Hornbill Unleashed

October 28, 2016

Deepavali ads nail Indian stereotyping

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:01 PM

The Petronas video is titled “I am Muniandy”. Two tough-looking Indian men are seen in the vicinity of low cost flats covering the scar on one’s face with a bandana and another carrying a bag full of hard tools, as every other race watch them suspiciously.

They then jump on a motorbike and buy more tools such as fence cutters. They then creep into a house. There, they surprise a woman and it is later shown that they were actually there to clean up an old folks’ home, in time for Deepavali celebrations.

Another Deepavali greeting video which had gone viral was put together by Hindu NGOs ” embarking on nationwide Campaign called Alcohol Free Deepavalli Celebration 2015 with full support of Ministry of Health, Malaysia Hindu Sangam and Majlis Belia Msia”.

Titled “Paati oh Paati”, it shows youths who got drunk on Deepavali, only to be beaten up by their ‘bad-ass grandmother’.

The video information stated that “Some studies suggest Indians spend about RM150 million for alcohol and entertainment during this festival season wastefully and RM750 million annually”.

And then of course there is the SAYS.com video which shows an Indian woman reading out loud the naive tweets on Deepavali, and curtly replying to them, which got some boiling on the social media. Yet, the clip, which ends with all the lights going off and the woman asking if others can see her, put in perspective what all Indians in Malaysia go through everyday.

Although Indians are not the only ones in Malaysia to be stereotyped in Malaysia due to their economic hardship and skin colour, the very fact that the stereotyping is downgrading is the sad state of Malaysian mentality which has yet to change.

While some will say Indians have the best sense of humour, it is made worse when Malaysian Indians themselves have accepted this stereotyping and then deflect it back on the other races, as shown in one ad where the grandmother gets the Chinese girlfriend of her grandson to prove that she can wear saree and make muruku before she is accepted into the family.

Due to their popularity, these types of ads will be made and showed every festival for many years to come, but they surely show what we Malaysians actually think of each other, despite our pretence at accepting each other.

Perhaps it is time for all of us – Indians or not – to work on getting rid of these stereotypes.

Source : Zakiah Koya@The Heat Malaysia Online


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