Students celebrate culture during SPEED’s Bollywood Night

By Quinton R. Arthur

Staff Reporter

Students celebrate culture during SPEED’s Bollywood Night

Students wear traditional Indian attire during the Bollywood night event. Photo Credit: Quinton R. Arthur

     The SPEED activities board hosted a cultural event around the theme of Bollywood, a         widely recognized part of the Indian film industry. Music from Bollywood movies were played and Indian themed refreshments were served at the event in Congress Lounge on March 23.

        According to “I Need an Indian Touch: Glocalization and Bollywood Films”, The name Bollywood is combination of Bombay, formerly named Mumbai, and Hollywood. Another article published by the International Business Times indicates that the Bollywood film industry has the largest number of films produced each year, with over 1,000 films made per year which is double the films produced in Hollywood annually.        

        Manisha Vinpannarar, the event manager for Bollywood Night, was excited to execute the event.

      “Bollywood is one of the largest movie industries in the world,” says Vinpannarar. “We thought by bringing the music and dresses, we would engage students in an interesting way.”

      Bollywood has proven itself as a profitable endeavor for those involved. According to, “ticket prices are so much lower in India than in the US., Hollywood generates much higher revenue – as much as $51 billion annually.”

      Bollywood movies usually draw from six sources: Indian epics, Sanskrit drama, traditional folk theatre of India, Parsi theatre, Hollywood and western music television. Music in particular determines whether the movie will be successful.

     “Few films without successful musical tracks, and even fewer without any songs and dances, succeed,” according to an article about Bollywood by the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication.

        The event ended with a Bollywood dance teaching session, where students were able to learn different dances. The session was taught by Hema Gidwani, a former Zumba instructor from Mumbai. Students engaged in the lesson with laughter and acceptance of a new culture.

      “The event was great, it was really cool to see other cultures not usually represented to do programs,” said Brandon Rohlwing, a student who attended the event. “SPEED did a great job of bringing in a different culture to educate the campus community.”

      According to Vinpannarar, Bollywood is becoming more recognized in the U.S. and with that growth is coming a better understanding of Indian culture.

      “As years go on, Bollywood is becoming a huge part of America,” says Vinpannarar. “There are a lot of Indian actors coming here and working with famous actors. I feel as time goes on more people are getting knowledge about Bollywood and the Indian culture.”

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