The ‘Salman Khan scarf’ comes to Afghanistan

The Washington Post reports that teenage boys in Afghanistan are rushing to buy “narrow, boldly hued” multi-colored scarves as part of a new trend inspired by Salman Khan’s character in the film Ek Tha Tiger. The trend apparently started after the video for the song Mashallah (above) was released.

As Richard Leiby reports:

The look gradually caught on with teenage boys after the [Mashallah video’s] summer release, and the scarves now add striking dashes of color — red, orange, blue and striped combinations — to the drab, forbidding landscape of Kabul, which bristles with steel-and-wire encampments and machines of war.

It is but one signifier of increased outside cultural influences here, particularly among the young, to the chagrin of some older Afghans. They see an erosion of the Islamic ways as people reject traditional dress to keep in step with Bollywood and Hollywood.

Later on in the article we get the requisite quote from a taxi driver, who says, “I am totally against these Western influences. If a movie actor would take his pants off and put them over his shoulder, the next day you would see it in Kabul.”

While the article’s interesting and paints a portrait of what life is like for the youth of Kabul, I wonder about how accurate it all is. After all, Salman Khan’s paternal grandfather was born in Afghanistan and the actor has described himself as “half Muslim and half Hindu”, two facts that don’t make him sound particularly ‘Western.’ Additionally, Bollywood’s popularity in Afghanistan has been well-documented and Afghans have been watching Indian films for generations, making Salman Khan’s popularity nothing new. (Also, the conflation of Bollywood and Western culture throughout the piece is one of the stranger parts of the article.)

The scarves look nice though.


Why “The Mindy Project” Matters

Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell has been my favorite new show this season (for a sample of the reasons why check out this and this.)

Comedian Hari Kondabolu is a writer for the show and recently did this web exclusive on why Mindy Kaling’s new sitcom is good for Indian-Americans everywhere. And yes, he mentions both Apu and the Metro PCS guys. Check it out:

Archie Panjabi: My mother said I was destined to be an actress

Archie Panjabi visited Live with Kelly and Michael Thursday to promote the upcoming season of The Good Wife (which returns on Sept 30 on CBS). In addition to sharing her love for macaroni and cheese and other American foods, Panjabi revealed that her mother predicted she’d become an actress shortly after her birth.

“Apparently when I popped out of my mum, my mum looked at me and just went ‘There was something in your eyes that said, I want to be an actress’,” the Emmy-nominated actress told the hosts. She added that her parents originally intended to name her Aarti but that her mother then changed it to Archana (which means worship) because she thought her daughter would move to America when she grew up to become an actress.

“So, I’m thinking if I have a child, I’m going to call it Oscar,” she joked.