This past summer I was in Bangladesh for the entirety of the summer. Here, I also observed women all over the country huddle around the television every night to catch their favorite episodes of multiple shows. I occasionally would walk by and join my aunts and cousins, my mother, and neighbors to watch these addicting tv series, or as I now know them as telenovelas. There was a phenomenon I noticed, however. The influence these novelas had on the public was astonishing. There was one girl in one of the series that would always wear these beautiful, unique dresses. Before we knew it, these dresses hit the markets and every. Single. Girl. In the country, just HAD to have these dresses. They were then called Paki dresses, after the main character's name, Paki (which weirdly means "bird" in Bengali). In my own city alone, there were riots and suicides that were occurring over not being able to have these Paki dresses. A little girl killed herself because her father couldn't afford to buy her one for Eid, a national holiday in Bangladesh. A housewife did the same when her husband refused to feed into her obsession with the show by allowing her to purchase one. I felt really guilty because for Eid my own mother and family bought me four of these dresses
It just goes to show how serious these novelas really are and the effect they have. This, I believe, was a negative way to show the effects of novelas on the population. It was used more in an economic way to encourage consumerism. In class we learned about telenovelas that served to educate and inform people about various issues, like participating in the census, diabetes, Asperger's, cancer...etc. I believe that is a great way to utilize these telenovelas that have been sweeping nations to the advantage of knowledge. I wish that all telenovelas would have some element of positivity, to teach and educate people about things that they otherwise would know little to nothing about.