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A Passage to India: Images of India in U.K/U.S Feature Films from 1930-2000
Unformatted Document Text:  A Passage to India Page 15 of 29 Student Paper made to appease Mother Kali - the Goddess of blood and death. For example, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, there are several scenes showing quite elaborately how a young boy, the main character Indiana Jones and his leading lady are close to being eaten up by a huge cauldron of fire. Gory bloody scenes of animal sacrifice are depicted in The Autobiography of a Princess where a bull and goats are beheaded for Goddess Kali. Within the same movie, there is another sequence where the tombs of dead queens and cenotaphs of dead kings are described in depth. Another movie in which death is dwelt upon considerably is Around the World in Eighty Days that features an entire sequence on the forced death (sati) of a young widowed princess around her husband’s funeral pyre amidst fire-torches, tribal dance and drumbeats in the middle of the night. Sati is described as “human sacrifice but a voluntary one” of widows by the “natives” for religious reasons. Leisure activities. Leisure activities coded for this study included arts, crafts, architecture, sports and other such artistic skills. Scenes were coded for absence or presence of stereotypical leisure activities. Stereotypical leisure activities were defined to include talents such as rope-walking, scorpion-eating, taxidermy, sword-swallowing, sword juggling, fire-walking, fortune-telling, snake-charming, elephant stamping, henna painting, pot painting, playing/singing/dancing to classical or tribal Indian music (such as veena 3 , sitar 4 ), rice floor paintings (rangoli), traditional architecture (such as minarets, Hindu temples, tombs, cenotaphs and mosques), sculptures of Hindu/Buddhist symbols, and, sports such as tiger – hunting, polo and cricket. There were significantly greater numbers of scenes of stereotypical leisure activities depicted in India (13.2%, N=80) than 3 an Indian stringed musical instrument with gourds at both ends 4 an Indian stringed musical instrument with a long-neck

Authors: Ramasubramanian, Srividya.
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background image
A Passage to India
Page 15 of 29
Student Paper
made to appease Mother Kali - the Goddess of blood and death. For example, in Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom, there are several scenes showing quite elaborately how a
young boy, the main character Indiana Jones and his leading lady are close to being eaten
up by a huge cauldron of fire. Gory bloody scenes of animal sacrifice are depicted in The
Autobiography of a Princess where a bull and goats are beheaded for Goddess Kali.
Within the same movie, there is another sequence where the tombs of dead queens and
cenotaphs of dead kings are described in depth. Another movie in which death is dwelt
upon considerably is Around the World in Eighty Days that features an entire sequence on
the forced death (sati) of a young widowed princess around her husband’s funeral pyre
amidst fire-torches, tribal dance and drumbeats in the middle of the night. Sati is
described as “human sacrifice but a voluntary one” of widows by the “natives” for
religious reasons.
Leisure activities. Leisure activities coded for this study included arts, crafts,
architecture, sports and other such artistic skills. Scenes were coded for absence or
presence of stereotypical leisure activities. Stereotypical leisure activities were defined to
include talents such as rope-walking, scorpion-eating, taxidermy, sword-swallowing,
sword juggling, fire-walking, fortune-telling, snake-charming, elephant stamping, henna
painting, pot painting, playing/singing/dancing to classical or tribal Indian music (such as
veena
3
, sitar
4
), rice floor paintings (rangoli), traditional architecture (such as minarets,
Hindu temples, tombs, cenotaphs and mosques), sculptures of Hindu/Buddhist symbols,
and, sports such as tiger – hunting, polo and cricket. There were significantly greater
numbers of scenes of stereotypical leisure activities depicted in India (13.2%, N=80) than
3
an Indian stringed musical instrument with gourds at both ends
4
an Indian stringed musical instrument with a long-neck


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