Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Desi Subculture in EC

The general population of Qatar is mostly comprised of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and others from the Indian subcontinent, which is about 50% of the total population. Even in Education City, a majority of the student population comes from the Indian subcontinent and commonly referred to as "Desis". A big event that is going to take place in Education City (EC) next week is Desi Night which is an event that showcases the talents of various desi students which includes singing; dancing and stand-up comedy. 

For the Youth Culture in the Middle East course, the class discussed about how interaction plays a huge role in the development of subculture. According to Grazian, culture is conditioned by interaction and the context about which it revolves. We also discussed about using the dramaturgy approach to analyze subcultures. Hence, I noticed that the dramaturgy approach could be used for the Desi Night to examine the desi subculture in Education City. So, I wiil be applying this approach for Desi Night 2011 that took place last year.The five important elements that need to be considered while using the dramaturgy approach are – Actors; setting; roles; audience; front stage and backstage behavior.

Actors – The actors for this particular event included all the desi students of EC. For this particular event, all the EC students who performed the various desi songs and dances were the actors. The facilitators of the event that included the VCUQ student government association can also be grouped as actors. (Not surprisingly, the VCUQ student government association is completely comprised of desi students)

Roles – The roles includes the roles taken up by the various actors for this event. This includes performers who put on the show and facilitators who were in charge of making sure that the event took place smoothly; the MCs who ensured the smooth transition from one performance to next.

                                                                        The main MC   

Setting – The setting for this event was in VCUQ lounge. Every year, it is held there as it can provide space for a large number of people up to 50 students.

Audience – The audience includes all those people who attended the event which includes various students from EC; guest students from universities outside EC and families of the performers.

Front stage and backstage behavior – The front stage behavior includes the performances put n by the actors such a singing, dancing and stand up comedy.

The backstage behavior includes the actions of those facilitators who helped around the event such as taking care of the caterer; helping out the performers in changing costumes; providing materials for the MC for the order of events.

After observing the event through these elements, it becomes obvious that interaction is the link that joins all the elements together that contributes to the Desi subculture in EC. For example, there are a lot of groups that are segregated on the basis of their nationality. However, for this event, people from various countries were involved in dance performances together. This would not have been possible without interaction which includes word of mouth communication Even in the audience, you could see groups of students that would not usually interact outside would interact and comment on performances together.

It is interesting how these events act as platforms of impact on the Desi subculture in EC.

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