Very filmi : Bollywood and cultural identity in the Indian diaspora



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This study examines the relationship between popular Hindi cinema and notions of authentic cultural identity within the Indian diaspora, particularly among second generation Indian youth living in the United States. This study explores both how Bollywood influences notions of what it means to be authentically Indian in the diaspora, as well as how participation in Bollywood film culture enables a sense of membership in the Indian community among second-generation Indian youth. Looking at films produced by diasporic Indian filmmakers, I examine how Bollywood influences and becomes incorporated into definitions of authentic Indian-ness. I also conduct an ethnographic study with second-generation Indian students at the University of Texas to examine how Bollywood is incorporated not only into conceptions of what it means to be authentically Indian, but also how participation in Bollywood film culture is incorporated into the performance of Indianness in the diaspora.