Friday, October 24, 2008

Northern Indians don't watch much Tollywood or Kollywood or other non-Bollywood films as well?

This is what happens when India is on my mind too much. Plus I didn't make any screen caps of any movies yet. Coming soon - Ayutha Ezhuthu (the original Tamil version of the Hindi film Yuva)

When I branched out to watch more Tamil/Kollywood and Telugu/Tollywood films, I never realized that their films would be so hard to find. Nothing like Bollywood, I tell you! However, what bothered me is the look on their faces when they were wondering why I would even care to watch Tamil or Telugu films? Is Hindi films that superior? I just know that it's more well-known internationally.

Even my desi friends, who I met because of Bollywood films, cringe at me suggesting them to watch Tamil and Telugu films. One day they were criticizing Genelia's acting in her Bollywood films such as Masti and Mere Baap Pehle Aap. Defending Genelia, I told them to watch a few of her Tamil and Telugu films such as Happy, Bommarillu, and Boys. Their response were just the I-don't-watch-Telugu-or-Tamil-films-only-Hindi-films answer.

Okay, fine. I get it. I used to be ignorant too. I admit it. I wrote a post about my shallowness on how I got started watching Tamil and Telugu films here. But in my defense, I'm not Indian. Okay, that did not sound right. Just because they are Indian does not mean they should watch Telugu or Tamil films either. However, I find South Indians watching Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi films.

But I find myself wanting to watch more Tamil and Telugu films. Why? When I like a Hindi film and learn that it was remade or adapted from a Tamil or Telugu film, I want to watch the original! Like most people say, the originals are usually better anyways.

Fine, the films - because of the language - separate North and South India?? Does it? Or is it on my mind? I also ran across an incident several years ago about Indian food too. Watching Hindi films, I've always wanted to try Indian food. For some reason, I ended up in a South Indian restaurant and probably just didn't pick the right foods at that time since I was not educated and still naive. I didn't want to go back. I don't want to point out this person's name -- he's a high-profile Indian guy in Atlanta -- sent me gift certificates to eat a popular North Indian restaurant. Since then, I fell in love with Indian foods. Later I learn that a few of my favorite dishes from this Northern Indian restaurant actually has South Indian foods. One of my favorite Indian dishes is masala dosa. Another fave is medu vada.

The main reason for this post is this -- I went to get my eyebrows threaded the other night. I live down the street from Global Mall, which is 95% desi. After I got my eyebrows threaded, I headed to the clothing store. I've been wanting to buy another Indian outfit because I lost my lengha and sarees in the fire house a few years ago. However, I didn't want to replace them that day because they were expensive outfits. So I just wanted to look around.
Since I've been watching more Tamil and Telugu films, I am in love with the thaavani (half saree) styles from South India. I asked the people at the clothing store if they had any half sarees. His responses, "we have lots of sarees." No, I meant "half sarees, also known as thaavani -- outfits from South India, like what you see in Telugu and Tamil films." Confused, he then asked his father and replied, "we only carry Northern Indian outfits."
I want a half saree!!! Don't get me wrong. I think sarees are beautiful. I'm a noob with sarees and have a hard time putting one on. Yes, I've seen on-line tutorials but still.....can't I have a half saree????


ajnabi said...

You know, it occurs to me that I've never watched a Mexican film. Ooh, except for "El Mariachi," which was the coolest thing ever. But, other than that, no. It's not because of a philosophical objection, though. If I had someone like you telling me what was good I'd try them.

Half-saris are gorgeous! If you find one you have to take a picture of yourself wearing it, and post it, kay?

Anonymous said...

Interesting observation, Nicki. Most North Indians I know just never get round to watching South Indian films - I think its because South Indian Cinema isnt marketed in the North. I lived in South India for several years and did get a chance to watch several South Indian films. The ones I came across were very similar to Hindi films in content and acting but I personally find Bollywood actors better looking (the actresses are gorgeous though). So, I havent made any active effort to watch more South Indian films. This is probably true of most North Indians.

As to the availability of South Indian film DVDs, it probably depends upon the area. Perhaps Bay area where there are more South Indians you may find more such choices. Most places I've been to in North America have been overflowing with North Indians - so you find almost every North Indian thing (food, dresses, movies) but very little South Indian stuff. Re the half saree - as far as I know it was traditionally worn by unmarried girls and is no longer very fashionable even in Southern India's metro cities (except for formal occasions) - so its going to be real hard for you to find it in USA!

Anonymous said...

These so-called "half-sarees" are really just a dupatta worn around a ghagra choli in a specific style. Many Gujarati women wear it in that style but unlike South Indians, I don't believe they have a specific name for it. Next time, ask for a ghagra/lehnga choli with a long and wide dupatta.

Most South Asians in general usually only watch South Asian cinema, like the majority of North Americans who only watch Hollywood cinema. Some North Indians do watch South Indian cinema, however, North Indians wouldn't watch South Indian films as much as Bollywood films - South Indians also wouldn't watch Bollywood films as much as Kollywood/Tollywood films (hence the Yuva remake). The language barrier and cultural references are usually the problem for people all the over the world.

Judging by the way they said it (and how I interpreted it, lol), I'm guessing that your desi friends are slightly prejudice (I know a few desis like that). Prejudice is usually the reason why most Americans only watch Hollywood films.

BB said...

I know I sound dumb, but...threading your eyebrows? What is that? Sounds painful!

And I looooove Indian food! (Who am I trying to kid? I just love food!)

Anonymous said...

Re:The Bolly List

Threading is an simple South Asian method of removing hair using a twisted string. It's more accurate and less painful than waxing.

Nicki said...

ajnabi - hey there. I haven't seen a Mexican film either. Wait, I have - Carmen. Why did you include it? Is it cause of North America? Just curious.

For some reason, India is one country but seems divided due to cultures and languages.

I'll think about posting my pics with any desi outfit. I have gained some weight and am not happy. But if you have Facebook and/or MySpace, lemme know! I may post it there. I have lots of pics there!

Thanks bollyviewer - you know, that's why I started watching South Indian films later because of the not-so-hot-like-Bollywood guys. But as I grew older (even though I'm still very shallow), I learn to appreciate more movies for the storylines. Thanks so much for the information on half sarees! I really like them though! Maybe I do need to come out in the Bay area. :)

anonymous - Thanks for stopping by and for the knowledge. I will most definitely do that!! You're right. I interpreted it that way too - my Desi friends are a bit prejudice. And you're right, it's everywhere.

the bolly list - Hey girl, anonymous answered the threading question very well! You should try it. I only paid $6 for it! I prefer it over waxing anyday. Yummy Indian food!

Anonymous said...

Isn't there going to be a Tamil remake of Main Hoon Na (2004)? :-/

Anonymous said...

Just thought you'd find this useful:

See you back BollyWHAT?.

ajnabi said...

Hey, lady, where ya been?

Anonymous said...

You are very right about south indians not only watching south movies but also hindi movies. Shows their class and culture - being open minded in watching movies in various languages to enjoy the best in all.

90% of the north indians are prejudiced. Even if they live in the South and want to make money in working in IT centres like Bangalore and Hyderabad, they will still ridicule the local language and culture and don't make an attempt to understand them.

Sadly even overseas, many north Indians comment "Oh you speak hindi really well and in a good north indian accent even though you are from the South". Again their prejudice is rampant. None of them can even speak a word of any other language. This is from Indians who have been living overseas for so many years.

You will rarely find Indians from rest of India ie West, East or South making such comments. When Bengalis come across South Indians speaking fluent bengali coz they have lived in Cal or other places, they are really happy and show their appreciation

Glad you have shared your thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

Half Sarees are still worn by girls in the South - in rural towns and villages. It is actually a kind of getting ready to wear a saree stage dress for young girls esp when they mature and are not yet fully grown women. This is awkward transitionary stage where one can't wear the ordinary lehenga and blouse that kids wear coz one is just developing "boobs" and one is supposed to wear a decent dress to cover.

It is a traditional dress. Yes it would be difficult to find one in western countries. However one can find them easily in any South Indian city. Perhaps your desi friends can bring one for you from India during their trips home

Nicki said...

Thanks anonymous - for the YouTube link. I think I know who you are from Bollywhat.

ajnabi - I've been busy and don't have time for screencaps so no review from me. I have to focus more on school right now. Maybe I'll work on review tonight.

anonymous - Thanks so much for the info! I did read that a lot of girls still do wear half-sarees. For me, although I'm married, I want one because I'm non-Desi and wanted to wear it cause I wouldn't know how to wrap a sari.