Sunday, May 14, 2017
From the Washington Post:
When non-Indians ask me if I had an arranged marriage, I sometimes slyly reply: “in a sense.” I’m an Indian American born and raised in the United States, married to someone who grew up in India. But it was our mutual friend, a white woman from Oregon — not our families — who played matchmaker. When I explain this to them, I know it is not the answer they expected. It does not fit their perception of arranged marriage. Neither of my two siblings had arranged marriages, nor even did my Indian-born parents. For me, arranged marriage is both familiar and foreign.
“A Suitable Girl,” a new documentary film, which premiered at last week’s Tribeca Film Festival, follows Amrita, Ritu and Dipti, three young, middle-class women in India, as they approach their respective arranged marriages. The film’s directors, Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra, who are both Indian American women and won the festival’s award for new documentary director, are trying to overturn stereotypes about arranged marriage. “One of the things that we’ve been ‘battling’ has been the old-school and biased notion that all arranged marriage in India is somehow forced or associated with child brides,” Khurana said. She also noted that arranged marriages might not be built on romance, but that doesn’t mean these couples lack feelings for each other. “The reality is more fluid,” Khurana said. However, women often do get a raw end of the deal; whether or not a marriage is arranged, women “are the ones to compromise the most, expected to ‘adjust,’ move cities, give up or negotiate their careers, leave their families,” Khurana explained.
Read more here.