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Lasting Rose » Home » Social Web » Is a Local Language Essential to Preserve Cultural Identity on the Social Web?
Posted By Sreedhar Pillai at Wednesday, February 08, 2012||PERMALINK Labels: #lrose, Akon, Chammak Challo, Dhanush, Kolaveri Di, Sharukh Khan, Social Web
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"If music be the language of love, sing on in English" will be how Shakespeare would have framed his famous quote if he were alive today! In the age of globalisation and social web, English seems to have acquired the status of a global currency, in which you can trade your emotions without losing your identity.
Jayalalitha, the chief minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, whose delirium tremens and tantrums have become a part of the new X factor politics destroying India, has issued in true Taliban style, a diktat that all children in her state must learn Tamil!
You can't blame her! The poor soul, despite her 65 years on earth probably has never heard of Shakespeare let alone realise how the world has changed with globalisation, and social web, how regional language no more is an essential element of regional culture.
For Jayalalitha, a film actress of yester years whose mother tongue is not Tamil but Kannada of the neighbouring state of Karnataka where she was borne and brought up, evoking chauvinistic emotions has nothing but political expediency.
For millions of Tamil speaking people, who have wasted hours staring at Jayalalitha on the silver screen, movie after movie, because of a complex and weakness they have for her fair skin, however, "Kolaveri Di" is the new sound of Tamil music which makes them proud rather than her sermon on the virtue of Tamil.
“Kolaveri Di” is a Tamil song video created in English, which went viral on the social web scoring 150 million hits and was parodied in numerous languages, all because people everywhere could relate to its real music content and simple lyrics about the throngs of love as they were penned in English of a sort.
In fact the song dominated the media for better part of past three months since its release, invoking such universal enthusiasm which provoked the youth from
to Tokyo to burst out in
spontaneous song and dance sequences of Kolaveri Di in public and private
venues. The Hague
Doing the whole video in a universal language has no way taken away anything ‘Tamil’ from the wonderful production which is nothing but an expression of genuine creativity. If anything, it has only helped to introduce Tamil along with its creator Dhanush and his team to the whole world.
This is not the only example why language shouldn’t matter for true understanding and harmony between cultures. A similar video production created a few months earlier by the popular American artist Akon with a team from Mumbai also bear proof that power of music as food of love has not changed from the days when the Bard of Avon proclaimed it.
Through a song titled “Chammak Challo” created for an Indian film of Sharukh Khan, a famous Indian screen actor, the American singer and rapper Akon has proved the point.
Akon, with very little effort and time, managed to muster the few Hindi words in the lyrics written in English and managed to sing the song to music composed of elements from the middle east, all to enchant and capture the hearts of an Indian audience.
As it turned out, the song and its video recording turned a viral hit on the internet proving yet again that, when it comes to music as food for love, cultural assimilation happen pretty fast and the social web is the modern platform where it happens.
It is really amazing that two productions which as music or artistic expressions of young artists have nothing much to write about, have become phenomenal success with an international audience in such a short time. Then isn't that the case with most of the hits with pop music?
One can hope that this is a trend which will catch up and bring more of such unifying efforts from all languages and culture on to the social web.
It looks like at least on the social web no one really cares what language people communicate with as long as it is English. As in the real world, real talent not ethnicity or cultural background which matters. As far as the language of love is concerned, it looks like the easiest way to some one’s heart is just saying ‘I love you’ rather than ‘Je t'aime’ or ‘Ya tebya lyublyu’
Follow Sreedhar Pillai on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lastingrose
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