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Does Bollywood portray foreigners in a wrong way?

Foreign actors like Lauren Gottlieb, Elli Avram and Sippora Zoutewelle are doing well in Indian showbiz.


Updated:November 10, 2013, 11:23 AM IST
Does Bollywood portray foreigners in a wrong way?
Foreign actors like Lauren Gottlieb, Elli Avram and Sippora Zoutewelle are doing well in Indian showbiz.

New Delhi: Dutch actress Sippora Zoutewelle has taken the TV route to make her debut in Indian showbiz, rather than Bollywood, because she feels that the portrayal of foreigners in Hindi films is not always correct.

"I think the way foreigners are portrayed in Hindi films is wrong," Sippora told IANS in an interview.

"I didn't like how they (Bollywood filmmakers) portray foreigners in movies. Foreigners are shown to be very sexy and outgoing. They are shown to do everything and have lower (moral) standards compared to Indian society. But my family is conservative and we are much like Indian families," asserted the 21-year-old.

Hailing from Culemborg, a small city in Holland, Sippora always had a keen interest in performing arts. While completing her education, she started learning Bollywood dance and she instantly fell in love with it.

She flew down to Mumbai and sharpened her skills under award-winning choreographer Saroj Khan's tutelage. Language is an issue with most of these actors. Sippora too has been working on her Hindi speaking skills every day.

"The dialect is not a problem, but the pronunciation is an issue. I talk to everyone in Hindi and I try to improve it that way as well," said the determined actress.

Now Sippora is making her debut with Sahara One's new show 'Firangi Bahu', in which she will play a daughter-in-law in an Indian family. The show will premiere Nov 11.

Indira Krishnan, Pranoti Pradhan, Deepmala Parmar, Dilip Darbar, Hetal Puniwala, Paresh Bhatt and Rohit Bharadwaj form the rest of the cast.

Being brought up in a traditional Dutch family helps Sippora relate to Hindu customs and traditions, and thus with a show like 'Firangi Bahu'.

"I think it helps a lot. I come from a traditional family; so I can understand why a family will do what they do in the show. It is easier for me to relate to them," she said.

Sippora is excited about debuting with a project that gives her a chance to steer clear from stereotype parts offered to foreigners.

"I was approached for a couple of movies and songs, but I wanted family kind of roles. Also, in serials, your character will be there on the screen for a while," she said.

She is not the first foreigner to step into the world of Indian television. The others who entered the realms of TV include Alexx O'Nell, who was seen in 'Jhansi Ki Rani' and Suzanne Bernert, who was seen in 'Kasautii Zindagii Kay'.

Reality shows have been more open to them with Lauren Gottlieb, recently seen in dance show 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' and Elli Avram, who is in the current season of 'Bigg Boss'. Even Pamela Anderson featured in a past season of 'Bigg Boss'.

The best thing about India is its festivals, says the actress, who first visited the country as a teenager for a holiday.

"They have a lot of festivals and a lot of things to celebrate. There are so many Indian holidays. In India, they have a festival for everything. People like to enjoy and celebrate," she said.

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