The capital city of Bhutan doesn’t have a theatre which screens foreign movies like Bollywood and Hollywood and guess what? That is a good thing. Good because it reduces the chances of influencing the younger generation to act and be like them(outsiders.)
Of course in the 21st century we don’t need theatres and the established fact that there are so many other sources to watch foreign movies,and now with the internet connecting everyone just with one click everything is watched online. But theatre and watching movie all by yourself or your friend are different. Theatre is art. It attracts audience to watch in Silence and different people have different reactions towards the end of the show.
In Thimphu we have few video libraries where one can hire these foreign movies but not a theatre and that too is slowly dying out cause of the online world. I say this(culture and theatre and foreign movies being related) because when i lived in the south for 5 years, i and my friends were really affected by indian movies(Bollywood). Every week we would go to watch movies that screened in the Norgay hall which was in Bhutan and the other hall in Jaigoen(India side).
Those days we didn’t have so many Bhutanese movies so when someone talked about movies at school, home or outside, we would talk about the latest hindi movies. I and most people who lived in the south have grown watching hindi movies like dhoom, Kaho Na Pyar Hai and etc..Now one significant thing i noticed is that we became fluent in speaking hindi within days because we were always singing hindi songs at school, pretending to play daddy and mummy from a hindi soap like the ka sauti ke Zindagi which screened a typical indian household where the new husband soon gains the spouse’s love and affection.
And when i moved to the western part things were totally different. When ever i used to wear my jama(meaning a dress in hindi) people would make fun of me calling me,”Bangali.” While i was living in the south at one point we even started learning how to sing India’s national anthem from one of our friends who went to school in the neighbouring town. And now as i see it, it does look pretty scary because every day we were taught at school that our culture is our biggest treasure and a threat to it would led to mis fortune.What i am trying to say is that although these minor thing like theatre and music might not seem too big to make a difference, it will and still does have an impact on us. Today ask any youth who lived through the era where we didn’t have much Bhutanese movies,to choose over Bollywood or Bhutanese films, the answer would be hollywood and then few would say Bollywood!
In the winter of 2008,when i met two american couples in India we were talking about Richard Gere who’s a supporter of the Dalai Lama and they named few movies and asked me deliberately if i watched it and i replied saying yes. They were baffled. May be because they were not smart enough to realise that,”HOLLYWOOD,” is international baby or whatever other reasons.
The power of movies and music is clearly sited in a small country like Bhutan. In and around 2009, there was a korean atomic bomb dropped in the mind of the youths. The funniest thing is i am not sure which started first, the shops that basically sold everything korean or the series that took away all the times that youths would spend doing random stuffs like swimming, playing basketball or going to the park and most importantly the times that we would have spend watching and dancing to Dzongkha movies and songs.
My teacher used to tell me in a serious tone that,’ While eating bread and ham, don’t forget to eat our Ema datshi,’ so today all i can say is while watching too many hindi soaps and american drama don’t forget that you are from a country with nothing but rich natural and cultural resources which is the only way to sustain us.