Matchmaking is the process of matching two or more people together, usually for the purpose of marriage , but the word is also used in the context of sporting events such as boxing, in business, in online video games and in pairing organ donors. In some cultures, the role of the matchmaker was and is quite professionalised. The Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan , or the Hindu astrologer , were often thought to be essential advisors and also helped in finding right spouses as they had links and a relation of good faith with the families. In cultures where arranged marriages were the rule, the astrologer often claimed that the stars sanctified matches that both parents approved of, making it quite difficult for the possibly-hesitant children to easily object — and also making it easy for the astrologer to collect his fee. Social dance , especially in frontier North America, the contra dance and square dance , has also been employed in matchmaking, usually informally. However, when farming families were widely separated and kept all children on the farm working, marriage-age children could often only meet in church or in such mandated social events. Matchmakers, acting as formal chaperones or as self-employed ‘busybodies’ serving less clear social purposes, would attend such events and advise families of any burgeoning romances before they went too far. The influence of such people in a culture that did not arrange marriages, and in which economic relationships e.
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In fact, the real problem may be their discomfort with the way marriage works in India, with social stability prized over individual happiness. It’s true.
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. Some Indian people like myself benefit from being Brahmin Hindus with fair skin and straight hair and last names that tell you exactly what caste we were born into. We become a wedge minority.
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Her track record includes successfully aiding more than CEOs, doctors, lawyers, and bankers to find happy marriages. And she promises that as “Asia’s ultimate matchmaker to millionaires”, she can find your marrying mate from her personal black book. But as you can imagine, matching high-flying and high net worth individuals does come with its sets of unique challenges, as seen on the recently released Netflix series, Indian Matchmaking.
If you’re only looking to be set up for a date though, the services that Anisa provides at Date High Flyers might not be the right one. She only works with those who are committed to marriage and finding a life partner, not unlike Sima Taparia in the series. The difference though is that while you see whole families get involved in the matchmaking process from the start in the TV series, for Anisa, the request from parents to get a match for their child has happened, but not more than a handful of times.
The families do sometimes get involved later, though. Getting to know the client is something that Anisa does as well, and it’s an important part of the process for her. But that’s as far as the similarities go. Instead, Anisa usually spends time speaking to them in person at a cafe, hotel lobby or other public areas. And during this conversation, which lasts an hour or two, “it’s about understanding them and their needs”, she shares, adding: “It’s important for clients to resonate with you.
However, just like how some of the clients featured on the show have a laundry list of requirements, Anisa too has similar clients.
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Sima Aunty or Sima Tarapia, the woman with the starring role in the docu-series Indian Matchmaking, is being called the stuff of nightmares. The Netflix show is meant to be a behind-the-scenes look at how arranged matches are orchestrated. How much did Indian Matchmaking get right, what did the show get wrong, and how much did they leave out altogether? The fundamentals, it would appear, remain largely unchanged on the surface, but the details do look different.
A good family still means one with ideally no crime records, divorce records, or children born out of wedlock. Young and good looking are now variable; well-cultured is still listed, but is variable too —it can mean multi-lingual, practised in the fine arts, and sometimes just money will do. This can make it harder to predict the parameters, matchmakers say. The vanity checklist — age, height, weight, complexion read skin tone and good looks — still holds.
Caste remains a factor, as do matching horoscopes. Vegetarian or non-vegetarian or pure vegetarian has become trickier, since young Jains may eat this and that, and traditionally pork- or beef-averse communities may have offspring that are not so averse.
Vyasar Ganesan, From Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’, Responds To Criticism Of The Show
The show has received much criticism for glorifying arranged marriages — a tradition that feeds off regressive stereotypes about genders, caste and class. While the challenges of single-hood resonated with a lot of privileged, mostly savarna Indian women and some men, it was pointed out that the labelling and sorting process of humans involved in the show glorifies deeply regressive traditions Indian women have fought hard against, and some are still unable to stand up to.
Several Dalit writers and activists pointed out that the outrage over Indian Matchmaking from dominant caste circles revealed a deep lack of selfwareness as their own social interactions were also deeply rooted in caste, which relentlessly otherises oppressed castes.
Indian Matchmaking, Netflix’s new show follows Mumbai-based It’s how we move the conversation forward, and how real change is made.
Nadia and Vinay, who seem like a great couple, fall out as the latter ghosts her twice. The New City resident added that a couple of scenes, including the second ghosting, were staged and not even a part of his storyline. Families repeatedly demand slim and fair spouses for their children, and Akshay wants his potential wife to be a stay at home mom.
The dates also look directed and pre-planned. None of the matches seeing success is also a major giveaway of the genuineness of Indian Matchmaking. Sima Taparia is a well-known matchmaker in India and abroad, and her matches not coming to fruition sounds particularly sketchy. This could hint at the families on the show not being her clients at all, but simply people sourced by the team in auditions.
Some cast members, especially ones like Akshay and his mother , fulfill stereotypical roles that seem to have been penned down just for the sake of drama. All episodes of Indian Matchmaking are now available to stream on Netflix. When she’s not thinking about pop-culture or food, you can always find her “investigating” her way through Instagram, reading mysteries and thrillers, and listening to her latest obsession – BTS – on loop.
Glimpse at Indian matchmaking in the real world
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking and Family Karma are entertaining, but when (I really cannot stress this enough: Agrabah is not a real place!).
Coronavirus: How Covid has changed the ‘big fat Indian wedding’. India’s richest family caps year of big fat weddings. A new Netflix show, Indian Matchmaking, has created a huge buzz in India, but many can’t seem to agree if it is regressive and cringe-worthy or honest and realistic, writes the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi.
The eight-part docuseries features elite Indian matchmaker Sima Taparia as she goes about trying to find suitable matches for her wealthy clients in India and the US. In the series, she’s seen jet-setting around Delhi, Mumbai and several American cities, meeting prospective brides and grooms to find out what they are looking for in a life partner.
Since its release nearly two weeks back, Indian Matchmaking has raced to the top of the charts for Netflix in India.
Why Does “Indian Matchmaking” Make My Culture Seem So Burdensome?
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?
Netflix new series ‘Indian Matchmaking‘ Photograph:(Twitter) The real game in India is way more convoluted, painstaking and disrespectful.
Subscriber Account active since. It goes without saying that dating has changed a lot over the last few years. Swiping through apps like Tinder , Bumble , and Grindr is now the norm. Despite all these new ways of meeting people, we all like to play matchmaker at some point, connecting two friends on Instagram or setting up two people we love on a blind date. But if there’s one practice that doesn’t seem quite as common these days, it’s matchmaker as a profession.
For every Tinder and Grindr date I’ve been on and every incorrect “you’d love my friend” message I’ve received, I’d never given any thought to trying out an actual matchmaker. We just tend to be extroverted,” she told me. Matchmaking isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when deciding how or where to turn for finding love, especially for me, a year-old boy on a budget.
Besides, I reasoned, maybe I’d just been picking the wrong photos or making the classic first date mistakes. But, at the end of the day, I’m also a person extremely interested in finding the one corny, I know! I’d consulted a tarot card reader on the matter, for God’s sake. At this point, my random reservations sounded more like ill-informed excuses. Besides, Avgitidis made the sound point that not everyone can or even should online date, though she’s not at all opposed to anyone using apps or websites.
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Netflix has been releasing some binge-worthy dating reality shows on the platform for some time now. The show follows a well-known Indian Matchmaker Sima Tiparia, who is helping her clients find suitable life partners for them. The new Netflix show is presenting the tradition of arranging a marriage with the twist of dating. Tiparia works with clients in India and abroad. The cameras also follow Sima Tiparia in a bit of her day-to-day life back home.
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