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

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. After having a Roka, the couple can plan their nuptials on their own timeline and get to know each other more.

‘Indian Matchmaking’ is bringing up uncomfortable issues my culture needs to address

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familiar with Indian matchmaking, matchmakers like Sima are typically compensated between two to five percent of the wedding costs, which.

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Why Your Wedding Is the Perfect Place to Play Matchmaker

Follow Us. The controversial Netflix show has reignited debate over traditional marriage matches, but without interrogating harmful stereotypes, says Meehika Barua. One evening in late November when I was heading for a meeting in Holborn, my Indian friend, who is 25, texted me to say that she was getting married. Trains went by as I stood at London Bridge station, typing furiously, glaring at my phone. The arranged marriage had been fixed up by her parents.

While Indian Matchmaking carefully and successfully swats away stigmas that surround the concept of arranged marriage—that marriages are.

Sushmita Pathak. Is it a match? A potential couple meet up courtesy of a matchmaker in the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. Netflix hide caption. A picky year-old from Mumbai whose unwillingness to marry raises his mom’s blood pressure. A headstrong year-old lawyer from Houston who says she doesn’t want to settle for just anybody.

A cheerful year-old Guyanese-American dancer with Indian roots who simply wants to find a good person to be her husband. These are some of the singles on the new Netflix original series Indian Matchmaking , a reality TV show about arranged marriages in Indian culture. The show follows Sima Taparia, a professional matchmaker from Mumbai, as she jets around the world, quizzing clients on their preferences, handing them “biodatas” for potentially compatible mates that’s the term she uses for what seem to be a cross between a resume and a dating profile and ultimately introducing them to prospective spouses.

Sima Taparia right is a jet-setting matchmaker from Mumbai. Here she confers with astrologer Pundit Sushil ji, who helps her come up with prospective mates for her clients. The eight-part series, which premiered on July 16, follows the participants as they navigate awkward first dates and meetings with the families of their matches. It became popular almost instantly in the U.

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The conversation started from afar, in allegorical form, and the bride’s parents usually took time to respond. The final word was given after the second or the third call of matchmakers. In case of positive decision the bride’s parents accepted bread from the matchmakers and cut it.

Commentary: What Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking‘ doesn’t tell you about arranged marriage. Akshay Jakhete, right, in an episode of “Indian.

Few people in the Capital can talk about matchmaking as insightfully as Poonam Sachdev. Their catchphrase Rishte Hi Rishte: Ek Baar Mil Toh Lein matches and more matches, meet us at least once used to be scrawled along railway tracks across north India in the s. Sachdev, 53, who has been in the business of matchmaking for 30 years, says Covid has made her job more complicated than ever before.

Suddenly, a lot of people seem to believe in a simple marriage. Her sentiments are shared by many other well-known matchmakers in Delhi, who before the pandemic had an estimated 3, matrimonial bureaus. While a large number of them have had to permanently shut shop in the past three months, as business has nosedived like never before, those that have survived say finding a perfect match has never been so tough.

I worked over the phones and have already helped a couple of such as families to find the perfect match without obligations as to how and where the wedding should take place. The loss of offline matchmakers has worked to the advantage of matrimonial websites, which have introduced newer features such as video profiles and video calling.

The online marriage agency for successful professionals

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.

The Netflix dating show updates the arranged marriage narrative—but leaves the custom’s major problems untouched.

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.

When it comes to daughters, the disciplining fetters become even tighter, since a tarnished reputation would scupper her chances in the marriage market.

Marriage matchmaking by date of birth

On Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking,” marriage consultant Sima Taparia travels the world to meet with hopeful clients and help them find the perfect match for an arranged marriage. The format of the show is simple. Hopeful brides- and grooms-to-be meet with Taparia — often with their overbearing parents in tow — for an initial consultation.

Criteria are laid out, potential suitors are presented on paper, dates are arranged, and then it’s up to the couple to decide if it’s a match. In some respects, the producers should be commended. This is a show that turns away from the “big fat Indian wedding” trope and offers something fresh: a look at how some traditional-facing couples meet through the services of a professional matchmaker.

An excerpt from The Shaadi Story: Behind The Scenes Of The Big Fat Indian Wedding’, by Amita Nigam Sahaya.

Indian Matchmaking unpacks only selectively what an upper-class, upper-caste Indian marriage entails. All of it costs, moneh, honeh. Oodles of it. And who pays for it? We see none of it on the Netflix show because it needs to be palatable to a global audience. Anyone in India would be asking the one question: how much? That would be the real, true, authentic voice of a Big Fat Indian Wedding. Why do we never hear what Sima aunty charges for her services?

She, who is a service provider par excellence, flitting from one destination to another, her basket of goodies overflowing with the right biodatas. The ghoonghat or the veil may have gone, but the downcast eyes are still desirable. Even today, in many homes, the bahu serves the men and the children. Then she eats. If the baby cries, she needs to soothe it; if she is doing something else, she needs to drop it when anyone in the house requires her services.

What time she gets up, what time she sleeps, what she eats, how much intimacy is allowed between her and her husband is all decided for her.

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