Indian Arranged Marriages Meets Online Dating

It’s no secret that, even in this day and age, arranged marriages still exist. In fact, this tradition remains to be a very big part of Indian culture.

But there’s also no denying that the whole concept of an arranged marriage receives plenty of criticism. Some argue that marriage should be about love. Others point out the domestic violence rates in arranged marriages. Even more admit to feeling uncomfortable about the idea of people being forced. Simply put, many believe that this is a thing of the past and question how such an old tradition can survive in such a new age world.

Well, four Harvard Business School graduates seems to have come up with an answer to that. They realized that, for some families, the tradition of arranged marriages was not leaving any time soon. Well, if they wouldn’t budge, then this “new age” would be brought to them.

Hence the creation of a new website called easyBIOdata.

Anyone who is familiar with online dating will recognize the structure of easyBIOdata. Similar to other online sites, the website allows you to set up a profile which includes details such as height, skin tone, academic achievements, career and details about your family. The only difference? This profile is also meant to be viewed by parents and family members to get to know prospective partners for their children.

“We call the [biodata] a résumé for marriage, essentially,” co-founder Allyson Pritchett explained to NBC News. “It’s the first impression people get to make on the person they are hopefully going to be with forever.”

Although the website successfully scored fourth place in a course-wide competition, news of this website is being met with a lot of criticism. One commenter pointed out that the whole process felt like a job application.

The site’s founders disagree. In fact, easyBIOdata is described as “a free, user-friendly platform, dedicated to creating professional-quality biodata profiles for prospective brides and grooms.” To be honest, that sounds like any other online dating site description.

Furthermore, the creators are discovering that many of the young adults are actually using the site themselves rather than their parents and relatives. These young adults admit that they struggle to find a partner that their parents would approve of while living outside of India. This site gives them access to those who also face this struggle.

“As we got into it, we realized that it’s young people that are using it. With easyBiodata, they can create their own profiles but they’ll still choose to put their parents’ contact info on the form to keep them involved,” one of the founders, Yu Kakitsubo, said. “Our service is something that’s in between the traditional and the new.”

Check out the profile examples below and tell us what you think.

biodata 1 biodata 2

(Source)

Flashback Friday | Ten Indian Leading Ladies You Should Know

2013 marks 100 years of Indian cinema — home of the unique film genre affectionately referred to as Bollywood — and through the century, there have been many memorable leading ladies, from Nargis, Sridevi and Rekha to Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and many many more.

This year,  Audrey Magazine highlights some of our favorite Indian actresses ruling contemporary Hindi cinema today.

Here are 10 names to know:

Priyanka Chopra

When the former Miss World (2000) began her career in Bollywood, from her 2002 debut in the Tamil film Thamizhan to her damsel-in-distress role to Hrithik Roshan’s superhero in 2006’s Kriish, there was often more talk about her skimpy outfits than her acting skills. Then 2008 happened: Chopra had six films come out that year, and while the first few were unsuccessful, late 2008 brought the release of Fashion, the first role that got critics talking about her talent rather than her looks — especially when she swept all the major Indian Film Awards that year for Best Actress. Since then, even if the film she’s been in haven’t been acclaimed, people tend to point out Priyanka Chopra’s performance as the best part. Case in point: the awards she’d picked up for playing a murderess in 7 Khoon Maaf and an autistic woman in Barfi! in the last two years.

Films to watch:
Fashion
Kaminey

 

Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan has been acting in feature films for a decade, but she broke out into stardom recently with her role in The Dirty Picture, the biopic about the adult film actress Silk Smitha who was popular in the 1980s and 90s. The role earned her Filmfare and National Film Awards for Best Actress in 2012, and she followed it up with the crime thriller Kahaani, in which she plays a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband.

Films to watch:
Kahaani
The Dirty Picture

 

Kajol

Kajol (also pictured at the top of the article) has been a household name since 1995’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), which kickstarted a filmgoing craze (it is the longest running Indian film in history, and as of Jan 2013, the film is still playing in a theater in Mumbai, 17 years later) as well as a timeless romantic pairing (Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan have acted in six films together). But in recent years, Kajol has brought an even greater depth to her performances. Just check her out as the blind woman in Fanaa or the grieving mother in My Name is Khan. You’ll feel like a really beautiful, soulful woman just punched you in the stomach.

Films to watch:
DDLJ
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Fanaa
My Name is Khan

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone made her debut in 2007’s Om Shanti Om, playing two characters that looked identical though they’re from different time periods (it can happen, just go with it). But she gave both characters enough nuance to prove to audiences that she was more than a tall, strikingly-beautiful model — even though she was definitely tall and definitely strikingly beautiful. Since then, she’s taken on different types of characters, from the modern-day romantic lead in Love Aaj Kal to the downward-spiraling toxic friend in Cocktail.

Films to watch:
Om Shanti Om
Love Aaj Kal

 

Anushka Sharma

Another actress who got her start in a Shah Rukh Khan film (2008’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Anushka Sharma soon ventured out on her own and found another leading man that she seemed to have good chemistry with, on and off screen. Acting opposite co-star Ranveer Singh (quick tangent: check out his abs in Audrey’s Daily SHAG here) in Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, Sharma really showcased her natural charisma and ability to lead a film. In 2012, she reunited with Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Whereas in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, she played the mourning, subdued wife whose life and belief in love needed to be re-ignited by Shah Rukh Khan’s charm, in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, she was the mini-Shah Rukh Khan, who “Shah Rukh Khan”-ed Shah Rukh Khan himself. I know it sounds confusing. But just watch the movies.

Films to watch:
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Baand Baaja Baaraat
Jab Tak Hai Jaan

 

Katrina Kaif

Born in Hong Kong to a Kashmiri Indian father and an English mother, Katrina Kaif often seems to have a maturity beyond her years onscreen. By 25, she was playing the Chief Minister party leader in the political thriller Raajneeti — and somehow pulling it off. After memorable turns as a civil rights activist circa 9/11 in New York and a diving instructor helping Hrithik Roshan get over his fear of water (and workaholism) in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, she helped jaded modern audiences believe in “old school” true love again in last year’s blockbuster Yash Raj film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Films to watch:
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Raajneeti
Jab Tak Hai Jaan

Farah Khan

Farah Khan has been in the industry for what seems like forever: as a choreographer, she is responsible for so many memorable Bollywood dance sequences that it’s almost impossible to count, but some of our favorites include “Chaiya Chiaya,” “Shava Shava,” and “Maahi Ve.” In addition to her choreography, she’s directed memorable films such as Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. In 2012, she won a Stardust Best Actress Award for her on-screen debut Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. But even when she’s behind the camera, she is an incomparable leading lady.

Films to Watch:
Om Shanti Om (as director)
Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi

 

Sonam Kapoor

Sonam Kapoor (daughter of Anil Kapoor, who international audiences know from Slumdog Millionaire and TV’s 24) made her debut in 2007 with Saawariya, opposite Ranbir Kapoor. At the time, Saawariya got a lot of attention, because although the two of them were newcomers to the industry, the film was co-produced by Sony Pictures, and it was the first Bollywood movie to receive a North American release by a Hollywood studio. Since then, Kapoor has landed girl next door roles in romantic comedies, such as Aisha and I Hate Luv Storys.

Films to Watch:
Saawariya
Aisha

 

Kareena Kapoor

A descendant of the legendary Kapoor family, Kareena Kapoor is continuing the legacy started by Prithviraj Kapoor and cemented by Raj Kapoor, as Kareena was most recently named the highest ranking female actress in Forbe India’s Celebrity 100 list. A power player in the industry, Kapoor has been one of India’s highest paid actress in years, starring in blockbusters including Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, Salman Khan’s Bodyguard, Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, and most recently reuniting with Aamir Khan in Talaash: The Answer Lies Within. 

Films to Watch:
3 Idiots
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

 

There are many more, but here are 10 to start with. Who are your favorite Indian actresses?


 

 

Priyanka Chopra Makes History As First Indian ‘Guess Girl’

Priyanka Chopra has continuously made it on our list of the World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter. One look at this gorgeous woman and you’ll completely understand why she is adored by fans worldwide.

Chopra, the 31-year-old Bollywood star and former Miss World adds yet another amazing accomplishment to her name. The stunning beauty was hand-selected by Paul Marciano, Guess’ president, to be the new Guess Girl. This would make Chopra the first Indian Guess Girl. In an industry criticized for its lack of diversity, this is huge news.

“I’m like their first brown model,” Chopra tells Women’s Wear Daily. “For a global fashion brand, for them to move their campaign into a global space, for me it’s an honor.”

“Being the next Guess girl was something that I would have never thought of, but when I met Paul [Marciano], he was like, ‘You’re it. It has to be you.’” she adds.

The new Guess campaign will premiere in the December issues of Harper’s BazaarNylon,PaperMarie ClareElle, and WSJ Magazine. 

As we mentioned previously, this is simply adding onto her list of already impressive achievements. For instance, Chopra became the youngest person to ever win Miss World at the age of 17. She has starred in some of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all time, has an album releasing soon, was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Child’s Rights in 2010 and wrote for the Times of India. 

Clearly, Chopra is a force to be reckoned with. We can only hope that Chopra continues to shape the face of this industry.

 

The Asian Americans Competing for Miss America, Including Two “Crystal Lees”

While Nina Davuluri claiming the Miss America 2014 title on Sunday night marked the first time an Indian American woman has won the coveted crown, merely focusing on Davuluri’s victory would be minimizing what a historic night it was for Asian American women overall.

When it came down to the final five, there were THREE Asian Americans in the running: Davuluri, Chinese American Miss California Crystal Lee and Chinese American hapa Miss Minnesota Rebecca Yeh.

Miss California’s Crystal Lee is a recent graduate of Stanford University (with not one, but two degrees: a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in communication, which she earned in four years) who dreams of owning her own technology company in the future. She was runner-up to Nina Davuluri, and while the two of them squeezed each other’s hands, there was an instant realization that no matter who won, they’d both be making history. Crystal Lee is from San Francisco, her talent was ballet on pointe, and she earned some sympathy from viewers when her interview question involved her thoughts on Syria — something that even politicians are having a hard time explaining.

As fourth runner-up, Rebecca Yeh calls herself “a little bit of everything” and “a product of that great American melting pot.” Her dad is Chinese and her mom is German, Irish and Bohemian. Her talent was the violin, and her goal is to become a clinical pharmacist as well as a violin instructor. Her platform was “My Voice for Philip;” Philip is her older brother who was diagnosed with autism.

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In addition to those two, there was another 22-year-old Crystal Lee in the running: Miss Hawaii. This Crystal Lee was born to a father from Hong Kong and a mother from Ohio, but raised in Waipahu, Hawaii. She graduated from the University of Hawaii, where she studied French, and her goal is to become an advertising/promotions executive in the future. Her talent was contemporary dance, and her pageant platform involves educating others on the importance of donating blood — an issue that became important to her when her grandfather became dependent on blood donations after being diagnosed with cancer of the blood.

And this year’s Miss District of Columbia (Washington DC) is Bindhu Pamarthi, a young woman born to Indian immigrants who has been competing in pageants since she was 12. Now 23, Pamarthi is passionate about ending animal testing in the cosmetic industry and more. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pamarthi aspires to go to law school.

 

 

Miss America Makes History with First Indian American Winner… But Not Without Racist Haters

On Sunday night, New York’s Nina Davuluri made pageant history by becoming the first woman of Indian descent to snag the prestigious title of Miss America.

But not long after the coveted crown was placed on her head, Davuluri, who performed a Bollywood fusion dance routine for the talent portion of the competition, quickly became the focus of discriminatory and racist comments on various social media platforms. The 24-year-old aspiring doctor was referred to, among other things, as “Miss 7-11,” “Miss Al-Qaeda,” and as a “terrorist.” Some expressed their disappointment that an “Arab” who had performed “Egypt dancing” won Miss America, just days after the 9/11 anniversary. Some even retorted that a Miss America winner “should have to be American.”

missamericaracisttweerts

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In her first press conference as Miss America, Davuluri addressed the issue, quickly (and gracefully) putting aside the negativity.

“I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity,” she said. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America. … I have to rise above [the comments]. I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

missamericapress

Going into the pageant, Davuluri’s platform issue was “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency,” and sad instances such as these prove the platform’s continuing necessity and relevance in the U.S. Thankfully, in about an hour, the Twittersphere exploded with tweets in support of Davuluri, drowning out the small minority of ignoramuses.

 

Asian Women in Film | Ten Indian Leading Ladies You Should Know

2013 marks 100 years of Indian cinema — home of the unique film genre affectionately referred to as Bollywood — and through the century, there have been many memorable leading ladies, from Nargis, Sridevi and Rekha to Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai, Rani Mukherjee, Preity Zinta and many many more.

For this year’s Women’s History Month, Audrey Magazine highlights some of our favorite Indian actresses ruling contemporary Hindi cinema today. This is the first in our series of Asian Women in Film, where we will be featuring leading ladies from all of Asian cinema.

Here are 10 names to know:

Priyanka Chopra

When the former Miss World (2000) began her career in Bollywood, from her 2002 debut in the Tamil film Thamizhan to her damsel-in-distress role to Hrithik Roshan’s superhero in 2006’s Kriish, there was often more talk about her skimpy outfits than her acting skills. Then 2008 happened: Chopra had six films come out that year, and while the first few were unsuccessful, late 2008 brought the release of Fashion, the first role that got critics talking about her talent rather than her looks — especially when she swept all the major Indian Film Awards that year for Best Actress. Since then, even if the film she’s been in haven’t been acclaimed, people tend to point out Priyanka Chopra’s performance as the best part. Case in point: the awards she’d picked up for playing a murderess in 7 Khoon Maaf and an autistic woman in Barfi! in the last two years.

Films to watch:
Fashion
Kaminey

 

Vidya Balan

Vidya Balan has been acting in feature films for a decade, but she broke out into stardom recently with her role in The Dirty Picture, the biopic about the adult film actress Silk Smitha who was popular in the 1980s and 90s. The role earned her Filmfare and National Film Awards for Best Actress in 2012, and she followed it up with the crime thriller Kahaani, in which she plays a pregnant woman in search of her missing husband.

Films to watch:
Kahaani
The Dirty Picture

 

Kajol

Kajol (also pictured at the top of the article) has been a household name since 1995’s Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ), which kickstarted a filmgoing craze (it is the longest running Indian film in history, and as of Jan 2013, the film is still playing in a theater in Mumbai, 17 years later) as well as a timeless romantic pairing (Kajol and Shah Rukh Khan have acted in six films together). But in recent years, Kajol has brought an even greater depth to her performances. Just check her out as the blind woman in Fanaa or the grieving mother in My Name is Khan. You’ll feel like a really beautiful, soulful woman just punched you in the stomach.

Films to watch:
DDLJ
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Fanaa
My Name is Khan

 

Deepika Padukone

Deepika Padukone made her debut in 2007’s Om Shanti Om, playing two characters that looked identical though they’re from different time periods (it can happen, just go with it). But she gave both characters enough nuance to prove to audiences that she was more than a tall, strikingly-beautiful model — even though she was definitely tall and definitely strikingly beautiful. Since then, she’s taken on different types of characters, from the modern-day romantic lead in Love Aaj Kal to the downward-spiraling toxic friend in Cocktail.

Films to watch:
Om Shanti Om
Love Aaj Kal

 

Anushka Sharma

Another actress who got her start in a Shah Rukh Khan film (2008’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), Anushka Sharma soon ventured out on her own and found another leading man that she seemed to have good chemistry with, on and off screen. Acting opposite co-star Ranveer Singh (quick tangent: check out his abs in Audrey’s Daily SHAG here) in Band Baaja Baaraat and Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, Sharma really showcased her natural charisma and ability to lead a film. In 2012, she reunited with Shah Rukh Khan in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Whereas in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, she played the mourning, subdued wife whose life and belief in love needed to be re-ignited by Shah Rukh Khan’s charm, in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, she was the mini-Shah Rukh Khan, who “Shah Rukh Khan”-ed Shah Rukh Khan himself. I know it sounds confusing. But just watch the movies.

Films to watch:
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
Baand Baaja Baaraat
Jab Tak Hai Jaan

 

Katrina Kaif

Born in Hong Kong to a Kashmiri Indian father and an English mother, Katrina Kaif often seems to have a maturity beyond her years onscreen. By 25, she was playing the Chief Minister party leader in the political thriller Raajneeti — and somehow pulling it off. After memorable turns as a civil rights activist circa 9/11 in New York and a diving instructor helping Hrithik Roshan get over his fear of water (and workaholism) in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, she helped jaded modern audiences believe in “old school” true love again in last year’s blockbuster Yash Raj film Jab Tak Hai Jaan.

Films to watch:
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Raajneeti
Jab Tak Hai Jaan

 

Farah Khan

Farah Khan has been in the industry for what seems like forever: as a choreographer, she is responsible for so many memorable Bollywood dance sequences that it’s almost impossible to count, but some of our favorites include “Chaiya Chiaya,” “Shava Shava,” and “Maahi Ve.” In addition to her choreography, she’s directed memorable films such as Main Hoon Na and Om Shanti Om. In 2012, she won a Stardust Best Actress Award for her on-screen debut Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi. But even when she’s behind the camera, she is an incomparable leading lady.

Films to Watch:
Om Shanti Om (as director)
Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi

 

Sonam Kapoor

Sonam Kapoor (daughter of Anil Kapoor, who international audiences know from Slumdog Millionaire and TV’s 24) made her debut in 2007 with Saawariya, opposite Ranbir Kapoor. At the time, Saawariya got a lot of attention, because although the two of them were newcomers to the industry, the film was co-produced by Sony Pictures, and it was the first Bollywood movie to receive a North American release by a Hollywood studio. Since then, Kapoor has landed girl next door roles in romantic comedies, such as Aisha and I Hate Luv Storys.

Films to Watch:
Saawariya
Aisha

 

Kareena Kapoor

A descendant of the legendary Kapoor family, Kareena Kapoor is continuing the legacy started by Prithviraj Kapoor and cemented by Raj Kapoor, as Kareena was most recently named the highest ranking female actress in Forbe India’s Celebrity 100 list. A power player in the industry, Kapoor has been one of India’s highest paid actress in years, starring in blockbusters including Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots, Salman Khan’s Bodyguard, Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One, and most recently reuniting with Aamir Khan in Talaash: The Answer Lies Within. 

Films to Watch:
3 Idiots
Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu

 

There are many more, but here are 10 to start with. Who are your favorite Indian actresses?