“Home is not the place one left: Or Masala as a ‘multi-cultural culinary treat?’
Being a stranger in a strange land is an alienating and confusing experience , as Thomas Waugh details in his essay Home is not the place one left : Or Masala as a `multi-cultural culinary treat ' The essay explores the diasporic film Masala by Srinivas Krishna , and the struggles and culture of South Asians living in Canada . Waugh explains the methods that Krishna uses in his film to explore his ethnic heritage and how it mutated in the foreign culture of Canada . These ethnoscapes ' as Waugh claims , are used by Krishna in Masala to
portray the distinctive ethnicity of his Indian heritage as it combines and clashes with the Western world through food , transportation technology , and clothing
Masala as a Diasporic Film
With the release of the feature Masala in 1991 , a project for which the then-twenty-six-year-old Krishna directed , produced , wrote , and starred he established himself as one of the most interesting filmmakers working in North America . Masala , true to its name , blends elements from different genres and national cinemas to create a compelling portrait of the diverse population of Toronto 's South Asian community . Krishna incorporated his experiences as an Indian immigrant growing up in Toronto , his grandmother 's stories of the god Krishna , and the wacky musical trappings of Bollywood films to create this weirdly wonderful look at the lives of Indian immigrants in polite , friendly politically-correct Canada in the early 1990s (2007
As Waugh shows , Krishna weaves multicultural threads together expertly making them intersect at just the right time to bring the film to its dizzying conclusion . Along the way the film presents many facets of life for South Asians living in a world so radically different from the one they left behind . Another element of immigrant culture that Masala incorporates is the world of Bollywood film , seen in elaborate dream sequences in the form of bizarre , over the top musical numbers in true Bollywood style . These are somewhat cheesy , quite funny , and surprisingly honest in what they reveal about the characters , combining the elements of Western film and the cultural films of India (2005
Anthropologist Arjun Appadurai offers a definition of ethnoscapes and the proliferation of transnational citizens in the modern world . As Pete Nowakoski notes , the ethnoscape of a nation is comprised of people who make up the shifting world in which we live : tourists , immigrants refugees , exiles , guest-workers and other groups and persons [that] constitute an essential feature of the world and appear to affect the politics of and between nations to an unprecedented degree (2006 For Canadians of Indian descent as portrayed in Masala , Waugh discussed how Krishna portrays these ethnoscapes in his movie : This diagnosis lends special resonance to Krishna 's repertoire not only of musical and erotic fantasies and performance excess but also of the colours fabrics , foods , and objects by which his diasporic community constitute themselves , and which were assembled with dazzling authority by his costumers and decorators (2002 . Waugh then explains how the culture that Krishna attempts to portray is...