Rise of Indian Stars on American TV
- By Sam George
- Published 05/8/2007
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
A regular reader of this blog send me a brief email asking why I haven’t yet commented on Sanjaya Malakar on the American Idol show. Of course, there is much coverage on this phenomena in the newsmedia. See USA Today, Delware Online and India Tribune (BTW, I write a regular column for Chicago based IT on youth & family issues in the Indian American community).
Of course, the recent craze of Sanjaya on American Idol has taken the Indian American community by storm. It has become a major point of discussion at dorm hangouts, office water coolers, weekend parties, temples/churches etc. Even part of the regular calls to folks back in India, “Did you know, one Indian kids is going to become an American Idol….. his hair, his style and support from American viewers.”
It is not just Sanjaya on the prime time television. There is also Naveen Andrews in LOST, Sendhil Ramamurthy in Heros and others. I heard after the release of movie Namesake, Kal Penn has many tv contracts. You can see Indian faces in ER, Office and other prime time shows as well. Not to mention many news readers, anchor persons and reporters are of Indian origin are a regular feature now.
Indian are competing in acting, film directions and productions as well. They are getting in the tv & movie game big time. Just like other Indians in America, whatever field they have entered, they excelled and rised to the top. And the latest is prime time TV.
Now parents are realizing to be successful in life, you options are not limited to doctors, engineers or lawyers. Spell bees, science fairs or math olympiad may not be the only thing Indian parents encourage their American born kids to pursue anymore. As result of this, even writing, acting, music, painting, performing arts etc will be encouraged in Indian American homes. That’s a good trend, I guess.
But I do have problems with our community obsession with celebrating success. It creates enormous pressure for others to succeed. Excessive parental pressure and unhealthy expectations create lots of problems for all.
What about atheletics and sports? When will Indian Americans sports star be born?