Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cross Cultural Understanding : The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This movie tells a story about sex seniors who plan to spend their last years in a retirement resort in Jaipur, India. They come from different background, with different problems, but each of them shares the same thing; the desperation of the old days and the anxiety of being the marginal part of society.

Because these are old people with old values suddenly being thrown into a country with a landslide of difference with their own beloved England, there are a lot of interesting cases of culture crossing. India, known as a third world country, makes them very anxious about everything. The food, for instance, scares them not only in terms of its spicy and stomach-unfriendly nature, but also hygiene. In India, it’s common for people in public place to offer food to another person, even someone they don’t know, but this is not acceptable for them. Also, when visiting people’s house, it is very rude not to accept the food offered by the host, which is another habit completely strange for the British. The horrendous traffic and horrible infrastructure are also shocking. These people had a hard time accepting the fact that if you are driving through the road in a country like India (especially in marginal areas) you just have to accept that people are going to act like traffic laws are nonexistent.

There also some things of a milder nature, like when a character named Evelyn bought a sari and was about to pay for it, another character, Douglas, came and said to tell the seller the price she want to pay, not the price he ask. When the seller didn’t agree, he told her to leave no matter how much she wants the sari because the seller will end up chasing them anyway. He said, ‘This is the game we play.’ In the end, they lose, but still interesting to see how they adapt to a buying tradition that definitely doesn’t exist in England.

Some of them are quite open- minded about the whole change, but others are downright degrading and racist. But with time, they learn to appreciate everything’s around them; the color, the noise, the smile and the kindness. The way people strive and struggle, the way they think of life as a privilege and not as a right.

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