In this series, I’ll go over the ways Indian weddings have been featured in the media — well Western media. I’m sure Indian weddings are featured prominently in Indian and South Asian media, in which case they’re simply “weddings” (but by no means any less special!).
The beauty and radiance of Indian culture and weddings have been featured in films such as Moulin Rouge, Bend It Like Beckham, and Bride and Prejudice. But today I’m going to talk to you about one of the ways I was first exposed to Indian culture.
Back in the late 90s, The Simpsons produced an episode that was not only funny; it was informative and brought Indian culture, and weddings, into the homes of millions of suburban Americans.
In this episode (Episode 5F04 “The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons”), Springfield resident Apu Nahasapeemapetilon learns it is time for his arranged marriage to take place. In an attempt to get out of it, Apu lies to his mother, telling her he already got married, and proceeds to live the life of a bachelor.
That is, until his mother and wife-to-be, Manjula, arrive. What ensues is hilarity and a lesson in cross-cultural exchange. The final scene features a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony, the lovely bride Manjula in her red sari (red? Did someone say red?), and a Hindi version of the Carpenters’ “(They Long to Be) Close to You.”
Although this episode lightly jabs at arranged marriages, polytheism, and long-held traditions, I still feel it was a great way to teach people about other cultures and customs. Whoever said TV was a waste of time?!!
Now, please enjoy a short (short short) clip from the show!
Images and video courtesy and property of Gracie Films and 20th Century Fox Television.