Shadchen for Dummies

The article itself isn’t as “directly” brown as everything else we dissect or publish here, but the subject matter is familiar enough– even if it doesn’t explicitly mention south asians:

…parents, relatives or a designated member of the community took on the sacred task of arranging for a young person to create a new household, thus ensuring the continuity and stability of society. Although in much of the world that tradition continues, in our mainstream culture of individual choice and romantic self-determination, finding your own mate is a rite of passage, an exercise in autogenesis.
Among certain immigrant groups in this country, like those from Southeast Asia and Africa, ancient traditions of arranging marriages continue. In the Jewish tradition, arranging three marriages secures you a place in heaven. Ultra-Orthodox marriages are routinely arranged, and conservative communities often have informal matchmakers.

I am so curious about the “Southeast” reference…does she mean to include us within that inaccurate phrasing? Or is she the last human alive to know that we’re all about the auntie-facilitated set-up?

No matter what the author meant, it’s a fascinating piece from the NYT magazine. I’ll totally vouch for it. Oh, and if you’re going to take my word for it and try to read the rest, but you don’t have a username/pw for the site, there are ways around that.


The Grey Lady: “The New Arranged Marriage”

*Shadchen: yiddish word for “matchmaker”

6 thoughts on “Shadchen for Dummies

  1. What a depressing read. I got the impression that money trumps everything else. Are people really this shallow?

  2. I kind of agree with anonymous cow that it seems like money, along with good looks in my view, trumps everything else in the world of this type of marriage matchmaker. I did feel bad for the guys, esp. the Westchester cheap dude.

    I believe all cultures have some form of arranged-marriages. However, in some cultures such as India, it is very out in the open and very prevalent. In Japan, it is prevalent but not discussed.

  3. 3 things women look at when considering a serious relationship/marriage

    • Money
    • Tall Guy
    • Education (not necessarily in this order)
  4. Maybe it’s that when you have money, you don’t have the amazing personalities us working stiffs have 🙂

    But even if these women cater to the six-figure elite, it’s basically the same stuff Aunties have been doing for years– common background, common values and traditions… that familiarity makes for easier understanding at the core. Thank god Auntie doesn’t want 10Gs for it!!

  5. Hey, I don’t think I’ve seen a comment here yet about this, but NYT allows you to link permanently from blogs now. Very useful since older articles are always available if you create your link using this:

    Just paste the regular link and it’ll give you a permalink that requires no login.

    As far as the article goes, I’m always amazed to see things written as if this is a completely out-of-the-blue phenomenon. But the pricing of these services IS new to me…damn! Also interesting to note the ages of said people…they seem to be 5-15 yrs older than desis who might be in the same boat. Wonder how ages of prospective desis change over time.

  6. What’s ridiculous is that the WOMEN pay $750 for an audition– whoever heard of the WOMEN paying!!! That Janis is one smart businesswoman for pulling this off– I wouldn’t be surprised if the author of the article is a friend of hers, free advertising, it’s all part of her master plan!