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Stages and Pages: Fish Eyes and Boys with Cars

06/10/2014

Be prepared to laugh, to cry, to be unsettled as Anita Majumdar, who is herself an actress, playwright, and dancer, transports you to a very Canadian setting of cultural clashes.  Anita presents the world of two different teen girls Meena and Naznin in two different, yet intertwined, coming-of-age stories in the world of Port Moody Secondary School in small town British Columbia.  Both girls are caught between the expectations of their South Asian families and the freer values of the West.  Each girl depends on traditional dance to navigate her dilemma and yet yearns to escape.  Meena in Fish Eyes struggles with detaching herself from her Indian dance skill and cultural background in hopes of capturing the interest of Buddy, her first crush, while Naznin in Boys with Cars patiently dances at events in the cultural community as she awaits the return of her first boyfriend after she is accused of adultery.  The intense emotions of youth, the clashes of cultures, the misunderstandings, racism (on both sides), and agonies that result are a picture of what is faced when cultures meet.  Expect some jibes at colonialism and its legacy as well as at Canada’s emphasis on cultural identity.  A review of Anita Majumdar’s performance of Fish Eyes in the Belfry Theatre in Victoria gives an idea of the complex choreography and also mentions the unsettling feeling the plays leave you with.  Anita’s mother scolded her for covering issues such as honour killings with humour and comedy but it is in doing so that Anita is reaching a wider audience and is facing and dealing with issues.   

Fish Eyes and Boys with Cars shows at the Great Canadian Theatre Company from October 14 to November 2.   Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for a chance to win tickets to a fun and Canadian experience!   And enjoy the books below to read other experiences for further understanding of the challenges we face in the increasingly multicultural society in Canada. 

GCTC 2014-15: Fish Eyes & Boys with Cars by LectureOttawaReads

As part of the Ottawa Public Library's "Stages and Pages" partnership with the Great Canadian Theatre Company, we have compiled this list to accompany the production of Fish Eyes & Boys with Cars which will be playing at the GCTC October 14 - November 2, 2014.

  • Image: Everything Was Good-bye

    Everything Was Good-bye

    A Novel
    By Basran, Gurjinder
    Meena, a young Indo-Canadian woman growing up in British Columbia, struggles to reconcile her desire for a Canadian lifestyle with the demands of her Punjabi traditions and culture, especially when she falls for a young man who asks her to run away with him.
  • Image: Maya Running

    Maya Running

    By Banerjee, Anjali
    Teen fiction: Maya, a Canadian of East Indian descent, struggles with her ethnic identity, infatuation with a classmate, and the presence of her beautiful Bengali cousin, Pinky, who comes for a visit bearing a powerful statue of the god Ganesh, the Hindu elephant boy.
  • Image: Tears of Mehndi

    Tears of Mehndi

    By Sidhu, Raminder
    Told through the perspectives of several women, this first novel explores the lives of people caught between two cultures in Vancouver’s Little India and exposes shrouded violence within Canada's Punjabi community.
  • Image: Unworthy Creature

    Unworthy Creature

    A Punjabi Daughter's Memoir of Honour, Shame and Love
    By Papp, Aruna
    This is the memoir of a South Asian immigrant to Canada whose formative years in India were steeped in a patriarchal culture of honour and shame, in which the burden of the family's good standing rests on the sexual purity of girls and women.
  • Image: Untouchables

    Untouchables

    My Family's Triumphant Journey Out of the Caste System in Modern India
    By Jadhav, Narendra
    Jadhav was born into a family of Dalits, the lowest group in Indian society. In this memoir, he recounts his family's struggle for equality, focusing particularly on his father, who rejected his role as village servant and stood up to the caste system in order to provide a better life for his children.
  • Image: Growing up Canadian

    Growing up Canadian

    Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists
    This comparative study of religion among young adults of Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist immigrant families considers several topics, including: how relating to religion varies significantly depending on which faith is in question, how men and women differ in their views on the role of religion in their lives, and how the possibilities of being religiously different are greater in larger urban centres than in surrounding rural communities.
  • Image: Clash!

    Clash!

    8 Cultural Conflicts That Make Us Who We Are
    By Markus, Hazel Rose
    The authors show how people’s cultural backgrounds create and reflect two basic ways of being – independent vs. interdependent – which in turn shape everything from how we run our governments to how we raise our children. They also discuss how clashes between independence and interdependence fuel many of today's most pressing conflicts.
  • Image: Creative Destruction

    Creative Destruction

    How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures
    By Cowen, Tyler
    Economist Cowen questions the commonly held belief that globalization is subverting local culture and dumbing down societies everywhere. Using a variety of examples, he argues that indigenous cultures are made more vibrant and diverse through cross-cultural trade, even when pressures exerted by market forces lead societies to become more like each other.
  • Image: Slumdog Millionaire

    Slumdog Millionaire

    Music From the Motion Picture
    By Rahman, A. R.
    Tunes from the hit Bollywood movie, including “Jai Ho”.
  • Image: Bollywood Dance for Beginners
    This instructional DVD introduces Bollywood steps and styling, as well as cultural concepts that make Bollywood music and dance so uniquely colourful.