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Are You the One? A group of men and women are secretly paired into couples by producers, via a matchmaking algorithm. Then, while living together, the contestants try to identify all of these "perfect matches. All couples in the first seven seasons were male-female, while in the eighth season a contestant's match could be someone of any gender. Over the course of each season, the contestants go on dates with partners determined by competitions or, in the seventh season only, by the "fate button"and have the opportunity to learn in the "truth booth" if a given couple is a correct match. Once the truth booth confirms a perfect match, that couple will go to the honeymoon suite and will automatically be paired up for the remainder of the match ceremonies.

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A perfect match

And that is the most chilling aspect of the show. This silent shadow hangs over every luxurious living room she le viewers into.

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Contrary to what some viewers might think, the caste system is an active form of discrimination that persists in India and within the Indian American diaspora. The success of Indian Americans as so-called model minorities in the U. But the happily-ever-after ideal of arranged marriage is beginning to show cracks.

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Multiple episodes open with When Harry Met Sally —esque interviews featuring mostly older, straight couples in seemingly happy arranged marriages. But she departs from this well-worn model in her attention to one extra characteristic: caste. Even Indian Matchmaking features at least three story lines about divorce, although the show is clear that leaving a marriage still carries stigma. She lumps an entire social system, which ass people to a fixed place in a hierarchy from birth, together with anodyne physical preferences. Not only does nearly every marriage-hopeful admit that they changed their mind about arranged unions, but the series also ends with a glowing tribute to the tradition.

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In Subscribe. In the second episode, Taparia herself details how she got married at age 19 to a man chosen by her father. The Mumbai-based matchmaker Sima Taparia delivers this meme-friendly one-liner in the seventh episode of the hit Netflix series Indian Matchmaking.

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Other installments examine the pressure that unmarried individuals can face from their married friends or siblings. Sima Taparia visits a client, Rupam, to help her find a partner after divorce. These attacks are part of a pattern of families punishing relatives for rejecting marriages arranged on the basis of caste.

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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. Last year, in Maharashtra, a father reportedly doused his daughter and her Dalit husband in kerosene and lit them on fire to condemn their intercaste marriage.

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This story contains some spoilers for Season 1 of Indian Matchmaking. Even darker, wives who experience controlling behavior, domestic abuseor marital rape which is not a crime in India are socially conditioned to suffer silently.

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In one scene, Akshay, a year-old who went to college in Boston and lives with his rich, Mumbai-based family, is accosted by his mother; she asks him to take a photo of a blood-pressure machine displaying her high reading, which she claims is a result of him not finding a partner. The show illustrates how difficult it is for these clients to find a match in the caste-driven market, at times implying that being able to easily end a marriage may be a bad thing.

Some episodes highlight families or clients with unconventional pasts, such as the fan-favorite high-school counselor Vyasar. Popular Latest.

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Of course, many marriages arranged by the parents and families of the couple turn out to be perfectly sweet and happy. When a popular show like Indian Matchmaking neglects this alarming fact of the Indian American experience, it quietly normalizes caste for a global audience.

One of the primary functions of arranged marriage is maintaining this status quo.

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Since its debut, the series has drawn criticism from Indian and U. Yet the series has also generated the kind of intense conversation that many shows with nonwhite story lines can only dream of creating. The sequence all but confirms their loving relationship.

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The couples reminisce about their first meetings, many of which took place on the day of their wedding. They reveal that the choices that shaped the rest of their lives were made for them by family members, and yet they somehow still ended up deeply in love.

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The Atlantic Crossword. This prejudiced treatment includes, but is hardly limited to, workplace discrimination in the United States.

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It deserves scrutiny because it promotes a practice that has enabled caste to live, breathe, and mutate over centuries. The bride is almost always expected to bring with her a sizable dowry.

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That explains why people in dominant castes often carry out brutal violence against their own family members who dare to marry outside their caste, particularly if a partner is Dalit. Same-sex marriages are not legally recognized in India.