Not Just ‘Indian Matchmaking’, These 7 Reality Shows & Films Celebrate Arranged Marriages


This book is an extensive and thorough exploration of the ways in which the middle class in India select their spouse. Using the prism of matchmaking, this book critically unpacks the concept of the ‘modern’ and traces the importance of moralities and values in the making of middle class identities, by bringing to the fore intersections and dynamics of caste, class, gender, and neoliberalism. The author discusses a range of issues: romantic relationships among youth, use of online technology and of professional services like matrimonial agencies and detective agencies, encounters of love and heartbreak, impact of experiences of pain and humiliation on spouse-selection, and the involvement of family in matchmaking. Based on this comprehensive account, she elucidates how the categories of ‘love’ and ‘arranged’ marriages fall short of explaining, in its entirety and essence, the contemporary process of spouse-selection in urban India. Though the ethnographic research has been conducted in India, this book is of relevance to social scientists studying matchmaking practices, youth cultures, modernity and the middle class in other societies, particularly in parts of Asia. While being based on thorough scholarship, the book is written in accessible language to appeal to a larger audience.

Unless You’re Brown, ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Is Not Yours to Criticize

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.

Even its harshest critics can’t get away from arranged marriage. But watch Indian Matchmaking, and you may end the eight-episode arc of the.

Indian Matchmaking treads into dangerous territory when it allows Sima Taparia free rein to reinforce regressive methods of Indian matchmaking as undeniable fact. During the episode, Basra explained to Justin how she might have rushed into marriage, in part due to her Indian family pressuring her. How could I ever trust you? How could anyone ever trust you? The idea is very much to translate the aspirations, insecurities, and fixations of a community for a global audience unfamiliar with its beats.

The trouble is, over the course of eight abruptly structured episodes, Indian Matchmaking becomes an infuriating exercise in delusion, ending up doing exactly what it intended to rally against: exoticising a calculated, cultural practice that in reality is steeped in decades of misogyny, casteism, and gender inequality.

Commentary: What Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ doesn’t tell you about arranged marriage

Netflix show Indian Matchmaking is a desi reality that is evenly wedged between horror and rom-com. It follows a series of bachelors, bachelorettes and divorcees, living in the US and India who have been mollycoddled into choosing a partner by their families with the help of an Indian matchmaker. Twitter has come down heavily with reactions to the show — some furious about the cringeworthy moments and the judgemental, haphazard dialogues carelessly littered throughout the show.

Read ‘Indian Matchmaking‘: Netizens react to ‘cringy’ yet ‘fascinating’ Netflix reality show.

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Arranged marriage is a type of marital union where the brides and grooms are selected by the girl and the boy themselves, with total involvement of the families and social circles of them in the selection process. In some cultures a professional matchmaker may be used to find a spouse for a young person. This is in contrast to forced marriages , where either the bride or the groom or both have no say in the marriage. This is also in contrast to the dating process, where either there is no involvement of the families and social circles.

Arranged marriages have historically been prominent in many cultures. The practice remains common in many regions, notably South Asia , though in many other parts of the world, the practice has declined substantially during the 19th and 20th centuries. Forced marriages , practised in some families, are condemned by the United Nations , and is not an arranged marriage. The specific sub-category of forced child marriage is especially condemned. Arranged marriages were very common throughout the world until the 18th century.

Some historical exceptions are known, such as courtship and betrothal rituals during the Renaissance period of Italy [3] and Gandharva Vivah in the Vedic period of India.

Matchmaker matchmaker make me a match but need love too – couples redefine arranged marriage

Follow Us. We go behind the scenes of the Netflix show that has taken over our Instagram feeds with the two women instrumental in bringing it to life. In her twenties, Indian-American filmmaker Smriti Mundhra vacillated between blueprinting the creative life she sought and a more conservative vision touted by her family.

At the centre of this great Indian arranged marriage circus is Tapadia, whose popularity But is she the main “villain” in Indian Matchmaking?

And on social media, there is a raging storm over sexism, casteism, colourism and other isms. After all, alliances are not between individuals, but families. The son, no surprise, is looking for someone like mummy. And yet, IM underplays the seedier underbelly of the marriage market. Dowry, for instance, is excised from the show. In one case, the match-maker introduces a woman who is seven years older than her prospective groom.

Reality is far grimmer. Arranged or otherwise, marriage in modern India continues to be bound by rigid social-economic-caste structures. When young people exercise agency and rebel against family, caste and religion, the result can be a so-called honour killing — in As caste-based societies modernise, there is greater wealth dispersion and this leads to dowries going up, finds another study. Ergo, the pull-no-stops big fat Indian wedding.

The embedded patriarchy in arranged marriages

What influences our youth to set aside their enterprising, free-wheeling spirit to follow the well-trodden path of arranged marriages? Part of the answer lies in the deep socialisation process, which is woven into the fabric of the close-knit extended Indian family, and its rootedness in the larger network of society. The young too seem to believe in the cultural definition of marriage as a family affair, rather than an individual undertaking.

Harmony and shared values arising from common backgrounds are seen as more important than individual attraction. The common grounds provided by an arranged match — familiar customs, foods, relatives, incomes, etc — also helps in negotiating the dark thicket of matchmaking. The upside is also that this aids the adjustment process with the new partner and family, a stand-in for what is seen as the variable element of love.

The Western world views the notion of ‘arranged marriage’ with horrified fascination; how can two adults consent to marry someone chosen for.

It has also put the spotlight on reality shows and how they spin a particular narrative at the cost of others. The show seems to be tailor-made for a western audience and portrays arranged marriages in a positive way while underplaying issues of casteism, misogyny and heteronormativity. At the centre of the show is matchmaker Sima Taparia, whose clients include well-off Indians living in the USA or in cosmopolitan cities across India. While the themes are similar, A Suitable Girl offers a nuanced and realistic take on arranged marriages among middle class Indians.

Taparia and her daughter Ritu feature in A Suitable Girl as Ritu is one of three women whose journeys are profiled in the award-winning documentary. In their study, The Decline of Arranged Marriage? However, the size of many of these changes is modest and substantial majorities of recent marriages still show the hallmarks of arranged marriage. Arranged marriage is clearly not headed towards obsolescence any time soon. The process of matchmaking has evolved over time.

While conventional matchmaking involved matchmakers like Taparia who kept a database of prospective grooms and brides, the last few years have seen the rise of online matchmaking services, such as Shaadi. The study further says that semi and self-arranged matches are more beneficial for women as it gives them greater opportunity to exercise agency in key aspects such as expenditure and reproduction , and makes them less vulnerable to domestic violence.

Netflix show on Indian matchmaker stokes debate on wedding culture

Reading it reminded him of a period in my life, my mids, when we were searching for a groom for me. I am a South Indian who grew up in Mumbai. But of course, I had to track it down. Since its release on July 16, Indian Matchmaking is all my Twitter stream can talk about.

Arranged or otherwise, marriage in modern India continues to be bound by rigid Indian Matchmaking,Netflix,Patriarchy An online survey of 10, respondents across cities and towns by YouGuv-Mint-CPR found that.

Indian Matchmaking shows picky individuals with a long list of demands that centre around caste, height and skin colour. A new Netflix show about an Indian matchmaker catering to the high demands of potential brides and grooms, and their parents, has stoked an online debate about arranged marriages in the country.

The eight-part series, Indian Matchmaking, premiered on Netflix last week and is currently among its top-ranked India shows. It features Sima Taparia, a real-life matchmaker from Mumbai, who offers her services to families in India and abroad. The show has become the subject of memes, jokes, and criticism, about the pickiness of the potential spouses and their parents, with long lists of demands centring around factors like caste, height or skin colour.

Indian Matchmaking isn’t just about the liberal colorist and sexist fabric South Asian cultures are steeped in. It’s about Brahmanical patriarchy. It’s shaped by gender, caste, and economic relationships, and Indian Matchmaking depicts exactly that. The show “makes very clear how regressive Indian communities can be. Where sexism, casteism, and classism are a prevalent part of the process of finding a life partner,” wrote Twitter user Maunika Gowardhan.

Thousands of Twitter and Instagram posts echo that view.

The evolution of marriage, from strictly arranged to semi-arranged

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 Exposes the Easy Acceptance of Caste One of the primary functions of arranged marriage is maintaining this status quo. non-desi corners of the internet almost immediately after the show’s release.

Updated : 26 days ago. If you scoff at the very thought of arranged marriage and what all it entails, and consider it to be the most regressive concept on the earth; read no further. Moreover, you will be able to relate to this bunch of young men and women on the lookout for life partners. So women like Sima aunty, become as important as tying the nuptial knot. The series fleshes out a microcosm of Indian society, the upper class, both in India and foreign lands where despite dating apps and websites, Sima aunty has both rationale and reason to exist.

Of course, she exists in real life as exactly what is shown in the series as a high profile matchmaker Sima Taparia. Her clients too are real, sieved out of a list of Through her we meet a handsome jewellery designer in Mumbai, an ambitious woman lawyer in US, a Guyanese Indian origin woman and later in the series a divorcee, all looking for love and a life partner.

The common thread is Sima aunty, who frets a bit, as we all want everything. Despite her sanctimonious and judgemental attitude towards the fair sex, she has an air of someone who means well. Bit by bit, we are taken from one possible matrimonial alliance to another in India and the US. Often the conversation of the potential bride and groom runs the same distance, even perpetuates stereotypes, yet the show keeps you engaged with its real tone and tenor.

Love marriage and arranged marriage

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