Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pop Culture

Pop culture in Oman is essentially just like pop culture in America. Turn on 95.9 HI FM and you'll hear Katy Perry, The Script, Lady Gaga, and many many other American artists. The only concrete difference I see between HI FM and your average radio station in America is that any and all swear words are blurred out. However, my host family is more likely to listen to Arabic pop and occasionally children's songs... cutesy ones. Overall, though, pop culture revolves so much around American/British influences. If you look at the backpacks of the younger children at school, you're likely to see Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, and Transformers themed bags. The movies we see on TV are mostly dubbed American blockbusters. I've seen so many rom-coms through the TV, as well as action films. I saw Breaking Dawn here. Right now I'm watching Star Trek.
One big example that I see of Western pop culture is in the concert life. In November, both the Script and Jay Sean had performances in Muscat, and these concerts were the talk of the town. Everyone was going or knew someone who was. And when they made appearances at City Centre Qurum for autograph signings, my host sisters' Blackberries were blowing up.
One other common influence I see on pop culture here is Japanese anime. There are many backpacks also to be found with various anime stars decorating them, and the big children's TV channel, MBC3, is maybe half anime. One of my Omani friends enjoys drawing anime (though that may just be her).
And then we have the Turkish dramas. My favorite is called Forbidden Love. They are translated to Arabic, and are just so DRAMATIC! I don't even have to understand what's happening to realize that. However, I do know the gist of the story--essentially it's about a guy who falls in love with his uncle's attractive young wife but his uncle's daughter (his cousin) is in love with him and then he marries the cousin but is in love with the young wife and oh my goodness so much drama.

Essentially, pop culture here is very strongly influenced by foreign inputs. It creates an interesting mesh of many different cultures. However, I do wish there was more of an Arab influence. We see a few Kuwaiti series' and hear some Lebanese songs, but otherwise things mostly aren't from the region.

No comments:

Post a Comment