Another World Out There

Sometimes when I'm channel-surfing the numerous choices I have courtesy of DirecTV, I find something that is totally outside of my own experience. For instance, today I found a movie on one of the Encore movie channels that starred Aishwarya Rai. "Who?" you may ask? Aishwarya Rai is one of the most popular actresses in Bollywood, and is well-known across south Asia. She also was Miss World 1994, and has been noted as one of the world's most beautiful women. She has striking blue-green (or blue-gray, depending on whom you read) eyes, most unexpected in someone from India. Then again, the various groups in India are very ethnically diverse.

Anyway, the move was "Bride and Prejudice", a Bollywood film based on Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." If you've never seen Indian movies, you should know that they are usually musicals with lavish dance numbers. There is often (chaste) romance, but no nudity or kissing, which would violate Indian cultural taboos. For instance, in this movie, there was a wedding scene where an Indian couple gets married in Los Angeles, and at the end of the ceremony, the minister says, "You may kiss." The groom held the bride's hands and kissed them, and then she hugged him. Apparently this passes for a racy scene in Bollywood.

Still, it was an interesting and exotic movie from an American standpoint. It was a window into a different culture.