A global outlook for India’s romantic future
As a concept, matchmaking dates back to the fifth century, and for some cultures and religions, remains as intrinsic to the process of finding a spouse as it was over a millennium ago. Today, however, it assumes various incarnations, from friends playing cupid at a dinner party in the US or the UK, to the arranged marriages for which India is synonymous.
When it comes to the Indian marriage culture, however, selecting a husband or wife for one’s son or daughter is not just the responsibility of the parents; it is a familial enterprise that engages relatives from across the generations, from grandparents and great grandparents, to aunt, uncles and their partners.
And while once it was simply a case of identifying a match from within the country’s borders, the exponential strength of the Indian economy has afforded more Indians of marriageable age the opportunity to study overseas, making those matches a logistical challenge. Furthermore, such educational diaspora has engendered a new, international mindset amongst many, which seeks an equilibrium between the importance of socio-ethnic traditions and religion, and the tenets of contemporary Western culture.
While India’s domestic matchmaking scene is established, it arguably lacks discretion, which is at a counterpoint to a culture based on conservatism. Furthermore, it doesn’t at present deliver the cosmopolitan outlook so sought-after by the young men and women who have spent a proportion of their formative years overseas.
In a step-change to the traditional approach, KPMG estimates that India’s spending on internet dating has more than doubled in the past decade and is expected to double again in the years to 2020. However, its capabilities to verify the very principles on which Indian marriages are founded – from caste and religious background, to family background, ancestry and horoscope – remain unfounded.
It is understandable then, that more dynastic Indian families, who have invested much time, effort and affluence in facilitating an international upbringing for their children, are looking to Western matchmaking consultancies to find a suitable spouse, of an equal, Indian background, which is so often defined by family history, upbringing, wealth and privilege.
Reflecting their global perspective and experiences, consultants in the West are expertly placed to hand select prospective candidates who might otherwise have proved unobtainable – either because they are located so internationally, and travel regularly, or because they have simply dispensed with any facet of India’s domestic approach to matchmaking.
For the young men and women – and their families – on the marriage journey, it’s not just important to find a spouse with a similar mindset; it’s imperative to work with a consultancy that offers one, too.