Cultural Sutra: A Bollywood connect between India and Indonesia

The Correspondent: A video of a Jakarta traffic policeman dancing to the tune of Chhaiyya Chhaiyya, or a video on a billboard giving tribute to Late Sushant Singh Rajput at a major road junction in Jakarta going viral on the Internet, are not the ‘few minutes of fame’ story but the deep love for Bollywood in Indonesia, the biggest archipelago in the world with more than 18,000 islands. Indian tourists are welcomed with the name of Bollywood films, characters and the actors. It becomes a talking point to break the ice between people of countries which are maritime neighbour and have lots of cultural similarities.

The fan clubs of Bollywood are thriving in Indonesia. Besides having their get together, the social media has emerged as another way to connect, removing the geographical barriers which once existed. Be it the release of a new movie, timings of Indian movie being shown on local television and the twists and turns in the relationship of Bollywood stars are not just the topic of social media pages but even the mainstream media give them a very good coverage. Various musical bands singing the range of Bollywood songs with exact pronunciation at social gatherings is very common sight even though our Indonesian friends face difficulty in understanding the meaning.

The songs, music, love, family bonds, traditional values, love for humanity and happy ending of Bollywood films easily connects Indonesian fans and they can be found not just in mega cities but also in remote islands and rural areas. The inclusive and harmonious character of Bollywood has inspired generations of actors and makers of Indonesian films. An emerging film star of Indonesia Muhammad Khan even dedicated 3 of his awards for being best actors including Citra Award, the most prestigious cinematic award in Indonesia, to Shahrukh Khan. That is why Bollywood is one of the “Cultural Sutra- a thread of culture” between India and Indonesia.

To celebrate the Bollywood connect, recognise the talent of our Indonesian friends and encourage the work they are doing Jawaharlal Nehru Indian Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India, Jakarta organised Bollywood Singing Competition in Indonesia with the title of “Bollywood Singing Sensation of Indonesia 2020”. Recognising the need of physical distancing in the era of covid-19 pandemic, the event was organised in digital format. The event attracted enthusiastic participation from 12 provinces of Indonesia. The list of winners are following.

Above 18 Years Khaerunnisa H – Makassar, South Sulawesi Muh Fadrullah – Maros, South Sulawesi Rendi Adiwijaya – Kediri, East Jawa Below 18 Years Sandhya Jayanthy – Jakarta Abhilaksh Sharma – Medan Vaishnavi Rathi – Jakarta The Award ceremony was premiered through the YouTube channel of the Embassy of India on August 09, 2020. To celebrate the friendly relations between two countries, Embassy of India is hosting a special concert by the ‘Bollywood Singing Sensations of Indonesia 2020’ with the title of “Patriotic Tribute” as both the countries have celebrated their respective Independence Day very recently. The event was premiered through the YouTube Channel of the Embassy of India on August 22, 8:00 PM (WIB).

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