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Once you finished your education, you were ready to get married. Then your parents checked the suitor’s background and asked your permission if you liked the match. I moved back to Toronto this past summer after spending the past two years in Karachi with my family, and one of the things I was looking forward to was getting on dating websites, because it’s a normal and acceptable thing to do in Canada.In Pakistan, you’re limited to the people you already know through your family connections, and the guy has all the power. Shaadi asks about your complexion, and that tells you right away that it’s a South Asian dating site.

And yet that hasn’t diminished the site’s popularity; 24,000 of the GTA’s 684,000 South Asians now use Shaadi’s services, including parents who set up profiles for their eligible children—a computer­-age variation on the arranged marriage. They argued that if I didn’t start looking, there wouldn’t be anyone left to marry when I’m older.I’ve told them to start looking at girls here in Canada or in the U. My friends, mostly the Indian ones, know about Shaadi, and they aren’t surprised I’m using it. But other people think it’s strange that my parents are so involved.I don’t see why it’s a big deal that they set up a matrimonial page for me.To certain people in our culture, complexion matters a lot: the whiter you are, the more “attractive” you are.I’m regular brown and proud of it, so I chose the “wheatish” category.

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