Browncast Episode 117: Meet the Maheshwaris!

By Razib Khan 12 Comments

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify,  and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

You can also support the podcast as a patron. The primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else. This website isn’t about shaking the cup, but I have noticed that the number of patrons plateaued a long time ago.

On this podcast, Razib, Mukunda, and Omar talk to Nikhil M., the cousin of Sima Taparia. Though a younger generation, Nikhil offers up his opinion on how accurately the show depicts Sima (he has met her and their families are close). But a 27-year-old young professional who grew up in California, the conversation ranges widely on topics of relevance to the young and brown.

Also, lots of stuff about Marwaris and the phenomenon of “Indian Matchmaking”.

If you want more podcasting about Indian Matchmaking, please check out Big Brown Army. DeCruz interviews three of the stars, Vyasar Ganesan, Vinay Chadha, and Manish Das.

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12 Replies to “Browncast Episode 117: Meet the Maheshwaris!”

  1. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed the podcast. A lot of what Nikhil talked about, especially about how communities think of marriage/intercaste marriage etc, but also some of the stuff about millennial Indian Americans was englightening. And Nikhil talks really well!

    Razib – What is an email where I can contact you about a podcast idea?

  2. Loved it.

    Especially the Amercian born desi woke conversation part. I am on a watsapp group with a bunch of Indian born woke wannabes, and they are losing their shit on ABCD folks being so “traditional”. All this time they have been trying to ape the ABCD and the ABCD just turned out to be a much fitter version of them and not much else. LOL

  3. Another quality podcast Razib, you’re creating some quality content for us ungrateful listeners from across the world!

    I’m really impressed with Nikhil and the other Indian-American folks you have on your casts. Super articulate, they seem to have a much better command over language and vocabulary than even most other Americans, must explain how they manage to get ahead so and do well for themselves.

    I was very surprised to see that the caste preference dynamic he outlined among IA’s are basically identical to those of urban Indians. For arranged marriages, matches within the Jati are still first preferences but that’s easily fungible for matches that are urban, educated ‘professional’ and within the same varna or even just the (dharmic) religion. Within my close Tam family, there are pairings with Jains, Punjabis, Bengalis, etc. and that’s fairly typical. This dovetails into the caste-based discussion with Kushal on the other podcast – that such cross-caste pairings will probably eventually lead to the demise of very specific rituals and practices, with the result that a pan-Hindu identity is created where everyone celebrates holi, raksha bandhan, ganesh chaturthi, durga puja, etc. None in my close family were probably even aware of any of these even one generation ago, now most (among those that are settled outside TN) celebrate them – that’s quite a dramatic adoption of new cultural practices.

    1. The caste preference dynamic that he outlined was for India based Marwaris/ Maheshwaris. I think what he mentioned as the equivalent for Hindu Indian- Ams was Hindu/Dharmic Indian ( perhaps with a preference for North Indians for North Indians)

    2. Tam Brahms are Tamils in name only ( genetically or otherwise), so not surprised by ur extended family into northern Indian stuff like holi etc. A bit like Biharis they are in the East but orient North.

      Still, In the last decade or so Bollywood has pushed North Indian culture into Deep South. At least in urban India I already sense a standardized pan Indian culture.

      1. “Tam Brahms are Tamils in name only…”
        LOL, I get that you love to troll, you clearly don’t know anything about either Tams or Tam-brahms outside of crude stereotypes. Have you ever been to S India?

        And way to jump to assumptions about my caste. Bravo! The reason my family were into those festivals is not because of our ‘genetics’ (LOL again) but because my parents moved out of TN and settled in Mumbai. The same was true of say Bengalis or Punjabis who celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi – it was a Mumbai specific (now pan India) festival that we assimilated into. My family back in TN aren’t aware or don’t care about any of those festivals – again nothing to do with genetics or lack of Tamil-ness or whatever.

        Culture >>> Genetics in terms of influcne on behaviour, and culture is fluid – This should be obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes and who’s been on the ground in India, but some folks really take the genetics thing a bit too far

      2. @Saurav
        Although most of your comments make sense, sometime you trivialize everywhere else as variations of standard gangetic belt specimen. Thats becomes too simplistic a model !
        You are right in sense they are peripheral in many situations but its not like everyone is constantly checking their gangetic affinity meter

        Nice podcast. I liked the fact that he was not defensive even when talking about his close relative and didnt try to justify everything.

      3. This is funny. Let me put it this way, a lot of the19th and 20th century Tamil intellectuals were brahmins, including Bharathi. It’s a bit nauseating to see you call south Indians as “less” Hindu and tam brams as “less” Tamil. I think you should either read better sources or may be visit the deep south one of these days.

        And no, other than Chennai and in some pockets where you have Guajarati’s and Marwaris live, a vast majority of Tamils don’t watch bollywood movies. The content is simply not something that excites the population – linguistically and culturally.

  4. For some reason I find the whole premise funny/sad. I have no interest in watching this show, but I’m surprised it’s so popular on Netflix. It was on the top 10 trending! I wonder who it’s audience is supposed to be..

    1. Maybe “hate-watching”?

      I found it hilarious.

      “I’m Sima from Mumbai”– like her last name is “From Mumbai”.

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