Bend It Like Beckham Essay

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Over the years, there have been many stereotypes and labels put on Indians. A movie called Bend It Like Beckham was released in 2002 and it touched upon many of these assumptions. The movie uses the life of the main character to create a representation of Indian culture. The plot is based around an Indian girl named Jessminder who has a passion for soccer, but her parents make it very clear to her that they do not want her spending her time on a sport. They want her to get a good education then settle down and have a family. They remind her that her responsibilities are in the kitchen, not out in the soccer field with her friends. They expect Jessminder to find a man to marry and when she does, more problems arise due to the fact that he is not Indian, but white. The entire movie is about her trying to figure out who she is and what she wanted for herself and then going after it and making people, like her parents, understand why. Movies, like Bend It Like Beckham, have a huge impact on how society views Indian community due to its portrayal of Indian culture and it how strict it seems. The movie hits upon many topics of Indian culture like duties and value of women in the Indian community, arranged marriages, and interracial relationships/marriage. Culture is very important in the Indian community, but in order to keep up with the surroundings and lifestyles, it is clear, especially in the movie, that modern times allow Indian youth more freedom from the traditions. Jessminder tries to keep the culture and traditions of the Indian community while integrating it with the traditions and cultures of the community around her, which is what many Indian youths around the world now struggle with. The movie shows how in Indian community, women are valued for their maternal skills as well as their provisional skills. Jessminder’s parents make it clear that the duties of women mainly consist of cooking, cleaning, and raising the children while bringing honor to the family. According to Dr. Singh, the views of many men in India are very similar to those of Jessminder’s parents. “Serving, knitting, painting and music were her pastimes and cooking and cleaning her business” (Status of Women in Indian Society). Jessminder struggles to stick to the responsibilities of Indian culture as she fights for what she wants for herself, which is what she sees women in the Western culture doing; she wants to make something or herself and be the best that she can be. She finds a way to mix both worlds together so that both her parents are proud and happy and she herself is happy. As a result of their newly gained freedom Indian woman have distinguished themselves in various spheres of life as politicians, orators, lawyers, doctors, administrators and diplomats. They are not only entrusted with work of responsibility but also they perform their duties very honestly and sincerely (Status of Women in Indian Society).

Contrary to what many Indians believe, women are just as capable as men and just as responsible. When given the freedom, Indian women can do great things, which is what Jessminder wants for herself. She does follow her passion for soccer and join a traveling team but also makes an effort to meet with her mom in her spare time to learn how to cook and clean. After school and work she goes to practices and games and following that, she comes home for a lesson with her mom. Many times, Indian parents have trouble accepting the culture around them because they fear that their children will forget their roots. The issue that many Indian children, including Jessminder, who grow up in a different countries face is blending into the culture around them while still holding onto their background. She does something she wants for herself so that she is content and happy but also tries to learn how to be a better Indian cook in honor of her parents. She also finds herself falling in love with a man, Joe, that she met...
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