Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Netrimony again

The cover page of March 24th edition of India Today caught my eyeballs and got me interested. Reason being I had written about the same phenomenon a couple of months in my blog :

I had tried to keep track of this rapidly growing phenomenon of finding alliances(of all sorts) on the Internet. The initial apprehension and hesitancy is being slowly replaced by credibility and trust. More so when they see happy success stories around them. Interesting to note is the tectonic shift in culture. In a society, where marriage alliances all these years have been the sole preserve of the elders in the family has changed a lot after the introduction of the new economy. Young middle class often from small cities are venturing out to bigger cities settling with plum jobs. result. Financial security brings along a new found confidence. The independence to take charge of their own life. make their own decisions. And what bigger decision can be than finding a life partner.

It is here that a large number of dating and matrimonial sites come to their rescue. It makes things easier. You get a bigger platter to choose from. Along with it, these sites offer a new landscape for romance and the search for a life partner without the traditional trappings or restrictions. Its instant. Its convenient. Its anonymous. A new high which the generations before never experienced under parental supervision. The criterion for most couples other than financial security is compatibility. It may not be the easiest task to fathom in a limited time. But mental compatibility takes foremost criteria. The age old customs of matching horoscopes, caste is being consigned to the dustbin. This has been an unsettling issue for parents of today's generation who in majority have still not come in terms of the reality that has pervaded in the society.

Closest example being my room mate who has been dating a medical student, whom he met online, for a couple of years and now they are all set to get married. She is supposedly a 'manglik', which according to Hindu astrology is someone who was born at an inauspicious arrangement of celestial bodies. But they care two hoots about the facts.

I do not intend to be frivolous by giving such needless facts. The purpose of this post is to provide you with facts and figures that I gleaned from the India Today issue, which of course is backed by professional research.

Here they are:

Matrimony preferences

* Men want 61% educated brides 48% working wives 61% favour inter caste marriage.
* Women want 68% to work after wedding 41% favour inter caste marriage 62% NRI husbands.
* 50% members of marriage portals live in the five metros.
* 79% of online matrimony surfers are well-qualified.
* 70% men want wives between age 26 and 35.
* 60% want partners from outside their community or city.
* 64% men in Delhi are open to inter caste marriage, only 24% in Chennai.
* 45% men and women don’t believe in matching horoscopes.
* 62% Mumbai and Pune men do not care about fair skin, 36% in Delhi do.

* While 76% men and women refused, 19% said “maybe” to disabled partners.
* 88% Pune women wish to marry a metro man, 56% in Kolkata do.
* 100 odd matrimonial sites exist in India.
* 50% growth rate in marriage site sector.

Net alliance data

* Online matrimony is worth Rs 140 crore, up from Rs 58 crore in 2006.
* Visitors moving to the Net for matrimony up from 15% last year to 48%.
* Over 12 million Indians use online matrimonial searches.
* Matrimonial sites are now the 13th most popular mainstream online activity.
* There are nearly 20 million members worldwide for the leading two sites alone.
* One million success stories and 50 testimonials a day from happy couples for a top site.


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