Music, Movies & TV, Soulful Musings

Cultural Appropriation & Stereotypes


Before I say anything else, let me explicitly state that I love and admire Emma in her endeavors towards women empowerment and eradicating ‘myths’ surrounding the big F word today, feminism. For just speaking up when our world desperately needs for the rationals to talk some sense. And of course, for she’s brought to life, Hermoine Granger on the celluloid screen.

So my thoughts are not specifically about her or her video. But certainly, I was “triggered” to finally pen down my thoughts, which have developed over a period of time on seeing this video on my newsfeed.

It is actually getting a little bit ridiculous to watch the unfolding of the sudden awareness in Hollywood about India as an Indian.

After years of cultural appropriation, and ridicule it’s like a bulb has been switched on in this western film fraternity that there’s a multi-billion dollar market that they can tap into so much more. So, let’s get all our “Namastes” in order and oh yeah, pitches for people to watch our movies.

It’s no coincidence that 2 leading Indian film actresses (so far) have been cast as ‘normal people and/or characters’ and not merely stereotypical caricatures in ethnically restricted roles in a big TV film franchise (XXX)¬†and a TV Series (Quantico). More and more actors are suddenly speaking up about their love for ‘Indian fans’ and ‘saag Paneer’. (Which I must admit, was pretty thrilling to know that someone was actually aware of anything beyond the misnomer ‘curry’ when referring to the Indian cuisine. ‘Saag’ and ‘Paneer’. Double brownie points.)

Anyhow, if this phenomenon brings about better awareness of India and its people. If it helps to do away with the stereotypes deeply rooted in ignorance and bigotry. If it helps for people to finally understand that many of us are indeed ‘native English speakers’. It’d be a very welcome change.

I’d be personally delighted to not to be doubted for my English language skills just because I don’t “look” the prejudiced part being “brown” and all of that. Or because I don’t speak in a certain “accent” namely, American, Canadian, Australian, British… you get the drift. It would also be thrilling to see something a whole lot better than music videos like “Lean On” and characters like “Appus & Rajesh” on the celluloid screen to begin with.

So, here’s me hoping that this is just a start for the better. A start for a less prejudiced, more aware world. And, not just towards Indians or India but other ethnicities and countries too. Even if at the moment, it’s all rooted in business calculations and motives.

Namaste.

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