Even For A Queer Person In South Africa, Indian Matchmaking Hits Close To Home

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.

Sima Taparia of ‘Indian Matchmaking’ on family dynamics, ghosting and failed matches

The first season of the show has missed presenting an all-round and inclusive picture of the Indian reality. That Indian Matchmaking has upset people across the spectrum is slightly baffling given we are a culture obsessed with arranged marriages. Newspapers embellished with matrimonial adverts — ridiculous and regressive in equal measure — are perhaps the oldest testimonies to our fixation with this robust institution.

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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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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.

Sima Taparia, the star of Indian Matchmaker, offers an inside look at today’s Indian marriage customs in the Netflix reality show. Photo: Netflix.

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. Yet the show merely explains that for many Indian men, bright, bubbly, beautiful Nadia is not a suitable match. The parents task Sima with following multiple stringent expectations. Some are understandably cultural, perhaps: A preference for a certain language or religion, or for astrological compatibility, which remains significant for many Hindus.

Other preferences, though, are little more than discrimination. Divorced clients are also subjected to particularly harsh judgment.

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Five years ago, I met with a matchmaker. I went in scornful. Like many of my progressive South Asian peers, I denounced arranged marriage as offensive and regressive. But when the matchmaker recited her lengthy questionnaire, I grasped, if just for a beat, why people did things this way. Do you believe in a higher power?

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Posted By: Sarina Chandaria August 4, Arranged marriages are something that are very commonly associated with the South Asian community, but not something that has happened in my family for quite a few generations. In my experience and from watching this show, family-oriented is almost exclusively used to describe women and more often than not means willing to take sole care of the home, be the primary caregiver, not to be too independent.

On the surface of it, matchmaking seems innocuous, like IRL Tinder only with people who actually have a bio and definitely exist, but binge-watching this in just under 48 hours really highlighted multiple problematic attitudes in the show. Throughout the show, you visibly see the prospective spouses struggling with the weight of expectation from their parents and from those around them. Akshay, from Mumbai, is very clearly entirely uninterested in marriage yet, his mother constantly emotionally manipulates him by blaming him for her blood pressure problems and even for his brother not having had his first child yet.

But, when Aparna, an American lawyer, states that she wanted someone ambitious and independent like her, she was branded as difficult and rude. Aparna, who is hilarious if not more than a tad rude at times, is portrayed as the villain of the series. And yet, when Pradhyuman rejects over women from their biodata pages alone this is simply shrugged off.

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By Naman Ramachandran. Netflix launched in India in , and homegrown commissions became available from in a market that thrives on local fare. They were replaced eventually by Monika Shergill in , who joined existing director of originals Srishti Behl Arya. The same year, the Los Angeles-based Mundhra pitched her idea for an Indian dating show with a global-facing matchmaker to Netflix in the U.

I am a South Indian who grew up in Mumbai. For many Indian women, including me, mids is the time when parents have the “talk”—except.

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Viewers Binged Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking,” But For Some The Show Brought Up Painful Memories

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Mixing documentary modes with dating show ridicule, it maintains and masks the most insidious injury arranged by marriage: caste. In the arranged marriage institution, proposals are familial, not individual. Parents organize heterosexist matches for their adult children from a shortlist of vetted candidates. The aim is an alliance between families.

Indian Matchmaking: Netflix’s ‘divisive’ dating show causes storm

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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. For many women, the show was triggering , because of the way it has shone the spotlight on how intelligent, ambitious, successful women are reduced to a set of stereotypical adjectives.

The show has sparked outrage on social media from some, with some calling it a hate-watch Credit: Netflix.

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