Continuing in the mix of Indian culture, Ella and I went to a "bollywood" movie tonight. Bollywood is the Indian equivalent of our Hollywood. The movies are produced and spoken in Indian with English subtitles. You can rent them or go to the cinema and watch them. Ella encourged me to go to the cinema to have the "full" cultural experience and I can say now after going that it was by far one of the most...enjoyable experiences I have had in a long time! I laughed so much and so hard I was crying!!
In a nut shell the plot of the movie (and most bollywood movies) is not real deep, but it is relevant to the Indian culture, which to some degree is becoming more westernized. The experience is hard to explain but I'll try to paint a quick picture...
Imagine yourself in a theater with 150-200 other people, most if not all the other attnedees Indian. The movie starts and the plot begins to take a little shape, tyipcal guy likes girl, date, get married, hit some bumps, get on the brink of divorce, but all is resolved in the end. Okay, kind of boring you say...oh no my friends. Humor is in the eye of the cultural receiver.
All the parts Ella and I thought were HILLARIOUS, NO ONE else in the ENTIRE theater laughed at at all! They were completely engaged, intent and straight faced. The funny parts to us being the sudden "dream" where the girl in love breaks out in a dream type dance with her back up dance crew, the guy joins in with his back up crew like something off Westside Story only the dancing is a mix between salsa, Trinity Irish Dance Co., and Footloose. Then during a "dryer" husband/wife/family conflict (Indian families live together) everyone busts out laughing and Ella and I look at each other clueless. We of course break into somewhat controlled body shaking laughter (trying not to offend those around us) b/c we're NOT laughing.
At the end of the movie, which there was a 10 min. intermission for, the man sitting to my right asked if I come to bollywoods often. I told him I was just vising but Ella came more often. He proceeded to share how great the movie was and how serious divorce would have been if it had ended that way. He also said that he cried too during the movie b/c it was so touching. I think he was refering to MY crying only he didn't know I was crying b/c I was laughing. This of course tickled me to the core of my being and I had to quickly and graciously wrap up the conversation before I lost control. I don't say all this to be offensive to their entertainment or culture, but to share how different cultures CAN be and how we don't "get" things in the same way when we don't understand the little inuendos. If you ever get a chance to see a bollywood moving I highly recommend going to the theater. It will be an experience you won't forget!