Slumdog has brought India and Indian artists a whole new viewpoint from the Western Society. While A.R.Rahman and Resul Pookutty walked off with kudos and aplombs, India is now being viewed by everybody as a Country with slums, mud roads, gutters, poor living conditions.
I am the only desi at my workplace. My colleagues are predominantly from the U.S and most of them have not even ventured beyond their City, let alone their State. Time and again, I have been asked questions about the concept of arranged marriages, extended families and the supposedly (LOL!!!) conservative nature of Indians. Now that Slumdog is out, a colleague of mine mentioned to me that he would never dream of visiting India as it is so horrid. I immediately retorted to his comment by saying that Stereotyping a Country based on a small area shown in a movie is stupid (and the guy is a City Planner for heaven’s sake).
This comment brought out my thinking horse and how the Western Society views the Eastern Society. I had a colleague thinking that everybody has an arranged marriage and everybody wears a bindi/kumkum on their forehead,all of us know how to read horoscopes, that Indians never hug anybody esp. the opposite sex and all of us listen to Hindustani Classical, are trained in dance/music etc etc….you get the idea. The best part is I don’t even listen to Hindustani Classical, I don’t even like it. When I mentioned this and the fact that I don’t read horoscopes, her jaw dropped. I am not sure how she/others would react if I were to stereotype the entire Western society based on their crime rates, teenage pregnancy rates, views and attitude towards pre marital sex. What’s so wrong if one does not have sex or date before getting married? Hey, we just didn’t meet the one before we got married. That’s all that’s there to it.
I am looking at other fellow bloggers and see that they share the same views. With all the advancement in technology and information sharing, I just hope people come out of their warped bubbles that is based entirely on myths, TV shows, films and news articles. Please do take the time to do your research before stereotyping an entire nation.
Thoughts by Laks