Chicagoan Shekar Jayaraman talks about his experience on new Netflix show ‘Indian Matchmaking’

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Matchmaking

The notion of teaching them to adjust is at the crux of her process, as she works with entire families to find the right partner for their would-be brides and grooms. In some ways, the show is a modern take on arranged marriage, with contemporary dating horrors like ghosting and lacking the skills for a meet-up at an ax-throwing bar.

But issues of casteism, colorism and sexism, which have long accompanied the practice of arranged marriage in India and the diaspora, arise throughout, giving viewers insight into more problematic aspects of Indian culture. As an Indian-American girl growing up in Upstate New York, one part of my culture that was especially easy to brag about was weddings. They were joyful and colorful, and they looked more like a party than a stodgy ceremony.

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

By Anika Jain on August 19, While the two lovers have the opportunity to go on actual dates and have some liberties when it comes to deciding their spouse, Sima Aunty is more or less setting up arranged marriages — an ancient tradition in many Asian countries, especially in India. In addition to these superficial preferences, families are very clear about their desire to match their children with a spouse from a high caste — despite the abolishment of the Indian caste system in Rather, it is unapologetically Indian, from the glamorization of fair skin to the marital pressure from families.

Notwithstanding the intense colorism and classism, the stakes for these singles is much higher than any other reality TV show. Now, this is not to say that arranged marriages are entirely forced and restrictive.

She ran away from home to marry my father against her family’s wishes, and passed on a rebellious, non-conforming streak to me. Yet here she.

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.

Who We Are

It might seem strange to invoke an Alice Walker essay in connection with the new Netflix reality series, Indian Matchmaking , but, here we go. The essay is revolutionary for that coinage. Walker explicitly draws a connection between skin color and marriage.

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Instead, I laughed at hilarious scenes between Indian American families redolent of my family. Released on July 16, this Netflix original is produced by the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Smriti Mundhra, who communicates a middle way between arranged marriages and modern dating. I am in the second camp and let me tell you why. Some of my relatives immigrated to the United States. Many of them are still in India. I have visited my aunties and uncles, eaten kheer at the Langar of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, enjoyed homemade samosas and chai from my great aunt in New Delhi and floated on a little wooden boat on the sacred albeit grey Ganges river, among many other adventures that taught me about my Indian origins.

I recognize that I exist in a different space of privilege as an Indian and Chinese American, who can pass as white. But I have seen the other side of India as well, the one not curated for visiting foreigners.

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

They spoke in the kitchen, her mother pretending to wash dishes in the background and her brother hiding in a cupboard, eavesdropping. Thus, the beginning of her matchmaking experience ended almost as soon as it began. Executive produced by Smriti Mundhra, it follows Sima Taparia, a Mumbai-based matchmaker Mundhra met when her own mother solicited matchmaking services for her a decade ago. Mundhra, who was raised in the U.

She made a documentary on the topic in , A Suitable Girl , a broad and bitter portrait of traditional matchmaking in India. It follows three women up until their wedding days, documenting their loss of independence and observing the severe social and familial pressures they face throughout the process.

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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.

Review: ‘Indian Matchmaking’ balances tradition and modernity, despite controversy

Watch the video. Title: Morticia, the Matchmaker 04 Dec Cousin Melancholia visits. Harvey to broker a deal with the Addamses since he’s the only one among them who’s dealt with them before a fact which leaves Mr. Harvey repulsed at the thought and determined to resist further contact. When the Addamses learn he’s a bachelor, they’re not only eager to meet him but ready to set the wedding bells pealing and heartily welcome him into the family before he can say yes or anything else.

Shows like Indian Matchmaking and Family Karma are entertaining, but when will South Asian people get reality TV that doesn’t depict our.

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.

Ancient Chinese Marriage Customs

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In Indian Matchmaking, that villain is year-old Aparna and rather roughly pressured by an anvil of social expectations and family duty.

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MATCHMAKING WITH ANOMALY! 2/2


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