The arts, and especially music, are perhaps the most important tools of cultural diplomacy. In the era of technology and globalization that we are going through, cinema seems to have the upper hand in this process. This fact seems to have been strongly exploited by India, whose local film production is known worldwide.
The intense style, dances and songs distinguish this type of cinema, and may seem strange to the viewer who is used to Hollywood. But the fact is that the film production of Mumbai is greater, in number of films, than the American originator of its name. However, their popularity seems to be rising rapidly. As early as the 90s, some Indian productions were starting to win awards in Canada. Thirty years later, in the age of streaming services, it’s easier than ever to access these works. Many of them even on their non-Indian platforms, have a ‘Bollywood Movies’ category.
Fortunately, this is not the only source of musical culture from India. In recent years, traditional Indian music has begun to emerge throughout the world as a genre of classical music that is worthy of attention, and rich in tradition that can inspire today’s artists, and be used as a cultural tool for the country’s diplomatic promotion.
The Indian musical tradition, which of course presents different notes than the Western one, takes its basic inspiration from nature. It is mainly transmitted orally, and therefore requires many years of practice.
In many parts of the world, diplomats and emigrants from India use Indian classical music both for entertainment of course and to promote communication between states and peoples. So here is an opportunity for Indian diplomatic institutions. Already, through Bollywood, India’s musical heritage is being transmitted to other countries in its most modern form. At the same time, young artists combine their classical knowledge with their more modern musical preferences to propose an interesting and enjoyable mix that finally betrays their origins.
In a more institution-led context, the world of classical music, which is always looking for new sources of inspiration for its spectacles, can provide the impetus, the means, and the necessary platform to promote this beautiful tradition. Through a collaboration with the latter, the Indian state can take advantage of the contemporary trend of mixing the modern and the classical to promote the country and its interests through music.
Politi Aikaterini Vasileia
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- Bollywood Movies Streaming on Netflix | Access Bollywood,