Review: ‘Indian Matchmaking’ balances tradition and modernity, despite controversy

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Dating has always been somewhat of a game, but when online dating and dating apps came into the picture, the game was taken to a whole new level. While some may enjoy swiping until their thumbs go numb, others are taking their time on dating apps seriously, crossing their fingers that they will meet their perfect match. We asked Dr.

Lalin Anik, postdoctoral fellow at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, explains her latest research on why matchmaking can be the key.

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.

The fact that Indian Matchmaking packages women as slim, tall, fair, presentable, likable, flexible and so on is, once again, a consequence of using marriage to preserve caste lines. When the purpose of marriage is to find love, companionship and compatibility, then the focus is on the characteristics of the individual. 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. Once caste, family, economic strata, looks, height, etc.

‘Indian Matchmaking’ Has No Self–Awareness

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Probably, because these decision-makers assumed the story of Jessica had a stronger emotional connection for American viewers. There are two sides to our decision-making: rational and emotional. At times, the emotional can derail rational decisions.

Matchmaking

Now that the world is spoilt for choice on what to watch, it is no small feat that a TV show on arranged marriage has provoked all kinds of reactions. Indian Matchmaking, a reality series, has The New York Times carefully analysing the contradictions in diaspora society. The most revealing criticisms, however, come from long-suffering Indians who have borne the brunt of embarrassing set-ups. Their ire is directed a tad unfairly towards the intrepid matchmaker whose main flaw is to tell it like it is, no holds barred.

Indian Matchmaking follows the fascinatingly opaque Sima Taparia, as she flies between Mumbai and the US, pairing potential partners. Like any matchmaker worth her salt, she matches lawyer with lawyer and Sikh with Sikh.

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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. My parents had a “love marriage” and I was lucky enough that they supported my decision to marry whoever I wanted.

At the same time, I also have friends and family members who had arranged marriages and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference because of how happy they are. Some have even compared it to being another outlet for getting introduced to potential partners like dating apps, but there are a lot of societal pressures that come with choosing that route. That being said, I’m not oblivious to the fact that there are women who don’t have a choice and are treated as transactions with arranged marriages and the multitude of pain they have had to endure.

I also know people who have given the matchmaking process a try and ended up leaving the situation pretty quickly because of women like Sima. What I feel like the show took away from Indians today is how much we’ve progressed from these age-old stereotypes of South Asian customs and traditions.

Matchmaking this Valentine’s Day: How it can bring you the most happiness

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.

Well, consider this matchmaking scenario: Roberta works in the marketing department of Company ABC, which promotes an appreciation for cultural diversity.

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Austin – February 10, – With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be thinking of pairing up two friends for a date. If you follow your instinct to play Cupid, it’ll pay off in happiness – not necessarily for the new couple, but definitely for you. According to new research, matchmaking, a time-honored tradition, brings intrinsic happiness to the matchmaker. To maximize the psychological benefits of matchmaking, you should take care to introduce two people who not only seem compatible but who would be unlikely to meet otherwise, researchers say.

She notes that the rising popularity of social networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn has made matchmaking effortless and central to social life.

Matchmaker Sima Taparia in Netflix show ‘Indian Matchmaking‘ | Screen commodifying women, lacking diversity and promoting a backwards vision of works in India, with social stability prized over individual happiness.

Ankita reveals how her weight was always a concern for nosy relatives regarding her marriage but she rebelled and focused on her career instead. Disappointed with the way things have turned out, Ankita meets a life coach through Taparia and decides to make her career and passion a priority over marriage. Her eyes light up when he tells Kshitij about her business called There! Her brand’s website too, speaks about the clothes being the very antithesis of fashion, in how they celebrate the individual before the attire.

During her date, Ankita reveals that she first launched the business online, but it being focused on garments, has been picking up pace slowly. Indian Matchmaking fans have noticed how Ankita , in reality, got them more intrigued in her business than her dating life with the dedication she showed towards it. We have been so overwhelmed with the response. Happy Shopping on www.

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Instead, I laughed at hilarious scenes between Indian American families redolent of my family. Released on July 16, this Netflix original is produced by the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Smriti Mundhra, who communicates a middle way between arranged marriages and modern dating. I am in the second camp and let me tell you why. Some of my relatives immigrated to the United States.

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We choose our friends. We choose our significant others. So shouldn’t we choose our mentors or mentorees? Well, consider this matchmaking scenario: Roberta works in the marketing department of Company ABC, which promotes an appreciation for cultural diversity. Roberta is smart but also nervous about all the traveling she must do. She gets along well with Jane, the local sales manager.

It’s Jane’s first job out of college, but she’s worked her way from account executive to local sales manager in just two years. Roberta and Jane are the same age, share similar values, and have great chemistry. Jane would like to mentor Roberta, and Roberta agrees. After all, the two are friends and often socialize with one another. Wouldn’t this be a great match? Not necessarily. A mentoring relationship shouldn’t be a friendship in disguise. Instead it should be a purposeful match made by the program manager-a person who won’t base his or her decision on the “friendship status” of the mentor and mentoree, but rather on whether the two can benefit from working together for months.

Wknd Conversations: Indian Matchmaking courts controversy

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.

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