SINGAPORE - Singapore Idol Hady Mirza looks like he could have married anyone he wanted, but it was his mother who recently picked a bride for him.
Arranged marriage in Singapore? It still does happen, although experts said the form it takes has changed.
While parents and relatives are still involved, the single hearts have an equal say on who they are hopefully going to spend the rest of their lives with. And unlike matchmakers of old, there are websites that bring people together.
"It's not the archaic form you read about in textbooks. It's a participant-run system now," said sociologist Paulin Straughan.
She said that she herself has come across several young people who accept the idea of a modern arranged marriage.
The reason? "My parents would not hurt me, so why would they find someone for me who would?"
In the case of an Indian Singaporean, a 28-year-old analyst who did not want to be named, it was her brother-in-law who set up a meeting with his friend two years ago.
The man, a physiotherapist who is two years older than her and a Singapore permanent resident originally from India, became her husband after six months of dating.
"Initially, I was apprehensive, but no one put pressure on us. We knew we could decide on whether we wanted to marry after getting to know each other," she told My Paper.
She was open to the idea of an arranged marriage because she had positive examples around her.
"I have seen my cousins go through it and found that they had successful marriages. Also, my family is quite traditional. They would not have been keen on me finding my own partner," she said.