2016 Oct 3
by Ridmi Upeksha
Sri Lanka, like any other country in the world, has a population who’s adopted and shaped their day to day lifestyles to smoothly mix into foreign cultures that are coming into the country more now than it was before. Looking at the exposure to cultural indifference through media of other foreign cultures, Sri Lankans are on top of the list when it comes to adapting to those changes so fast and so easily in a short period of time. This scenario doesn’t stop there; it extends into major and very obvious lifestyle changes which leads to prominent changes of mentality of some people from what it was before to a whole other mentally built-in imaginary world.
Media is mostly used as a way of awareness of different occurrences among people. To be precise, it is mainly being used to educate, entertain, and advertise almost everything that exists in the world. Likewise, teledramas are also one key holder in the ongoing media game, purely created with the purpose of entertainment or in some cases, to educate the rest of the world about a specific culture in some way. Entertainment that could lead to certain lifestyle changes and changes in the mentality of viewers has had a more negative impact than positive. Media as a whole is created to involuntarily persuade its viewers into blindly buying things or to change their original point of view of a certain topic or mostly to make them forget the real world that they are in and take them to a world that they see through the TV screen in front of them. Media, like none other, has the same sort of political and cultural influence when it comes to what’s been broadcast to its viewers. Anything on TV is created to satisfy and to thrill its viewers to the right amount to keep up with what’s actually going on in the society.
Sri Lanka, is a country that’s filled with many creative minded people in different sectors. Unfortunately, most of them are unable to showcase their talent in public due to various reasons which is creating a negative effect to the country at a very large scale. One of the major industries that is facing this unfortunate situation at the moment is the movie and teledrama industry. Potential investors of our country without looking to fund such wonderful minds, have now has come up with an alternative option of dubbing foreign teledramas to broadcast on TV almost every day.
Dubbed teledramas are not only a trophy of showcasing the failure of our teledrama industry but is also a way of degrading the quality of the original teledrama itself. Most of the dubbed teledramas that’s been broadcast in our country have sometimes changed conversations in the drama which leads to very prominent changes in the original story line. Does this do any justice to the original drama and or its viewers?
Dubbed Indian teledramas; a major teledrama implication in the country, bigger than local teledramas itself, can be pointed out as a main cause of the current movie/teledrama position our country’s in. Most of these teledramas have stories that are filled with a bunch of unrealistic incidents, which are not imaginable even if they are given all the necessary inputs. Indian teledramas which are made according to cultural and political influence and to the preference of India, has made some major cultural changes in the society of Sri Lanka. Adapting to a culture is very different from leaving aside and forgetting our own culture to another. Change is good, but too much of something could lead to rather unpleasant changes that we cannot come out of, if not noticed well enough.
Indian dramas which are too dramatic and too unrealistic are taking its viewer to an imaginary world, sometimes making them believe that what they see on TV could be real in some way. Some of these viewers actually go into depth of the scenes they see on TV and try to make them real in their lives, leading to rather unfortunate results and disappointments. Some viewers take so much time out their lives just to watch these unreal stories, wasting their valuable time that could have been used for development of their own lives.
This unfortunate situation doesn’t stop there. Some of our local teledramas are made to replicate story lines of other foreign teledramas. The legacy of our culture and society has been completely neglected in some teledrama productions, which is quite shameful. We have to show our people who we really are. We need to treasure and nurture our culture and invest our time to develop it for its betterment. This situation needs to be solved within the media/teledrama/movie community in our society, to analyze this current situation and find answers within our cultural boundaries to come up with new productions to prioritize what is ours. Prioritize what’s ours to make local viewers want to watch more and adore what’s ours; produce stories we can relate to, real incidents that we can take life lessons out of, and to educate ourselves in some way with the time we spend in front our TVs.
This article is not written with an intention to criticize any media network or any ongoing teledrama session. This is written purely with an intention to simply convey another opinion about Sri Lanka’s current teledrama industry.