I conducted this little experiment on an Indian matrimonial website…
Shaadi.com claims 710,000+ success stories. Some of these are arranged marriages (your profile can be created by your parents, siblings, or friends). Of course, you can also put up your own ad to potentially meet a spouse.
From almost every conversation I’ve had about it with other Indian people, it’s pretty much the last ditch place you go when you need to marry yourself off. If you haven’t met anyone and your marriage is becoming a fading dream for your family, or if your family didn’t know another Indian family with a single son or daughter, you go to Shaadi.com.
The upside: If your ad is up there, you are likely to get many responses.
The downside: It’s Shaadi.com.
Anyway. The experiment:
I put up a posting a month ago just to see what would happen.
My profile name was FriendlyAtheist. (I’m blunt.) My picture was on the profile, as were my basic stats. My religion was listed as “No religion.” When it asked for a bio, I wrote about my hobbies/interests, job, etc. I did stick in a short paragraph in the middle saying I was an atheist who worked with “secular organizations.”
Everything was honest.
As for who I was searching for, I didn’t make many specific requests other than I was looking for someone in Illinois. And the woman’s age had to be 18-29. In all, 430 women fulfilled my (very broad) requirements.
The profile was up 19 days.
In that time, the profile was viewed only 32 times.
No one “expressed interest” in me, no one sent me messages, no one called me.
Yesterday, I put up a new profile. With a couple exceptions, everything was the exact same, including the picture.
What were the changes? My profile name was now FriendlyIndian (I know, I know. Very creative). My religion was now listed as Jain (and my sect was listed as Shewetamber), the religion in which I was raised. The statement about my atheism and working with secular organizations was deleted.
It hasn’t been 24 hours yet.
17 people have already viewed the page.
One girl has already “expressed interest.” (Woo!)
I’m not about to extrapolate anything from this (and I took down the profile). Clearly, there are too many variables that could’ve played a role in this. People flock to new profiles quickly, religion is very important in the Indian community, etc.
But you’re telling me that on a website that brown people flock to when trying to marry someone, the atheism was that much of a turn-off?
So there you go, mom and dad. This is why I probably won’t end up with an Indian girl.
[tags]Indian, Indian-American, matrimonial, Shaadi.com, macaca, atheist, atheism, Jewish, JDate, arranged marriage, Match, Craigslist, gay, religion, Illinois, Jain, Jainism, Shewetamber, secular[/tags]