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Indian soap sizzles on Brazilian TV
1 Mar 2009, 0514 hrs IST, Saira Kurup, TNN
NEW DELHI: A television soap about saas-bahu rivalry and forbidden love between a Dalit boy and upper-caste girl is topping TV
ratings - not in India, but in distant Brazil.
The success of ‘Caminho das Indias’, which roughly translates as ‘passage to India’, shows that it's not just 'Slumdog Millionaire' that is successfully showcasing an Indian story abroad.
The actors are all Brazilian, but the characters manifestly Indian, wearing saris, churidar-kurtas and ghagra-cholis . They speak Portuguese but use Hindi terms like namaste , firangi , chai and chalta hai . Saas-bahu tensions sizzle on Brazilian TV sets, as well as Indian customs such as touching the feet of elders.
Paulo Antonio Pinto, Brazil's consul-general in Mumbai, says, "We don't feel we are watching a very different culture because Brazil also has a multicultural society. I feel the soap shows what's common between Brazil and India, not what's different."
Television soaps are immensely popular in South America's biggest country and often spark lifestyle and fashion trends. 'Caminho das Indias' is now seen to be popularizing the idea of ‘how to be an Indian’ with Brazilians learning to wear saris, bindis and bangles and do the bhangra .