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कभी जो याद भी आता हूँ मैं तो कहते हैं के आज बज़्म में कुछ फ़ित्ना-ओ-फ़साद नहीं - मिर्ज़ा ग़ालिब

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Location: the valley, California, United States

Bay Area, Strategy Manager, Haas- U. C. Berkeley, Marathons

Friday, July 08, 2005

When India conquered Greece

Here's a superly researched article from World Bank economist Helen Abadzi on Greek songs that were inspired from Hindi film songs. Ms. Abadzi writes:
These movies were considered working-class fare. They had much less appeal for the middle-class, which looked westward for entertainment, wanted more humor, and was not plagued by the social dilemmas of the poor and the limited solutions available to the heroines. Nevertheless, the Hindi masterpieces were seen by many. Mother India premiered without much advertisement in Kotopouli, a downtown theater on a snowy day in February 1960. The first few curious spectators were so moved by it, that they stopped strangers on the way out and told them not to miss that “social gospel”. Four hours later, a waiting line two city blocks long had formed, and the movie played in some Greek town or other at least for the next 10 years.

There seems to an interesting amalgamation of ethnicity, class and language in the audiences that found Hindi films favorable.
The Hindi songs were rendered in an oriental style that was popular with Asia Minor refugees (who fled to Greece after the 1922 massacre) and with residents of remote villages, where older musical traditions were remembered. [3]This style of songs was called “rembetika” before 1959 and “laika” or popular songs (sometimes also “varia”-- heavy laika) after that date. The imitation and inspiration from Hindi created a specific class of songs called to this day “indoprepi” (Hindi-style).
The film Aan was renamed "Mangala, the Rose of India" after the character played by Nimmi and not after the more famous (aristocratic) character played by Nadira.

Read the whole thing and use the audio clips in quizzes.

4 Comments:

Blogger Ashish Hanwadikar said...

Wow! This is really interesting! I knew Hindi songs were popular in China and Russia! But Greece?

9:17 PM  
Blogger Quizman said...

Thanks, Ashish.

8:37 AM  
Blogger anantha said...

Not just Greece, but Turkey too.. From considerable interaction from my Turkish friends i have heard that the Greeks and the Turks are influenced by a lot of similar things. The Turkish cuisine has a zillion things in common with Indian cusisine (personal experience) and apparently old Hindi songs are the choice of listening material in coffee/tea bars in Istanbul where they sit around all day drinking tea, smoking the hookah and talking about everything in the world!

7:35 AM  
Blogger Suhail said...

Turkey yes..I once landed up in a Irani joint in NY, where the guy at the counter was Turkish.. From what we discussed, an avg Turk knows more more Bollywood and Hindi music than me. I was pleasantly embarassed! (if there was ever such a term..).

(*just wondering if u read yr old comments..coz I am catching up with a whole lot of backlog, and like a serial reader, victimising blogs with my comments.*)

8:10 PM  

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