Indian Matchmaking dropped its third season on Netflix this year. The show featuring Sima Taparia or “Sima Aunty” has taken the Indian matchmaking industry to the global audience, along with the stereotypes and other problematic nitty gritty. While the show has single-handedly managed to tell it like it is, when it comes to marriages in India and the unreasonable demands that are laid out majorly by single males and their families, Indian Matchmaking relies heavily on delivering the entertainment factor.
Sima Aunty’s critical comments and her advocacy for a compromise are what make up the show. But that’s not all that is to know about how matchmakers who cater to the Indian diaspora, operate. Dallas-based Radha Patel, the owner of the dating service Single To Shaadi, spoke to New India Abroad and revealed how she does business.
How did you decide to be a matchmaker?
During the Summer of 2018, a series of interactions left me pondering the unique role I played in the lives of my single friends and family within the Indian-American community. It seemed that my well-established network and connections had positioned me as the go-to person for introducing potential romantic partners to those seeking companionship within our vibrant community.
What would you say is the biggest concern you face while finding potential matches for your clients
One challenge I face is addressing the generational gap between the clients and their parents. While my clients, being second-generation Indian Americans, often embrace a blend of Indian and Western values, their parents might still hold more traditional views on marriage and relationships.
Could you list the top three needs and deal breakers for your male and female clients
Needs for second-generation South Asian American males – Cultural compatibility, Education and Ambition, and Family Orientation.
Needs for second-generation South Asian American females – Compatibility in lifestyle and values, emotional intelligence and communication skills, and respect for gender equality and independence.
Common dealbreakers for both parties include – a lack of cultural understanding, misaligned life goals, and incompatible values or beliefs.
Thoughts about Indian Matrimony and how do you feel about its popularity
I am concerned about the way the show portrays Indian matchmaking and perpetuates certain stereotypes. The show's focus on factors like caste, skin color, and superficial preferences could be seen as reinforcing regressive notions and potentially reinforcing discriminatory practices within the community. It may not fully capture the diversity of experiences and modern perspectives of Indian American second-generation individuals and their approach to finding a partner.
The popularity of the show can be seen as a positive development since it brings attention to an important aspect of Indian culture and generates discussions around the topic. It may spark conversations within the Indian American community and beyond, leading to a greater understanding and appreciation of diverse relationship dynamics.
Has the show affected your business in any way? Have you noticed a shift in people's attitudes toward you
The show has increased awareness about Indian matchmaking in general, including the services offered by matchmakers like Single to Shaadi. We're starting to see more potential clients who are now familiar with the concept of matchmaking or have been reintroduced to it in a modern context and may be more open to seeking professional assistance.