Bollywood's Popular Culture in the South Asian Diaspora Essays

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Bollywood's Popular Culture in the South Asian Diaspora The centre of the Indian movie industry is in the Indian city known as Bombay, which has since been renamed Mumbai. Owing to the industrial resemblance with the American movie city Hollywood, the Indian movie industry came to be known as Bollywood. Bollywood is now an industry of massive proportions, and far from simply producing cinema; it is also closely interwoven with industries concerned with music, clothes, magazines, DVDs, jewellery and cosmetics. Bollywood has become popular culture, which is distributed worldwide and sells at a phenomenal pace. The Bollywood film, far from its popularity being isolated to India, has also found…show more content…
Therefore the popularity of the Bollywood movies is not restricted solely to resident Indians but is massively far reaching, encompassing the entire South Asian diaspora, and extending further to a major part of the world’s population. Since the turn of the millennium Lagaan has been nominated for an Oscar, Monsoon Wedding achieved blockbuster status and Devdas was the first Bollywood film to be screened at Cannes. Additionally with the momentum of Baz Luhrmann’s Bollywood-inspired musical Moulin Rouge, and the stage production of Bombay Dreams (by A R Rahman and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber) it seems entirely evident that the Bollywood aesthetic of song, dance and extravagance is on the brink of becoming wholly mainstream. Meanwhile, the surprise British hits Bend it like Beckham and Anita and Me have brought to light another perspective: the stories of the Indian diaspora. Since India’s independence its cinema has arguably been the most influential cultural force for shaping and reflecting the evolving landscape of Indian identity, helping create a sense of nationhood through the power of film alone. Now, with desi communities thriving throughout the world and often using Bollywood films as the main window to reconnect with their homeland, some non resident Indians are creating a distinctly original cinema, using film to explore their identities amidst the ever

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