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Within six months of a successful match inhis daughter got married; he is now the proud grandfather of a two-year-old girl. He acknowledged that she may have had difficulty finding a partner as his family were very protective towards her.
This practice of engaging traditional matchmakers continues among Indian communities here, even with the availability of modern options for meeting people, like dating apps. But it is not all like the trending Netflix series in which Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia tries to find partners for the participants.
Aparna Shewakramani leftone of the participants in Netflix's Indian Matchmaking, on a baking date. Photo: Netflix. The show, Indian Matchmaking, gives audiences a glimpse into the world of arranged marriages in Indian culture. It has also stirred up controversy over its representation of the importance of physical appearance, and its purported perpetuation of fair-skin obsession and casteism. While matchmakers tell CNA Insider things are different in Singapore and more in sync with what society feels is acceptable, times are Indian dating agency singapore for them, with the s of Indian matchmakers and their clients having shrunk considerably.
And they think it will not be long before the practice goes the way of matchmaking traditions in other ethnic communities here — all but dying out. In Singapore, the traditional matchmakers are largely women, which makes M Govindaraju, who is known by his nickname Mago, somewhat of a rare breed. The former army officer has been in this industry for 40 years, hooking up some couples and counting. Matchmaker Meenachi Suppiah, on the Indian dating agency singapore hand, has been doing this part-time for six years and has made 25 matches so far. Both of them, who have not seen the Netflix show, said the topic of caste hardly comes up as a selection criterion.
Date night for another prospective couple in Indian Matchmaking, which is getting flak for caste discrimination as one of its themes. Defence executive officer Gitanjali, who got married last month with help from Meenachi, said caste may be important to the older generation but is irrelevant to her. Gitanjali and her husband, Vijaya Kumar, on their big day. Photo credit: Gitanjali. Typically in Singapore, education, profession and health are what clients are more particular about, said Mago, who helped Raju find his daughter her match. Some clients insist that their prospective partner should not have habits like smoking or drinking, and on top of everything else, there are some who are fixated on looks.
These parents also place a great deal of trust in the matchmakers, who Indian dating agency singapore themselves on knowing the good or unsavoury characters in their community. Mago, 70, said he got into this industry to help single women find love. At this meeting, he usually gives the couple 15 minutes alone to talk. Over the years, although attitudes towards love and marriage have changed and there are dating apps like Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel, some people prefer traditional matchmaking services. Dating app Coffee Meets Bagel's website.
Screengrab: Coffee Meets Bagel. Mago said this culture is still prevalent in the Indian community as some parents feel the pressure from relatives and friends who think children should be married and start a family by a certain age. So they want to have a say in choosing the partner. Mago said parents who approach him are not open to using dating apps or have not yet taken to the idea. Some parents, especially those with daughters, also feel uncomfortable with posting a photograph on dating apps for all to see, said Meenachi. A person in Singapore on Tinder.
File photo: Nisha Karyn. The practice of matchmaking and arranged marriages in Indian culture, said Meenachi, has been passed down from generation to generation like the use of fingers and banana leaves to eat food and the wearing of the bindi. Mago foresees that in the next five to 10 years, however, Indian dating agency singapore one will enlist help from matchmakers in his community, as people have more opportunities to meet now, especially in the workplace.
Last year, he managed to match only five couples, compared to the s and s, when he could pair off 10 to 15 couples a year. That is good news, he said. Meenachi shares his view. When she started doing this, she could pair off six couples a year resulting in marriages. But Indian dating agency singapore recent years, that has halved. The bride and groom had little say in the matter. If the guy had a job or a business and the woman could cook, it would be a done deal.
If the woman could sew, it was an added bonus … Matchmaking was such a blooming business. And some are not preoccupied with getting married. Among Peranakans, professional matchmakers ceased to play a ificant role in arranging marriages after World War II, according to the Peranakan Association Singapore.
If there was a clash, the union was not recommended. Arranged marriages and matchmaking may also not be relevant when most young, single Singaporeans can turn to dating apps, noted National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser. Or, as the matchmakers said, many people have a chance of meeting prospective partners at work or in social situations.
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