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Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ is only too accurate
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The Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia delivers this meme-friendly one-liner in the seventh episode of the hit Netflix series Indian Matchmaking. But she departs from this well-worn model in her attention to one extra characteristic: caste. This silent shadow hangs over every luxurious living room she leads viewers into. She lumps an entire social system, which assigns people to a fixed place in a hierarchy from birth, together with anodyne physical preferences.
This prejudiced treatment includes, but is hardly limited to, workplace discrimination in the United States. For example, the state of California sued the tech company Cisco in June for allegedly failing to protect a Dalit employee from discrimination by his higher-caste Brahmin managers. When a popular show like Indian Matchmaking neglects this alarming fact of the Indian American experience, it quietly normalizes caste for a global audience.
Contrary to what some viewers might think, the caste system is an active form of discrimination that persists in India and within the Indian American diaspora. One of the primary functions of arranged marriage is maintaining this status quo. That explains why people in dominant castes often carry out brutal violence against their own family members who dare to marry outside their caste, particularly if a partner is Dalit.
Last year, in Maharashtra, a father reportedly doused his daughter and her Dalit husband in kerosene and lit them on fire to condemn their intercaste marriage. These attacks are part of a pattern of families punishing relatives for rejecting marriages arranged on the basis of caste. Multiple episodes open with When Harry Met Sally —esque interviews featuring mostly older, straight couples in seemingly happy arranged marriages.
Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in India.
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Indian Matchmaking is a Indian documentary television series produced by Smriti Mundhra. Indian Matchmaking was released on July 16, , on Netflix. Mundhra named the casting the biggest hurdle of the show, going through a client list of families and calling to see if they were willing to be on camera. Mundhra also noted that the series initially started with about a dozen singles but with some that “fell off” during production.
The show received mixed reviews between critics and social media users. In addition to showing ” classist ” and ” casteist ” stereotypes, the show was criticized for whitewashing the idea of arranged marriages.
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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.
Right at the beginning of the Netflix hit show Indian Matchmaking, Or there are the matrimonial columns in newspapers and on websites, rife.
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‘Indian Matchmaking’: The Dark Reality Behind Your Latest Netflix Binge
Jump to navigation. As many Indo-Canadians know, finding a suitable partner can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task; a delicate act of balance between respect for your family, respect for your heritage, and respect for your personal relationship ambitions. Indeed, many Indian singles in Canada will find themselves juggling questions like how important is it to date someone of East-Indian heritage?
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The Netflix series Indian Matchmaking follows Sima Taparia, a professional matchmaker from Mumbai, and her clients. Yash Ruparelia/Netflix.
Jump to navigation. Our intelligent matchmaking system means we surpass other Indian dating sites by helping you pick out the very best potential partners for you. First, we use our personality test — which every new member takes — to determine how open, conscientious, extraverted, agreeable and neurotic you are, and match you with potential partners accordingly. Secondly, we take factors like your level of education, income and location into account.
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Couple Things: Checking In With ‘Indian Matchmaking’
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.
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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.
Indian Matchmaking: Why I have finally decided to go for arranged marriage
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Matrimony websites allow families and buddies to look for appropriate brides and grooms across Asia, as opposed to confining their search up to a close group through old-fashioned match-makers, spiritual numbers like priests and pundits. Jeevansathi ended up being started in and it is now company noted on Bombay stock market. The web site supplies a listing that is free of. Also, the website now delivers a chat feature enables potential partners or their family relations to know about one-another.
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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. 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. When the purpose of marriage is to find love, companionship and compatibility, then the focus is on the characteristics of the individual.
The marriage market is akin to a matching market, similar to Tinder or Uber. 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. This is why reading matrimonial ads or listening to Sima going over biodatas — a kind of matrimonial resume — is triggering for many Indian women.