HomeCultureA Stereotype Portrayed “Beautifully”: Desi For The Weekend

A Stereotype Portrayed “Beautifully”: Desi For The Weekend

Coldplay and Beyoncé just released their new song, Hymn for the Weekend. Society became consumed and fascinated over the song without hesitation, but only my desis can understand the frustration and irritation that this song produced in Indian communities.

Problematic People

To better understand people’s arguments as to why the video was not offensive in any way, let’s analyze and try to understand the YouTube comments.

Disclaimer: Of course these comments don’t represent the brighter people who simply don’t see the video’s offensive aspects.

“This is really breathtaking. A stereotype portrayed beautifully.

This comment immediately stood out. It’s so interesting to see there are people in the world who believe that a stereotype can be portrayed beautifully. At least he/she seems to understand the argument though. Thank you for understanding that the video is stereotypical.

“One of the best music video i have seen, so diverse and multicultural of my homeland 🙂

Here’s a comment that is quite problematic. The discourse conveys a clear message; Coldplay’s video portrays aspects of several different Indian communities. Right. Because a bunch of brown people throwing colors at each other is exactly the diversity and multicultural aspects of India that we all know and love.

This isn’t cultural appropriation in anyway. They properly showcased India’s Culture in it’s own homeland. So for those offended, shut up.

The Indian communities against this video will shut up when people educate themselves before making ignorant comments. This is exactly the problem. The idea that India’s entire culture revolves around Holi, watching Bollywood movies, and dancing on the streets.

“we(Indians) should be proud that the Grammy winner artist is displaying our unique culture on international platform…. if we were to do it it wouldn’t look that beautiful.

What this person means is that we Indians should feel proud that Coldplay so generously displayed a small aspect of our diverse culture in their video because we don’t have the ability to do so and make it look as appealing to white people.

There’s a clear pattern in all these comments. They spread and encourage the idea that Coldplay effectively represented the diverse and multicultural aspects of India; by focusing on Holi. Indian women should be proud that Beyoncé so beautifully wore Indian clothes and jewelry, since we wouldn’t look half as beautiful doing it ourselves. And of course, that if a stereotype is portrayed in a beautiful sense, it is no longer problematic.


The Hypocrisy

The same society that points fingers at us, praises celebrities like Beyonce for wearing Indian clothes. The underlying notion that if someone that isn’t Indian displays Indian culture, it is suddenly beautiful. Indian clothes are beautiful and don’t need a celebrities body. Exoticizing our culture makes it appealing for others, but makes it difficult for us. And this isn’t the only problem. Not only is our culture being displayed for people to exoticize, it is being completely misrepresented. In a short four-minute video, our culture is condensed into the stereotypes and misconceptions that society has encouraged.

So no, we will not buy the “cultural appreciation” argument, because our culture is being mishandled as a whole and we don’t see any appreciation in that.

[Image Attribute: Marco Bellucci]


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