First it were the Chopra-Johar-Barjatiya creations that sent ripples down the west (especially in the NRI concentrated areas) where the people tried to catch the Indian experience through their movies.

And now, Bollywood has reached the academic centres of this part of the world.
The study of Indian films is now a part of many reputed western Universities’ course curriculum including University of Manchester, University of California, Berkeley (UC, Berkeley) and Cardiff University!

The students (who are not necessarily NRIs) are thoroughly enjoying the course and look forward to their classes on Bollywood, where they are shown a Hindi movie every week. They say, its more than just entertainment for them, it’s a peep into the Indian society.

Bollywood movies offer them an insight into a completely different world, “not just in terms of the language, customs and traditions, but what’s accepted and what isn’t, how people live their everyday lives.” Says Allan, a student of UC, Berkeley.

In fact they have even conducted studies in this field with titles like Running Around Trees: Exploring the Bollywood Song!

Oops! Just when Indian directors started copying the west in an attempt to offer the Indian masses, ‘something different’, the west started studying the aspect of Indian Cinema that is so very INDIAN!

Not just this, inspired by the ‘India’ in Bollywood movies, many people in the west are even exploring serious career options in the country. And they feel Bollywood flicks are a useful medium to enhance their knowledge about the country.

I wonder if they have seen any movies like Salaam Bombay or even Page 3, or are they still floating in the beautiful world of Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, where nobody struggles for a career… everyone struggles for a girl!

Nevertheless, Indian movies have a lot to offer them. Apart from a world of unique customs, cultures and values that they can learn from, the Indian movies surely make them realise that there are many more colours in this world, other than black, brown, red and well, white!

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