The 'Item Song' and Community in the South Asian Diaspora in the United States



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Currently, the item song is a popular scene within Hindi cinema which typically features a female lead singing and dancing. This paper argues that the item song helps to create community within the South Asian diaspora as it is a shared point of connection due to its popularity on social media platforms such as Tik Tok. This paper explores the use of the song O Saki Saki on Tik Tok and evaluates the cultural exchange occurring within the South Asian diaspora. Overall the paper works to understand why item songs have become popular on social media with both non-South Asian creators and South Asian creators using and referencing the music within their content. The popularization of this song has led to discussions of cultural appropriation on social platforms and the role of dance within South Asian culture. This is done by looking at the importance of song and dance as a means of connecting to heritage and creating a sense of belonging within a community. The role of the item song within Hindi cinema is contextualized by looking at the history of female song and dance in film. Specifically, the trope of the vamp is examined and is used to understand what role the item song serves within the South Asian diaspora. Overall the paper works to examine the use of the item song within the South Asian diasporic community on Tik Tok.