From the loudspeakers at the local baseball stadium flow the usual ballpark tunes: "Glory Days", "Take Me Out to the Ballgame", "Born to Be Wild", "YMCA", and of course "The Star Spangled Banner" before every competition. But once in a while the playlist inexplicably includes "Walk Like an Egyptian" by a pop girl band called The Bangles. I've liked that catchy song since I first saw the music video a decade ago, but its connection to baseball has always escaped me. Recently, however, when I hear it I think of India.

To explain, for fashion-illiterates like me: bangles are traditional Indian wrist decorations: big rigid rings of gold, silver, glass or other materials. Clever compression and alignment of the hand helps tight bangles slip on. Sometimes they're worn for years, or even for a lifetime. As described in "The Culture-specific Use of Sound in Indian Cinema" (Shoma A. Chatterji, 1999):

... The jingling of bangles suggests laughter, cheer, fun, happiness, love, anticipation. The sound of glass bangles breaking, with or without visual support, signifies something entirely different: widowhood, grief, tragedy or the premonition of a sad event. ...

And the sound of bangles clinking together, my wife tells me, is onomatopœtically referred to as chum-chum in Bollywood movie Hindi ...

(cf., LoveWindsAndFanService (2 Feb 2004), NavyBlueOfIndia (19 Apr 2004), MarryTheOne (20 May 2005), ...)

TopicLanguage - TopicEntertainment - TopicSociety - 2005-08-24

(correlates: NavyBlueOfIndia, MaximumCity, LyricalHook, ...)