It is exactly like the title suggests. Hemant Gaba’s Japan in Nagaland is about a slice of Japanese culture that is being relished in the North Eastern Indian state.
Gaba follows a group of devotees of Japanese animation, or anime, who are members of the Facebook group Nagaland Anime Junkies. In July last year, they held the second edition of an anime-themed cosfest, or costume playing festival, in the state capital of Kohima. Hundreds of adolescents and young adults congregated in Kohima dressed as their favourite anime characters. They came from far and wide: among the characters featured in the documentary is a pair of sisters who have travelled from Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, dressed as Sasha Braus and Hange Zoe from the cartoon series Attack on Titan.
Cosplayers take their role playing very seriously, as is evident from the efforts of the sisters Jenny and Juno. Jenny has designed her own costume, while Juno has fashioned her armour out of cartons and Cellotape. Japan in Nagaland is among the films produced by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust that will be screemed at the Open Frame festival in Delhi from September 15-22.
Gaba captures the preparations and asks participants about the reasons for their love for anime, which extends to a love for all things Japanese (some of them wistfully speak to being able to visit the Far Eastern nation some day). “I have always been fascinated by the North East,” said Gaba, who lives in Delhi. “My friend Smita Varma, who works with the Telegraph newspaper had done an article on the Facebook group, and this article and her research became the basis of my pitch to PSBT.”
The 35-year-old filmmaker, who made the indie Shuttlecock Boys in 2011, spent 12 days in Kohima in July, where strange scenes of identity politics and a typically self-contained youth culture unfold. He records the tremendous efforts of the anime organisers who work days and nights, order merchandise from Japan, and build props inspired by famous anime characters. Gaba also interviews local artist Thej Yhome, who is working on a comic in the Japanese style known as manga.
The filmmakers asks the questions that arise from the prospect of Naga youth yearning for an imported art form: Do they feel closer to the Far East than to the Indian mainland? There are several explanations rather than one. A local entrepreneur and cultural promoter says that there are very few leisure opportunities for young people – there are no parks, lounges, bars or discotheques – and thus a virtual group becomes a way for them to meet in the real world.
Himato Zhimomi, the state government’s commissioner and secretary of tourism, art and culture, explained that dances and cultural festivals have historically provided avenues for self expression for the young, adding that “the colonial encounter and missionary practices made them seem inferior”. Zhimomi, perhaps mindful of the repercussions of admitting that Naga youth aren't exactly enamored of modes of Indian mainstream entertainment, especially Hindi cinema, rejects the idea of reading too much into the anime craze and the popularity of Korean television series and movies in the region.
Gaba too doesn’t delve into this fondness for Eastern popular cultural forms in a state that has always had a tense and distrustful relationship with the Indian mainland. One wonders what older people with memories of the failed Japanese offensive into Kohima in 1944 during the Second World War will make of their young ones yearning to build connections with their would-be conquerors.
It is left to viewers to make what they will of the thoughts and feelings of the young Naga men and women interviewed for the documentary. One of them admits that a similarity in appearance with people from East Asia might play a role in establishing the popularity of Korean and Japanese imports. Another praises the themes explored by anime, declaring, “Artistically it is awesome and Bollywood can never reach that level in terms of creativity. Not even Hollywood has.”
Zhimomi predicts that Chinese films will be the next new craze in Nagaland. Meanwhile, the Nagaland Anime Junkies held the third edition of the cosfest this July. The rest of India might sway to the beats of Bollywood, but in this corner of the nation, a faraway style of animation works just fine.
Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival
We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.
The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:
Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app
Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.
Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.
Plan your shopping
The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.
Track the deals
There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.
Big discounts and top picks
The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.
Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.
There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.
There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are LenovoTab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch.
If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.
Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.
The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.
For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.
Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.
For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.
The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.
While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!
If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.
Check-out process and payment options
Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.
Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.