‘Indian Matchmaking’ is bringing up uncomfortable issues my culture needs to address

We are in the middle of a pandemic. Work from home has started taking a toll and there are at least a million things to worry about at the moment. Like jobs, making ends meet, daily chores that never seem to end. And yet, all people could talk about over the weekend was Indian Matchmaking , a Netflix docu-series that appear to fan all the stereotypes about Indians and the system of arranged marriages. All these various bits and pieces are tied together with the expert narration of Sima Taparia, the matchmaker from Mumbai who finds life partners for girls and boys from the upper echelons of society. Thus begins the eight-episode Netflix series, jumping between Texas and Mumbai, offering glimpses into how life and marriage is conducted among the rich and privileged Indians and NRIs. View this post on Instagram. And as it turns out, sometimes, art imitates life. These very stereotypes – that have sent netizens on an overdrive and intellectuals scratching their head over why Netflix would even pick up such a show – are rooted in real life. As much as it pains viewers — comprising mainly of millennials and Gen Z — seeing parents dictate the lives of their children, making key decisions on their behalf, and choosing a daughter-in-law as one would shop in a supermarket, arranged marriage in India, especially in privileged circles, are treated like transactions.

Indian Matchmaking couples – an update following the show

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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. In India, the process also often involves parents.

Has the show generated new interest in matchmaking with more people wanting to do it? Business is booming! With or without pandemic, people are still searching for life partners and I’m working hard for my clients. Weddings may be delayed, but matchmaking is as busy as ever. Since childhood I was fond of socializing and meeting new people. I had an unique ability to remember faces and names, so I always knew which families had a son or daughter who was of marriageable age.

I was doing matchmaking as a hobby, then my family suggested to me to do this as a profession. So much has changed since I was married — back then, the boys and girls had very little choice. We just did what parents told us.

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Click here to read the full article. Netflix launched in India in , but it took a while to warm up to homegrown commissions in a market that thrives on local fare. They were replaced eventually by Monica Shergill in , who joined existing director of originals Srishti Behl Arya. More from Variety.

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Sima Taparia of ‘Indian Matchmaking’ discusses show’s criticism and praise

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I was in the middle of an editorial meeting at the newspaper I worked for in when it came out of nowhere: an overwhelming sense of fear, the trembling hands, the absolute certainty that my heart was going to burst out of my chest. It would be years before I understood that what I had experienced that day — and would on three subsequent occasions — was a panic attack.

I was 24, and just two hours before, my parents had called to ask me to be home on time that night. I had no intention of watching it. I had been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt and made a bonfire from it. It is a practice that is followed in several Middle Eastern countries, Japan and Turkey, among others. They all came recommended through friends and family, that larger collective that works very hard to bring together not two individuals but two families — mirror images of one another, both wearing a thick cloak of respectability going back generations — into a union, under the guise of pragmatism, that promotes caste and economic hegemony.

Vyasar, as he worries throughout the show, would have indeed found the going very tough. What did I mean I was uncomfortable with the questions he asked? I should give him the benefit of doubt: marriage is a compromise.

Why Wasn’t Netflix India Involved in ‘Indian Matchmaking’?

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From Digital Spy. Netflix ‘s new show Indian Matchmaking explores the ancient art of, you guessed it, matchmaking in India. The show centres on Sima Taparia, a real-life matchmaker from Mumbai who introduces Indians ready for marriage to each other, matching them up based on their and their families’ criteria in a suitable life partner, and consulting with astrologers to determine if a match is destined to succeed.

Over the course of eight episodes, we meet eight of Sima’s clients who are looking for someone to spend their lives with. By the end of the season, most of Sima’s clients are paired off, and it seemed like they were ready to settle down together. Well, now you get to find out exactly how their stories ended As a member of the Indo-Guyanese community, Nadia admits to having been pretty unlucky in love.

It’s a difficult diaspora to be part of, as she’s often viewed as ‘not Indian enough’ to marry into an Indian family. After breaking down in tears over her loneliness, Nadia captured our hearts — we’ve all felt that heartache. But Sima Auntie finds her a few matches and the last we see of Nadia is her walking into the rain with Shekar.

Commentary: What Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ doesn’t tell you about arranged marriage

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There’s a degree of irony in the fact that Netflix unscripted dating show “Indian Matchmaking,” the most distinctly Indian content to originate from.

From Cosmopolitan. 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. No one looks at Western reality shows as representative of white, American dating culture. So why do people think Indian Matchmaking is representative of dating and relationships for all brown people?

Unless You’re Brown, ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Is Not Yours to Criticize

Bloomberg — Netflix Inc. The eight-episode series with its blend of romance, heartbreak and toxic relationships is gaining viewers not just in India, but also in countries like the U. The show is a major win for Netflix, which is competing for eyeballs with Amazon. The buzz — and some online fury — generated by the matchmaker series illustrates that the company could start leveraging content produced for India to gain a wider audience overseas as well.

With China being inaccessible, India has become the battleground for the global streaming giants as they tussle for original content. The rivals have low-cost subscription plans aimed at the country.

And yet, all people could talk about over the weekend was Indian Matchmaking, a Netflix docu-series that appear to fan all the stereotypes.

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Controversial Matchmaking Show Helps Netflix in Battle for India

From Women’s Health. The streaming service’s latest dating docuseries, Indian Matchmaking , however, takes a completely different turn away from testing out social experiments to creating lifelong relationships. The show follows matchmaker Sima Taparia as she helps South Asian singles and their families navigate love with the help of face readers, astrologers, and life coaches. Series creator Smriti Mundhra said that the show originally reached out to all of Taparia’s clients to see who would be interested in filming their experience, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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From Good Housekeeping. One of Netflix’s newest reality series Indian Matchmaking gives viewers a glimpse into the world of arranged marriages and Indian culture. Specifically, the show, which was filmed in , follows Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia and her partner-seeking clients as they navigate the tricky world of dating and compatibility. While the show has been met with notable criticism and sparked important conversations about colorism, casteism, and sexism, the series has quickly become a popular watch on the streaming service.

After seeing all eight episodes, many are left wondering what happened to the stars after the cameras stopped rolling. In case you’re curious, here’s an update on where each of Sima’s clients are today, and whether or not they’ve since found love after Indian Matchmaking :. One of the first individuals introduced on Indian Matchmaking , the Houston native appears to be living her best single life today. While she was optimistic that things with Jay might go somewhere, she told Oprahmag.

We’re good friends,” she told the publication about continuing to talk to three of her matches from the show. View this post on Instagram. You just need an ice cream cone.

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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.

While living under the same roof in quarantine, my mom and I have had a lot of time to watch buzzy Netflix shows together. But I was hesitant to invite her to watch Indian Matchmaking with me, knowing her marriage to my dad was arranged. Did she like the process? She shared with me some details of how her skin tone affected her life when she was growing up.

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