In the film Slumdog Millionaire, how is the indian culture shown?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Interestingly enough, Indian culture is shown in the most globalized of manners.  The globalized nature of culture is seen best in the call center, when Jamal learns of American/ Western gossip and adopts these manners while on the phone.  As Jamal is older and seeks to understand the world, his construction of Indian culture is through a Western lens of perception.  His very hope of being on the television show is the Western idea of "get rich quick" and "instant popularity."  There are some elements of Indian culuture that are present, in terms of Jamal's own background.  The incessant love of Bollywood film stars is one such element.  Jamal literally travels through the most arduous of conditions to obtain Amitabh Bachchan's autograph.  At the same time, the riots over Hindu/ Muslim worship are shown to have disastrous consequences in terms of resulting in Jamal's mother's death.  At the same time, I think that the idea of what a "slumdog" is helps to bring to light how the notion of Indian social stratificaiton is present.  The fact that no one believes that a slumdog could possible know all of these answers to these questions helps to reveal how there is a sense of hierarchy in Indian culture and society, something that the film makes the case should be overcome with the ending to the film.

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