Amar and Pamela Bhavra look through photos on their computer in their new home in Edmonton, Alberta on August 4, The two are a Sikh couple who met on Shaadi.
He had no photo up, but reminded Ms. Bhavra of her little brother - a middle child reared by his mother and two sisters. I've been trained well,'" Ms. It was winter in Edmonton and the Sikh woman was trying her luck on Shaadi. Story continues below advertisement "My dad had told me that he wanted me to get married. He was joking around one day: They started with e-mails and progressed through MSN instant messaging, texting, phone calls and finally an in-person meeting.
Bhavra, a year-old health consultant. Both she and her Sikh husband, a year-old financial services manager, used the ethnic dating site as a welcome alternative to the prospect of arranged marriage: But it also appealed on another level. Bhavra, who was born in Estevan, Sask. A plethora of online dating sites now cater to the demand: Story continues below advertisement Story continues below advertisement Unlike Lavalife and eHarmony users, members on these sites often have a parent looking over their shoulder - if not running their profile outright.
About 30 per cent of the Canadian profiles on Shaadi are made by parents for their sons and daughters - and scrutinized routinely. At the end of the day, the bonding between families in our culture is very important to both the younger generation and the parents. Saikia said most users don't base their choices on caste, but religion.
The company recently teamed up with FastLife International, which organizes speed dating and singles' events around the world. For this community, they host four events monthly in Toronto and two a month in Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa. Sikh and language-based speed dating are on the way, and the company has also partnered with Zhenai, China's fastest growing dating site. Story continues below advertisement Mr. Parfitt allows that it can all be a bit tense for some of the more traditional parents.
It's our job to put them at ease and let them know that what we're doing is a dating event and that it's all about expanding your social circle and has got nothing to do with sex.
Parfitt is careful about cultural sensitivities, but draws the line at caste, which isn't one of the criteria at the events: Parfitt said, "Initially, we were a little leery of offering events based on ethnicity.
But ultimately, dating isn't about political correctness: It's about people's preferences. When you're dating, that's the way it is. We decided to cater to that demand. Sensoy, who teaches in the department of gender, sexuality, and women's studies at Simon Fraser University. She says online dating, which is basically shopping for a mate while sitting alone at your computer, runs counter to the "collectivist, family-based" South Asian communities, but that these sites offer a "safe place" to try it out.
It's two families coming together. That's a cultural lens that's not a part of mainstream dating sites.