Posted by Pek Dorji on Nov 28, 2011 in Society and Culture | 4 comments
here’s an interesting question raised by the Wall Street journal. Does Bhutan love Bollywood too much?
I think Bhutanese film industry cannot but help be ‘influenced’ by Hollywood or Bollywood, now even Korean movies. We had the Hindi and English films before we had our own films, so some influence is expected. For that matter, most of our ‘rigsar’ or modern music tend to be borrowed tunes from elsewhere. Much as I am for originality and supporting our own music and films, I realize Bhutanese show business and music will be influenced by more powerful stuff from the region. However I cannot accept blatant copying of material, taking the creativity of our music and movie-makers way down to the bottom. Sometimes it is embarrassing and an insult to our intelligence to us viewers and listeners to be consuming just copies.
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Well to be honest, especially bhutanese folks are really into bollywood trends of fashion, cultures, movies almost everything. Despite they are being time and again reminded by the senior cizitzens to be on their toes about boosting and grooming the very own old traditional culture of Bhutan, it seems it is all vague to them. In fact we can’t even blame to them claiming his or her mistake. It is the mistake of the generation, time where children’s at that time were reared up. But now at the present moment there are lots of chances if we can make some tremendous changes and impact to the upcoming children’s of Bhutan. As of now everyone can see the developments grown up in the recent years. Television with all kinds of news channel, online news, newspapers, blogs, radio. Now the national Library is also there for all the voracious reader. Everywhere we can find book store in all nooks and corners of town. But some of these are seen only in urban areas. But still then there are enough at rural settlements. The only remedy is that extreme attachment for bollywood should decline gradually and further make all the uprising lads of the country engrossed in english and its very own culture of Bhutan. Or else the signs of culture, tradition and history might vanish in the air. This has become one of the greatest concern for the fellow bhutanese societies and only for the elder citizens excluding youngsters. And it is true that Bhutanese loves bollywood and more of that they try to replicate those music maestros of bollywood making it a fusion and stupefaction.
Before, our media (virtual entertainment) wasn’t flourished, indeed not even planted when the TV was accepted in. That was available for consumption was India’s quite established entertainment programs. A growing programs would not suffice quest of people as that by the grown programs (India’s). So, by default, many went for it.
The impression is carved deep and to remove would inevitably be time consuming and hard. But I am trusting in our country’s fast-growing entertainment programs that too with motive of meeting the GNH. I salute the organizers, and patrons, not forgetting our people who are never missing them. Serials, talent hunts, Bhutan Stars, Druk stars, Super stars, politic oriented programs, awareness oriented and so on are finding place in peoples interests.
I am optimistic that desire into our own productions are rising. Bollywood will take second, i am certain.
I do not find anything wrong with the Bhutanese love affair with Bollywood per se but to turn our own into a mere copy of it would certainly mean a premature death of our budding artistry that started off with ‘Gasa lamey Singye’ & ‘Phama’. These I remember from the early days of trials with story telling in Bhutan using movies as an audience.
Like many things I believe that culture too evolves and becomes sophisticated as a community matures. While we claim that out tradition and culture is very old, one must understand that it can not be static. Its a continuous process of evolving. The way we wear our gho and kira today does not appear to be the same from a few decades back. The way we speak ‘dzongkha’ has too undergone subtle changes that one may not notice easily. Infact dzongkha as a written language did not exist before His Majesty the Third Drukgyalpo commanded for its development. Taking these examples from a whole host of perhaps more relevant examples, one can understand a level of sophistication in our culture today. The entertainment industry (although it is yet to reach that status formally) has a lot of potential. It started with very rudimentary story telling techniques but since then has progressed. The children today find enough Bhutanese songs to pick up easily and enjoy listening to and singing. I attribute this to the industry’s success of creating local content. This was unimaginable during our time. While quality and the direction it is headed is a debatable matter, there is no doubt that it has grown in sophistication relatively. We even have a motley group of art film makers. Film makers will generally cater to the tastes and preferences of the audience. As literacy levels change with increasing exposure to genres pf films available, we are not limited to Bollywood and Hollywood alone. Our film makers would naturally have to cater to our changing taste. So for now if we do love Bollywood, I think its completely fine.
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