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. Walker tells us two smaller, adjoining stories, about herself and a friend in their single days. In the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking , the importance of skin color arrives quickly in talk of matrimony, as do other facets of packaged appearance, the sorts that indicate a notion of a stratified universe: This level of education matches with this one, this shade of skin with this, this height with this, these family values with these, this caste with this, this region with this, and so on. In the series, she takes on clients in India and America, young desi men and women who seem, for all their desire to get properly paired off, equally conflicted about the whole endeavor. The women work and travel; they like their lives and have friends who offer the sort of support a spouse might. All seem to want, at some level, simple, non-transactional, unconditional affection.
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.
On Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking,” marriage consultant Sima Taparia travels the world to meet with hopeful clients and help them find the.
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.
In Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking,’ Arranged Marriage Is The Anti-Entanglement
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Host Anita Rao chats about the Netflix docuseries, ‘Indian Matchmaking,’ with cast member Manisha Dass, matchmaker Jasbina Ahluwalia, and.
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.
Single to Shaadi offers curated matches for South Asian Singles
Now that the world is spoilt for choice on what to watch, it is no small feat that a TV show on arranged marriage has provoked all kinds of reactions. Indian Matchmaking, a reality series, has The New York Times carefully analysing the contradictions in diaspora society. The most revealing criticisms, however, come from long-suffering Indians who have borne the brunt of embarrassing set-ups.
In Indian Matchmaking, that villain is year-old Aparna Shewakramani, a prospective bride who’s critical of every man she meets and vocal.
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Unless You’re Brown, ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Is Not Yours to Criticize
Based on criteria they provide, clients are matched with ostensibly compatible dates, but they soon find that the goal of marriage is more difficult to attain that they had hoped — even with a matchmaker who consults biological data profiles, astrologers and face readers. Listen Listening Does the addictively bingeable series provide an accurate look at the process of arranged marriage for Indians and Indian Americans in ?
Chicagoan Shekar Jayaraman talks about his experience on new Netflix show ‘Indian Matchmaking‘. WLS. By ABC 7 Chicago Digital Team.
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Skip to Content. People are matched in hopes of finding suitable marriage partner; marriage is marker of success in matchmaking process. Much of the advice given to women when trying to find compatible matches can be considered sexist; preferences for other attributes can be interpreted as racist or classist both within Western and Indian circles. Clients range from being inflexible in their criteria to being unwilling to commit.
Parents often state that all they want is happiness for their son or daughter, but then reveal very specific criteria for their future son- or daughter-in-law.
After studying her client, she researches her client base and presents a few potential candidates. Then, the client picks one person for a first date. If the first date goes well, then the couples get to determine the path for their relationship. To sum it up, matchmaking is like a dating app, but with more steps and people involved.
In its essence, the show tries to rebrand the narrative of arranged marriages and correct the assumption that arranged marriages are interchangeable with forced marriages. However, in the process of doing so, it springs up other troublesome issues such as colourism, misogyny and wealth privilege. Taparia, the matchmaker, showed a very obvious preference for fair-skinned candidates as compared to darker Indians throughout the show.
She said being fair was one of the qualities that would make it easier for a client to find a match. This is not something uncommon in Indian society.
CNN Smriti Mundhra is not at all bothered that people are talking about colorism, sexism and elitism when it comes to “Indian Matchmaking. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what’s happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos
As a second-generation Indian-American, Jasbina has a unique understanding of the successful blending of Indian and American cultures.
The appeal of the dating show is the unspoken desire for a neatly—tied ending, shared between both the viewer and participant; it’s the guarantee that these carefully selected personalities you watch throughout the season are capable of finding love and maybe you can too. In a room of gorgeously eligible singles, each reduced to a handful of lines per episode, it is both indulgent and reassuring to entertain the notion that the character you identify with will come out holding the final rose.
As we watch strangers profess their family histories and prioritized qualities in a life partner, we are granted breathing room to feel less self—conscious about our own. We normalize the notion that there is someone out there curated to match our idiosyncrasies perfectly. The show follows professional matchmaker Sima Taparia addressed as Sima Auntie as she outlines her process for how she uses blurbs of information about her clients as blueprints to build successful, sustainable relationships.
She travels between Mumbai and America to present biodatas to her candidates, sheets of paper which contain a low—quality image of the potential partner alongside their interests, hobbies, career, and education. Indian Matchmaking works to desensitize the clouded confusion surrounding arranged marriages through the lens of Western media. One piece of this context is the rampant colorism which enables arranged marriages to act as an instrument for racial superiority.
But I am not the target audience member for Indian Matchmaking. To be quite honest, I’m not sure who is. The first character on the show, Aparna, introduces herself as a lawyer who spent the majority of her early years building her professional career and traveling for her enjoyment. Immediately, her driven qualities, financial independence, and secure understanding of her identity are weaponized against her.
Commentary: What Netflix’s ‘Indian Matchmaking’ doesn’t tell you about arranged marriage
The second I saw Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking come up on my TV’s home screen, I excitedly texted a bunch of my Desi friends to see if they’d heard anything about it. I’m not saying that there weren’t any stereotypes that caught me off guard on the show like some of the character’s fake accents or the opening scene where Devi’s praying over a book for good grades , but there were some moments that really hit home for me in the coming-of-age comedy. While I was excited to see something related to the Indian culture get the spotlight yet again, it sort of felt like a personal secret was about to be exposed to the world.
I was a little worried how Indians would be portrayed, especially to people who aren’t familiar with a culture where arranged marriages are considered the norm. Would the show go into complexities and nuances that come with matchmaking?
indian matchmaker. Elaine Chung. Sima Taparia is like a human Hinge algorithm. In her capable hands, an intriguing cast of singles across.
What influences our youth to set aside their enterprising, free-wheeling spirit to follow the well-trodden path of arranged marriages? Part of the answer lies in the deep socialisation process, which is woven into the fabric of the close-knit extended Indian family, and its rootedness in the larger network of society. The young too seem to believe in the cultural definition of marriage as a family affair, rather than an individual undertaking. Harmony and shared values arising from common backgrounds are seen as more important than individual attraction.
The common grounds provided by an arranged match — familiar customs, foods, relatives, incomes, etc — also helps in negotiating the dark thicket of matchmaking. The upside is also that this aids the adjustment process with the new partner and family, a stand-in for what is seen as the variable element of love. When it comes to daughters, the disciplining fetters become even tighter, since a tarnished reputation would scupper her chances in the marriage market. With whom? But in India it continues well into adulthood.
It translates into interference in career decisions, choice of friends, dietary preferences, etc.
Review: ‘Indian Matchmaking’ flaws don’t outweigh much-needed representation
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Mixing documentary modes with dating show ridicule, it maintains and masks the most insidious injury arranged by marriage: caste.