On season 3 of Indian Matchmaking, we finally get a few glimpses into the personal life of matchmaker Sima Taparia. We meet her husband Anup, her daughters Ritu and Mridu, and see her grieve over a lost relative. We see her eat one of her favorite meals, baked beans on toast, with her sister Sandhya. Apparently, this is a staple British food that crossed over. But one thing we don’t know about Sima is her Marwari culture, which she’s alluded to but hasn’t told us much about. Sima says that she was raised in an orthodox Marwari culture, and has referred to this in several interviews. It turns out that it explains a lot about Sima Aunty and why she does business the way she does. At long last, we have Indian Matchmaking: Sima Taparia’s Marwari culture explained.
Indian Matchmaking: Sima Taparia’s Marwari Culture — Who Are The Marwari?
The Marwari are sometimes described as an ethnic group and sometimes as a caste. We know they originate from the northern Indian state of Rajput, the same location where Rushali Rai’s father was born. Additionally, we also know that they have a long history of involvement in business and have very tight social networks. Also, our article about Bengali and Rajput cultures talks about how Rajput territory is one of the more traditional places in India. We also know that Sima Aunty’s father was a very well-known businessman from the area, Sri Rameshchandra Lahoti. So, Sima Aunty was raised in an environment where traditional gender roles and negotiating was common. This explains everything from her insistence on “60-70%” to proceed to marriage to her old-school approach and values.
Apparently there is a tendency to mix up Gujuratis like Viral Joshi and Marwaris. Speaking about the hotel room scene, Reddit user @SureshAbraham corrects another user who is confused about Sima’s English skills. They say, “Minor nitpick; they are not Gujarati; they are Marwari.” In a discussion about the scene where Sima and her sister are talking over food, user audsrulz says, “Can confirm Gujjus love upma lol”. Upma is a type of Indian breakfast food with a porridge-like quality, but again, it falls to user @spspunky to clarify that, “She’s not gujju, she’s Marwari (Rajasthan)”.
Indian Matchmaking: Sima Aunty’s Marwari Culture — A Living Time Capsule
Everyone complains about Sima Aunty’s old fashioned ways, and it seems times are getting tougher for the Marwari as well. News articles such as this one make the case that Marwari influence is declining in India. There have also been social uprisings against the Marwari, who were supporters of the British Empire during the Empire’s involvement in India. So, Sima Aunty’s culture has been associated with imperialism and conservatism for a long time in India. No wonder younger and more forward-thinking Desis have a problem with her traditional, out-of-touch behavior.
Ironically, Sima herself is probably more progressive than many of the parents on the show. @GrreggWithTwoRs says, “Indian arranged matchmaking entails colorism and casteism. Parent input is heavily important and of course in plenty of Indian subcultures, the parents are the ones driving the matchmaking. Cross-religion matches are extremely rare.” Considering that Sima Aunty discounts physical characteristics and approves of Arti Lalwani’s marriage to Muslim Jamal Ahmed, this makes Sima a bit better — but not much. Perhaps she was also being diplomatic and gracious in front of the cameras.
@PhotographBusy6209 says, “The colorism (absolute focus on fairness), casteism, fat phobia that exists in Indian society is appalling. If this truly represented reality than the show would indeed be extremely controversial.” It seems Sima Aunty is far from the only one who’s been stamped by her culture.