Reappraising Indian cinema: Bollywood as cultural ambassador

Bollywood movies: - India is largest producer of films in the whole world - Musicals as the most important genre with singing sequences as key element - Sound tracks very important and sometimes more famous than the film itself - movies are mean a lot to the Indian population because they are the only cultural entertainment and they portray Indian values

The changing culture in India - access to television grew from 10% to 75% in the 1990s - foreign movies become popular and encourage the cultural change - exchange with different cultures through social networks like facebook - food chains like McDonalds replace traditional restaurants - online shopping makes buying western products more convenient - situation on the job market stabilizes: higher salaries, better chances for students - number of arranged marriages is decreasing: more marriages out of love - if they arrange today the child can decide who he wants to marry - many Indians work or study abroad and marry someone who is not Indian

Bollywood as cultural ambassador: - films popular abroad and are exported to more than 100 countries - India has a bad image in Europe and North America - movies are very popular in the Middle East in the African countries - Bollywood actors are celebrities and role models in those countries Modern lifestyles and values: - India presents itself as modern but is also promoting traditional values - traditions however cannot be too important

Mahatma Ghandi: “To swim in the waters of tradition is healthy but to sink in them is suicide:” - modern lifestyle topics in front of traditional background - usually have a happy ending and the importance of Indian values is emphasized Indian women and their role in society: - common western believe that Indian women are oppressed - films portray a large diversity of roles an Indian woman can have: passionate mother, intelligent business woman or rebel against social norms - important contrast to the depicted image by the media - Indian men shown as loving fathers and husbands Other religions in India: - India embraces other cultures and religions in their country - Christians and Muslims are portrayed as very friendly - increases success of the movies especially in Arabic countries American style: - storylines become more similar to Hollywood movies: divorce, dating, set in big cities - dance sequences become like music video clips, clearly influenced by MTV - the costumes are very revealing, the dance moves racy and the cuts really quick - India wants to be more accepted by the western countries

Conclusion: - Bollywood movies will continue to be successful and will spread the message of a new modern India - they are becoming more and more successful in Germany and the image we have of India is slowly changing - a big Bollywood theme park is planned to be build in the east of Berlin