In America, the path to marriage can seem predetermined: we meet, we date, we fall in love, we marry. But what happens elsewhere, when relationships form in different ways and love is not a foregone conclusion? In Culture Shock, a one-hour special premiering on OWN Sunday, July 22nd at 10/9c, a team of young filmmakers journeys to uncover the world of dating, sex and marriage in Russia, India and China.
First, producer/correspondent Lauren Terp travels to Moscow to cover a lavish wedding among Moscow's nouveau riche. After almost 80 years of government control under Soviet rule, a new generation has emerged, and Mischa and Adele are the new face of post-Soviet Russia: liberated, Westernized, and ready to party. But crime, corruption and uncertainty threaten to undercut this fairy-tale wedding.
Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in Hyderabad, India, producer/correspondent Rawan Jabaji joins a self-styled local matchmaker named Farooqi, as one of his clients sorts through a stack of pictures of attractive women. The fact that his client has not yet met any of the women is of no concern. By the end of the meeting, his family will have chosen one to become his bride. It's a culture where as many as 90% of marriages are arranged. But where does love come into play? Rawan uncovers an unlikely twist to Farooqi's own story.
Last stop is Shenzhen, China, where producer/correspondent Lindsay Wile takes us to an area nicknamed "Mistress Village" because it's occupied by thousands of concubines -- women who are kept by wealthy Chinese and Hong Kong men. Here she meets Yuki, a young woman from a small village who now lives a life she could not have imagined or afforded without the financial help of her "boyfriend," and Gigi, who offers a picture of what life as a mistress can look like down the line.
What makes us different? What makes us similar? That's the mission the team of Culture Shock filmmakers and correspondents is setting out to discover. And when it comes to mistresses, matchmakers and marriages...it's complicated.
Click on the images below to watch clips and the preview from Culture Shock.