Bollystan: The New, Improved, Trendy, Cosmopolitan and Affluent India

Snoop_dogg_20090123 Sabita Majid in Outlook India:

Around the turn of the millennium, a spate of intersecting events put India abroad in the spotlight: The entries of Lagaan (2001) and Devdas(2003) for the Oscar film competition along with Gurinder Chaddha's Bend it Like Beckham (2003), Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bombay Dreams(2002) and Baz Lurhman's Bollywood-aesthetic inspired Moulin Rouge, suddenly amounted to a critical mass of Indianness on display. Together with India-centered exhibitions, henna tattoos (as they're called in North America), ethnic Indian fashions and Indian music became part of a mainstream interest outside of India.

The acceptance helped second generation Indians in the UK, USA and Canada to wholeheartedly engage with Bollywood music and choreography publically. All of which have helped create the 'cool' Indian image that has spread rapidly through the diasporic capillaries of food, fashion and films that immigrant communities typically express themselves through.

From having survived, South Asian diasporas have shown how they thrive in 'Third Spaces' outside the subcontinent created by immigrants in western metropolises who are able to mark a space out for themselves somewhere between dominant and peripheral societies. Their own status as postcolonial subjects has made immigration to western societies, in particular, a space of immense tension as they have often had to deal with the process of their own decolonization. It has led to a process of self-reflection and a plethora of cultural products connected to a modern Indian identity.