Though Bollywood doesn’t shy away from using Christian iconography or featuring Christian characters, few films focus on Christian holidays or themes. Indeed, while plenty of films have explored Hinduism and Islam, and their conflicts and complements, I think you might have to go back to 1977’s Amar Akbar Anthony for a look at how Christianity fits into Indian society.

But my point is not to examine religious iconography in Bollywood movies. I just wanted to point out that it’s difficult to find Bollywood Christmas songs. I’m not religious but I love secular Christmas, and one of my dreams is to see Shahrukh Khan or Deepika Padukone in some kind of heartwarming holiday movie.

Just Dance, the video game series, features a Bollywood version of “Xmas Tree.” (The artist is literally listed as Bollywood Santa.) A woman in a green sari and a Santa in a turban dance frenetically as snow falls on the Taj Mahal. It is energetic and fun, even if the turban feels. . .questionable.

French dance troupe Bollywood Panam created their own version, with dancers in harem pants and gold cholis performing in front of lit Christmas trees. Despite being a Christmas song, the camera still objectifies the dancer’s bodies at times, focusing not on a feat of skill or strength, but on a shimmying waist or bouncing breasts. But the women are clearly having fun and dance beautifully. It’s an enjoyable performance that offers something a little different than the usual holiday fare.

Posted by Natasha

Natasha received her MA in Literature and Culture in 2008 from Oregon State University. Currently she lives in Oregon with her husband and cats.

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