Inside Netflix’s eye-opening look at arranged marriage, your next reality TV obsession

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. And every Indian family has a Sima Mami who offers women unsolicited, and often blunt, advice to wear more make-up, or hit the gym to lose weight, if they ever hope to get married. Despite this sociocultural context, Indian Matchmaking has generated a lot of outrage, with critics and viewers alike accusing the show of playing up — or, at the very least, not critiquing — everything regressive in Indian society. Words like hate-watch and cringe-fest have regularly featured on social media.

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Based on criteria they provide, clients are matched with ostensibly compatible dates, but they soon find that the goal of marriage is more difficult to attain that they had hoped — even with a matchmaker who consults biological data profiles, astrologers and face readers. Listen Listening Does the addictively bingeable series provide an accurate look at the process of arranged marriage for Indians and Indian Americans in ?

Indians living in India approach marriage and dating differently than Indians living in the U. And Indians who have emigrated to the U.

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Despite it focusing on a practice that could be seen as archaic and almost out of place in , it was a hit among people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. For those who had never heard of biodatas, star charts and the very concept of arranged marriage, it was maybe a morbid curiosity that got them deeply involved in the exploits of matchmaker Sima Taparia from Mumbai. The quest of its participants to find everlasting love amid the constraints of culture was played out for everyone to see, judge and make memes about.

But this is a reality that many young people face in India and other South Asian countries, where family comes first, second and third. So, does old school matchmaking still work? Can it be used to find true love? Does it have a place in our world today? For the longest period of my life, I thought my parents had a traditionally arranged marriage. In my teen years I pieced together information casually dropped sarcastically by relatives and realised that it was not!

My dad worked as a lab tech in the same college that my mom worked towards her nursing degree and they had a few conversations. Soon after he left for a job overseas but came to know through his brother that my mom was getting arranged marriage proposals. Obviously, everything worked out. This was the only fake arranged-marriage in our family, kept hush until my cousins and I were older — until mine.

In Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking,’ Arranged Marriage Is The Anti-Entanglement

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It has been a few months into trying out the prospect of arranged marriage. The decision came with the desire to find a decent, understanding companion I could share my life with. At the outset, let me tell you the process of finding a suitable match in this structure requires a considerable investment of time and energy.

So after much deliberation, I finally decided to take the plunge. As an independent, working woman of today, why did I choose to do this?

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Ketaki Desai and Sonam Joshi. Naina Hiranandani, co-founder of matchmaking service Sirf Coffee, says that dietary preferences have become very important to people. What are you going to do, check his stools every day? Dating coach Simran Mangharam has also noticed this trend.

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Bride says, “The society views, toward a divorced woman, have still not changed. But I am glad that I didnot have to face such malicious things.

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Some believe the biodata tradition is on the rise, in part because of the rapid pace of modern life and the increasing popularity of matrimonial Web sites. Gujarati parents of year-old Brahman boy, NRI nonresident Indian living in the United States, working in management, seek suitable match with Brahman girl. Born in India but raised in Artesia, a suburb southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Thaker assumed he would find his soul mate on his own.

But two years ago, while Thaker was in India, his parents posted a matrimonial ad in a local newspaper. Thaker initially objected, but his parents insisted. It was tradition. Is she a good match? What is his income potential? Used primarily by South Asians in arranged marriages, biodata emphasizes compatibility, education and family history, including caste, more than romance.

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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.

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

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

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