Do we need indian culture living in North America?

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Member since: Sep 03
Posts: 733
Location: Bahrain

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-06-05 02:09:11

I think Yes & No.

Yes as long as it helps u in conserving ur values & no as long as it doesnt offend others .

I wud nt encourage regional behavior & speech @ workplace or public which may offend others who r nt 4m ur cultural background & yet being ur colleagues & neighbours are more important 2 u . Respect them .

And yes its hard 2 change r values as values r ingrained over a period of time depending on how we grow up and culminate in r personalities . Migration is an evolutionary process & shdnt be revolutionary . Eveolution takes time & revolution is sudden .......... What has been developed over years cant be changed overnight & there are no reasons whatsoever .......... Keep friends socially who r from ur tradition & interact with them so as 2 nt feel like n alien ............

but abstain it @ public & workplace . Accept others as much as u wish 2 b accepted .


Member since: May 05
Posts: 132

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-06-05 12:54:17

A fusion of Indian culture with that of the west or with that of the kama sutra?

Read on :

Jun. 9, 2005. 06:39 AM



> Jim Coyle

> Rosie Dimanno

> Joe Fiorito

> Christopher Hume

> Royson James

For Hindus, it's fashion careless
Bollywood-theme event sparks protest
Use of religious imagery `despicable'


In their zeal to cash in on the trendiness of all things Bollywood, organizers of Toronto's biggest fashion event have stepped into a cultural minefield, outraging thousands of South Asians worldwide.

Hyped as a synergy of East and West — "Bollywood bling meets rhinestone cowboy" — the theme of this year's gala Fashion Cares has sparked an international protest among Hindus, who say the event appropriated their culture and was disrespectful to their religion.

About 5,000 people attended the annual fashion extravaganza organized by the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT) to raise money for AIDS prevention and treatment, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Saturday.

"The reaction is massive. It's not just locally people who are upset, it's internationally," said Tushar Unadkat, owner of a Toronto advertising agency. He said he has received thousands of emails from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and India since he posted a letter about the show on his website earlier this week.

The head of the Vishnu Hindu temple in Richmond Hill is organizing a protest to be staged in front of ACT offices.

"It's totally despicable to present a nude exhibition of a goddess. Hindus are docile and laid-back people, and they (ACT) obviously took advantage of that, but we won't stand for this," said Dr. Budhendra Doobay, adding he wants a full public apology from ACT in the mainstream press.

ACT, which expects to raise more than $1 million from the event, has issued an apology on its website. "ACT regrets any offence that was caused. Our intention was to have a great event to raise money for a worthwhile cause," said Karim Karsan, an ACT spokesperson and board member.

The cinematic genres of Bollywood and cowboy Westerns, both hot trends in fashion, inspired the theme, Karsan said.

"It didn't occur to us it would be offensive. ... I'm surprised it has blown up to this extent," he said, adding that ACT did not sanction the people dressed as gods and goddesses at the event, nor the distribution of postcards with Hindu deities.

Protestors say that despite the Bollywood theme, South Asians were largely absent from the show, aside from a performance by a hip hop bhangra group, a South Asian DJ spinning tunes and a song by a Bombay Dreams cast member. Clothes by South Asian fashion designers were not featured, and there were few South Asian models.

Some groups, like the National Anti-Racism Council of Canada, also found the pairing of cowboys and Indians, with its "connotation of colonial conquest," problematic.

The cover of the Fashion Cares program, handed out at the show, depicts a model in a stylized pose of the multi-armed Lakshmi, goddess of wealth.

She is sitting cross-legged in the lotus position and nude except for strategically placed sparkles.

"India has a very exotic image attached to it, especially now, and I'm totally for the mainstream embracing our culture, but they took it too far. These deities are sacred to us. How dare they do this," said Mitra Sen, a former director of the Degrassi Junior High television series, now a teacher in Toronto.

Unadkat said he was horrified to see drag queens dressed as the goddesses Durga, Saraswati and Lakshmi, smoking and drinking at the event, and white models dressed as Krishna and Radha, handing out postcards of Hindu gods and goddesses — images that had drinks spilled on them and were trampled underfoot when dropped.

"I found it utterly appalling. They feel they can push boundaries with fashion, but what an indecent way to display aspects of our faith. It was really very insensitive," Unadkat said.

`I'm all for cultural fusion and all that fun stuff, but you can't mess with religion that way'

Abhishek Mathur, festival director


Abhishek Mathur spotted a server smoking while dressed as a goddess, sporting the logo of event sponsor Air Canada and putting bindis on people's foreheads. When Mathur asked him to butt out, the fellow responded that the god "Shiva smokes, so what's the problem?"

"I'm all for cultural fusion and all that fun stuff, but you can't mess with religion that way," said Mathur, festival director of Masala! Mehendi! Masti!

About two dozen activist groups, including the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, brought the issues to ACT's attention a month before the show.

The storm began to brew after the Fashion Cares April 13 launch party, which featured white models dressed as goddesses, and go-go dancers with their skin painted in Krishna blue serving alcohol.

Karsan now admits ACT should have consulted more broadly within the South Asian community before going ahead with the show.

ACT made some changes to its marketing materials after it got negative responses, but it was too late to pull the program cover depicting a nude Lakshmi, he added.

The hullabaloo serves as a wake-up call to the sometimes complacent South Asian community, said Krishan Mehta, chair of the South Asian group.

"It's all about politics of inclusion. The mainstream still sees our culture as song-and-dance dinnertime entertainment, but if we want to be real players with a voice at the table, we need to push them to get beyond that."

The incident shows how "clued out" most so-called mainstream organizations, both corporate and non-profit, are when dealing with ethnic groups, said Andil Gosine, a professor of race and cultural studies at York University.

"They're not as engaged with the multicultural reality of Toronto as they ought to be, and they don't realize how much they're losing out because of that. The lesson here is to be really willing to deal with the people you claim to serve and not just have a distant relationship with them," Gosine said.

"My feeling is this kind of show results because there are not enough people of colour engaged in these institutions. They are so lost in how so much of Toronto's population thinks and reacts because of this."

However, not everyone found the show offensive. Toronto filmmaker Deepa Mehta, who attended, said she doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

"This appropriation of culture makes me slightly uncomfortable, but surely we should be a bit more secure in our culture. Bollywood is good fun, glitzy, not to be taken seriously. It's just a fashion show, as opposed to an affront to our goddesses, and I'm a good Hindu," said Mehta.

In India, people are typically much more relaxed about such things, said Mehta, recounting a costume party she attended in New Delhi last year where everyone came dressed as a deity.

"We leave a culture behind in India and we become very protective about it, and we let that define who are. I think it's very sad. When someone apologizes, we should accept it and move on."

It's not the first time religion and fashion have collided with explosive consequences. This month, Hindu groups demanded an apology from the House of Minelli for featuring Hindu gods on its latest footwear collection. Last year, the London department store Harrod's apologized after receiving complaints about window displays of Roberto Cavalli swimsuits and lingerie that depicted Hindu deities, including Lord Ram. After protests, Cavalli withdrew the clothing from his line.

Muslims, Christians and Jews have also been offended by the fashion world appropriating their religious symbols to sell clothes.

The link is:


Member since: May 05
Posts: 132

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-06-05 13:13:06

What is Indian culture?
Is lesbianism as portrayed in "Fire" - Indian?
Are child molesters as shown in " Monsoon wedding" part of Indian culture?
How about the girl in "Monsoon Wedding" having an affair right up to the point of getting married?
Is the Muslim faith part of Indian culture?
Is the Christian faith (many of them in India) part of Indian culture?
Is the "Parsi" faith part of Indian culture.
Or are you only referring to the traditional beliefs of the Hindu faith?
I am still confused as to what comprises Indian culture.
Is the costume party Deepa Mehta refers to in my previous post where people come dressed as deities also Indian culture?
Many students on campus say that the rich in India have a different culture from the poor (true here as well), the urban different from the villages- the North different from the South and so on...
There are some on campus who say that college parties in some parts of India are wilder than any they have been to here and that what Neha Dhupia does to a car in "Sheesha" is tame compared to action on certain campuses in India.
How about expounding on what exactly is Indian culture.
I would really like to know.
My mother says never to get involved in an arranged marriage- my Dad says either way is OK- i.e "love" or arranged.
In my belief Indian culture is so vast that anything can be called Indian, even what is generally considered "western".


Member since: Oct 02
Posts: 3409
Location: Mississauga

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-06-05 13:38:44

Orginally posted by Loser

(1) Dowry Deaths
(2) Female Infanticide
(3) Rape and Torture of Harijans

Etc, .....................................................................................................................


When people talk about retaining Indian culture in familiies, they're talking about values, not crimes. Things like respect for parents, closeness to siblings, festivals, food, mythology etc etc. Although not Indian attributes, you could say generally that these are a bit different in India than in the west.

The stuff you mention happens everywhere in the world, just in different forms. Its as ridiculous as saying western culture means teen sex, drug use, divorce etc etc. Every culture has a laundry list of evils, this post isn't about that.

My short answer gujarati's original question is "Absolutely".

Are you there?

Member since: May 05
Posts: 132

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-06-05 15:46:20

Did any of you read the fashion section in the Star today?
Pamela Anderson, the main star of the event "Bollywood Cowboy" presented by Fashion Cares last Saturday thought they had spelt "Hollywood" erroneously.
So much for Bollywood penetration.
Is Bollywood a part of Indian culture?


Member since: May 05
Posts: 132

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-06-05 15:52:55

Is dating part of Indian culture? There is a section on this site for "Desi dating".
Is living together before marriage part of Indian culture?


Member since: May 05
Posts: 132

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-06-05 16:03:42

You probably know that plenty of Canadians have seen "Monsoon Wedding". What with a girl having sex with a guy practically right up to the day before she gets married to another guy, a congenial looking elderly person indulging in child molestation, they wonder why the newbies from India tell them that these things do not exist.
Also Nasruddin Shah's child talks back to him, yet they say Indian children don't do it.
Many have told me that though they feel we are different, as they feel they are different from the Americans or Brits or Aussies, they really do not believe that whatever social ills are besetting their society do not exist in India as well, except maybe the media does not play it up as much as here.


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