Varsha Ramesh (23), College student
I studied in Saudi Arabia for a major part of my life. It was a good place, and I made many friends there. It was a typical NRI life we used to come to Chennai to visit family occasionally. I missed Chennai a lot and to connect with home, I used to watch films. But I wasn’t a big fan of Tamil films, because of the action scenes mostly. That was how I got into Asian films. I started with Japanese films, then anime, and then moved to K-Pop. It’s not the same as Indian music or film, but there was a huge online community that I became a part of. That helped me with the diaspora a lot. I moved back here to pursue my higher education. I wanted to study more about films, because of my interest in it. I didn’t expect for me to find an Asian fan community here, but I was surprised. It’s all about mindsets. A lot of people turn up their nose at Asian media because they think films have to be a certain way. If they opened up their minds to accept it as another kind of cinema, then they would get a chance to meet more people in the city. The culture has similarities and differences. Korean films are more serious, as are Japanese, when compared to the blockbuster Tamil films here. But it’s the variety that I like, and so I continue watching it.