What better way to learn about a culture than through its movies? Here are 10 Hindi movies to learn about Indian culture.
If you want to learn about Indian culture, all you need to do is watch some of the timeless movies we churn out as a country each year, and notice the graph of how our society has evolved. Cinema is a huge part of almost EVERY Indian’s life. They take pride in their movies & cricket. Mutually inclusive and the emotions are very high.
Those hours that we take away from our life, are not just meant to show us a story but take us on an emotional roller coaster, and for those of us outside India, show us a reflection of how life in India is now.
A filmy family
I come from a “filmy” family. In India, that usually means we watch every movie! My family though, takes it one step ahead and quotes dialogues verbatim in real life, since we have seen our favorite ones so many times. We use whatever we can to stay inspired AND we are get a high from a movie full of drama, dance and all that jazz! Our favorite way to pass time is movies.
A multi-million dollar industry, the Hindi language cinema alone is a huge entity on it’s own. Indian cinema is possibly the only entertainment industry that has Broadway included in most movies since the very first movies made. There’s action, emotion, drama, family values and more packed into a 2.5 hour that is aimed to keep you glued to your seat.
Bollywood, a combination of Bombay (now Mumbai) and Hollywood, has gone a tremendous curve as far as storytelling goes. From going a fully melodramatic story line with tonnes packed in to today wanting to say simple stories that touch heart strings, the Indian audience has evolved. Which means, today’s movies are a LOT more palatable for the global audience as there are more every day story that shows how REAL life in India is as compared to older movies, which might need for someone to have a better understanding of our history / society before they can grasp it.
There is a treasure trove from the world of old Hindi cinema, and that is why it is all the more important that you not only watch today’s stories but timeless stories that are tales that talk to you about life and the Indian culture.
So to share with you all the joy of Hindi films on this multicultural platform, I have compiled a short list of Hindi films, from the recent times.
Some of these are underrated, some very popular, but all of these films speak of something meaningful albeit in a slight dramatic way. Here we are: 10 Hindi movies that enhance your knowledge of Indian culture.
This movie shows a huge part of India’s struggle. With the backdrop of cricket you learn how beating the British at their own sport became inherent. The story is fictional but the emotions of the time very real. Very well narrated and depicted, this is one of the movies that every Indian feels should have won an Oscar.
This is a beautiful movie for women empowerment. You learn a lot about the subtle turmoil within India regarding religion and how difficult it is for women to get through. A must watch sports movie for every family.
Dilwaale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge
I recommend this movie because it is a movie every Indian has watched. It holds the record of being the longest running movie in India cinema, having been removed from theater only last year, I believe. It is a story about eternal love, loss, relationships, weddings and core Indian values that we as a society like to believe in. Romance in India was born of this, one movie.
A must watch movie that talks about how tricky religion can get and how important it is for us all to keep ourselves wary of those who tout knowing better than us, in the name of religion. Told through a hilarious story line of an alien, this movie is a treat for the young and old.
A beautifully told timeless movie, this movie brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. A deaf man, helping an autistic girl through an adventure of a lifetime, you are bound to fall in love with the characters for how wonderfully they have treated the simple message of “Love is for everyone. “
Rang De Basanti
You learn so much about Indian history in this modern telling of how revolutions can be born. You will be shell shocked and thrilled at the same time in this tale of four friends who take on the system in their own little way.
Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
This story is said to be one of modern India. It is full of laughable moments between friends that I’m sure spans borders. The relationships they portray are so inherent to how the world today is and how tricky life can get. The poetry in the movie deserves a special mention as it is a character of its own.
I was shocked when I saw this movie. I honestly was not aware of the rift bilingualism is causing in modern India today and this brought forth such an important topic that needs awareness. As parents, it is so important for us to be aware of the example we are setting for our children. A light hearted story that gives an important message.
Hum Aapke Hain Koun
Now this movie is one that I personally have seen more than 50 times maybe. Set at the backdrop of a wedding, this is another of those movies that revolutionized Indian cinema with its large-ness. It was totally aimed at being family friendly, with a cute dog to boot! A must watch for every person in the world to understand how big weddings are in India, and all that they entail. The fun, the emotions, the family equations.
A movie that enhances all that is wrong with the education system in India. It is also about the many people trying to change it. A fun watch, with a mad ending. This one will have you in splits. It will also make you think about your attitude towards your child’s growth. A must watch for every family.
Cinema is an escape into the virtual. But what is being said through this medium reaches millions. People sit up and take notice, all the while getting entertained.
So, folks theses are a few Hindi movies to start with. Do let me know what you think of these or if you have other recommendations.
Interested in more Hindi resources? We have some awesome recommendation for language learning for kids.
About the author: Aditi Wardhan Singh is an authoritative voice on self empowerment and cultural sensitivity. She founded the Raising World Children platform and is the multi award winning author of books like Strong Roots Have No Fear, How Our Skin Sparkles and Sparkles of Joy. You can connect with her on Instagram here.