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New book reveals an appetite for online dating in the Sikh community

Dr Amandeep Takhar

Wed 12th February, 2014

A BEDFORDSHIRE Marketing lecturer’s new book has analysed the emergence of online dating amongst young Sikhs in the western world.

Dr Amandeep Takhar, who is based in the Business School, looked at how “computer culture” has seen young Sikhs search for a compatible partner via online dating website, shaadi.com, moving away from the traditional arranged marriage route commonly used in Sikh religion.

“By interviewing people, who use shaadi.com, online and in person, we have discovered that the website combines the western principles of individualism whilst retaining the collective family values seen in Sikhism,” said Dr Takhar, co-author of Computer Culture and The Evolution of Sikh Courtship Rituals.

“This has been done by allowing young Sikhs the freedom to choose their partners, with the majority of matches marrying, as an ‘occupation list’ on each member’s profile is designed to form the best available match.

“In addition, Sikhs are still deciding to marry people of the same religion.”

Dr Takhar, who has been developing the book in collaboration with Dr Pepukayi Chitakunge of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, since 2011, found that attitudes towards online dating amongst the older generation of the Sikh community were quite relaxed.

Dr Takhar added: “The Sikh parents we interviewed appeared to be quite accepting of online dating as their children were happy for them to monitor their activity, and the parents could see their children were a lot happier making their own minds up.

“Online dating in western Sikh communities is here to stay as millions of young people from countries including Canada, England and America are using shaadi.com and finding their future wives or husbands.”
 
To purchase a copy of Dr Takhar’s book, published by Scholars’ Press, visit www.amazon.co.uk.
Bedfordshire University

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