The second I saw Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking come up on my TV’s home screen, I excitedly texted a bunch of my Desi friends to see if they’d heard anything about it. I’m not saying that there weren’t any stereotypes that caught me off guard on the show like some of the character’s fake accents or the opening scene where Devi’s praying over a book for good grades , but there were some moments that really hit home for me in the coming-of-age comedy. While I was excited to see something related to the Indian culture get the spotlight yet again, it sort of felt like a personal secret was about to be exposed to the world. I was a little worried how Indians would be portrayed, especially to people who aren’t familiar with a culture where arranged marriages are considered the norm. Would the show go into complexities and nuances that come with matchmaking? Being Indian , I’ve been asked about arranged marriages my entire life and have had to answer questions like, “Do you get to choose who you want to marry or do your parents choose for you? Having been born in New Jersey but grew up in places like Dubai and Mumbai you can just call me Nikita Charuza From Mumbai , I know plenty of people who have had both arranged marriages and “love marriages. You sort of get lumped into one of those two buckets even though no two stories are the same.
Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Is The Talk Of India — And Not In A Good Way
An honest perspectiv 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. Add to Chrome. Sign in. Home Local Classifieds. News Break App.
Netflix missed an opportunity to challenge a social system fraught with cultural biases, and also educate a global audience on important.
T he first time we meet Aparna Shewakaramani, a year-old Houston-reared Indian-American lawyer in Indian Matchmaking — the Netflix reality series that follows an elite Mumbai matchmaker brokering marriage among affluent families — she launches into a diatribe against arranged marriage. Spread over eight episodes, Indian Matchmaking revolves around a something Sima Taparia, a flamboyant Mumbai matchmaker tasked with finding seven eligible bachelors, a suitable life-partner.
It opens with an Indian mother on a mission: Akshay, a pampered year-old heir of a business family watches as his mother reveals her laundry list of qualifications for her future daughter-in-law. She should be willing to acquiesce to all her demands, attractive, fair-skinned, cultured, and tall. Over the course of the season, her persistence slowly and steadily morphs into full-blown emotional manipulation: At the dinner table in one episode, she clinically instructs her elder daughter-in-law to have a baby next year.
Akshay himself is like a classic Imtiaz Ali heroine: subservient, silent, and more pleasing when not allowed to have an opinion. We often find ourselves unwittingly submitting to an array of social standards, and at times, settling, just because it is easier. Watching the whole season in both horror and awe, I found myself hanging on to every word she said, whether it was her reciting her now-viral anecdote about judging a man for not knowing that Bolivia has salt flats. But as the season progressed, my fascination — which, I admit, stemmed from witnessing someone publicly embarrass themselves — turned into admiration.
Indian Matchmaking gets to questioning the repercussions of an imperfect cultural practice on the next generation of Indians.
How Rupam from Indian Matchmaking finally found her happily-ever-after via a dating app
Frankly, I fail to see what is exciting or new about the show, except the fact that it intends to pivot the gaze of a global audience around the voyeuristic gratification of watching Indians express unfamiliar desires that are strange and cringe-worthy. The profit-guided intention of the show is to demonstrate and oversell Indianness, and what better way to do it than to insist that the practice of Indianness, or indeed a return to it in the case of NRIs is possible in the tacit acceptance of one of its central traditional institutions — the arranged marriage.
Following the ideological winds that blow, the series focuses exclusively on the Hindu custom of arranged marriage as the Indian Matchmaking ritual.
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.
Matchmaking in Middle Class India
It implies that I found my husband on my own accord. Necessary follow-up questions may then include: Is he Indian? He is. From which part of India does his family originate? And other information about him occupation and age and his family how many in the nuclear unit, where do they live, their occupations, etc.
Indian Matchmaking reinforces instances of gender discrimination as of an imperfect cultural practice on the next generation of Indians.
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. She made a documentary on the topic in , A Suitable Girl , a broad and bitter portrait of traditional matchmaking in India. It follows three women up until their wedding days, documenting their loss of independence and observing the severe social and familial pressures they face throughout the process.
‘Indian Matchmaking’ is bringing up uncomfortable issues my culture needs to address
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.
The only problem with ‘Indian Matchmaking‘ is that it doesn’t live up to Desis use to describe things we criticize or reject about our culture.
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.
How Matchmakers Work
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.
Though the ethnographic research has been conducted in India, this book is of relevance to social scientists studying matchmaking practices, youth cultures.
The appeal of the dating show is the unspoken desire for a neatly—tied ending, shared between both the viewer and participant; it’s the guarantee that these carefully selected personalities you watch throughout the season are capable of finding love and maybe you can too. In a room of gorgeously eligible singles, each reduced to a handful of lines per episode, it is both indulgent and reassuring to entertain the notion that the character you identify with will come out holding the final rose.
As we watch strangers profess their family histories and prioritized qualities in a life partner, we are granted breathing room to feel less self—conscious about our own. We normalize the notion that there is someone out there curated to match our idiosyncrasies perfectly. The show follows professional matchmaker Sima Taparia addressed as Sima Auntie as she outlines her process for how she uses blurbs of information about her clients as blueprints to build successful, sustainable relationships.
She travels between Mumbai and America to present biodatas to her candidates, sheets of paper which contain a low—quality image of the potential partner alongside their interests, hobbies, career, and education. Indian Matchmaking works to desensitize the clouded confusion surrounding arranged marriages through the lens of Western media. One piece of this context is the rampant colorism which enables arranged marriages to act as an instrument for racial superiority.
Series Review: Indian Matchmaking
Skip navigation! Story from Spirit. By now, you’ve probably heard about Netflix’s new reality show, Indian Matchmaking. The series follows Sima Taparia, Mumbai’s top matchmaker, as she tries to find lifelong partners for her clients in both India and the United States.
Through the show, viewers can see how young Indians today are approaching the dating scene differently than their elders did too. Kalita says.
In the show, Jayaraman goes on two dates, one featuring a boat tour of the Chicago River with the woman he has been paired with, Nadia Jagessar. The cameras also changed how he and Jagessar, a year-old dancer and event planner from New Jersey, interacted. On camera, they seem like a promising match, and Jayaraman said that this atmosphere was genuine at the time. Jayaraman believes that this assessment of the show is fair. In that scope, yeah, not largely successful. Know about breaking news as it happens.
We follow the stories and update you as they develop. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called for “an immediate, full and transparent investigation” into the police shooting of Jacob Blake and said officers “must be held accountable.
For Chicago lawyer, life after ‘Indian Matchmaking’ has been ‘an adjustment’
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.
The series director of Indian Matchmaking, Smriti Mundhra, pitched the idea While recent studies suggest that Indian culture is trending away.
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. The marriage of Dushyanta and Shakuntala was an example of this marriage. As the Vedic religion evolved into classical orthodox Hinduism ca. Manu and others attacked the Gandharva and other similar systems, decrying them as holdouts ” from the time of promiscuity ” which, at best, were only suitable for small sections of society.
Follow Us. Who was the mystery man and did the relationship eventually work out? We asked the New York-based physician herself. In an email interview, Rupam tells Vogue India that the couple got engaged during the lockdown and have been quarantining together ever since. So, on the recommendation of a friend, I downloaded the app two years ago when I was ready to date.
In Netflix’s new show Indian Matchmaking, widely-known Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia embarks on a mission to set up Aparna from.
Her passive-aggressiveness aside, the looks of quiet judgement have made her a meme star and the series a hit. Most Pakistanis are familiar with the trolley routine where a girl brings tea for a prospective groom and his family, but that is not what happens on this show. Instead, the couples are shown bio-datas and asked to go on dates at restaurants and other public places to see if there is enough connection to take the matter further.
While this may seem more open than the more chaperoned Pakistani style of matrimony, the family control and sky-high expectations are strikingly similar. One of Taparia’s clients is a Houston-based lawyer named Aparna, who comes across as a perfectionist, one who needs her life partner to know that the country of Bolivia has salt flats because she is fond of travelling. Meanwhile Akshay, a traditional young man from a wealthy family who wants someone just like his mother —has turned down over 70 young women on the basis of their photographs alone— is not so thoroughly examined.
For many, though Indian Matchmaking has opened up a space for discussion and introspection, but finding a spouse is too often reduced to a stark algorithm of materialistic requirements. But men do not escape judgment entirely in this show either; another wealthy young bachelor is Pradhyuman, a jewellery designer from Mumbai, who has rejected even more young women, plus at last count who also faced criticism.
His self-absorption and lack of connectivity with any of the women he was matched with was pretty evident. Similarly, Akshay may not have been criticised by Taparia but many on social media pointed out he was very immature and incapable of thinking independently of his mother. On the other end of the spectrum, we saw the more flexible Nadia, who despite her friendly, sweet personality and ability to like every person she was matched with was still unable to find commitment.