I did not always like Bollywood. All that I knew about it was
1. They always had a Bollywood dance on the Wii game Just Dance…which I often made fun of, or avoided at all costs
2. Apparently, it is really big. Big enough that Madame Trussaud’s Wax Museum had a section of the exhibition dedicated to actors and actresses from Bollywood.
3. Bollywood is from India.
And then, I came to university and met my friends Rita and Sneha. Sneha is Indian and Rita is not, but greatly invested in international music. Sneha was really into Bollywood music and culture, much like how I was into Kpop. So I gave it a chance and listened to the following:
OHHHH EMMM GEEEEE.
THE MASSIVE DRUMS.
EVERYTHING SO SPARKLY AND LAVISH.
Someone once said that cultures were highly exclusive and one needed to be introduced or invited into one to partake it in.
Well then, hello Bollywood. I’m Ashley Chong, a Korean girl. Nice to meet you~
It’s been a long time since I’ve been introduced to a new culture, and one so rich and developed as India. It’s fascinating; everything about their clothing is lavish, rich, and elaborate. So many sparkles. You don’t see that lavishness in Kpop. And Korean traditional clothing, the hanbok, is a lot more simple so seeing the sparkling saris was like WHOA.
Also, I haven’t seen a Bollywood movie *yet* but Sneha has told me that there’s always dancing and singing in every movie. Which, for me, translates to that each Bollywood movie is like High School Musical.
And I adore High School Musical.
It’s funny, though, because when I went back to Montreal and showed my mom Nagada Sang Dhol (the song mentioned above) she was very surprised and was like “Do you even know what they’re saying?”
Which, I know the general idea (it’s a typical love song yada yada yada) but then it made me stop. Just like so many Kpop fans around the world listen to the songs being completely ignorant of the language (be it good or bad), now here I was listening to music of a different language and culture, yet still enjoying it.
Music’s great that way, isn’t it? It pulls at all of us, regardless the language. If it’s good, it’s good.
I’m excited to discover more about Bollywood’s music and movies as well as the culture of India. And this won’t be the only culture I’m going to dive into; my friend Rita, as stated before, is an international music connoisseur. Perhaps after Bollywood, I’ll listen to some Mando-pop since I want to learn Mandarin.
My Chinese friend just sent me this:
See? Music is magic. It pulls at all of us :’)