New Boymongoose Video

December 5, 2008 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Bollywood, Webvideo | 1 Comment
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I loved the 12 Days of Christmas – here is a new vid by Boymongoose.

Looks Like Indian Voters in the US Are Behind Obama

March 1, 2008 at 10:02 am | Posted in Bollywood, Politics, video | 2 Comments
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Accha, accha, accha, accha, accha, accha – which song or movie was the source for this film? Lallopallo, Nova – can you help? I am sure this will do for the US Indian community what Will.i.am’s Obama video did for white intellectuals.

Thanks to Cabbage for posting about this!

And a totally insufficient dowry!

April 22, 2007 at 12:04 am | Posted in Bollywood, video | 4 Comments
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Nova had this Indian Christmas Carol video on her blog recently, and I’ve already watched it so many times that I keep singing to myself: “and a totally insufficient dowry!” (eine absolut ungenügende Mitgift bzw. Aussteuer). The video numbers the odd things for which India might be known elsewhere – if it were a song about Germany, it would mention German engineers, lack of humour, Vorsprung durch Technik, advantage through technology, Sauerkraut and/or Bratwurst, Football and probably Hitler. So I guess that India is better off than Germany!

The virtual artist himself is called Boymongoose, and this is his website.

Someone by the name of Dipankar was so kind as to type up all the 12 verses of the song – wow. I would have done that if he hadn’t (the good thing about the internet is that it allows you to find people who are as silly as yourself:-) I need to watch it again and see whether he got it right..

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 4 Hari Krishnas (is that Indian), 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 5 Indian games (I want to be the cowboy), 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 6 IT graduates, 5 Indian games, 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 7 Eleven workers, 6 IT graduates, 5 Indian games, 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 8 Bollywood films (I didn’t eat the baby, was the dingo ate the baby), 7 Eleven workers, 6 IT graduates, 5 Indian games, 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 9 tele-marketers (g’day mate, this is Colin Jones, are you wanting greater car rates), 8 Bollywood films, 7 Eleven workers, 6 IT graduates, 5 Indian games, 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 10 minute yoga (think the lotus, feel the lotus, drive the Lotus), 9 tele-marketers, 8 Bollywood films, 7 Eleven workers, 6 IT graduates, 5 Indian games, 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 11 syllable names (P Sarvan Muthu Double Decker Bus), 10 minute yoga, 9 tele-marketers, 8 Bollywood films, 7 Eleven workers, 6 IT graduates, 5 Indian games, 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 12 cricket ball tamperers (I was simply correcting the stitching), 11 syllable names, 10 minute yoga, 9 tele-marketers, 8 Bollywood films, 7 Eleven workers, 6 IT graduates, 5 minutes of fame, 4 Hari Krishnas, 3 butter chickens, 2 nosy in-laws and a totally insufficient dowry…

Touchdown!

P.S. Yes, I finished all my corrections for the day and even did a but of planning of the Monday course. Work will continue tomorrow, sigh.
P.P.S. This was another copy catter post from me today, but I cannot do any better at the moment.

That’s how wars get started 30/40

March 28, 2007 at 6:48 am | Posted in Blogging, Bollywood, Friends, Teaching English, TEFL, Youtube | 10 Comments
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I’ve been a regular to the blogosphere since August 2006, and a regular blogger (one post per day, except when I am on vacation) for four months. This practice has fundamentally changed the boundaries of what I used to consider private and public. Things like using an IUD, for instance, I don’t think I would have wrote about on my first website, around 1998, over at tripod. (Btw, they used to call themselves “one of the leading personal publishing communities on the Web”, but have now hopped on the blog bus as well.) As I’ve probably written somewhere before, using a diary did never make much sense to me in the past – it just didn’t appeal to me to write something that isn’t addressed to someone. But who’s the address of blogging? Some individuals of course, both real life and blogosphere friends, although not immediately. Not in these same way as in writing (an email or letter) directly to them. The public? In a way. But with a difference. It’s as if blogging is also a way of getting reconciled with the world, with the things you’re doing, the problems you’re confronting. I suspect that this type of ‘public’ operates very much in a super-ego fashion – it would be worthwhile to examine this closer, but that’s actually not the topic I wanted to write about today.

Occasion for this intro is that I am going to use this blog today to write about a personal conflict I had with someone. This is definitely another step towards the blurring of the public and the private, or maybe even an attempt of making my concern heard by the super-ego that can accept or dismiss my request (following my half-baked theory above).

What is peculiar about this conflict is that, in our own minds, we both are right. It is an illustration of the great degree of subjectivity to which our perception of a situation is subjected. It explains why wars get started: both parties being trapped in their own little constructions of their world.

[…EDIT…]

I’ve changed my mind meanwhile. I am not going to write about this on the blog, at least not in the detailed way that I wanted to. It might be better, if you think of the death threats that some female bloggers are receiving these days. I’ve wondered in the past how Lenina’s ‘BF’ might respond to her posts about him, or his friends, which are not always favourable, but maybe he doesn’t know the address. Anyhow, explicit communication about this might only make the situation worse, as the person might read this blog and get offended (not a blogger….).

Although it would be a story worthwhile sharing, featuring dissent arising from using diverging terminology from different disciplines, misunderstanding and mistrust originating from wrong assumptions about the workings of technology, a clash of gendered behaviour, and a mutual pushing the buttons of each other’s inferiority complexes (I don’t know exactly which buttons exactly I pushed, but I know which of mine were activated: Never say something to a TEFL person that would make it appear as though you thought TEFL folk weren’t proper academics. They already think they are not, and being a TEFL person alone gives most of them a sense of failure. Most of them have turned to teaching English because it was their last exit to a regular income. More about the inferior complexes of TEFL people to be found at the English droid’s page.)

A brief excerpt of the actualized gendered behaviour (also suggesting that the argument arose via email):

masculine: “You are wrong. That’s my view. And I don’t believe you. I am not going to respond to anything you write about this from now on.”
feminine: keeping up the the communication via email nonetheless, trying to substantiate that she was falsely accused, animating the other side to respond…

This example of masculine behaviour, btw, reminds me of the character of the patriarch played by Amitabh Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (already mentioned a couple of times on this blog). The patriarch rejects his adoptive son for marrying the wrong woman and declares him a persona non grata. Talking about him is no longer condoned. Numerous attempts are made (mainly by women or characters with feminine connotations) to animate him to rekindle the communication about and with the son. But all attempts are brutishly silenced by the patriarch:

“I’ve said it. That’s it. Bas.

I think this post should end on a positive note nonetheless. There’s nothing better for that than a sequence from a Bollywood movie. I’ll pick one from the end of KKKG, when everybody is reunited in wedding and happiness, and the patriarch appeased.

God, I love this movie. I’m not normally a fan of Hritik Roshan, but I just love his little tongue in cheek dance in the first part of this scene.

Kareena & Paris: Twins Separated at Birth? 22/40

March 14, 2007 at 7:33 am | Posted in Bollywood, Celebrities, Entertainment, Film, Stars, video | 14 Comments
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It’s probably a bit unfair towards the Indian actress, but I realized recently that Kareena Kapoor and Paris Hilton have a lot in common, feature-wise. Also, both come from well-known, affluent families. The Hilton clan is well known for their trade, the hotel industry, and have also produced minor celebrity Nicky Hilton (Paris’ sister), while the Kapoor clan has produced some fine Bollywood actors, including the probably biggest star ever (I think), Raj Kapoor. Kareena actually looks a lot like him, but he might as well be Paris’ father. And they’re practically the same age, Kareena been born in September 1980 and Paris in February 1981.

Twins

In the film that meant her breakthough, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kareena played a spoiled brat reminiscent of Paris in the first part of the film, but then her character bethought herself of traditions and spirituality and became a decent (if particularly fashionable) housewife in the end.

Regarding Paris, she was said to have marketed her own private photographs and videos in a clumsy guerrilla warfare strategy recently. The idea was to try to make people believe that Paris wasn’t able to pay her storage unit bill, that her stuff was auctioned off and that ‘they’, i.e. the makers of a site named Paris Exposed, had bought it. Access was granted for $ 49. Here is a link to the trailer video of that same website (which seems to be down now). The video is boring, hence no inclusion into my post, but if you ever wanted to catch a glimpse of Paris’ nipples (yawn), go watch it.

Apart from that, Paris Hilton was received with major ennui in Austria when she appeared at the Vienna opera ball this year. Her appearance first attracted major media interest, but the unanimous verdict was that she wasn’t worth a penny of the alleged € 300.000 she received for attending the ball. For most of the evening, she sat in construction magnate Lugner’s VIP box, looking bored, checking either her looks in a hand-mirror or her cell phone for new messages. Neither was she seen on the dance floor nor seen socializing with the Viennese haute volée. The general assumption was that she had expected more attention – but the Vienna opera ball is certainly not the place where an American heiress who’s good at aprés ski or exposing her undergarments would make much of an impression. Those people have seen worse in their own circles, but at least they know how to be cultivated.

While mentioning Paris’ cellphone addiction: Kareena Kapoor apparently spent most of her time on the set of Asoka with her cellphone glued to her ear, only putting it down when being called by the director;-)

But all in all, the clear winner of this comparison is Kareena – even though I think that her eyes, like Paris’, are too close to each other. At least she has never lowered herself to crotch shots or published homemade sex videos, nor to marketing such material through dodgy websites.

Some films featuring Kareena (all for which she received awards):
Don (2006, Cameo, but hot!)
Omkara (2006)
Dev (2004)
Chameli (2004)
Kabhi Khushi KabhieGham (2001)
Asoka (2001)
Refugee (2000)

Some ‘films’ featuring Paris:
House of Wax (2005, Teen Choice award for Best Scream)
1 Night in Paris (2004, the infamous sex tape her ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon released; she received directorial credit for the video which won the Adult Video News award for Best Selling Video; just a note on the side: she also looked bored in that video)
The Simple Life (2003-, TV)

Two odd war movies: 300 vs Asoka 21/40

March 13, 2007 at 7:30 am | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment, Film, Stars, Youtube | 3 Comments
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I’ve got some thoughts on my mind about the relation between the consumerist mindset, the popularity of wellness products and services and the ever spreading belief of some people that they should ‘learn to do something for themselves’, relating furthermore to a certain tendency with some to assess friendship on the basis of its ‘what one gets out it’ value. But before I formulate this any clearer, I’d like to wait for a response from Jetsam on my response to his most recent Baudrillard post (don’t feel pushed into anything though!).

While that thought keeps fermenting, I’d simply like to juxtapose two films featuring scenes from the battlefield – the upcoming film 300, directed by Zach Snyder and based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller on the one hand and the already mentioned Asoka on the other, directed by Santosh Sivan, featuring Shahrukh Khan, and loosely based on the life and times of the Indian emperor Ashoka who embraced Buddhism after realizing the cruelties of the wars he had waged.

While the former aspires to a hitherto unseen, graphic, formally aesthetic depiction of the fights on the battlefield, the latter eschews graphic detail, in spite of the numerous fighting scenes. The former relies heavily on the bluescreen, the latter on costume and physical abilities. The former is graphic eyecandy, the second a family movie and vehicle for SRK.

I didn’t manage to dig up a fighting scene from Asoka, so you’ll have to make do with the trailer. Please appreciate the suggestions of bloodshed which can be found throughout the movie, for instances splashes of red water against the sea shore. But for most of the time, choreography hides the bodily part where the wound is afflicted.

The piece from 300 was heralded as the ‘most violent scene in the entire film’. Please appreciate in particular the achievements of the Foley artists, in particular the sound of blood gushing out of the fresh wounds. Sounds pretty much like a bathroom party to me;-)

I don’t know how you feel about 300, but I am no more interested in watching it. According to Jetsam’s review, the images are stunning, but the characters contrived and uninteresting. Judging from the footage and screens I have seen, you can expect a photorealistic trying to be surrealistic image overflow – but I’ve already grown tired of CGI, to be honest.

On the other hand, the swords and armament in Asoka resemble the equipment of toy soldiers all too often – neither is the story the most intriguing ever told, but hey: it’s got SRK in it. I am afraid to sound too fanatic or naive – but SRK is definitely the best reason for watching the film. If anybody has the magic aura of a star, then him – goofy nose, warts and all. You just don’t want to take your eyes of him – from the blood feast in 300, I do happily want to avert my eyes.

SRK in my bathtub and on KBC2 – a star descending to TV?

February 8, 2007 at 9:57 am | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment, Film, Popular Culture, Television, Youtube | Leave a comment

Yesterday I stumbled upon the Shah Rukh Khan rules! group in flickr. Quite some time ago, when I posted about the state of the European (in particular German) infatuation with SRK, I took a picture of my bathroom adorned with Bollywood themed devotional cards. Someone called Another Penny Lane left a note on the picture, showing the man in HER bathtub.

SRK

Who wins? No comment necessary. 😀

Penny’s comment also reminded me that it is time to check how SRK is doing on KBC2 – Kaun Bangea Crorepati (Who wants to be a millionaire?). See for yourself – I think he is keeping up, although not quite big enough to walk in Amitabh Bachchan’s shoes.

Regardless of the question of the competition with the Big B, I’m intrigued by the fact that it seems to be possible, after all, for a Bollywood film star to descend to TV (also think of Shilpa Shetty in the Big Brother house – or was her career already faltering?). No such thing is likely to happen in the Western World. Imagine Brad Pitt, Dustin Hoffman, Gwyneth Paltrow or Meryl Streep becoming a TV show host! It would spoil their glossy veneer, I suppose… but does not seem to harm SRK. Or does it? What do you think?

Btw: Watching KBC also seems to be one possible way of learning Hindi – the host’s speech is riddled with English words, and the questions are presented both in English (in writing) and Hindi (read out by the host).

Brief DSDS update: Lindsay and Aleksin were sent home yesterday, Mark Medlock was the show’s king of of hearts [link to video]…

Finally: The Backlash against White Trash TV?

January 21, 2007 at 4:59 pm | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment, Globalization, Television | 1 Comment
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Has the recent crisis caused by TV celeb Jade Goody’s ranting against Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty, her fellow housemate in Celebrity Big Brother 2007, finally stirred up a backlash against (white) Trash TV of that kind? I’m deliberately modelling the term White Trash TV after the German Unterschichtenfernsehen which is to describe TV programs targetting a low income, low level of education audience. The “low level of education” is, however, what counts in this construct – it may be the result of low income, but doesn’t mean that rich people couldn’t be chav (meaning: rude, loud and uneducated, German: prollig) as well.

German “Unterschichtenfernsehen”
The discussion of Unterschichtenfernsehen was highly controversial in Germany, in particular because it was considered a denigrating reflex of the bourgeois (saturated, educated, wealthy) classes against the culturally impoverished lower classes of society. Unterschicht (lower class) is not the immediate equivalent of ‘working class’, in particular because there is no such nostalgic thinking about the working classes as it exists in Britain. The working classes and their ‘organic’ socially supportive culture and ‘authentic’ way of life have played a crucial role in the shaping of the idea of culture put forward by Richard Hoggart und Raymond Williams, the godfathers of contemporary cultural studies. This type of mutual support and nearly wholesome lifestyle is absent from the notion of the Unterschicht.

The lower classes on TV
The present day (German) Unterschicht is a construction in which the individual is disconnected from society and sociability, prone to drugs and alcohol, isolated in their run-down council homes, dwelling in derelict bedsit and unable to look after themselves or their children of which they have many (i.e. more than an average of 1.2 per couple which is the average birth rate). The television set is their substitute for both sociability and education and has since long sucked up all their ambitions. The result are dysfunctional families, put on public display in Die Supernanny, modeled after the British Supernanny Jo Frost, who does not only show the parents to discipline their children, but to carry out such essential tasks as maintaining their households properly. Wrecking the TV set in the kids bedroom is one of the first tasks she sets them.

Murder by neglicence
What is crucial in the Neue Unterschichten-Debatte (the controversy about the new lower classes) is that the term Unterschichtenfernsehen occurred at a time when several cases of neglected, abused, molested (and eventually killed) children caught the media’s attention. In 2005 alone, 178 cases of manslaughter or murder resulting from gross negligence were reported in Germany, murder on children, that is, the most dramatic cases being seven-year old Jessica who was starved to death, two-year old Kevin who was found dead in the fridge of his father who was a drug-addict and 10 months old Leon who died of thirst when his mother simply left him and his sister locked up in her flat. I wouldn’t like to assume that such things have never happened before, but suggesting that this was a new development was part of the discourse.

New idols: The chav takes the cake
The connection between such deprived and depraved individuals the parents of these children have to be assumed to be and the content and effects of Reality TV, spear-headed by Big Brother, were soon to be made. The most popular indvidiuals of this new breed of TV celebrities were the least educated ones and their rise to stardom was accompanied by a certain fascination with the coarseness of their conduct.

Zlatko, for instance, a contestant on the first German edition of Big Brother, was known for not knowing who William Shakespear was – in a similar way that Jade appeared to be ignorant of the most basic knowledge, such as the location of the city of Cambridge (she thought it was in London) or the meaning of the word ‘influential’ (although she knew she was rated 25th most influential person in the world by Heat magazine).

In her rude and loud behaviour Jade was topped only by her own mother who joined her on CBB5 – and claimed after the eviction of Jade that she “would still love to squeeze her (Shilpa’s) neck until her eyes pop out ” Daily Star). All in all this made Jade “play the role of lumpen proletarian gargoyle: inarticulate, lacking in basic general knowledge, prone to flying into ecstasies of rage such as she subjected Shetty to the other day.” (quoted form K-Punk).

The point I’d like to make here is that it was exactly this combination of traits – inarticulate, irritable, incoherent, unfair (sometimes flagged as ‘honest’) – that were Jade’s claim to fame in the past – in the similar way that previous contestant Nikki was famous for her tantrums. What we witness in the promotion of such TV celebrities is the sacrifice of the human ability to tell right from wrong for the sake of entertainment on the level of a gladiator fight.

Bringing out the worst in people
So the backlash against (white, or any) trash TV that I was hoping for did not come to pass. The causa Jade Goody, i.e. putting her in the pillory for racism, is just a sham. The issue that is really at stake here is (or should be) society’s own disgust with the kind of entertainment that they’ve demanded and created – but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if society is able to acknowledge and face this fact. Nobody pulled the plug on Big Brother, they simply axed Jade Goody – for what was inappropriate and disgusting behaviour indeed – only everbody knew that someone of her merits wasn’t exactly a good person to be send as an ambassador to further understanding among nations. (The fact that _ALL_ media production meanwhile has a global audience is another aspect that was ignored by the producers – just think of the case of the Mohammed caricatures).

Nothing good could ever come of Big Brother, and it’s actually a coincidence that nothing worse has happened so far. For those who have forgotten this, some wise words from Radio 1 DJ Nihal on the matter: “The whole point of Big Brother is to bring out the worst in people, it’s not to bring out the best. It’s not that all these people sit around having a nice cup of tea. It is to bring out the worst, and to expose hipocrisy, ignorance, bigotry and also this veneer of respectability that celebrities have is just taken away.”

Ok, and that’s where I’ll end my obsession with the CBB racism row.

Amitabh performs on KBC2

January 1, 2007 at 3:58 pm | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment | 3 Comments

Isn’t youtube a blessing? I managed to retrieve quite a few bits of Kaun Banega Crorepati, including one in which Amitabh recites kabhi kabhi mere dil me khyal aata hai, the lead song from Kabhi Kabhie, another film I haven’t seen although I can probably sing half of the songs by heart.

In 2003, I had a beautiful moment when I was working on the CeBit technology fair in Hannover. I had a chat with a customer from India, and we began talking about Indian movies. I began reciting this song (or poem) and then he continued singing it 🙂

I once was able to translate the lyrics, now all I remember is that the first line means: Sometimes (khabi khabi) a thought (khyal) strikes/goes (aata hai) through my heart (mere dil me).

Too bad that I found out only now that Amitabh was the host of this show! Not that I dislike SRK, not at all, but I just don’t think that it is time for the Big B to take his leave. Seeing him in a TV show is like seeing a fairytale character come to life.

Global TV Formats

December 31, 2006 at 3:01 pm | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment, Globalization | 1 Comment

Of course I knew that Who wants to be a millionaire is a format that is aired globally. But little had I expected that the Indian show is presented by the majestic Amitabh Bachchan! Look at this:

Amitabh Bachchan

Seems like Big B is planning to resign from Kaun banega crorepati* – SRK is the proposed replacement! I don’t think he would stand a chance, he’s simply not old enough yet (age-wise, yes, looks-wise, no!). Read more on Neha Kumar’s blog.

*) Kaun means who (“Kaun hai?” is a frequently asked question in Bollywood films whenever the heartthrob passes a group of people of the opposite gender), and crorepati, according to my research means wealthy; banega must then be some equivalent of ‘wants to be’.

Bombay TV: Subtitle your own movie

December 14, 2006 at 12:27 pm | Posted in Bollywood, Funny Stuff | 2 Comments

An agency in Paris has created Bombay TV, a flash application that allows you to subtitle a few seconds from a Bollywood movie. I picked one with Amitabh Bachchan, my favourite actor.

Bombay TV

Too bad WordPress supresses the embed object function, otherwise you could have previewed my movie here. Click on the link to see my movie. You can create your own on the same site, too.

Irony in Bollywood Films

December 13, 2006 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Bollywood | Leave a comment

Just a brief update on the Bollywood in Europe discussion: Lallopallo was wondering whether Bollywood films’ popularity wasn’t just a fad or temporary hype. I made an attempt at a reponse:

I can imagine that, from a US perspective, it might seem as if Western European cinematic sensibilities are indeed more arthouse. From that perspective, it might seem unlikely that Bollywood films would ever be genuinely popular (and not just “trash-hyped”) in Europe. Let me attempt to explain to their popularity in spite of these odds.

More in comments.

Bollywood in Europe

December 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:

My bathroom

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:

TV program

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.

Indian version of Pop Idols

December 10, 2006 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment, Globalization | 2 Comments

Sort of. I stumbled upon Neha Kumar’s blog on which she had just covered the dismissal of two contestants from an Indian dancing/casting show: Nach Baliye 2!

I am absolutely crazed about Bollywood movies – I do actually not watch them so often, but they make me instantly feel good. Indian pop music makes me happy, too. And the two clips from Nach Baliye Neha shared with me are just as gorgeous. I like the first one in particular, as it is more traditional and I already knew the song, it’s part of the musical score of Dil Se (1998). The other ones are better dancers (or so I would think, but who am I to judge).

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