Week 8

Auto-ethnography of my auto-ethnography

Cooper's Blog

Is that title confusing? Good, because so is conducting an auto-ethnographic study.

Looking at my previous post discussing my own auto-ethnographic study undertaken during the first few weeks through this subject, and comparing my statements to some key points in the Ellis et al. (2011) reading , I am able to understand that struggles and conclusions I’ve reached in my own Auto-Ethnographic experiences are similar to some that have been shared by other researchers past and present.

The first such parallel I noticed in my discussion about interacting with other classmates during the live-tweeting exercises. Similarly to this, Ellis et al. (2011) note “when we conduct and write research, we implicate others in our work”, thus leading to a collaborative process either by association or by intentional contributions.

A further parallel can be found in Ellis’ assertion that “Critics want to hold autoethnography accountable to criteria normally applied to traditional…

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SOUL SEARCHING: ETERNAL EPIPHANIES

Since initially embarking upon my study of Hinduism and the religion’s highly spiritualised death and burial practices, I have begun to experience many moments of epiphany. Coming into the research, I clearly had very little understanding of Hinduism or religious death and burial ceremonies, yet here I am 3 weeks later completely intrigued by diverse religious practices throughout the Asian continent.

Autoethnography has confused me, excited me and challenged me throughout the semester. However, it was not until I began to immerse myself in Hinduism that I began to realise how powerful autoethnographic communication can be. As Ellis et al. (2011) highlights, autoethnography ‘expands and opens up a wider lens on the world, eschewing rigid definitions of what constitutes meaningful and useful research’. It is this widening of one’s lens that ultimately defines the course of study, in turn representing the diverse nature of cultural interpretation. Thus, it is within the framework of personal description that I must analyse my own experiences, in the form of epiphanies and reflect upon how influential my cultural framework is in defining my research. It has become increasingly apparent that my experience will greatly differ from others. Therefore, it is important to use personal experience to illustrate facets of cultural experience, and, in so doing, make characteristics of a culture familiar for insiders and outsiders’ (Ellis et al. 2011).

As previously touched on in my third blog post, my Western, atheist cultural background has somewhat blinded me in regard to global religious cultural practices in the past. However, through further research and engagement with Hindu death practices, I have begun to really develop an interest in the religions profound understanding of life and death. Upon first engaging with the video in my third blog, I was taken aback by the public spectacle of the burning of the dead, however, as I further delved into the cultural meaning of such practices I began to deeply reflect upon how diverse human nature and understandings of life can be.

Hindus hold the belief that supreme beings watch over a cycle of reincarnation, whereby, their soul becomes eternal and enters a spiritual realm, only to return to the physical realm in a new physical form. Thus, it is the idea of Karma that has continually caught my attention. My mum has extensively travelled India, thus I think it has been her description of the Indian caste system that has ignited this interest. Within Indian Hindu culture they socially stratify society into four categories (plus ‘outcastes’).

indian caste pic

Whilst this system acts to hierarchically stratify society and has been outlawed, the conceptualisation of reincarnation within Hindu culture in many ways supports its continued functioning. Throughout the Western world this system is highly criticised, yet within India, society still believes that one’s good or bad fortune (Karma) no matter their caste, will ultimately determine their social status in their next life. This leads me back to the burning of the dead. In Hindu culture, it therefore becomes apparent that the body could in fact be described as ‘the prison and the soul in being held prisoner for the sins of the physical self’, thus when the soul leaves, the physical body merely returns to the elements of earth. This epiphany has proven highly significant, my initial Westernised reaction toward the ‘intense (cultural) situation’ (Ellis et al. 2011), experienced upon first watching the public burning ceremony, has transformed into one of cultural understanding.

As Kalyanamalini Sahoo (2014) describes in his extensive description of Hindu religious practices, the funeral rites are of great significance. However, as I have personally discovered, it is not the physical body, instead the soul that is accorded significance (pg. 32)

Hindu funeral rites are performed at various stages linked to death:

(a) As death approaches; (b) For the disposal of the body; (c) For 12 days following death to transform the departed soul into a preta (i.e., ‘spirit’) body; (d) One-year memorial to assist the departing soul to reach pitru-loka; and (e) Annual Memorial Day in honour of the ancestors.

Also, I have always thought that this system of reincarnation continued forever, however, whilst watching the video below, I realised that this process continues until one’s soul ‘attains perfection and becomes one with the Divine’. This concept is not readily talked about online, thus with further research I aim to delve into it and assess its reliability.

My personal experience thus far has been extensive. Already, I have clearly begun to experience cultural epiphanies and I have thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in one of the most diverse Asian religions. I am yet to personally experience the Sri Venkateswara Hindu Temple in Helensburgh, however, I am still planning on doing so and capturing my experience whilst I’m there. I’m looking forward to communicating my experience with you further and can’t wait to experience many more epiphanies along the way.

Until next time…

Reference List:

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P, 2011, ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, Vol. 12, No. 1

Sahoo, K 2014, ‘Rituals of death in Odisha: Hindu religious beliefs and socio-cultural practices’, International Journal of Language Studies, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 29-48

 

More About Mukbangs

Although mukbangs originate in South Korean digital communities, they have recently expanded into the global mediascape, as discussed in my previous post (my last post will be frequently referenced throughout this post, so it might be a good idea to check that out first). Despite having a limited knowledge about ‘Digital Asia’ prior to this subject, I had come across the phenomenon of mukbangs on YouTube. Albeit, not the South Korean version, but the Westernised version. (more…)

CLAUDIA MULLER: CHECK IN ON THE DA

https://claudialouisemuller.com/2018/09/21/625/

Bonjourno, (just quickly, you should read this before you continue on here)

Set the task of exploring a facet of a culture previously not experienced, I opened up to a type of research that prompts the researchers vulnerabilities (Ellis et al. 2011, 14.1.18) and cultural frameworks to gather insights typically unattainable. My field site being cosplay and its anime adaptions, I quickly realised that by immersing myself into the experience I felt vulnerable and certainly out of my comfort zone. Whether that be the idea itself as a daunting action, concealing your own identity as another’s for costume play, or whether it be the unfamiliarity with the field site itself, I was acutely aware that I was letting my feelings, thoughts, and vulnerabilities influence the way the project was migrating (Ellis et al. 2011, 14.1.3), in a way that other forms of research methodologies would certainly not allow for.

This investigation into cosplay originally was rooted in personal experience, but when I found myself hesitating to participate I found myself redirecting towards a more niche area of study; whereby perhaps there was a middle ground to find, whereby I could create looks that were alike to the characters from Studio Ghibli films, designing them to look like everyday pieces or at the very least curating costumes from everyday pieces that I already owned. Could I find a way to interact with a culture I was trying to understand in a way that was part of my own cultural framework?

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Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Working in fashion retail and with a history of sewing projects behind me, could I take what I understood already and utilise it to imitate the feelings and processes associating with the action of cosplay? Furthermore, could I create a layered account of my experience by introducing my fondness and knowledge of anime produced by Studio Ghibli? These were all questions I set out to answer, and one that could only be facilitated by the means of autoethnography; a method whereby I could introduce an alternate voice amidst a construction of knowledge (Sturm, D. 2014).

 

As I went on to have my first swing at cosplay, or whatever it was that I deemed a variation of it, I began to realise that the research project was as much about myself as it was about the topic; “..autoethnographies offer a diverse body of works, with many often producing essentially autobiographical accounts of the self as both researcher and the researched” (Kien, G. 2007).

And so here I find myself, at a crossroads whereby I believe I have navigated down an alternate route, truly utilising my own cultural framework to gain a better understanding of other cultures around me. In translation, I will utilise the data I collect to create and curate wearable, everyday pieces that are cosplay, to a degree, and critically analyse the experience alongside further research into the area; a layered account (Ellis et al, 2011). The aspect to tackle now, I find, is distinguishing autoethnography as both a process and a product, a notion brought to my attention by both Ellis (et al, 2011) and Angus Baillie in our seminar conversation, and how they are to interrelate in this investigation.

 

All for now,

Claudia

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 14.1. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

Kien, G., 2007 A Western Consumer in Korea: Autoethnographical Fiction of Western Performance, Cultural Studies ⇔ Critical Methodologies, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 264-280. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1532708614565454#_i2

Sturm, D. (2014) ‘Playing With the Autoethnographical Performing and Re-Presenting the Fan’s Voice’, Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, pp. 214. Available at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1532708614565454

Touching Base – Anime Food Project

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Touching base – a term which here means updating on what I have – and mostly – have not accomplished since my last blog post as well as what my masterful plan is moving forward through this research process. Currently, I am at the second and third stage of the autoethnographic research process which involves gathering data and identifying key epiphanies.

After partaking in a flamboyant soiree of ‘food’ themed anime I can safely say I had greatly underestimated the extent to which anime could dramatize humble food. Without diving too much into the topic as it is something I will cover in later blog posts – the flamboyant and often dramatized depiction of traditional Japanese food in anime is something that only seems to make sense when categorised as ‘traditional spontaneous over the top anime’ – a genre of anime I needlessly created to make sense of…

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Why Korean MMOs are Hardcore (Ethnography)

During my time in the Korean servers of Closers, I learned about how different the MMO experience is when it’s designed for a Korean audience in comparison to a Western/Japanese audience. My experiences were documented here. To summarize briefly;

Closers is a Korean-developed MMO by Naddic Games and published in Korea by Nexon. Originally released in December 30th 2014 in Korea. As of 2017 there are currently only 3 other servers live right now; Japan, China, Indonesia while an international US/EU server in alpha testing.

The overall aim of this research is to utilise this personal experience to outline aspects of cultural experience, making characteristics of a culture familiar for insiders and outsiders (Elis, et al, 2011)

In the time I’ve played Closers, I’ve done a lot of research regarding why things are the way they are. One of my first discoveries when signing up for a Korean Nexon account was the sheer amount of security surrounding the sign up process. Originally a KSSN (Korean Social Security Number) was required to sign up for all MMOs. However due to the large amount of companies and services requiring a KSSN, cases of identity fraud and theft became commonplace. Because of this, the system was changed from using a KSSN to using I-PIN which is a form of identification that is only available to residents of South Korea. In addition to this, Korea has something called the shutdown law in place. This law forbids anyone under the age of 16 to play online video games from 12am to 6am. With this law in place, children stole KSSNs of adults to circumvent this barrier but led to identity theft and fraud.

As for why they have such a rigorous security system that requires so much to get past is because of the Cyber defamation law . Essentially this law is in place to prevent anonymous acts of defamation. Whatever a person does online, it’s linked to their real self. This allows perpetrators to be easily tracked if doing inappropriate acts online. While there are many debates of anonymity in the western world, South Korea already has an act in place to prevent any sort of anonymity online.

In my previous post, I pointed out that online services in Korea have strong security. With all of this in mind, it’s no wonder they take such measures to protect your account. Because your identity is out in the open and you can’t hide it like in the western world.

Another thing I discovered while playing Closers was the stamina system. While it isn’t unique to Closers, quite a few Korean developed MMOs (Dungeon Fighter Online, Elsword, etc) have a stamina system. In regards to western games these systems are commonplace in mobile games but rarely implemented if at all in MMOs. This topic is often discussed in forums and the common answer as to why the system is implemented is because it combats the act of “botting”.

The use of a bot to act out tedious tasks in an MMO. This is then used to gather resources or items to sell in the market to make in-game money. The act of botting is frowned upon as it ruins the in-game economy. In regards to Korean MMOs, grinding and farming (a term to describe repetitive acts of killing enemies or leveling) is a common thing. Korean MMOs are infamous for requiring to invest numerous hours of doing repetitive tasks which lead to people using bots. The solution to this is of course, the stamina system.

Another benefit that comes from the stamina system is that it makes the game last longer. It forces the player to take it at a slower pace than they normally would. Personally after playing the Japanese version of Closers where stamina could be refilled with in-game money, reaching level 70 within 8 hours is very possible, even at a casual pace. On top of this the game feels repetitive (even more so) without it. The stamina hides that repetitive nature of the game.

Throughout my time with Closers, it’s given me a new perspective on game design. Before Closers, I was very familiar with the different principles of Japanese/Western game design. But after playing Closers I’ve learn many new things and I’ve gotten context for so many things that I questioned in Korean games.

References:

Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview‘, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

 

If You Are The One – the conclusions

In my last blog post I began my autoethnographic research journey, engaging with the Chinese television show If You Are The One and recording a narrative of my personal experience in viewing an episode. After this initial phase of the autoethnographic methodology it is now imperative to analyse my own experience and selectively write about the epiphanies present in my initial account (Elis et al, 2011). The overall aim of this research is to utilise this personal experience to outline aspects of cultural experience, making characteristics of a culture familiar for insiders and outsiders (Elis, et al, 2011). It is clear from first post, that I experienced several epiphanies surrounding the show, and the culture, both in China and Australia.

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Analyse My Narrative Experience

12473942_211971799179296_1694295860352356815_o_0Autoethnography is the approach research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse a personal experience. The independent autoethnographic experience I chose to narrate and analyse was the Chinese TV show ‘If You are the One’. When creating my narrative for the TV show I chose to produce it in a layered account with hints of personal narrative. When producing my narrative in these forms it allows for there to be an autoethnographic experience as well as a relevant amount of research. I think that by allowing some kind of research on the topic is definitely does provide an emphasis on the nature of research and facts which I am definitely more comfortable with. Personal narratives were helpful in this case as it included both my stories and views as well as considering my academic past and personal experiences.

I believe that I learned quite a bit through using the autoethnographic narrative approach to write about the TV show ‘If you are the One’. I think that by writing my ideas and thoughts down in a narrative autoethnographic form I was able to sort through my thoughts and feeling of the show while watching. By doing this my narrative placed emphasis on what I was feeling/thinking/remembering while watching the show which was quite interesting when looking back. As previously stated I am a fan of TV dating shows and do watch them when I can in a way to relax. I found the TV show to be very different to what I would usually watch or what we are typically exposed to.

Most of my key thoughts about the show were discussed previously but the main ones that I would like to talk through where the translations of drama and comedy across cultures, the prominent game show theme as well as the brutal honestly the show held.

I found that my (little) cultural understanding of the origins of the show didn’t impact my viewing experience very much during my time watching. I found the show hard to watch while trying to also do something else but that could just be because of the translations of what they were saying were through subtitles. The process of reading the subtitles while watching the show was quite fun and I constantly found myself trying to turn up the sound so I could hear it better only to realise that it isn’t going to help to do that at all (just a bad habit).

I found that because this TV show was talked about in another BCM class I had the conversations that we had in that class run through my head which was quite good because it helped recap the whole idea of the show. I found that my whole understanding of the show and the cultural background of it was mostly formed by previous conversations from other tutors. However, with some light research on the show, I was also able to add to the information that I had already acquired beforehand.  I found these kinds of interactions within the BCM class plus the research that was put in allowed me to explore my personal experiences and interactions as a way to achieve a better understanding of the culture and wider social understanding of the culture and wider social understanding of the context of the show.

I think that the whole show was an experience because of its unique style, both in the way that the game show like the room was presented but also in the way that the show’s narrative unfolded. Both the style and the way that the show was narrated gave it such a different feel which totally changed my encounter with dating TV shows.

The best way that I could describe or even compare the encounter would be the type of TV shows that we would be watching or be typically exposed to. The show felt out of this world and quite dramatic, which is something that I would say I was prepared for. It felt like a mash-up of all the good parts of Deal or No Deal, Family Feud and even the Bachelorette put together in a bright light, funny but quite serious way. The contestants were all in in unscripted situations and were improvising their way through the show in a way to make it as authentic and possible. I think that this brought out a lot of natural relationships between the contestant, the women, the presenter and even the audience. This type of interactivity between the people involved is something that I think we normally wouldn’t see in most of our own programs.

The Art of Autoethnography: Part IV

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Below is a table detailing the assumptions I made of the assumptions I had after my first autoethnographic encounter and what was learnt through further literature research. While not all my assumptions were completely wrong I definitely still had a lot to learn.

What I am also finding is that the more involved I become in this autoethnographic study, the more interested I become in the cultural significance and background of the Bollywood film industry. this has unintentionally caused some of my research to go off in a tangent to some extent, relating less to language acquisition and more to the cultural language study of the Bollywood genre. I am finding that I either need to shift to topic of my auto ethnographic study or attempt to refocus.

Assumptions Reflection
The assumption that was made was in relation to the parameters od the autoethnographic research. Initially I set out that I would use multiple media texts in my methodology to obtain personal experience. I believe that this assumption was a little presumptuous. Even though I knew it would be difficult to learn some aspects of the language I did not realize how difficult it would be. I can to the realisation that little would be gain from this experience if I was to continue in the same fashion viewing multiple types of texts to acquire even the most basic level of language acquisition when starting from scratch. In reflection I believe that the greatest personal experience will come from focusing on one individual text and to absorb this text on a number of occasions and then focus my research around this. A number of factors play a part in the change of the parameters of my methodology. The first is the time period over which this research was conducted and the hours that could be dedicated to it. The most important factor was though the lack of a foundation of understanding of the Hindu language. Due to this I have now watched the same Bollywood film three times and each time I find myself picking up on some new words even if only for a moment and reaffirming the ones I have previously picked up. I also become more aware of different aspects of other communication aspects present in the film.
In my first notes I stated that the Bollywood movie Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani was produced using the Hindi language and that because it is a contemporary media text it would provide a context for the language that included slang and colloquial language. ‘Bollywood productions are today acknowledged as the generator of and vehicle for contemporary popular culture in India.’ (Goethe Institute, 2016). My assumption while correct was also limited and basic. The language used in Bollywood films is much complex then simply Hindi. English was used in the film not only when on location in an English speaking country but also the occasional modern words which are the same in both English and Hindi, for example the word internet. According to the Goethe Institute (2016) The language used in Bollywood films has a distinctive supra-regional integrative quality. ‘The code switches between sociolects, standard languages and distinct Persian and distinct Persian or Sanscrit features, jargons with regional variants right through to other Indian national languages such as Panjabi, Marathi, Gurarati and not least English’ This is throughout films in the Bollywood genre.
While this assumption is not related to language acquisition I thought it was important to note that when I first watched this Bollywood film something about the premise of this music seemed strange and stupid to me. Upon critical analysis of this observation I was able to gain a better understanding of why they premise of this musical seemed so foreign to me. I am used to watching musicals that are either produced on Broadway or in Hollywood. Musicals made in Hollywood and on Broadway tend to focus around entertainers because they are focused on making the musical aspect of the story seem as realistic as possible. Though according to research ‘Bollywood is not encumbered with adherence to realism’ (The Bollywood Ticket, 2016). This knowledge to make a better understanding as to why this this musical seemed so strange to me. Unconsciously I felt disconnected from the storyline because it lacked that realism that I am used to in musicals.
Never did I have the assumption that I would be able to gain a complete understanding of the Hindi language simply through studying media text produced in this language. Though I did assume that when were hear of people acquiring a language through media that it is all they have used. It is evident through the research conducted that while media texts provide a great tool in the acquisition of a language, it is simply a part of the process and other learning is needed this can take place through classes in a more formal context, though in a less formal one it could simply be researching on the internet. Aiping et. al. (2016) in the article Exploring learner factors in second language (L2) incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading, states that ‘second language incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading usually involves the process of through reading usually involves the process of learners noticing an unknown word, searching for its meaning, and elaborating upon the form meaning connection’. Learning a language through listening in this case is quite similar, it is all part of a process and in most cases further research is conducted to obtain a complete understanding of the language.

 

Resource List

Aiping, Z, Ying, G, Biales, C, & Olszewski, A 2016, ‘Exploring learner factors in second language (L2) incidental vocabulary acquisition through reading’, Reading In A Foreign Language, 28, 2, pp. 224-245, Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 29 October 2016.

Goethe Institute (2016). Multilingualism – Languages Without Borders – Projects – Goethe-Institut. [online] Available at: http://www.goethe.de/ges/spa/prj/sog/ver/en5356222.htm [Accessed 12 Oct. 2016].

Thebollywoodticket.com. (2016). Introduction to Bollywood – The Bollywood Ticket. [online] Available at: http://www.thebollywoodticket.com/bollywood/beginner.html [Accessed 11 Oct. 2016].

Reflecting on Hindi TV as an Autoethnographer: Mahabharat and Hindu Epics

Watching the first episode of the 1988 Hindi TV-series Mahabharat and accounting for my experience by live-tweeting my thoughts and opinions on the show has left me with a lot of questions. Is television anywhere near as popular in India as a pastime as it is in Australia? What was the real message behind the show? Why on earth was Ganga killing all her children?

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Ganga and King Santanu (Image Source)

With these questions and my cultural assumptions in mind, — which can be found in my first post here — reflecting on my autoethnographic accounts of a cultural phenomenon can be insightful and revelatory. Reflective analysis not only highlights “dominant narratives” and “ways of thinking” about culture but also pursues a deeper understanding of such experiences on a larger cultural scale (Warren, 2009). By scrutinising my initial comments and assumptions, and by conducting a little more research on all those postulations I tweeted about, here I am, trying to make sense of my Mahabharat experience.

My first enquiry is into the prevalence of television in India, and more precisely, the popularity of Mahabharat across the country. Researching this felt like a history lesson, but albeit an intriguing one. Television for me is a staple, and consuming programs on TV like there is no tomorrow is something I pride myself on. Television in India was introduced in 1959, however “transmission was restricted to areas in and around the capital city of Dehli for over a decade” (Kumar, 2006, p.57). With the arrival of the TV in the Indian family home came the inevitability of globalisation, and moreover a connection to “an increasingly mobile world around them” (Kumar, 2006, p.64). Television allowed families to share in entertainment experiences, created a bond between individuals and the characters they saw on-screen and moreover kept people informed.

As for Mahabharat, “the religious epic captured the collective imagination of Indian viewers” (Kumar, 2006, p.76) since its inception and release. Programs such as this have entrenched a sense of national identity for members of the Indian community (Kumar, 2012), and have been reflections of Indian values, mores and social and cultural norms. To say the show was successful would be an understatement, reaching a diaspora of over five million individuals. “Within weeks of its launch, the TV show became part of many Sunday morning routines” (Awaasthi, 2016). The Mahabharat series has since seen two modern adaptations released as a result of its popular reception in the past, with Lavanya Mohan (2015), writer for the The Hindu stating that “BR Chopra’s Mahabharat revolutionised Indian television of the nineties.

Now that context has been somewhat established and the history of Indian television successes has been explored, my next question is about the content I saw in the first episode of Mahabharat. There were several times throughout the course of the 40 minute show I was left scratching my head in confusion. Was this simply because of a cultural barrier or was the show itself confusing? My guess is the aforementioned.

Mahabharata — note the ‘a’ at the end this time — is one of the major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. Denoting information on the development of Hinduism, the poem was traditionally attributed to be the work of Vyasa. According to James L. Fitzgerald (2009) of Brown University, the Mahabharata presents sweeping visions of the cosmos and humanity and intriguing and frightening glimpses of divinity in an ancient narrative that is accessible, interesting, and compelling for anyone willing to learn the basic themes of India’s culture.” The sacred text was the basis for the television series Mahabharat, and the first episode I saw was regarding the story of Devavrata.

To put it briefly, the first instalment of the Mahabharat series shares the story of King Shantanu and the relationship he has with the goddess Ganga, with whom he marries in human form. She is described by her “superhuman loveliness” (Rajagopalachari, 1979, p.19) and Shantanu’s infatuation with her is duly noted. Following the birth of their children — they have several throughout the course of the first episode — Ganga drowns them in the sacred river Ganges. The first episode of Mahabharat doesn’t explain why Ganga does this, however it is believed that it was due to a curse. So, mystery solved? I think so.

Watching the first episode of Mahabharat with absolutely no knowledge on traditional Hindu stories, the Mahabharata or Sanskrit epics proved challenging to say the least. Not only was it made clear that I was an outsider in this cultural experience, but it also highlighted how unfamiliar cultural phenomena can lose meaning when shared across transnational borders. As I tried to make sense of my Mahabharat experience my own understandings of Hinduism and India’s entertainment industry were confronted with new ideas and interpretations.

As I have acknowledged before, autoethnography demands self-reflexivity and openness to interpret a cultural experience. By researching my cultural assumptions and addressing my ethnically driven concerns with information from books, eminent media platforms and social and historical commentary, my experience and understanding of Indian television and the Mahabharat experience I encountered has profoundly changed. The next time I sit down to watch an episode of Mahabharat I won’t be so thrown by Ganga drowning her children, and I will be able to appreciate the cultural heritage present in the telling of a great Hindu epic.


References: