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My parents are new to computers, so the fact that they got it done by themselves is impressive.They set up my profile with their email account, looked through the available women, received requests from some girls and forwarded the ones they liked.Many of its members deny they use it out of embarrassment.And yet that hasn’t diminished the site’s popularity; 24,000 of the GTA’s 684,000 South Asians now use Shaadi’s services, including parents who set up profiles for their eligible children—a computer-age variation on the arranged marriage. They argued that if I didn’t start looking, there wouldn’t be anyone left to marry when I’m older.It’s one of more than 100 Indian websites that comprise the country’s thriving online matrimonial market, where an individual can browse for his or her ideal spouse among a catalog of potential candidates organized by the personal information that apparently matters most: religion, caste, income, fairness of skin, family background, and so on. Unlike online dating services, which at least superficially foster some sort of romantic connection, and which are effectively nonexistent in India, matrimonial websites are predicated on the idea that the first meeting between two paired users will be to chat about their wedding.They succeed for the same reason every online resource does: They offer convenience and expediency in an arena with high demand for it.Between challenging traditional arranged marriages and being subjected to the even stronger stigma attached to dating (and the spectrum of activities that the word entails), many South Asians feel lost without a niche of their own, and frequently find themselves out of options when it comes to pursuing the relationships they want.The Dus app helps to establish the South Asian dating niche by giving full autonomy to Desi individuals when it comes to choosing relationships.
All the while, users have the ability to hide their online presence from lurking friends and family, and ultimately escape cultural confines when it comes to forming independent relationships.
They set up my profile and described me as a kind-hearted person, working in Toronto, born and raised in Canada, with good family values, well-liked by everyone and known to be very down-to-earth.
The description is short, so I didn’t object to anything.
It’s connubial bliss for a 21st-century India, where, by some estimates, 90 percent of marriages still classify as “arranged”—in other words, established on factors other than mutual love and attraction between the bride and groom.
What those factors are, exactly, has changed as the country has, but the crux of the matter remains constant: if you’re an Indian woman, it’s statistically likely that your parents will choose the man with whom you spend the rest of your life.