April 3, 2015

Anthem for Malayalees Coming to the US

It's good to know how others see you abroad. To kick off some US Culture Training programs, I show the video below. This song comes from a 1990s Mollywood film. Malayalam actors Sreenivasan and Mohanlal starred in Akkare Akkare Akkare, a comical spy movie. In this movie, the stars must investigate their case in the US. Upon landing in the US, they sing: 

"It this a dream? Is this heaven? Is this a utopia on earth?"

I'd imagine many newcomers, immigrants and visitors to the US have these feelings when coming to the US. I'd say this is an accurate anthem for many immigrants and visitors to the US over the years. (Although, many may not be brave enough to dance in the streets!) In fact, as I watch this again, today, I wonder how this song sequence would be filmed differently if it were made today.... share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Swargathilo, Malayalam Film Song 

This movie, much of which was filmed in the U.S. has many cross-cultural scenes. We can also see some of the misconceptions Indians may have of the U.S. as well as some of the culture shock situations they may face. 

Of course it is a movie, so not everything is accurate, but there is one scene that I feel is pretty accurate. In that scene, one of the characters mention something about if they get a house in the U.S., they would need a fence built around it or else they wouldn't feel safe. The reason for this is because in India, especially Kerala (where Malayalam is mostly spoken), virtually all houses or complexes have cement fences around them. Often when Keralites (or Indians from other parts of India) come to the U.S., they may feel there is not enough security around a house due to the lack of fences. Conversely, as an American who has lived in Kerala, I am perplexed in some cases why there have to be fences when neighbors and others freely, at times, walk in the property anyhow! 

I am also looking for suggestions of Malayalam movies filmed in the US like this one. If you have any suggestions, please note them in the comments below. Thank you. 

Author of this blog, Jennifer Kumar, provides targeted cross-cultural training and communications coaching for executives in India working with Americans. View her services or contact her today!

Related Links:
Past Saturday Song from Phineas and Ferb (Disney Cartoon)
Songs help to understand Americans when they talk too fast

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