Censorship

Can I say tacky and inappropriate?

4:13 PM

Another school related post in the  making, forgive me.

So this coming Saturday my daughter’s school is having their “Annual event” day, during which the kiddos will perform on stage. I would have been happy to know that in advance and not at the bottom of a slip of paper telling me to bring 500 rupees to the PT meeting in order to cover the special costumes rental costs. And what more I had to extract the info regarding the timing and location of the event yesterday by asking the teacher so that simply put, my husband can take a leave from work and be there to see our princess on stage. What I failed to ask was what they would be performing, see I naively thought this involved woodland and jungle animal costumes and nursery rhymes, since after all we are dealing with a playschool and nursery class institution.
That’s where I was naive, another mom managed to get them to fess up the program after she protested having to pay 500 bucks for what she assumed would be kids themed costumes that could be made home.
And she shared her findings with us ignorant ladies who by the way all thought a kids playschool and nursery show involved woodland creatures…nope hold your socks ladies and gent, our sweet innocent toddlers are performing…BOLLYWOOD NUMBERS…gasp!
The school also proudly shared the fact they hired a professional choreographer to teach the kiddos to emulate SRK and what not in these songs, the mom who got the dirt only got that “Chammak challo” is one of the number that have been rehearsed. the plan was quite obviously to surprise us parents with the theme. I strongly suspect they kept it all under wrap because they knew there would be an uproar as we all gasped and shook our head, but now it is too late to cancel the show, so yup, we are going to see tiny tots, emulating adults in adult songs, some with suggestive moves in them, probably all dressed up in sequins and glitz.  And apparently we have to think it is appropriate and cute and love the surprise.

Frankly I am shocked, and disgusted, for a school to sink that low when there are plenty of kid’s themed musicals they could have chosen, and heck I would have preferred above all to see some culture, there are probably simple classical dance moves they could have shown the kids, and dress them into traditional costumes, instead we will have to see them move their hands and hip in a sexy way because apparently pint sized kiddos emulating famous actors in grown up movies is better than have them roar like a lion.
I mean if you don’t know what Chammak callo is, please have a peep:


I personally don’t let my daughter watch this kind of thing on TV, all she is allowed to watch are toddler appropriate cartoons and Disney movies with no language and violence, and now I’m to see her perform in that type of dance? I call it sick, and I don’t care that kids this age don’t make the connection, as an adult I do and this is not cute. Now I’ll have to wait and be “surprised” on Saturday to see in which song number my daughter is to perform, but I’m ready to let them know about my thought on the matter then.

What disgust me above all, is that as a foreigner in India I read constantly about some tight ass constipated political party blaming the west and their loose morals and values for everything. calling western women easy, and not good marriage material, family value less. We drink, we smoke, we hop on men like bunnies 9I wanted to say something a bit more non-veg initially), we apparently can’t cook to save our life, we only subside on junk food and English shows on TV are going through a stricter and stricter censorship as the year pass in order to keep Two and a half men, the Big Bang Theory and practically every movie “suitable for family viewing in India”, but then yeah, getting a kid to do an Item number in school or worse on a Hindi talent show…No problem yaar!

18 comments

  1. WOW!!! I just had to tell DH...he says, "you rock!" LOL

    Seriously, this is ridiculous...she's only in playschool. This is just...mind boggling. They will see enough of this when they are older, why do they need to start teaching them so young? :'(

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  2. yeah exactly, they have a whole life of watching this stuff, if Ishita wants to take Bollywood dance classes as a teenager, yeah sure, she will have a better grasp of it all to know and judge by herself. And beside...Chammak Chalo? Have the teachers even considered how age unappropriate the lyrics are? What else are we going to be graced with at that event? little girls dancing to Shiela???? I hope not

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  3. You know, I was this shocked when some of my friends wrote about their children's annual day program at school. From the look of it, most schools seem to be having kids dance to Bollywood numbers - old and new. While the older nmbers might not be this tacky - but I was still astounded by the fact that children were dancing to romantic numbers. What kind of message are these schools sending. Or are they just too lazy to work on more appropriate stuff?
    We live in the UK, right now, and despite being in the so called 'bad west', I have to say, my daughter's school functions so very appropriate and fun for the children. They mostly do adaptations of traditional tales, beautiful adaptations, I have to say. We will be moving to India this summer - and it scares me to read such stuff.. My daughter is totally isolated from movie songs like this, and age inappropriate stuff, and I would hate to see her dance to things like this:( Can't help worry..

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  4. My guess is that indeed Bollywood show are just easy, so yes this must be some part of laziness, and the message they send is indeed highly questionnable.
    Is the Indian culture so poor they can't find way to adapt mythology tales, granted playschool and nursery kids may have language issue, I don't think traditional folk dances or classical dances would be too much asking, after all if they already hired a choreographer to teach our kiddos to pull a Bollywood number why not get a regular dance teacher to teach her stuff that are part of their cultural heritage...sigh

    Good luck moving back to India, I understand your worries, I am just starting to really dip in the school bath, this is starting to be worrying me too.

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  5. I quite often mention to my husband that women in India are not supposed to show their legs and dress in an appropriate way and to cover their hair as a sign of respect. However I see more flesh and provocative dancing on T.V here in India than I do in my home country Australia!!

    Australia has stricter regulations when it comes to nudity and inappropriate behaviour.Special time slots are allocated so that young children are not faced with naked bodies and adult themes.

    I find that to be very hypocritical, especially when swear words are removed or bleeped out in English speaking movies. Why do they allow half naked women to dance inappropriately on day time T.V. Go figure that out!! How stupid is that!! Common sense is the key here and it doesn't sound like your daughters school has any!!

    I would be furious if I was you. How inappropriate!

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  6. India, hypocrisy is thy other name! When we were growing up Govinda's and Karishma Kapoor's no-holds-barred song and dance (and lyrics, my the lyrics!) was considered absolutely appropriate for viewing in prime time, but mention anything about dating, forget sex, in normal conversation, and you're crucified. There's a dialogue in the film 'Pardes', which aptly sums up the double standards.

    ~ Krishanu

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  7. Nicky, same in Switzerland and France, what goes on day time TV is regulated, R rated movie don't even air during the prime time slot, and when they do they still come with the "red logo" on the Swiss national channels warning people that viewers discression is needed.

    As for these Bollywood numbers, in the west that kind of dancing acts is what you see in Dance Revue theatres and cabarets such as Crazy Horse, Lido and Moulin Rouge, these places have a strict admission policy, no one under 18 allowed, probably less because of the dancing than the fact liquor is served though, but you don't see half naked ladies covered in sequins dance like that on prime time TV where kids have a chance to see it.
    Common sense doesn't seem to be something I see lot of in India anyway, so I guess expecting a school to have some would be too much asking :(

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  8. Krishanu, hypocrisy it is indeed, and apparently it's fine to teach toddlers and kids to emmulate sexy dance moves, but god forbid they are taught proper sexual education classes later in the curriculum! Because sex is a married couple thing and ignorance is the way to keep people in line...ahem cough cough gasp!

    I haven't seen Pardes, will have to do it.

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  9. Bollywood is India's biggest curse, esp to the children in India. Recently on Facebook someone had posted a video of a 3 or 4 year old girl dancing to the bollywood song.."My name is sheela". Apparently the video has been recorded in her home by her own parents, and posted on Youtube for the world to see. I was shocked to see the vulgar dance steps, the poor child doesnt even understand what she's doing! :( I am sure when she grows up, she will never forgive her parents if she sees this vid. I keep telling my friends esp those with girl children not to allow this to happen to their kids. But if the school itself does it, then its horrible. I think all you parents should get together and put your foot down and have them change the song if you can. Let them do something simple and childlike instead.

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  10. OMG, this is truly ridiculous, and indeed inappropriate. I would've reacted the same way you are, to this issue. I too don't allow my daughter to watch any of such 'grown-up' stuff she isn't supposed, but I guess it's easier for me to control it being outside India, than for you to do it there....nevertheless, I would be livid too see my toddler and her peers, gyrating to those obscene (some borderline soft porn IMO) numbers. I don't even think decent older kids (like teenagers) should be dancing to them or even listening to them...when I was growing up the lyrics of the hindi songs were relatively benign and "PG' rated, but these days just listening to some numbers, makes me gasp...I cannot dare to repeat some of the songs, even while randomly humming them....yuckk...

    Chammak challo itslef isn't one of the more profane ones, but it still is way inappropriate for young kids...I wonder how the school could get away with something like this...incredible !!

    And don't even get me started on the horrible double standard the right wing of India has toward 'culture, morals, ethics, etc ' in the country....painting all foreigners with a broad negative brush, while completely turning a blind eye to their own internal lacunae...well they aren't fooling anyone... the truth is out there for everyone to see... :-)

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  11. Ewwwww Enigma I just can't understand how some parents think it's appropriate to post a video of their kids dancing to sheela!

    I would have loved to actually know what that would be, but the school did a great job keeping us in the dark, the onyl time they were forced to tell us about that event coming was because they needed money for the costumes, and even then I didn't ask what it was I wrongly assumed it was a kid appropriate thing, it's another mom who got the dirt because she started questionning the amount of money and she shared it with us, apparently a whole lot of parents are still in the dark about it, and I just got a paper today telling my dress reharsal is tomorrow, and that I will have to take said costume home on Friday and dress her in it before going to the venue on Saturday...they added something about dressing and putting make up on kids...MAKE UP?!?!?!?! ain't gonna happen people!

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  12. ADD Agreed Chammak Challo isn't the most obscene, but still...yuck, and watching that clip again, did you notice that SRK just slap Kareena Kapoor on the butt in it?
    In a movie when a "hero" does that it's called romance or flirting, in real life that is called eve teasing...no wonder crime against women are such an issue...sigh!

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  15. Oh yeah totally tacky and inappropriate !!! I hope they do not repeat it in the next year annual day!

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  16. Sigh I hope they won't but they did a good job keeping us in the dark about even the date of the Annual event for to longest time, and even failed to mention that they hired a cchoreographer that came to school the whole month of February, kiddos that young don't speak much, those who speak don't talk about school...how convenient huh?

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  17. Zainab9:32 PM

    Lol Cyn! you're so funny. i love how u ended it with "No problem yaar". he he. It brought this post to a whole new level. I was born and brought up in India and i personally hate these tacky bollywood numbers. I seriously dunno how they think that hollywood movies have a lot of adult content when u can actually see our heroines dressed in a way that would actually put a hooker to shame. And swinging their hips with the hero's head near their naked waists.. Ewwwwwwww. Makes me sick. Sure Hollywood might have love scenes but they're rated A so underaged shouldn't be watching them in the first place.But our Bollywood movies which have U/A rating clearly have all this kind of rubbish. I REALLY REALLY HOPE ALL the school children would stop dancing to these Bollywood numbers in their various school events/functions regardless of Kindergarten, Primary middle or high school. :(

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  18. I know! I hate the double standard on TV where Hollywood movies need to be edited, many words even normal non offensive words beeped in the spirit of keeping it "suitable for Indian family viewing" but item numbers in Bollywood flicks can stay.
    Right now my daughter is watching Hook which I recorded on TV, a Hollywood KID movie, well apparently the expression potty mouth is innapropriate, it has been beeped, because god forbid they hear the word...gasp gasp gasp...POTTY when they can watch Katrina Kaif giriate her hips in Shiela ki Jawani saying she is too sexy...yep totally makes sense!

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