Sunday, July 16, 2006

California Remixes Indian Culture

At the El Sobrante Gurdwara (a temple officially known as the Sikh Center of San Francisco Bay Area), a priest prepares to move groceries in the dining room. Behind him is a picture gallery of gurus.'California' - the alumni magazine at the University of California in Berkeley has a very insightful feature story on India this month.

Passage to India by Sandip Roy talks about the remix of Indian culture on California shores. Its a delightful and intelligent read that makes us think of the impact of multiculturism and what it means in the long run.

Here are some interesting paragraphs from the essay.

"Immigration once meant cooking with substitutes, imagining the taste of a long-lost vegetable while nibbling its nearest (but still somewhat distant) American cousin. No longer."

And a little later..."This pick-and-choose, mix-and-match chai-latte multiculturalism means Indian culture could easily become a parody of itself, says Sandeep Sood, one of the creators of the popular weekly South Asian comic strip, "Badmash."

"We could be peddling power yoga with one mehndi-filled hand while using the other to hold up our dhoti ... selling enlightenment free with a pack of $2 bindis," quips Sood. "Don't do it."

Read the feature here

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