„„I NEED AN INDIAN TOUCH‟‟ • Glocalization and Bollywood Films by Shakuntala Rao
OBJECTIVE Researcher and writer Shakuntala Rao studied the responsiveness of theIndian population to the Westernization of Indian movies, culture, clothingand language in the article ‘‘I Need an Indian Touch’’: Glocalization and BollywoodFilms (2010). This article examines and presents evidence of glocalization(global and local fusions) in Indian “Bollywood” films (made in Mumbai). Theemphasis is on “the influence of global … trends on the look of traditionalIndian clothes” language, music and lifestyles (Rao, 2010, p. 8) in the Indianmovie industry which has been influenced by Hollywood.
METHOD & PROCESSRao conducted the research during “seven months of fieldwork, which Iconducted in the state of Punjab in Northern India in 2005 and 2006. Idocumented 49 formal and informal interviews with young men and women,between the ages of 22 and 39 years. Most subjects were students at PunjabiUniversity and their family members” (p.5). The interviewees were selfdescribed as “moderate viewers of films” (p. 5).
GLOCALIZE ME “A recognition that when ideas, objects, institutions, images, practices, and performances, are transplanted to other places, they both bear the marks of history as well as undergo a process of cultural translation” ( p. 5). Glocalization is the combination of global influences on (Indian) local tradition, custom, language, clothing, and changing the local experience by blending in a Westernized lifestyle and approach.
TORN BETWEEN TWO VALUES The majority of Indians have welcomed the Western influences of a“consumerist lifestyle” and a growing Indian middle class (p.3). TheWesternized anxiety for Indians is the conflict between the desire for wealth,market-driven consumerism and affluence with the traditional or modestHindu (religious) values. Do you feel this conflict is universal in the worldtoday, the conflict of consumerist and religious values, has the Western culturelost economic conservative values?
HINGLISH Hinglish is a blend of two languages: Hindi and English. “Hinglish issteadily gaining acceptance among the urban youth across the country ‟‟ (p. 11). Indian music in movies and media “used to be classical and slow” yet hasseen “changes in the types of music given an increasing influence of globalmusical trends such as Salsa, Pop, and Hip Hop” (p. 11). An interviewee said“Gone are the days of songs with one sitar and one tabla. Now they havesynthesizers, voice modulators, and other instruments to add beat and rhythmto the song” (p 12).
MATERIAL WORLD The “economic liberation of India in the 1990s” (p. 3) brought in Westernmedia, trends, “increasingly consumerist lifestyle of India‟s elites and wealthyIndians living in the West has led to frequent depiction in films of hugelyextravagant interiors, lavish jewelry, designer clothes, shopping at malls, eatingand drinking out at clubs and bars…” (p. 3). Sao reports that “films increasingly began to depict India‟s shiftingrelationship with the world economy” (p. 3) which has changed the culturalnorm in India to a cultural hybrid between Hindu values and Western living.
I SECOND THAT EMOTIONIndians feel that Hollywood films are “dry …lacking emotion” (Sao, p. 14). Theyvalue familial “emotional connection” in films and “experience their true identitywhich is social and emotional (Indian culture) rather than individual and rational(Western cultures)” (p. 14). Bollywood films depict “Western Anglo women asprimarily immoral, sexually accessible to the Indian male…as embodiments ofunbridled sexuality” (p. 13). The Anglo dancers “can be sexy but the Indianheroines and heroes have to maintain the decorum of modesty and tradition”(p.12). How has Hollywood marginalized other cultures in a similar way Indiansdepict Anglo women?
FROM VIRTUOUS TO VAMP The Westernization of Indian DressTraditional salwar kameez Modern salwar kameez
REFRENCES Martin, J. & T Nakayama. (2010). Intercultural Communication In Contexts. New York: McGraw-Hill. Rao. S. (2010). “„I Need an Indian Touch‟‟: Glocalization and Bollywood Film. Journal of International and Intercultural Communication Vol. 3 (No. 1), pp 1-19.
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