A parody by Radio-Canada on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India last year has sparked off a controversy with some South Asians calling it insulting (‘Completely disrespectful to our cultures’) and others asking fellow South Asians to lighten up (‘People gotta stop taking everything so offensively’).
Ina Roy reacted on Radio-Canada’s Facebook: “We at @bollywood blast have been providing authentic Indian culture to Quebec for many years working with Quebec artists. We love our province. Our PM who we had the pleasure to dance with (yes us in the viral video) at least is very mindful about our culture and partakes with grace. This video is completely disrespectful to our cultures. Kicking down cows, ‘imitating’ our dances. Not cool. I understand the point of political satire however to use a culture with ignorance??? This is Cultural appropriation at its finest. We have always admired Radio-Canada to be a respected media source…What happened?!
“First, thank you for writing to us about your concerns about this skit.
“Our intention was in no way to disrespect the Indian community or Indian traditions or culture. The writers, comedians and the dance troupe involved in the creation of this skit were poking fun at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his apparent fondness for superficially “embracing” traditional Indian culture via his clothes and, of course, his dancing to traditional Indian music in February.
“Bye Bye 2018 is meant to skewer various newsworthy events, and is definitely not supposed — nor has it ever claimed to be — an accurate or authentic reflection of anything, or anyone. It is a caricature and humorous, and should be perceived as such.”
Maaha Khan wrote: “As a born and raised Québécoise, I’ve experienced a lot of ignorance and racism growing up; however, I’ve never in my life been as offended as I am after watching this video. Félicitations Radio-Canada for creating the most disgusting video of all time.”
But Reena Devayani had a different reaction: “To all who think this is ignorant or offensive. If it was any other culture or people being made fun of no one would say anything about and laugh along with it (ex. Whenever trump is made fun of for whatever reason). As an Indian myself. I find it quite funny and people gotta stop taking everything so offensively.”
Vijay Sa agreed: “This is funny and good .who is offended by it? Like white lefities? Of course the only problem I have with this video is, don’t know if this is parody or real good work Radio-Canada . I loved it. Brown skin doesn’t mean thin skin. Grow up people, enjoy the pun.”