Culture: A Cultural Grand Salaam

Can 2 billion people be wrong? The music, movies and literature of South Asia are the most popular in the world. Now America is falling under their spell

The brash young man seizes the stage of Manhattan's Broadway Theater, sings and dances to a vigorous bhangra and, feeling his rock-star-in-the-making oats, shouts, "Are ya with me, Bombay? ... Are ya with me, New York?" This scene from the new musical Bombay Dreams poses the cultural question of the moment. South Asian pop--Bollywood movies, Indian music and dance, the whole vibrant masala of subcontinental culture--not only enthralls a billion Indians at home but also spans half the world, from Africa and the Middle East to Eastern Europe and the Indian diaspora in Britain and the U.S. Now Indi-pop is close...

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