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Indo-Fijian kid's album makes waves

Bollywood has Germans dancing to its tunes Indo-Asian News Service New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Guess who's shaking a leg to the latest Bollywood songs and lapping up Indian movies - Indians at home and abroad, of course, but also an entire generation of young Germans, as an Indian delegation recently found to its surprise. The nine-member delegation headed by Minister of State for Defence M. Pallam Raju was in Stuttgart earlier this month for an Indian film festival, which was part of a programme by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to promote bilateral ties between India and Germany. Madhu Goud Yaskhi, a Lok Sabha MP from Nizamabad, who was part of the delegation that also included former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, said he was "amazed" to see young Germans enjoying Bollywood movies, songs and even dancing to the lively dance tunes. "I was really surprised to see the crowd that gathered to watch Bollywood movies and for a live music show at a place like Stuttgart where not too many Indians live," Yaskhi told IANS. According to the Congress MP who still runs a law firm in New York but spends most of his time in India, of the 350-400 youngsters who gathered to watch the pop music show, only 75 to 100 were Indians. "Everybody else was German." It was the same for the films as well, with Germans outnumbering Indians at least three to one. During the six-day festival from July 12, at least 20 movies, including Tamil and Malayalam films, were shown. "Even a movie like 'Mixed Doubles' that does not have music or well known actors was watched keenly by the Germans," said Yaskhi about the Rajat Kapoor directed art house film that has no major Bollywood stars. "I met a lady from Cologne, who can sing Hindi songs and say dialogues from the Hindi movies. She told me she and her husband listen to Hindi music every day and dance to them," he said. Yaskhi was amazed to find local TV channels in south Germany showing Hindi movies with German subtitles every week. Stuttgart has been hosting Indian film festivals for the last three years. "We have heard a lot of stories about the Germans' newfound love for India. We were told that German papers carry a lot of stories about India these days," Yaskhi said. Indo-Asian News Service
None | By Indo-Asian News Service, Suva
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2006 12:47 PM IST

A nine-year-old Indo-Fijian, Arjun Pawan Sami, has hit the headlines by releasing an album of bhajans.

The fourth-grader from Lautoka, Fiji's second largest city in the country's northwest, last week released the album titled Bhakti Tambura.

Sami has been singing bhajans, or Hindu hymns, with his father and has been able to touch the hearts of thousands of Hindus here.

"I began singing bhajans after I heard Michael Chand Mahabir, Fiji's top bhajania (bhajan singer)," a report in the Fiji Times newspaper quoted Sami as saying.

The youngster has embarked on a journey that he claims is the beginning of a whole new era in the singing of bhajans.

Arjun's popularity had grown very quickly as the family receives requests from all sections of the community for his performances. He plans to release more albums this year.

Arjun's father, Krishna Sami, told the newspaper he and his wife were surprised at how fast their son picked up on the type of music.

Sami senior said he had written to the Indian High Commission here to make arrangements for the official launch of Arjun's album.

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