The larger than life Bollywood films, consumed religiously by Fiji Indians in Australia, have entered a totally new and private space in the land down under. The Ramcharitmanas community which legitimised their social structure of one man and one wife in marriage as a sacrament, in Fiji, is now turning to Bollywood to add masala (spice) to wedding rituals. Still traditional in many facets, the Indian marriage is becoming as innovative as the sets of Bollywood. Fiji Indians combine many aspects of their multicultural space to create a unique blend of rip-roaring Bollywood flavour. With much pomp and ceremony in a “show and tell’’ land of wealth, these innovative additions feature entertainment as a top agenda item while the ritual space is kept in the shadows. Indian weddings in Australia have become a new regimented barometer of wealth and status. Fiji Indian weddings are besotted beyond belief with the fun, pomp and extravaganza as seen on the silver screen. Song and dance sequence are as much part of weddings as they are a backbone to any Bollywood debut. Access to the glitter and glamour of television soaps, other forms of media, such as the World Wide Web, Zee TV and mobile phones have all spawned newer and high-tech additions to wedding ceremonies. The ritual space is reinvented. Professional wedding planners combine old and new, borrowed and invented ideas to make each wedding unique and special. With too much choice, the brides and grooms are becoming ever more discerning in taste. Sydney’s first Indian bridal magazine (My Shaadi) and the first Indian Bridal Fair at the Randwick Racecourse in September, 2006 caused a fashion trend for all things Bollywood. Are the days of close female relatives singing songs to felicitate their daughters and sons during Indian weddings quickly fading away as choreographers and DJs take the stage? This paper looks at this new “wow” element of weddings…for richer and richer.
Lecturer in Journalism, School Of Communication Arts, College of Arts, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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