Multicultural Parody Along The Information Highway

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By Frank Ahrens
Sunday, April 30, 2006

I have mentioned the fabulous parody power of the Internet. What I find fascinating is how the parodies often reveal the remarkable transfer of culture that technology enables these days.

I am not the first to say it, but the Internet is today's version of the Silk Road, the great east-west trading route through southern Asia that was opened by Alexander the Great and later named for the flow of Chinese silk to Rome around the time of Christ.

But much more than silk traveled along this route. It was a multi-culti highway, transporting art, faith, languages and weapons and printing technology from China to Europe and back again.

In much the same way, a couple of Indian dudes have created a video parody of Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" they call "Curry N Rice Girl." The comic-song duo that calls itself MC Vikram and Ludakrishna (haha!) whipped up the little four-minute video detailing their hapless attempts to find wives who will satisfy their parents:

I really want to find the right girl,

I want a curry 'n' rice girl.

I ask my dad and I ask my mom,

put my biodata on shaadi.com. . . .

America's greatest export is its culture, for good and bad. And much of our culture is packaged by our entertainment, specifically, our movies and music.

Stefani is a lively and likable performer. Her songs and videos are infectious and simple enough to understand and dance to in a way that, oh, say, songs by Rush and Yes are not. As a self-empowered young blond woman, a white pop star with a hip-hop sensibility and rap-star friends, she is in many ways the quintessential American musical export. All of which makes her easily translatable song a solid target for Vik 'n' Luda's parody/homage, a little export back to us along the Internet Silk Road.

There are two elements to parody: idea and execution. Let's just say these fellows have a little way to go on the execution part. But the ideas are good. And they have fun at themselves, always a good sign. You can hear their songs at http://www.viknluda.com/ .

By the way, http://www.shaadi.com/ prominently mentions on its site that it has been named the "most preferred online matrimonial site for Indians" by an Internet research company.


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