March 11, 2020
A movement called Indonesia Tanpa Pacaran (Indonesia without dating) is blossoming in the Southeast Asian nation where people born from the mid-Nineties make up about one-quarter of its more than 260 million people
One young man walked on stage and broke it off with his girlfriend over the phone, eliciting cheers and clapping
JAKARTA: Frustrated after a string of break-ups, Dwita Astari Pujiartati quit the casual romance circuit and turned to a growing trend among Indonesian singles — marriage without dating.
The 27-year-old professor exchanged resumes with prospective suitors — helped by a Muslim cleric-cum-matchmaker — until she was contacted by a long-lost acquaintance who also wanted to give contact-less dating a whirl.
There was no hand holding or kissing. The pair didn’t even meet in person for almost a year, chatting on the telephone instead.
“Once we felt ‘the click’, (my now husband) asked my parents if he could propose to me,” Pujiartati said.
The practice known as taaruf, or introduction, is derided by critics as old fashioned and more fitting to conservative Gulf nations than relatively liberal Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim majority country.
But Pujiartati saw it as a way to ditch dating that went nowhere and be a devout Muslim at the same time by avoiding pre-marital touching and sex.
“Why should I choose something that wastes my time and doesn’t please God?” she said.
While the practice isn’t widespread, Pujiartati is not alone.