Bollywood in EuropeDecember 10, 2006 at 10:20 pm | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment, Globalization | 15 Comments
This post is dedicated to Neha Kumar who introduced me to Nach Baliye (see older posts). Earlier today she wrote on her blog:
Indian dances famous abroad!
Its good news for all us Indians !!
Looks like, our dances not only enthrall us, but also people from other countries… I happened to meet one such admirer (thanks to wordpress ) Want to thank you Jana, for taking so much interest in our culture and dance..
Oh they are famous indeed 🙂 To prove this, I grabbed my camera to take a picture of my shower cabin. Of course the shower itself is anything but interesting, but have a look at the pictures that I put up when I moved into this flat two years ago:
These are cards issued by Rapid Eye Movies, the main German/Austrian distributor for films from India – as you can tell immediately from their website: They have just launched a (German-language) magazine called “Bollywood”. They used to specialize in Far East Asian films until a while ago, until they brought Khabi khushi khabi gham (forgive me for not getting the Hs and Es right) to Germany and met with major success with it. The cards are from the official release in their tiny first run movie theatre in Cologne.
The representation of Bollywood films in Germany/Austria is lopsided though. The majority of people who watch movies regularly (on TV or in the theatre) will know Shah Rukh Khan. Did you know they even dub his films into German to be able to air them on TV? :-))) Wanted to find a bit with German synchronisation on Youtube but wasn’t successful, hence here a screenshot from a description on RTL Television:
And while Shah Rukh is pretty famous already with viewers from all walks of life (i.e. not just the Indian community in Germany, not just teenagers), only few are enlightened about anything Bollywood beyond Shah Rukh. Hmm, with the exception of Austria/Switzerland probably, as the Austrian and Swiss landscapes keep appearing in Bollywood movies 🙂
But the interest in India is ever increasing, although the stereotypical knowledge probably includes the following notions:
– More Bollywood than Hollywood films have been produced in film history.
– India has a population of more than one billion.
– India is the leading software developing nation.
– Many Indians are very well educated.
– They don’t eat beef.
– They have the A-bomb (don’t really know whether this is true, but this is what many people belive).
I even once took a course in Hindi which was offered at Cologne university: 8 of 60.000 students took the course at the time (1998). Unfortunately, we were all so eager to learn that we had finished the lecturer’s course book in nearly half the usual time – actually already reaching the point where we couldn’t take in anything new, anymore because we hadn’t really grasped the old yet. When the exams in all the other subjects came around, half of us (including me) discontinued the course. So the words I understand when watching anything Indian are the following:
– zindagi hai (that’s life)
– sirf (only?)
– ek (one)
– pyar (love)
– main bhi (me too?)
– accha (good)
– diwana hai (he’s mad)
– lekin (but)
– bahut (much/many)
– sukriya/dhanyavad (thank you)
Not enough to follow the plot, I fear;-)
Ok, that was my little excursion into what I think to know about the awareness of Bollywood and India in Europe…
Good night, you people.