14 June, 2005

bollywood and awareness of the outside world

OxBlog’s Patrick Belton receives a letter from Bangladesh:

IT is the new buzz here, but it is unclear whether it actually exists
besides one sad-looking internet café with two computers in the
“wealthy” part of town (read: less than abject poverty). Both times I
went there was no current and hence no internet, but in theory you
could check your email. Dhaka still does not have a McDonald’s nor any
other international chain, although it does have a Dominous pizza (note
the ingenious way around copyright) and a restaurant that has stolen
the Chili’s logo and sells Thai food. The country has trouble
attracting foreign investment because it has one of the highest
corruption rates in the world, exacerbated by a political system run
almost entirely by two political families who trade off power almost
every election…

When I was here before, women did not adhere strictly to purdah and
many ventured into the marketplace wearing only hijab. Now, women are
largely kept to their homes and are required to wear a burkah in
public. However, some advances have been made in women’s health. Birth
control in the form of contraceptive pills from India is now available,
although apparently the local Madrassa has organized a campaign against
its use (not that it seemed to be having much effect; most of the women
see it as a Godsend)…

The biggest difference has to be the proliferation of cell phones and
televisions. Now, every third person seems to have a cell phone. The people in the
area may still not have reliable electricity, or safe drinking water,
or indoor plumbing, or much of anything else, but now many families do
have a television. The children look just as malnourished but now they
can sing Bollywood songs. Because of this, the people have a greater
awareness of the outside world than they did four years ago.[OxBlog]

by @ 5:07 pm. Filed under Culture, India, Asia, Current Affairs, South Asia, Film, Nitin Pai, Television

2 Responses to “bollywood and awareness of the outside world”

  1. JD on MX Says:

    Bangladesh mobiles

    Bangladesh mobiles: Nicole Hallett returns to Bangladesh after years away, and while the general situation is still difficult, finds a dramatic change in the availability of pocket-sized connectivity/computing. The above link provides context on varied…

  2. DVD Movie World Says:

    bollywood and awareness of the outside world

    [Source: asiapundit] quoted: IT is the new buzz here, but it is unclear whether it actually existsbesides one sad-looking internet café with two computers in the“wealthy” part of town (read: less than abject poverty). Both times …

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