Christmas has truly come early this year because we are being #blessed with a whole lot of Bollywood moments—and I am loving it. All through November, South Asian celebs at home and abroad spoiled us with the gift of two massive weddings (with one featuring a JoBro) and a *major* song release. Clearly, ’tis (finally) the season for South Asian cultural appreciation.
I mean, I never thought I’d see a day when People was breaking down the intricacies of Hindu wedding traditions, or when my non-South Asian friends gasped over the stunning intricacies of Sabyasachi designs. All we need now is a cheesy holiday-themed rom-com starring Shah Rukh Khan (i.e. Bollywood’s answer to George Clooney). In the meantime though, here are all the ways that South Asian celebs are turning this holiday season into happiest of Bollydays.
Zayn tapped into his roots
For the fans pic.twitter.com/xmKRoxoupF
— zayn (@zaynmalik) November 20, 2018
Former One Direction member and current heartthrob Zayn Malik has always been a master of giving the fans what they want—and in this case, he *really* delivered. The singer, who is half-Pakistani half-British, dropped a bangin’ cover of Bollywood song “Allah Duhai Hai” on November 19. Originally from the Salman Khan-helmed Race trilogy, Malik’s version adds some dubstep vibes turning this power anthem into the perfect hype song.
In a February 2018 interview with ELLE India, Malik talked about his love for the Bollywood genre, having grown up watching actors like Shah Rukh Khan, telling the magazine, “Bollywood is so impeccable.”
His cover has already received more than 8.7 million views on YouTube, so here’s hoping that there will be more Zayn x Bollywood crossovers in 2019. Waiting with baited breath on a full-Hindi album, Z!
Deepika Padukone and Raveer Singh’s royal wedding
Step aside Harkle, because there was another royal wedding this year—well, Bollywood royalty at least. Actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh wed in an over-the-top series of celebrations that started in Italy and ended in Mumbai (seriously, they had four receptions). The couple shared all the details of their gorgeous nuptials, releasing new photos each day like IG was an advent calendar—and I could not get enough. This entire wedding basically looked like an editorial photo shoot.
The actors, who dated for six years, not only wore some gorge outfits by Indian designer-to-the-stars Sabsyachi, but also hosted the who’s who of Bollywood royalty including Kareen Kapoor Khan and Saif Ali Khan, Farhan Akhtar and SRK himself.
Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas tied the knot in an out-of-this-world shindig
Not to be outdone by #DeepVeer’s gorge wedding, singer/actor/model/former Miss World Priyanka Chopra and former Disney star/JoBro Nick Jonas said “I do” in a *literal* palace in Jodhpur, India. The couple, who were first spotted together at the 2017 Met Gala, and shocked fans with a speedy engagement followed by not one, but two of the most lavish wedding ceremonies and celebrations of the year.
While the wedding festivities took place in India, this love story was talked about around the world, including in a cover story for Vogue and exclusive photos and footage released to People. While it took me a while to come around to “Prick” as a couple, there is no question that it was *incredibly* heartwarming to see Jonas and his family embrace Chopra’s Indian culture so wholeheartedly. Plus, these nuptials introduced TMZ to the word “sangeet” and gave us a chance to see Sansa Stark dancing in a sari—something I never knew I needed.
Bonus: Disney is giving us an Indian heroine
— Leela Ladnier (@LeelaLadnier) November 29, 2018
While this isn’t exactly Bollywood-related, it’s still big news about a new South Asian celebrity—who tbh is already one of our faves. On November 29, Disney Junior announced that production had begun on Mira, Royal Detective, an animated mystery series aimed at preschoolers. Mira quickly gained a fan following because the show will star an all-South Asian cast including Slumdog Millionaire‘s Freida Pinto, New Girl‘s Hannah Simone, Kal Penn, Jameela Jamil of The Good Place, comedian Aparna Nancherla and The Mindy Project‘s Utkarsh Ambudkar. The show is also set in Jalpur—a land inspired by the cultures and customs of India, according to EW.
“We are eager to introduce kids and their families to the rich, diverse cultures and customs of India through Mira, a young girl who looks at things with her own unique lens to gain different perspectives and help others in her community,” Disney Junior vice president Joe D’Ambrosia said in a statement, as quoted by EW.
So happy Bollydays to all—and let’s hope that the celebration of South Asian celebs and culture lasts well beyond the holiday season.