That Indian accent again!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Via turbanhead a link to MC Vikram and Ludakrishna’s Greatest Hits, here.

More information is provided:

For those who have never heard of MC Vikram or his sometimes sidekick Ludakrishna, they are two Indian-Americans who have fused comedy and hip-hop / rap along with their experiences growing up as Indian Americans. There are plenty of references to the burping “uncles” (burping out loud after a meal or whenver you feel like is not considered rude in Indian culture but makes young Indians cringe when elders do it here in the States), drinking Frooti (a very popular mango drink available in small cardboard squeezeboxes), wearing lungis (sarong-like cloth worn my men in India) and of course being an FOB (fresh off the boat).All the songs are parodies of popular rap/hip-hop songs interspersed with short skits. Both MC Vikram and Ludakrishna have performed at various colleges and universities in the US (usually at Indian Student Association sponsored events.)

So sit back, relax and get FOBBED out.

I have no idea what getting ‘fobbed out’ entails and don’t think I care too much either after having listened to a few of their juvenile ‘songs’. My apologies for sending you there, if you did go.

What interests me here, though, is that it seems that making fun of the Indian accent is a growth business; not just caricatures by Westerners but by Indians themselves. When desis do it, it seems to be a reverse cultural cringe: Indians seeking to ingratiate themselves with an Indian and/or Western audience by making fun of the Indian stereotype. It serves a dual purpose, perhaps, as a form of rebellion against their parents by caricaturing them. Their embarrassment at being offspring of such Indian Indians is palpable. If only the songs had been funny, I’d have forgiven them. Sadly, they are not.

Wonder what those who take offence at the ‘racial’ depictions of the Indian accent make of this phenomenon.

Related post: The Indian accent, Apu and racist depictions of Desis

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One Response to “That Indian accent again!”

  1. Shrimpy Says:

    I think (hope?) this perplexing hyper-sensitive scrutinizing is peaking. The self consciousness and awkward self mockery probably started with the first generation born to Indians who emigrated soon after Independence. Since then, desi émigrés have become more confident, but also very defensive, as your ‘Apu’ entry indicates.

    My hesitant prediction is that ‘who are we?’ themed books (Namesake), movies (East is East), and ‘this is me’ themed movies (Monsoon Wedding) have only a few more reincarnations left. Following the peakage, the decline will be dragged out by youtube (http://youtube.com/watch?v=QwyAjunz13g).


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