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Category: CULTURE AND TRADITION THROUGH COMMERCIAL SERIAL

ParsI new year

 

I haven’t been In all these years to a Parsi’s place on ParsI new year. But thIs tIme I dId experIence an authentIc  ParsI new year celebratIon In MumbaI at a frIend’s place. My frIend Shaeroy ChInoy InvIted me on thIs Navroz  for a feast. He lIves In opera house.

As I entered hIs house I was welcomed by sprInklIng rose water and greeted wIth warm smIles from shaeroy and hIs famIly and a beautIful aroma of Incense stIcks IntrIgued me.  As I sat I was served fantastIc  rose faluda by shaeroy’s mother and we exchanged pleasantrIes. After a nIce chat, It was tIme for lunch. As I headed to the table I was taken by surprIse to see a gold fIsh swImmIng In a bowl. When I asked shaeroy  about It he saId that It was a sacred pIece of decoratIon and an extremely sIgnIfIcant one.  At thIs shaeroy’s father saId that there are several other such sacred Items  lIke books, sugar, bread, candle stIcks etc  that are placed on the dInIng table on Navroz, along the sIdes of whIch the delIcacIes are placed. And true to the tradItIon they had placed these Items around the table. As I looked more Into detaIl I saw some delIcIous dIshes lIke SalI chIcken, patra nI machhI, dhaansaak bhat, masala pulav, lagan nu custard and  jalebIs on the table.  The jalebIs were of  the sIze of ceat tIres and as I ate, each dIsh tasted lIke heaven.

I was eager to know more about the festIval and so asked the meanIng and sIgnIfIcance. Shaeroy’s father saId that the word patetI came from the word “patet” whIch ImplIes repentence. ThIs Is the day prIor to Navroz. It Is day for all ParsIs to reflect on theIr thoughts and actIons on the past year and most Importantly ask for forgIveness In the fIre temple. The day Is started and ended by mornIng and evenIng prayers. ThIs Is also a thanksgIvIng sessIon to the fIre god, known as “jashn”. Mrs. ChInoy  saId that Navroz marks a fresh begInnIng.  It was IntItIally observed on march twenty fIrst each year,but fIve hundred years ago thIs tradItIon was changed by ParsIs In IndIa. Thus the festIval now falls between march 21st and august.  “ Navroz Is a day to forget everythIng and do what matters the most”, she stated. I wasn’t the only one at the lunch, the entIre famIly of shaeroy  was present at the gatherIng and It was a rIotIous one wIth the elders especIally crackIng typIcal ParsI jokes.

A very InterestIng fact that I learnt on Navroz, was the theatre culture that ParsIs follow on thIs day. A plethora of ParsI gujaratI plays take place on thIs day In the famous old theatres and halls of the cIty. The most famous play thIs year Is “FaramjI NI FIlm UtrI”. I was InvIted by my frIend to joIn hIm and hIs famIly that evenIng, as the play was hIlarIous accordIng several people. Unfortunately my hostel deadlIne dId not permIt me to experIence the last pleasures of the day. But I was not complaInIng. It was an amazIng day sInce Im a gIgantIc foodIe and love spendIng tIme wIth frIends. I had experIenced a whole new culture that day and was made to feel very welcome and specIal wIthIn a matter of mInutes.

S. TANUJA. SURENDRA

TY.BMM

SOPHIA COLLEGE

 

 

 

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For a Change

In a decent conversation with a friend on what could be the positive effects of media I realized that well, there were certain things which could be done. I had already learnt about ‘Kafila’ , and the rest in my class lectures, but they are not something which would be read by large numbers it was only connecting for the intellect class. I was looking for something which attract the individuals in large numbers as they are the ‘Jon Doe’ and ‘Jane Doe’ which is targeted by the main stream media.
Just going over ‘Facebook’ with the thought running in my head, I decided to find out if there are any prevalent efforts to bring about this change. We all know how Facebook works; posts, links, pages groups etcetera have become interesting over a year and have become popular. As going through the newsfeed I found this one image which made me scroll up the screen. It was a cartoon picture, it made me smile instantly, it was a comment in a satirical manner comment on the existing political state. The picture had a huge pink mother-pig, feeding her five piglets.
The Mother Pig
The word ‘Financial industry’ was etched on the on mother pig and ‘Congress’ etched on the piglets. These were human piglets accompanied by a formal briefcase behind them which had ‘Reform’ written on it. It was straight ‘matter of fact’ statement made by the artiste. As I followed the page, it became evident that they were talking about the change I wanted to see. The page is called, ‘Anonymous ART of Revolution’ and yet again the same old curiosity kicked in. as flexible as they are with the being open and sensitive to the need for the required change, they are as easily approachable. When contacted, they explained the whole idea behind their page and the ideas they wanted to express. In a very Simple statement they explain the entire concept of their page, “For every action there is a consequence and anonymous is the consequence against the greed!” They also believe that all the alternative media is nowadays one, the Internet is in the hands of people like us all and we can choose to make a difference to release information and create awareness. They work as an organized group dedicated to the masses and they target each and everyone to who can understand what they want to express. In order to maintain anonymity and to show a common face, interestingly they have used the mask. You can recognize the mask easily as it is the one used in the movie V for Vendetta. They further clarify that they are not the only ones, as they do associate with other pages. There are others who are working equally hard.

Another page which is doing similar work is ‘GotStared.At’ It’s a page which brings the issue of women sexual harassment’ in the open. It targets the wrongs which happen to women and how the society keeps feeding on these wrongs. The page admin when contacted willingly explained their idea by saying that they, “We want people to be able to talk rationally about everything under the sun. Right now, the talks surrounding these sensitive issues are pretty much under the covers, and hushed. This is what incites fear into peoples’ minds. We want that fear to go away. We want rape survivors to not feel ashamed about coming out and admitting that they have been raped, thereby taking away the power from the rapist.” In order to reach to a younger audience in a colloquial manner, they have images like

Though I still believe social media can’t be the only medium to inform the masses, I think these are some of the steps responsible citizens have taken. Their efforts should be considered and the word should spread around. The social media mediums especially in countries like India can be a medium to unite the classes and make them aware about the need for change. This specific class is already involved in social media. They can influence that specific class all over the world. It can create a social awareness on issues like women harassment, corporate ownership, the over powering government, the environmental issues etcetera. The element of individuality can be maintained and showcased under anonymity. It can play an important part when dealing with visual illustrations (referring to the cartoons which were criticized by the Indian political leaders and parties). These groups can target both global and local audiences, picking up issues over different news media and which are not in the vested interest of the mainstream media.
It’s only these steps which make a stairway to heaven.
The links for these pages :
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anonymous-ART-of-Revolution/362231420471759
http://www.facebook.com/gotstared

By: TYBMM Journo
(Puneet)

IS ‘CULTURE AND TRADITIONAL BELIEFS’ OR ‘SELF RESPECT’ IMPORTANT???

(HINDI SERIAL REVIEW)

The concept ‘CULTURE’ means a way of living that is believed to carry out certain beliefs, traditions, customs that play an important role in the life of the people belonging to different castes, race or religion. Media plays an important role in bringing out awareness and shaping the concepts related to culture.

The serial ‘NA AANA ISS DES MERI LADOH’ (which can be translated as ‘DON’T COME TO THIS WORLD DEAR DAUGHTER) started a year ago with its basic objective of bringing about an awareness of the worthiness of each and every girl child, the injustice done to her and the importance of the need to raise a voice against such an act of inhumanity. It conveys the fact that even today, in many aspects; a girl child is given very less importance as compared to sons in the Indian families.

WHO SHOULD BE BLAMED TO CONSIDER A GIRL CHILD AS A CURSE TO HER OWN FAMILY?

At the start of this serial, there was a scene which had a setup of a village. The villagers considered the decisions of ‘AMMAJI’( a female panchayat head) as final and adorable. At the beginning there’s a scene in which no sooner does a simple woman give birth to a girl child, than the village women take the child away and as per the orders of AMMAJI, burry the child which led to her death due to suffocation. Through this scene, there’s a portrayal of women considering their own gender as a curse but the portrayal of the character of AMMAJI is shown as a ‘strong woman’ who wants people (including men) to follow her orders, but  at the same time, she herself considers girls as useless and herself as a capable and has the right of existence.

Even the ‘Mother’ of this girl child is portrayed as a weak woman, who is incapable of raising her voice against the injustice done to the life of her ‘GIRL CHILD’. There may be possibilities that this woman is portrayed as a weak person just to bring about a sense of mercy among the viewers, instead the character of that ‘Mother’ should have been portrayed as someone who does care for her girl child and also raises her voice against such an ‘inhuman act’. This would have brought an awareness right at the beginning of the show that ‘WOMEN’ have the right to speak up for the rights of her child’s existence.  This brings out the fact that women consider their own gender as inferior, which has been successfully portrayed by the characters, ‘the village women and the simple mother’. When such an issue is taken into consideration, the first opinion that can be suggested is that villagers should be provided with education and awareness about their rights. There can be several questions raised with regard to such a concept i.e. Can education completely change the outlook of society towards a girl child? Are the educated women fully Independent and secure in the society?

CAN EDUCATION (BEING AWARE OF ONE’S RIGHTS) BE CONSIDERED AS A PRIORITY COMPARED TO THE BELEFS AND TRADITIONS OF INDIAN SOCIETY?

There’s a scene in which the character of Siya is portrayed as the girl who is well educated and is very well aware of rights and takes a step forward towards educating the village women of their equal rights. Through this scene, the show has been successful in bringing out a sort of an awareness that women who are educated should consider to spread awareness among other women also, which will supposedly help them to question the traditions and beliefs of the society. In contradiction to such a concept, there’s a scene that follows up after Siya’s struggle of trying to bring awareness among the village people. Later this show takes a twist by showing scenes in which Siya gets married to Ammaji’s son and later finds herself weak to fight against the injustice done to her as well as to the women of her family, just because of the lack her Husband’s moral support. This brings up to a certain extent that even today, many educated women still believe that PATI PARVESHWAR HAI AUR OOSKE BINA EK AURAT ADOORI HAI(Husband is the Ultimate God and without his moral support a woman is incomplete). The conveyance of such a fact through the portrayal of the character of ‘SIYA’ in two completely different scenes, raises up questions like ‘If an educated woman is portrayed as weak and dependant on man for a sense of security and strength, then there’s a total shift in the conveyance of the theme of this serial……How can it bring awareness among women that education can help women become responsible? In spite of awareness of one’s rights, the portrayal of women’s acceptance that she is worth of such a cruelty in no ways conveys the theme of the serial.

DOES ONLY THE ATTIRE CONVEY THE STRENGTH OF WOMEN?

Later, there’s a scene in which Ammaji’s own daughter appears apparently to raise her voice against the injustice done to her by her own mother. This character is portrayed as a strong woman with an attire of a black ‘DHAKU OUTFIT’. Such attire brings a sense of criticism in this serial of some sort of conveyance that the attire plays a very important role in order to fight or even raise a voice against an issue. i.e it has conveyed the women wearing a saree is weaker than the one who is physically strong and has a boyish character. In fact, the very notion about ‘boyish character’ comes from the society’s view of boys as strong, superior etc. This brings out the fact that even in todays world, a woman is described by adjective of calm, weak, dependent etc and men are assigned with adjectives of physically strong, arrogant, capable of handling situations etc

IF A GIRL CHILD IS NOT CONSIDERED AS A PRESTIGE TO MANY FAMILIES, THEN WHY DOES THE SOCIETY BELIEVE THAT THE PROTECTION OF THE PRESTIGE OF ANY FAMILY IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE WOMEN IN FAMILY?

There’s a scene where there’s a portrayal of Ammaji ‘s acceptance of ‘Siya’s’ daughter just due  the promise given by her to her son that she would allow his daughter to live in this society. It also shows scenes where the whole family moves to Delhi, just to save the name of Ammaji. It was basically an overexaggeration of the concepts of ‘prestige’ and ‘promise’. Through this scene Ammaji is shown as the one who is worried of her family’s prestige which raises up a question that if villagers follow whatever she says and has full authority, then why was she portrayed in such a way that shifting to a city would be much better option to save the prestige of her family? Who gave the idea to a Village Head that girls are much more accepted in cities compared to villages? If she was aware, then why is the portrayal of such a character (AMMAJI) as ‘ignorant’ in the earlier scenes? Even after being aware of the fact that cities treat boys and girls as equal (with many exceptions), then why does such a character tries to stick up to her beliefs?

There’s even a scene in which Ammaji’s granddaughter ’Diya’, falls in love with a person who is portrayed as the one who that women are equal and with the help of her twin sister, Diya plans out a wedding in which there are scenes where  her twin sister goes through all the traditions of Indian marriage , but at the end its pre-planned that Diya will be the bride (not at all her twin sister), Through these scenes, the marriage traditions and customs are portrayed in a wrong way. After Diya gets married, she is shown as the one who runs away from her house. By this act, Ammaji thinks that the prestige of her family is just vanished because of her running away from her house without any prior permission of her family. This brings up an important issue of the prestige being just vanished just due to running of a woman from her own household. Taking such an issue into consideration, a question rises up i.e. if a girl is given less importance , then why is a girl’s prestige issue get linked with the family’s prestige? Why are only women accused for going against any of their family norms and not the men in the family?

In short, culture (to a very large extent) has a domain in many aspects of life but at the same time, education contributes to shaping the minds of the people in a certain way, including some exceptions i.e. women are also meant to become a housemaker even if she has considered to earn, running away from the house is considered as the loss of prestige of the family etc. Media does play an important role in bringing about a certain culture in the most sensationalised and assumed way. The above mentioned female issues have now become a reason for the Hindi serials to commercialise, an over exaggeration of the ways of living of Indian people.

BY

NICOLE FERNANDES

TYBMM

SOPHIA COLLEGE