A YOUNG woman from Swindon is seeking to revive traditional Indian values by setting up a Sikh and Hindu only dating website.
Sharn Khaira, 27, felt in the absence of the outdated tradition of arranged marriages, young Indians needed some help in finding a partner who their parents would still approve of. And she is not alone, as more than 30,000 users have signed up to the site already.
“Arranged marriages have become a thing of the past, and no modern Indian man or woman really wants it,” said Sharn.
“Young Sikhs and Hindus out there really struggle today because they are modern in their outlook and feel that they can afford to be choosy, but they are also still very traditional at heart, which is bit of an internal conflict. “This means finding a partner who not only they really like, but that their parents approve of and so there are a lot of hurdles to overcome.” Sharn, who is Sikh, was spurred into action after becoming frustrated with mainstream websites and failing to find a partner who would live up to her parents’ expectations.
“I was battling to meet people, and although there is a large community in Swindon I was finding it difficult,” she said. “Whereas no one wanted to get divorced in the past, nowadays British Asians are happy to get divorced and not care about the traditions. “A lot of people in the culture are worried about the divorce rates, and do not want to be responsible for a relationship which goes wrong.” Sharn said she was appealing to only Sikhs and Hindus because there are certain traditions which remained important to them in relationships. “Because the two religions are quite similar, it was an obvious choice to try to keep hold of some of our cultures,” she said.
“We only launched it a year ago, but we have got registrations coming in every day. What we are looking to do now is get success stories from couples.”While Sharn, who lives in North Swindon, has not found love yet herself, she is now feeling more hopeful.
“While Swindon actually has a really large and vibrant Indian community, which would make you think that it would be easy to find a partner, it’s so much tougher than you think,” she said.
Sharn has been helped in setting up the site, Indian Connect, by her friend and business partner Charlotte Hancock, 27, also of Swindon. For more details Visit indian-connect.co.uk.