Sunday, July 19, 2009

O embaixador da Índia no Brasil fala da novela "Caminhos da Índia"

As the soap Caminhos comes into Brazilian homes night after night, curiosity and affection for India seems to be growing. We know this by the number and kind of queries that we are getting in our embassy and the questions that we answer these days: what the bindi signifies; whether Dalits are still untouched in India; if grown- up Indian men and women do in fact dance to tunes all the time at home, and many other similar bits of oddities that are seen in the novella. We do the best we can with humour and imagination. Not every one wants a long lecture or a serious discourse.

We have also seen the market grow for sarees, kurtas, incense and other exotica. We have demands for authentic Indian restaurants in Brazilian cities like Rio and Brasilia. The availability of Indian cuisine is now limited only to the meagacity of Sao Paulo.

A frequent question that I am often asked is: is the novella authentic? Does it show the real India? I honestly don’t know how to answer this. First, a novella is a novella, after all, and not a documentary. By its very nature, it exaggerates, glamourises and selects what is exotic and unusual rather than the ordinary and the commonplace.

Brazilian viewers understand this. Second, what is ‘the real’ in a country with such diversity, complexity and contradictions? I end up telling my Brazilian friends that everything the novella shows is true in some part, somewhere, but its opposite is equally true.

BS Prakash is the Indian Ambassador to Brazil

Fonte . "Hindustan Times" de 19/7/2009

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