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. Director Smriti Mundhra told Jezebel that she pitched the show around Sima, who works with an exclusive set of clients.
Sima Taparia of ‘Indian Matchmaking’ on family dynamics, ghosting and failed matches
The Netflix hit “Indian Matchmaking” has stirred up conversations about issues like parental preference in marriage, cultural progress, casteism — and ghosting. Taparia answered questions via email from Mumbai, discussing why none of the matches worked out, her own arranged marriage and how business is booming despite the coronavirus pandemic. Sima Taparia: They are not separate things. Matchmaking is just a tool to help people find a life partner.
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And of course I have. I really cannot stress this enough: Agrabah is not a real place! The genre, after all, encapsulates so much of the human condition, from its elegant docuseries to the shows where women throw wine at each other while their husbands mutter anti-gay slurs in the background. High art! A well-lit, well-produced, empathetic docuseries, it follows matchmaker Sima Taparia as she tries to set up Indians both in India and the US for arranged marriages.
But both series have felt unsatisfying to me. Mindy Kaling comes out with something new every few years, which many Indian Americans find exciting, and the work of brown women is sorely needed in a white media landscape.
Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Is The Talk Of India — And Not In A Good Way
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. In the first episode, Taparia lays out the sociological context of the show for a Western audience: Arranged marriages are the norm in Indian society.
Like many of my progressive South Asian peers, I denounced arranged marriage as offensive and regressive. But when the matchmaker recited.
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. Some people—yep, even millennials—willingly enter into arranged marriages, as seen on the new reality show.
While the show portrays arranged marriages in a positive although at times, vulnerable light, it simultaneously showcases the problems plaguing the ancient tradition—problems that Netflix account holders across America were quick to point out. The casual, rampant racism on IndianMatchmaking is wild, and I fear fair will fly right over the heads of all the white people watching. The super-popular show has garnered criticism for its messages of colorism , classism, and body-shaming.
I mean, take your pick. So why are brown people, like myself, forced to answer for a cultural institution I played no part in creating? The uncomfortable truth is that while these shows perpetuate equally harmful ideas about love and marriage, Indian Matchmaking confirms biases against Indian cultures, making it easier to criticize.
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Her passive-aggressiveness aside, the looks of quiet judgement have made her a meme star and the series a hit. Most Pakistanis are familiar with the trolley routine where a girl brings tea for a prospective groom and his family, but that is not what happens on this show. Instead, the couples are shown bio-datas and asked to go on dates at restaurants and other public places to see if there is enough connection to take the matter further.
While this may seem more open than the more chaperoned Pakistani style of matrimony, the family control and sky-high expectations are strikingly similar. One of Taparia’s clients is a Houston-based lawyer named Aparna, who comes across as a perfectionist, one who needs her life partner to know that the country of Bolivia has salt flats because she is fond of travelling.
arranged marriages in India and the South Asian diaspora, matchmaking. For the few who have managed to miss the show’s viral popularity.
Two weeks ago Netflix debuted Indian Matchmaking , an eight-episode documentary series that follows Sima Taparia a matchmaker from Mumbai on her quest to find the perfect partner for a mix of South Asian people, both in India and in the U. While entertaining in parts, the show proved to be pretty triggering in a lot of ways. As a first-generation Indian girl who grew up in the U. Anaa: Oh my God. All the time, are you kidding me? Do you know anyone? Have you met someone?
Anaa: I feel Indian Matchmaking has showcased how transactionally marriage is viewed. For me, marriage is just something that… When it happens, it happens. Jasmin: Have you had that conversation with your family? That this is your viewpoint on it? Anaa: A lot, my family is very understanding of that. And even, we can take a look at what-was-his-name?
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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.
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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.
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A Netflix hit about arranged marriages reflects Indian society a lot more than critics want to admit.
Unless you are living under a rock, you already know about Indian Matchmaking, the new eight-part reality show on Netflix, which is making waves across the country. The show created by independent filmmaker Smriti Mundhra takes us through the world of high-profile Mumbai-based wedding matchmaker Sima Taparia. If you have already finished binge-watching Indian Matchmaking and if you are craving for more similar content, here is a list of south Indian movies that have tackled the various challenges of arranged marriages.
Available on Amazon Prime Video. But, it is also an exchange of wealth and culture. Starring Vijay and Simran in the lead roles, the film follows the emotional struggles when a couple enters a contractual wedding. Available on MX Player. Well, it is not easy when you have a doting father who controls your every move. Available on ZEE5. But, at the heart of it, it has the story of a young couple struggling to settle down in the marriage, which was arranged by their family for them.
The film also effectively examines the unpleasant process of matchmaking faced by those with male pattern baldness. Available on Netflix. And she is now tasked to impress a man who is determined to avoid an arranged marriage. Click here to join our channel indianexpress and stay updated with the latest headlines.
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Netflix documentary sparks a debate about arranged marriages. Through an ensemble cast of astrologers, face readers, priests, prospective grooms, brides, and parents armed with endless lists of demands on caste, height and skin color, viewers are taken on a voyeuristic tour of the complicated process of matchmaking in India, where 10 million nuptials take place every year.
The controversial series has triggered multiple memes, jokes and criticism on social media.
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