Akshay, who wants to uphold gendered roles with his choice of wife.
Bangalore , Karnataka , India. Lucknow , Uttar Pradesh , India. Moradabad , Uttar Pradesh , India. Melbourne , Australia. Patiala , Punjab , India.
68 Things You Need To See If You’ve Watched The Cringefest That Is Indian Matchmaking. “Normalise divorce, not arranged marriage.”.
Your spouse is just a set of qualifications to finally one-up your neighbours or your rival at work. Stagnant social mobility, casteist educational institutions and economic inequality glom together to create families, neighbourhoods, schools, colleges and work places where everyone has similar incomes and wealth, lifestyles, intellectual interests and ambitions. In other words, the metrics of compatibility all conspire towards upholding oppressive structures.
Practicing hyper-individuality to stand out on dating apps is disenchanting, having your personhood disregarded completely is no better. Marital rape is still legal in India. Disputes and murders over dowry are regular news items. There has to be more or something else, some of us think to ourselves as we contemplate the markers of adulthood, and this show flatly tells us, no.
People who are offended by ‘Indian Matchmaking’ prove its point
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?
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The Indian matchmakers targeting divorcees
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.
Indian Matchmaking, Netflix’s new show follows Mumbai-based Say for example when she tells Rupam that since she is divorced with a kid.
The show has received much criticism for glorifying arranged marriages — a tradition that feeds off regressive stereotypes about genders, caste and class. While the challenges of single-hood resonated with a lot of privileged, mostly savarna Indian women and some men, it was pointed out that the labelling and sorting process of humans involved in the show glorifies deeply regressive traditions Indian women have fought hard against, and some are still unable to stand up to.
Several Dalit writers and activists pointed out that the outrage over Indian Matchmaking from dominant caste circles revealed a deep lack of selfwareness as their own social interactions were also deeply rooted in caste, which relentlessly otherises oppressed castes. At the centre of the show, are regular people struggling to finding a partner they really wanted to be with on a long term basis. HuffPost India reached out over email to Vyasar Mamta Ganesan, a year-old high school college counsellor at Austin, Texas to understand how the process panned out for them and also how the people on the show responded to the allegations of stereotyping and regressiveness.
We have also reached out to some of the women contestants and the makers, whose responses will be published once and if they get back.
Happily divorced: Indian women are breaking the stigma around separation like never before
Not so happily ever after as Indian divorce rate doubles. India moves to make it easier for couples to divorce. India still has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world, but marriage breakdowns are becoming more common. Most of those splitting up are members of its thriving, urban middle class whose lives have been transformed by the economic boom. This has led to a huge rise in the number of matrimonial services, some unscrupulous, targeting divorcees.
Anasuya Basu, who was recently divorced, found out.
How Does a Modern Indian Arranged Marriage Work? further consideration through their social circle, community, or by advertising on matrimonial websites or newspapers. The first is that Indians have an astonishingly low divorce rate.
To her surprise, the year-old met her future husband and is set to get married in January next year. Mumbai-based Anindita Dey—married for over a year now — also met her husband through her parents. However, Anindita makes it clear that while it was her parents who set up the meeting, the final decision was completely hers. Louis Superman, which she shared with Sami Khan.
Because Indian Matchmaking follows matchmaker Sima Taparia analysing families and boys and girls to find suitable matches. In an age when people believed to be largely pushing away the stereotypes, breaking free from the regressive patriarchal mind-set of society, this show throws light on the ugly truth of Indian matchmaking. In other words, it hits the bullseye when showcasing the circus that Indian marriages, mostly considering how even the most well-to-do families can’t still avoid checking the kundali, complexion or height among other conventional criteria.
But it simultaneously hurts because it is the reality that people face once in their lifetimes and want to forget. Sima Taparia, who has been a matchmaker since , finds nothing backward in her business. In India anyway, 50 percent are love marriages but people mostly want arranged ones, as those marriages last long. No matter how much the show makes one twitch, the truth is that a large population of Indians still opt for an arranged marriage.
Despite Twitter rants on the show, calling it out for promoting colourism, cast and beauty standards, Indian Matchmaking elucidates the reality of Indian household loud and clear on the screen. Shahzeen Shivdasani, a relationship expert and the author of Love, Lust and Lemons, reckons that arranged marriages can be a good way to meet a life partner, but she is also among those highly disappointed with the show. And so while they get married in pursuit of happiness, they end up taking a divorce in that pursuit.
Arranged marriage in the Indian subcontinent
Is ‘Selling Sunset’ Fake? Chrissy Teigen Questions if Agents are Real. The series follows the most prominent matchmaker in India as she pairs up singles across continents, using her decades of experience and keen instincts for matchmaking. She even gets help from the stars along the way— literal stars, like, astrological signs!
Why Indians Are Hate-Watching Indian Matchmaking: Real-Life because, explains the matchmaker, as a society those who had a divorce are.
We are in the middle of a pandemic. Work from home has started taking a toll and there are at least a million things to worry about at the moment. Like jobs, making ends meet, daily chores that never seem to end. And yet, all people could talk about over the weekend was Indian Matchmaking , a Netflix docu-series that appear to fan all the stereotypes about Indians and the system of arranged marriages.
All these various bits and pieces are tied together with the expert narration of Sima Taparia, the matchmaker from Mumbai who finds life partners for girls and boys from the upper echelons of society. Thus begins the eight-episode Netflix series, jumping between Texas and Mumbai, offering glimpses into how life and marriage is conducted among the rich and privileged Indians and NRIs. View this post on Instagram. And as it turns out, sometimes, art imitates life.
These very stereotypes – that have sent netizens on an overdrive and intellectuals scratching their head over why Netflix would even pick up such a show – are rooted in real life. As much as it pains viewers — comprising mainly of millennials and Gen Z — seeing parents dictate the lives of their children, making key decisions on their behalf, and choosing a daughter-in-law as one would shop in a supermarket, arranged marriage in India, especially in privileged circles, are treated like transactions.
Neha, who launched network-based dating app, GoGaga in , in an attempt to do away with hook-up culture and the typical caste-based selection on matrimonial sites, is aware of the prejudices that drive this industry. Even as non-traditional online services pick up steam, matrimonial sites and professional matchmakers remain hugely popular.
Vyasar Ganesan, From Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’, Responds To Criticism Of The Show
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Arranged marriage is a tradition in the societies of the Indian subcontinent , and continue to account for an overwhelming majority of marriages in the Indian subcontinent. Arranged marriages are believed to have initially risen to prominence in the Indian subcontinent when the historical Vedic religion gradually gave way to classical Hinduism the ca.
The Indian subcontinent has historically been home to a wide variety of wedding systems. Some were unique to the region, such as Swayamvara which was rooted in the historical Vedic religion and had a strong hold in popular culture because it was the procedure used by Rama and Sita. In a swayamvara , the girl’s parents broadcast the intent of the girl to marry and invited all interested men to be present in a wedding hall on a specific date and time.
The girl, who was also often given some prior knowledge about the men or was aware of their general reputation, would circulate the hall and indicate her choice by garlanding the man she wanted to marry. Sometimes the father of the bride would arrange for a competition among the suitors, such as a feat of strength, to help in the selection process.
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The recent Netflix release, Indian Matchmaking has taken social media by storm. One of the singles who was highly supported by netizens is Ankita Bansal on Indian Matchmaking. She came across as a fierce believer in equal rights and was highly acclaimed by fans. Ankita Bansal is a Delhi-based entrepreneur who has been in the news for appearing on Indian Matchmaking. Independent, ambitious and fierce Ankita was on a lookout for a romantic and pleasant partner for herself.
In Indian Matchmaking , Ankita was seen enlisting her criteria for a perfect partner to Sima Taparia.
Because Indian Matchmaking follows matchmaker Sima Taparia married in pursuit of happiness, they end up taking a divorce in that pursuit.
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