Modern Day Non-Orientalism

Orientalism refers to the Western imitation or depiction of certain characteristics and aspects of Middle Easten and Asian cultures. The publication of Edward Said’s book “Orientalism” brought widespread awareness to the term; which he recognizes as the West’s prejudiced interpretation of the East. In, “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” the main character, Ugyen travels to a small village called Lunana. However in the movie, the people that live in the village like the class leader Pem Zam, actually live in Lunana. There were no certain stereotypes or different depictions of the outside world or specifically Lunana.

Ugyen found such comfort with the people and the village itself that there was no need for him to linger and hold on tight to his past self (i.e. his iPod). He truly ended up caring for everyone in Lunana and it shows when he moves to Australia and sings the yak herder song perfectly. The creators of this movie were able to steer away from the stereotypes and I wish more movies did the same.

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