Using the British Sikh community as its research context, this article explores the influence of the Bollywood film genre on what Vertovic refers to as the "diasporic consciousness" in relation to this community. Bollywood attempts to speak to the diaspora by conveying a new sense of "Indian-ness," one that is less about citizenship and more about imagined identity and community. The authors investigate what they have termed the "Indian imaginary" and how the values embedded therein impact on the lives of young British Sikhs. The findings discuss three emergent core themes: (1) reaffirming pride in Indian heritage; (2) evoking romance and longing; and (3) reinforcing family values and a sense of kinship within the British Sikh diaspora. The overall contribution of the article is twofold. First, it illustrates how the globalization of Bollywood affects the Indian diaspora at a local level. Second, it shows how Bollywood provides an important space for negotiating and reconciling various tensions between family-based and more individualistic value systems. Ultimately, then, Bollywood offers young British Sikhs a particular, hybridized representation of courtship and marriage that is both romantic and familial, and that serves to reconcile Eastern and Western marital relationship ideals and oppositional cultural discourses.
- British Sikh
- film genre