Friday, March 13, 2009

Of Korean movies, Bollywood and the Tibetan genX


I am a big movie buff, there's no particular taste I have been following but any movie that keeps me interested after the first half, falls in my favourites list. Growing up, I was mostly introduced to the Bollywood movies, this was not because of choice but simply because of the fact that we had only one all pervading channel on our Black and White, 14'inch Panasonic, and that channel was DoorDarshan(later called DD1). I would sit back on the couch right after I return from school and gorge any movie or program that was up, while doing tons of homework. Wasn't a good habbit but I really was quite efficient at it..hahahh!!

Childhood mostly went in watching Amitabh Bachchan do a doule role in Don to Rajesh Khanna Dying in Anand, from watching Shammi Kapoor do the Indian version of the twist in his various movies to Sharmila Tagore look both young and old in Aradhana. These movies were quite old even for my age, but I got to watch these movies only as a child since we didn't have a local theatre to watch new movies or a VCR player to hire a video tape. Still it was pretty interesting. As years passed by I was introduced to movies of Anil Kapoor, Govinda, Salman, Amir Khan, later Shahrukh etc... Bollywood had moved a few steps ahead and I was able to keep up the pace.... late night escapades from C.S.T Shimla(name of my boarding school) lead me to the theatres in town..Ritz, Rivoli and Shahi. Thus, I kept on gorging Bollywood movies every now and then..and every time I had money to spare and the time to have fun..I hit for the movies...

Korean movies were something I came to see quite late...I remember I was in my first year at college when i saw the first Korean movie.. and surprisingly it was one of best contemporary pop korean movies of modern times.. and that movie was.. "The Classic"(at least for me)..hahah

I remember Son Ye Jin(the actress) playing love struck daughter as well as the mother in this movie. The scene where the actor(don know his name) forgets his umbrella and how she realises its importance in flashbacks..touched me.. What was best in the movie was the scene when Jo-Seung-Woo( one of the actors) returns blind from the war and practises his meeting withe Son Ye jin in the restaurant and finally falters.. its was marvellous.. besides all these the soundtrack of the movie had become quite popular...almost most of the young tibetans had it in their cell phones or comps...then on I started taking interests in korean,thai,and some of the japanese movies.. though most of them are junk.. but you might come across a few good movies here and there...

What is most fascinatiing to me is to observe how these movies from across the spectrum of asian culture is influencing and affecting the lives of many young Tibetans in exile?

The craze behind korean and bollywood movies is quite strong among the Tibetan gen X. You could easily see how these movies have influenced even the hair style many young Tibetans have.There are many who even learn not only Hindi songs but surprisingly Korean too, many struggling with the seemingly incomprehensible words in the lyrics and yet singing it and perfecting it after sometime..using day to day korean phrases is ofcourse quite common among many.. the usual "I love you" i.e "Tsarang Ngei' (i don't know if its the right wording)is obviously a hit amongs many Tibetan school students as well as the younger people.. All this i feel, is in many ways reflective of the emptiness a Tibetan GenX feels when it comes to an identity. The lack of significant numbers of Tibetans whom you can call your ideal, except of course The Dalai Lama, might also be another reason for this search of ideals and trends across other cultures.

Now is this something to worry about? The answer is "Yes" and "No". "No" because cultural influences and the youth's inclination towards everything alien is natural and the current globalisation the world is facing is omnipresent. "Yes" because such trends are also indicative of the desperate need a social group feels about identifying itself with what is "current","modern" and "Hip".

Arguments could follow that the offsprings of a nation as great as Tibet with a culture that is still pristine and one of a kind, with a religion that is wow-ing many, such danger of identity crisis is too far fetched. But for a generation exiled thousands of miles away from its land, for a society shoved in a hot pot of modernity, wouldn't such effects as "Identity Crisis" follow? Ours is a society, even after 50 years of exile is still struggling to find its niche in the modern world.

Despite my extreme abhorrence with cultural cynicism and extreme traditionalism, these trends do make me feel that somehow, our younger generation is seemingly feeling lost when it comes to one's identity. There is a strong re surging feeling that even though one cannot escape globalism in its various forms and its nothing new when a traditional culture is influenced by a more modern one , but perhaps our genX is struggling with the same and yet more precarious situation of identity crisis that many young people face today. That perhaps these exile Tibetan GenX's escapades in the movies and lifestyles of our asian compatriots is indicative of the cultural dilemma our life in exile has put all of us into.

1 comment:

  1. I completely sympathesize with u'r situation... I think in time the world will look at Tibetians too...
    The Rise of prominent Tibetians of International fame can bring the attention of the world to the Tibetian cause.Also,though China is prospering now,no nation can hold back another nation with strong individuals.So,the GenX tibetians hav 2 carve a niche in the Technology and Business world.India, the present home, is now in a very favourable situation to offer this opportunity.And as u have observed maybe,though there may be regretful incidents,as a nation India has a pure soul.So,Progress in India will never be barred by ethnicity and depends only on sheer effort.
    But the problem with being descendants of such a peace-loving and non-violent(results of Buddhism) nation are inability 2 sumtimes compromise on some ethics for professional gain.To rise somewhere,there has to be fall somewhere.Businessmen are not always very scupulous.But,in time,I think Tibetians will have 2 make that choice too.
    Lastly,I express my profound support for the Tibetian cause as a Hindu,an Indian & a Human...

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