Travelogue: Maldives (part 5)
Between May-June 2014, I spent 6 weeks in the Maldives. During my time there I blogged all about my adventures on a sister blog I created to pen down my travel adventures. It wasn't a big success, so after a lot of procrastinating, I finally decided to revive my original blog and so here is a re-blog of what I had typed up in real time back then along with,previously not included, pictures. I really had to resist the urge to make edits, so this is a no- edits to the content re-post. Once I have re-posted everything here, I will delete the other blog.
Indians and Bollywood synonymous terms! Before begin on this, let me start with some funny ways people have asked me about my nationality..
#1 "You are from India so you can speak Indian right?"
#2 "Hey..can you do the Indian dance?"
#3 "So sing us a Bollywood song!"
#4 "Hey. Slumdog millionaire! Jai ho!"
(paired with the bicep pumping dance move they do in the video)
None of this offends me in the least bit, it shouldn't offend you either. I find it absolutely adorable when connections like these are made. So everybody from everywhere has watched at-least one Bollywood movie in their life, even if it's Danny Boyle's Jai Ho (I will reserve my comments on this matter. For now!).
"I love Bollywood movies, they have so many twists! So unexpected, suddenly he has a twin or he is somebody's brother or he is reborn! So much more exciting to watch than English films!", one Filipino friend told me with glee on her face when she discovered details on my homeland. This by far is my favorite reaction.
I even met a few people who can sing some wonderful Hindi songs from the 90s, some can go further behind. It's jaw dropping how they nail the lyrics. Often when I walk by someone breaks out into a dramatic Hindi song from my parent's era.
Next very interesting question for you, how did they learn Hindi?
Wait for it... They didn't!
Nobody taught them the language, they just picked it up by watching Hindi movies and soap operas. So often they can quote some very old and classic Hindi dialogues out of the blue.
Not just the Maldivians, even people from other parts of the world absolutely love it. One time, the only time I felt sad when someone casually asked if I had any Bollywood movies on my laptop and after much thought and sorrow I had to say no. *sigh*. It made me do a double take and think about all the times I was told you know my roots, embrace them and be proud of them. Funny back home we are so busy trying to learn about other cultures we forget about ours. It becomes mundane, stops fascinating us.
However I understand the pressures of being a citizen of a metropolitan city; we are constantly moving back and forth culturally. One step forward with technology and then trying to re-live and re-create the past using art. In my defense over the last few months I have began to give special attention to culture back home, small things like how we eat, interact, communicate and other small things. While I am here, it makes me think about them over and over from a fresh perspective. Small things that makes us India.
Besides the skin color, which is a dead give-away, the dark hair, sometimes the accent, the demanding nature, tendency to ambiguously nod our heads, dark eyes, at times an accent.... All of these things make us part of one country. I don't mean to get patriotic and poignant here so that is that.
Meanwhile you over there enjoy your ticket to Bollywood which is so easily available to you. For so many others it is the only glimpse into our culture. So actively participate to promote, develop and effect it so people around can get as accurate an image as possible.
Link to: Travelogue:Maldives (part 4)