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HOMETOWN GLORY

How India’s homegrown apps help people date in small towns

A couple sits along the seafront promenade at dusk in Mumbai's suburbs
REUTERS/Vivek Prakash
Newfound love.
  • Manavi Kapur
By Manavi Kapur

Reporter

Published

There are two ways of getting married in India, depending on how conservative your family is: You can either let your parents arrange a match for you, or you can try to find a match yourself.

The latter path is only for the free-willed and adventurous, especially in small-town India, where dating is a fairly new social phenomenon that carries a lot of stigma. Casual dating and hookups are frowned upon, and, depending on the city or district you are in, can even lead to dangerous repercussions like harassment from the police, or worse, honor killings.

And yet, despite this cultural resistance, dating in India is becoming big business. The country has an estimated 38 million people on dating apps and is third in the world after the US and China in terms of the revenue it generates, according to the online dating services report by Statista.

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