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Bollywood movies behind strengthening Indo-Myanmar ties

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Yangon: It can be hard to believe but notably, Bollywood plays a significant part in strengthening the Indo-Myanmar ties. The prevalence of Hindi movies and their widespread popularity in this neighbouring country is definitely helping build stronger connection between the two countries.

In this Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups and home to precious stone markets and impressive Buddhist sites, Bollywood is extremely popular.

For, right from the maitre d’hotel and chefs to top corporate honchos, Hindi films appear to be a mania in this country dominated by Buddhists.

“My parents migrated to Myanmar from India after Independence and so I learned Hindi from them,” local precious stone seller Ma Khin Kyi said.

The mother of two, who never visited India, said Hindi soaps and films, which are quite popular among many Burmese, helped her master Hindi.

Indian cable and satellite television channels Zee TV and Sony Max are popular Hindi channels in Myanmar, she added.

Bollywood stars of yesteryears like Shashi Kapoor and Mithun Chakraborty and heartthrobs of youngsters; Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan rule their hearts too.

Thirty nine year old taxi driver Mohammad Shafiq, accompanying the visiting Indian journalists, started humming lyrics “Hum tere bin ab reh nahi sakte” of “Aashiqui 2”.

He said Hindi films and TV soaps were quite popular in the country.

“Most of the Hindi films with Burmese dubbing are released here simultaneously,” Shafiq, who speaks Hindi with proficiency, said.

Many youngsters, though not literate in Hindi, are so crazy about Hindi film love songs that they keep on humming the popular ones.

“India and Myanmar have a common heritage and long economic and political relations,” said entrepreneur Mak Patel, who was born and brought up in Yangon.

Octogenarian Patel, who is an Indian citizen and settled in New Delhi, said the craze for the Hindi flicks dates back to the popular song “Mere piya gaye Rangoon” from 1949 movie “Patanga”.

“Even popular satellite channels like Sky Net and MRTV-4 have devoted bigger slots for Hindi movies and serials,” Patel, a former consultant with ONGC Videsh Ltd, said.

Myanmar’s capital, Yangon, has six cinema halls that regularly screen popular Hindi movies.

Strict censorship doesn’t allow Burmese filmmakers to show social and politically driven stories forcing movie buffs to watch Bollywood and Hollywood films through pirated copies.

State-run Central Hotel executive Cheery Tun said she liked Aamir Khan-starrer “3 Idiots” and “PK” so much that she saw them several times.

Energy-rich and resource-rich Myanmar, which got its independence in 1947, is home to a 2.5 million-strong Indian diaspora settled mostly in Yangon and Mandalay.

(Vishal Gulati, IANS)

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“Awards Encourage Me to Work Harder,” Says Pankaj Tripathi

Actor Pankaj Tripathi is thrilled about bagging awards thrice in the last few days. He says it gives him the encouragement to work harder

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Pankaj Tripathi, actor, Bollywood, awards
Pankaj won three awards for his performances in the digital projects "Mirzapur" and "Criminal Justice" Wikimedia Commons

Actor Pankaj Tripathi is thrilled about bagging awards thrice in the last few days. He says it gives him the encouragement to work harder.

Pankaj won three awards for his performances in the digital projects “Mirzapur” and “Criminal Justice”, at three separate award functions held here over the week.

“It’s been an overwhelming week in all for me. There is no greater joy for an actor to be recognised for his work and I was elated to experience the joy three times over. It gives me the encouragement to work harder and I hope to keep up the good work,” said Pankaj.

“Even though I was busy shooting for my film, I ensured to collect these awards and be a part of the extravaganza,” he added.

ALSO READ: Fantastic Time To Be In The Entertainment Industry: Actress Nimrat Kaur

He won the Best Actor honour for “Mirzapur” (iReel Awards 2019), Game Changer of India for his contribution to Indian Cinema – The Economic Times Awards 2019 and Best Actor for “Mirzapur” at the Jagran Film Festival 2019. (IANS)