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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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Zumba Master Beto Perez Happy That People Are Health Conscious

"Music is fundamental to Zumba. With great music, you lose yourself in the moment and it doesn't feel like you are working out.

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He will be collaborating with Badshah before the end of 2018, and it will see the singer's signature sounds getting choreography and being distributed to Zumba instructors across the globe.
Beto Perez, Columbian dancer and choreographer, wikimedia commons

Excited about hosting a masterclass in India, Beto Perez, creator of the fitness solution Zumba, says by creating a fun environment, people don’t realise how hard they are working out. He is glad people worldwide are becoming conscious about the importance of exercise.

In India for the fourth edition of Fitex India 2018, Perez on Saturday hosted a high-powered masterclass in Greater Noida, to the beats of famed Indian rapper Badshah.

“The energy that comes from an Indian crowd of Zumba fans is like nowhere else in the world. I am also excited to meet so many new instructors in India. Our programme is booming and it gives me enormous pride to know we are creating employment opportunities for thousands of people,” Perez told IANS in an email interview.

He will be collaborating with Badshah before the end of 2018, and it will see the singer’s signature sounds getting choreography and being distributed to Zumba instructors across the globe.

Zumba mixes dance and aerobic elements with accompanying music that is mainly Latin, but also incorporates various genres of music. The movements involve martial arts, squats, lunges and other aerobic techniques.

In 2001, Perez collaborated with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to create Zumba Fitness, LLC.

Over the years, the company has partnered with stars like Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Shakira, Maluma, Shaggy, Claudia Leitte, Pitbull, Wisin, Yandel, Don Omar, Luis Fonsi, Lil Jon and Daddy Yankee, to incorporate high-energy music into their popular fitness routines.

He will be collaborating with Badshah before the end of 2018, and it will see the singer's signature sounds getting choreography and being distributed to Zumba instructors across the globe.
Zumba Dance, wikimedia commons

“Music is fundamental to Zumba. With great music, you lose yourself in the moment and it doesn’t feel like you are working out.

“Latin music works perfectly for Zumba as the primary steps in class stem from certain Latin styles. But Bollywood music is right up there too,” added the 48-year-old Columbian, who dismisses the concept of ‘Bollywood Zumba’.

“It is important to note that ‘Bollywood Zumba’ does not formally exist. A Zumba class can certainly feature some Bollywood-style tracks but it is important that the music is primarily Latin and follows a certain formula, in which we train instructors.

“Only a properly trained and licensed instructor can deliver the genuine experience. That said, we at Zumba have created some Bollywood style tracks which we have provided to instructors around the world…and they absolutely love them.”

A core idea behind the fitness routine is to combine fun with exercise.

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“People have realised that exercise is the best medicine. Regular exercise reduces the likelihood of a range of diseases and improves the mood. Exercise has moved away from being just for those that want to compete in sport or show off their body — it is a means by which everyone can lengthen their life expectancy.”

Asserting that it is a “business of fun”, Perez added: “Create a fun environment and people don’t realise how hard they are working and how many calories they are burning. The ability to connect with an audience and bring a sense of joy to the class is primarily what I look for in an instructor.

“It’s not about being the best dancer or having the biggest muscles…it’s about filling a room with energy and happiness.” (IANS)