The notion of teaching them to adjust is at the crux of her process, as she works with entire families to find the right partner for their would-be brides and grooms. In some ways, the show is a modern take on arranged marriage, with contemporary dating horrors like ghosting and lacking the skills for a meet-up at an ax-throwing bar. But issues of casteism, colorism and sexism, which have long accompanied the practice of arranged marriage in India and the diaspora, arise throughout, giving viewers insight into more problematic aspects of Indian culture. As an Indian-American girl growing up in Upstate New York, one part of my culture that was especially easy to brag about was weddings. They were joyful and colorful, and they looked more like a party than a stodgy ceremony. While living under the same roof in quarantine, my mom and I have had a lot of time to watch buzzy Netflix shows together. But I was hesitant to invite her to watch Indian Matchmaking with me, knowing her marriage to my dad was arranged.
CONTINUE TO BILLING/PAYMENT
Skip navigation! Story from Best of Netflix. I do not typically spend time watching reality TV , which might surprise some considering I was once on a reality show. Given my own experience and ethnic background, I wanted to love the show and be supportive, but to me the series fell flat and overly simplified and stereotyped what it means to be Indian.
Although the couples Sima fixes up are not forced to marry, the end goal of matchmaking is that, after a few dates, the people involved will commit to an eventual engagement or Roka.
The Netflix dating show updates the arranged marriage narrative—but leaves the custom’s major problems untouched.
No one in my immediate family has had an arranged marriage, but I have many relatives who have. But I also know they rarely favor brides-to-be, expecting them to meet caste, color and body requirements as well as stereotypical gender roles. The show bills itself as exploring traditional Indian matchmaking practices in a modern world. Taparia characterizes her role as a matchmaker as a conduit for the divine. But Taparia also laments the challenges of being a matchmaker in these modern times.
They have full freedom and they bend little. So, how will things go smoothly? Like me, many of the prospective brides and grooms featured in the United States are the children of immigrants. They are turning to a traditional matchmaker after striking out on the dating scene. Vyasar Ganesan, a college guidance counselor at a high school in Austin, acknowledges that he was skeptical of arranged marriages for a long time, but is now open to trying this approach.
Netflix celebrates ‘aunty gaze’, caste and colourism in Indian matchmaking
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.
web show deals with the age-old Indian arranged marriage rigmarole. Indian Matchmaking ranked three in Netflix’s top 10 list for India on.
Religious faith has long held a strong link to matchmaking and arranged marriage. In Jewish tradition, God was the original matchmaker, creating Eve out of Adam’s rib so that the two could share company and procreate [source: Kadden and Kadden ]. Therefore, matchmakers held a prominent position in Jewish history. Fathers customarily bore the responsibility of selecting adequate grooms for their daughters and might request assistance from a local matchmaker, or shadchan , to seek out an eligible bachelor.
Matchmakers may then team up with rabbis to pair young men and women in the community, something that still takes place in orthodox communities. The Torah dictates payment to a shadchan , but that doesn’t always happen; some Jewish matchmakers will refuse to accept any remuneration, considering it their divine calling they pursue as a form of charity [source: Sherwood ].
Similar to secular professional matchmakers, Jewish shadchans might inquire around to find out about a young man’s character, personality, religious observance, family and professional prospects before proceeding with the fix-up. Jewish matchmaking focuses more on shared family background and kindred morals than romantic attraction, and, likewise, the relationship-building is reserved for the post-nuptial years.
For that reason, once the preordained couple meets, they aren’t expected to carry out an extended courtship, and the young man may pop the question after only a couple months, if not sooner. In Southeast Asia, arranged marriage remains a common custom , and the family often functions as matchmaker. With marriage a cornerstone establishment of the Hindu faith, the matchmaking tradition has existed in India, for instance, since the fourth century, and even in the 21st century, about 90 percent of Indian marriages are set up [source: Toledo ].
Boys’ families are generally the ones that initiate a search for a bride and may also solicit a matchmaker to ensure that a girl’s family line and astrological signs are compatible [source: Flanigan ].
New dating app is like the Tinder of arranged marriages
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Outrage-centric TRPs of Indian Matchmaking aside, here is what millennials have to both good and bad, with the arranged marriage process. Jayate’, says Parth Pawar · 2mins Eng vs Pak | Early start time makes sense.
Matchmaker Sima Taparia guides clients in the U. Sima meets three unlucky-in-love clients: a stubborn Houston lawyer, a picky Mumbai bachelor and a misunderstood Morris Plains, N. Friends and family get honest with Pradhyuman. Sima consults a face reader for clarity on her clients. A setback with Vinay temporarily discourages Nadia. Sima offers two more prospects to Aparna. Feeling the pressure, Pradhyuman finally goes on a date.
Indian Matchmaking: Netflix’s ‘divisive’ dating show causes storm
Is it true that traditionally, Jewish marriages were arranged marriages? Does Judaism mandate or legitimize this practice? If arranged means coerced—no. However, Torah law and Jewish custom have always frowned upon this practice, even in ancient times. This, indeed, has always been the practice within the Jewish community since its inception.
Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking” gestures at, but rarely delves into, the social pressures of the arranged marriage system. Ask someone who’s.
Lately we’ve been wondering, with all the matchmaking in the air — the explosion of online dating, the resurgence of traditional matchmaking as seen on Bravo’s horrifically amazing new show Millionaire Matchmaker , for example — who’s to say a revival of arranged marriage is all that far behind? FOX News interviewed a trend expert who believes that the new way to find a partner could be by returning to the old way :.
As America expanded multi-culturally, this custom filtered through as certain ethnic groups sought to preserve cultural and class traditions. But, contrary to the “old” arranged marriage, in which children are forbidden from choosing their own partners, the modern arranged marriage is not about being forced into federation. It’s about relying on the matchmaking mastery of Mom and Dad. And if arranged marriage is a family affair, then could this new dating site that Tango just featured represent a closing of the gap between online dating and arranged marriage?
Unlike friend-recommended sites, such as greatboyfriends. Is arranged marriage any more successful at keeping divorce rates down? According to this Minneapolis Star Tribune article , not really:. Divorce statistics are hard to come by, but divorce is legal throughout even the traditional Islamic world, with rates in some countries approaching or even exceeding those in the West, according to a Gallup Poll.
How Matchmakers Work
I was on the phone with my mother, who lives in Pune, India, complaining about Indian Matchmaking , when she brought up the marriage proposal. I knew she agreed. I scoffed.
Mundhra, who was raised in the U.S. and ultimately married outside of the matchmaking system, remained fascinated by arranged marriages.
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.
Commentary: What Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ doesn’t tell you about arranged 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.
S haymaa Ali was running out of time. As a research librarian brought up in a traditional Muslim family, Ali was caught between two ways of life. Can you leave work? And I would think, Why are you meeting me? You came knowing that I worked. But as time moves on, you also get scared: What if I turned 31 or 32 without getting married?
I might never be a mother. Read: Meet the Turkish model who wants to predict your future. These were the post—Arab Spring years, and an economic recession was making it harder for young people to find jobs and start families. Then, in , Ali began writing on her Facebook page about her experiences as a single woman.
What ‘Indian Matchmaking’ gets wrong — and right
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While Rujuta’s meeting was a typical arranged marriage scenario, there was no ‘kundali matching’ or ‘assessing the girl’ on the basis of her.
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? Not particularly. The show has received sharp criticism — some well deserved — among progressive South Asians, including Dalit writers , for normalizing the casteist, sexist and colorist elements of Indian society. It explores the fact that many Indian millennials and their diaspora kin still opt for match-made marriage.
‘Indian Matchmaking’ is bringing up uncomfortable issues my culture needs to address
I ndian Matchmaking on Netflix is the kind of aunty gaze nobody needs to see highlighted, or worse, glorified. Taparia is the perfect embodiment of a typical aunty who perpetuates casteist, sexist and colourist notions throughout the show and believes parents know best. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Oscar-nominated director Smriti Mundhra said she wanted to depict this tradition of arranged marriages for a global audience on Netflix, but not specifically for a Western gaze.
Apart from just navigating the difficult search for a suitor, these struggles include the general resistance many have to put up against parents who continually try to exert their choices upon us. Mundhra claims the show is meant to capture the diversity of ideologies and backgrounds that make up the South Asian experience, but no criticality is exercised at any point.
On its website, Hawaya faults the traditional arranged marriage system for forcing many young Muslims “to choose a life partner in an unhealthy.
Perpetuating stereotypes of colourism, casteism and sexism about the country, the creators forget that Indian millennials and their families have come a long way after battling these societal norms for years, netizens argue. Youngsters are calling out the American platform and creator Smriti Mundhra for judging people by their looks and also for making marriage seem like an accomplishment and necessity even as men and their families specifically searched for women who could stay home and look after children.
All of this as they binge-watched the show. It is wrong on so many levels. Some of these things are appalling – sexism, classism. I, however, cannot stop watching it,” a user tweeted. Netflix declined to comment on queries from Mint. But show creator Mundhra takes the criticism head on in a recent interview to entertainment and pop culture site Decider.