Millanus - a speed-dating event for American Muslims

February 13th, 2011 - 5:08 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Feb 13 (ANI): Millanus, a biannual conclave in Bayside, Queens, is fast becoming a popular match-hunting ground for American Muslims.

Millanus, started in 2007 by Jamal Mohsin, a Pakistani-American financial adviser from Long Island, is a meeting where a ’speed dating’ takes place between bachelorettes and potential grooms, followed by a buffet of chicken curry and biriyani, and Adhan, the late-afternoon prayer, reports the New York Times.

Parents watch the event from the sidelines and shortlist candidates for their daughter/son.The most recent Millanus attracted around 75 families, with each paying 270 dollars to find a decent match for their children.The speciality of the event is that eligible bachelors can look for girls of their liking and have a quick ‘date’ with them, all with their parents’ permission. It’s almost an instant matchmaking.

“It’s a combination of East and West,” said Mohsin.

“Back in Pakistan, everything is arranged. Here, on the other extreme, individuals pick everything and parents, who raised you, aren’t involved. So I’ve created an event with both of these extremes. I’ve kept parents in the loop so they feel involved. At the same time, it’s speed dating. We’re being American,” he added.Mohsin had started the event by casually introducing a few families, but more requests kept coming in and he felt like being ‘the community’s Yellow Pages’.

He was inspired by an article in Newsweek about, a Jewish online dating service that arranges frequent face-to-face meetings between singles.

In addition to Millanus, Mohsin also runs a matchmaking website. The site has around 1,500 members who have paid 40 dollars for a period of 90 days.The name of the event is taken from the Urdu/Hindi word for “get-together”, Milan, he said.In the meantime, some conservative leaders have flayed the event as they felt it was ‘an American-style meat market’. They suggest that it’s better to have teleconferences rather than face-to-face meetings.There were a few concerned faces emerging out of the recent conclave.

A 35-year-old lady doctor was not impressed by the atmosphere when she spotted a video journalist at the venue. She left before the event started and demanded a refund. Muhammad Baig, who came to the event with his 21-year-old daughter, was upbeat when he saw a handsome 26-year-old ‘Information Technologist’.

The well-mannered guy promised to ring him up in a few days to tell him about his decision. But Baig sounded very disappointed a few weeks later.

I’m not too happy with the guy. He called once. I was busy, and he never called again,” he said.Sadaf, a 33-year-old physician from Princeton, N.J., said that it ‘looked more like business networking than a litmus test of personal chemistry’.

According to Sadaf, most of the men were too old and had a Pakistani mindset. They don’t fit to the ‘professional” class’, she said.Despite all this, the popularity of the event indicates that the Muslim community in America is adapting to the Western culture.

“I’m still very much into the family tribe system, but society has changed. Now the kids want to see the partner before they sign. When you live here, you must adapt. But with respect,” said Khan Muhammad, a 52-year-old gentleman who came with his 40-year-old cousin from Maryland. (ANI)

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