May 24, 2008

Charlotte's Indians wow Indians

It's always good to see foreigners impressed by Indian cultures. It's extra fun when the foreigners are also Indians (Asian Indians).

Charlotte:  a complete package

Bollywood has found a new foreign locale in this charming American city listed as one of the Top 3 best places to live. Roopa Rao comes back impressed.The Bollywood train has travelled all around scouting for new locales. For a movie with stock car race as the theme where does the crew of Ta Ra Rum Pum go? Where else but Charlotte! The Saif Ali Khan-Rani Mukherji starrer, directed by Siddharth Anand, was shot almost entirely in the US of A, with a few scenes shot in a studio in Mumbai. Portions of the film were filmed in Rockingham, North Carolina at the North Carolina Speedway. Locals affectionately call it ‘The Rock.’ The track has hosted NASCAR events from 1965 to 2004.

There is a huge influence of native Indian tribes. So much so, that native folk art can be found integrated with walkways and pavements. Look out for these quaint touches in day time. The skyline is so spectacular at night that you do not remember to look for the mural art present on the walkways.

One story goes that Charlotte stands for the Colusa tribe, who changed their name to Carlos under Spanish influence, anglicising it to Charlotte. Adding a fine touch to the diversity prevalent in Charlotte is its strong religious roots. There are several religious institutions, including synagogues, monasteries, mosques, even a Swami Narayan temple.

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