I read several newspapers on multiple days while in India, trying to keep up with the student protests, the Italian ambassador to India (who lied about the return of the two Italian sailors), the upheaval in the Indian parliament about how to respond to the events in Sri Lanka, and the thrashing of the Aussies by the Indians in the cricket test match. These are all interesting, but very similar to the stories and headlines seen in US papers.

Then, I found the interesting classifieds section in the Hindustantimes section, htclassifieds. This section is organized much like the classified sections of US papers, including job postings and real estate for sale. Then there is the other section. Think E Harmony, Christian Singles, or any other kind of dating website, but now picture it appearing as a series of ads in a newspaper. Then think of a site that cuts through the preliminaries and gets right at the heart of the claim of the services, finding a person to marry. Yes, that’s it. The section is titled Matrimonials and is divided into two subsections, Brides Wanted and Grooms Wanted. The ads read, for example, “Looking for extremely beautiful, fair, slim girl for well settled Punjabi Saraswat Brahmin (non vegetarian), very handsome, fair, 5’10″/Oct. 82 born boy having well settled business in south Delhi, girl should be 5’4″ or above, from cultured Punjabi Khatri/Brahmin family.” Pretty specific, unlike the ads in the US, which simply state, “SWM looking for 30s attractive woman to enjoy the outdoors,” whatever that means.

The ads for grooms read much like those for brides. Furthermore, the ads are subcategorized for those having a preference for a partner who is a doctor or has an MBA (very popular in India). There is no category for demographer. It should also be noted that some of the postings are by families on behalf of their sons or daughters. I noticed almost all of the posters are slim and handsome or beautiful, successful in business or a profession, and come from a desirable family. Do you believe that? I like this direct approach and wonder if with some modifications it would be successful here.

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