Thursday, January 10, 2008

Getting Wrong

This article on how Hollywood routinely gets Africa wrong is aptly under the Provocations section of GOOD Magazine. While it is completely true that "An Africa that is more than lush landscapes, bloodthirsty tyrants, and trigger-happy killers is long overdue.", Hollywood's distorted perspectives on cultures and peoples outside North America has its own benefits.

As an immigrant it helps you understand the broad brush stereotypes that are associated with your kind and come up with some handy coping mechanisms. For desis it could be the fake gurus, Patels running motels, thick accents and arranged marriages with an occasional doctor thrown in for good measure.

So when the course of casual social interaction, some or all of those assumptions are made about you, you don't feel overly perplexed. You do what you can to give folks a sense of where the median India lies - somewhere between the extremes of a Bollywood Musical and Salaam Bombay, you encourage them to check out some of the better made Bollywood flicks, indie and parallel cinema from India maybe a book or two by R.K Narayan.

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