I have noticed that a majority of my generation(the younger generation) in the NRI Indian community are against everything Indian. In South Africa, I’ve noticed that the youth have become so influenced by western culture that they neglect their Indian roots and culture. This is absolutely crazy in my opinion!
I asked one of my ‘Anti-Indian’ Indian friends why he resisted immersing themselves in our beautiful culture and the response I got was that it was lame. Yes, you read right. The response I got was lame. Now, I am a reasonable girl and decided to at least hear him out and get his reasons for calling it that.
Reason 1: Bollywood is terrible. The movies are cliché and follow the typical boy meets girl, they fall in love but the families are against the relationship. Cue 3 hours of drama with 6-8 boring songs at regular intervals.
Response 1: You’re clearly not watching the right Bollywood movies. Nowadays, Bollywood is so diverse with every genre being explored from detective style thrillers like Detective Byomkesh Bakshi and TE3N to new-age romance such as Shudh Desi Romance. Even the old school period love stories are beautifully told like in Lootera(which had such great music). Bajirao Mastani was also so incredible in acting, cinematography, music and plot. (I could probably do an entire post on how amazing that movie was…hmm future blog post idea) Point is, Bollywood is not what it used to be. It has progressed and advanced and is delivering quality.
Reason 2: The music. While classical Indian music with tablas and veenas are nice and all, it gets boring if the same sound is repeated in every movie or artist release.
Response 2: DEV D!!! (Yes, I actually screamed it in his face.) Dev D, a remake of the classic Devdas in a modern world has, in my opinion, some of the best music in Bollywood history. There isn’t a specific style and so many genres are combined in the album for the movie. Paayaliya is sweet and gentle with a lot of classical influences then Emotional Attyachaar is loud with a rock edge. Everything about that movie and its songs is art. Absolute favourite! (ASIDE: fav songs from that movie are Pardesi, Saali Khushi and Paayaliya.)
Reason 3: Okay, Bollywood aside. The clothing is either garish and tacky or tame and extremely modest.
Response 3: (I was questioning my choice in friends at this point) Nothing is sexier than a sari. There, I said it and I won’t take it back! Honestly, no clue how you got tame and modest. Saris prove that a woman’s back can be sexy since it is mostly exposed with daring blouses and low-starting pleats. Saris made showing the mid-riff cool before it became mainstream. Indian clothing is just so colourful and sparkly and I just don’t understand how any guy can not be attracted to that. Then Kurtas for guys are about as great as a properly fitted suit on them. Then again personal choice.
The discussion went on for a really long time and I haven’t even gotten to the history and fun around our festivals. I honestly don’t have it in me to type out every part of the discussion with the amount of paraphrasing already done above so I’m just going to sum it up. Indian culture is fantastic from the arts to our colourful clothing. Our festivals are so unique and filled with history and symbolism. Creativity flows through everything. Culture flows through everything. Our heritage and culture is so unique and beautiful that I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t want to be part of it and completely immerse themselves in it. I’ve grown up with modern influences too and I also love Western movies and music but I could never abandon my culture based on stereotypes of what is “cool” and what is “lame”. But if I had to classify it, it would definitely be cool.