Sesame Street Gets Visa For Pakistan

A much loved childhood fave has been given funding by the US government to produce a version of Sesame Street in Urdu.

That is good news especially for Ernie and Bert as they can hold hand freely and be as gay as they like in Pakistan as no one will notice!

For those of you who are unaware of a slight cultural difference, in Pakistan all men hold hands.  It’s very funny seeing your father/uncle conforming to the custom to not cause offence but this is normally followed by wicked cackles from us.



2 Comments to “Sesame Street Gets Visa For Pakistan”

  1. Unfortunately, I don’t think many of the original characters will be in the new Sesame Street. I believe many of the character will be replaced. The focus will remain of educational basics such as the alphabet and counting.

    Most of the characters will have similar roles e.g instead of Count Dracula, they plan to have something that Pakistanis relate to like a teacher. Notably, they are introducing a new character, a little puppet called Rani, who is going to shown going through all the prejudices faced by little girls all around Pakistan – something which will be applicable to lots of girls in lots of other developing countries too. The group that are going to be making the series have been targeted by Taliban types in the past for being too liberal and not Islamic enough – it will be interesting to see how they tackle this one without seeming too western, and therefore alien to the masses that will be watching this program. There is a lack of female characters in the original Sesame Street, but this wasn’t a problem in the West, so why should it be a problem in the East?

    Getting the balance right will be key. If Rani does things that are too extreme, they risk parents not allowing their little girls to watch the program at all. What parents define as extreme will vary, but I imagine the strictest of parents wouldn’t even have a TV in their house. Also, if too much of a culture shock, the makers risk being bombed again by extremists.

    I remember watching Sesame Street in boarding school in Pakistan when I was growing up. I recall it being dubbed over in Urdu, and still remaining relevant to the younger children who were watching it. I myself used to watch it when I was between four and about eight or nine; I loved it. I could see that that kids watching the dubbed version gained as much enjoyment from it as I did.

    There are other cartoons out there that Pakistani girls might relate to also, like Dora the Explorer. I know she is Hispanic, but she could easily be Pakistani/Indian/Bengali. Why not dub her into Urdu? She’s educational, she goes on adventures, she’s fun. I remember my little niece loving Dora because she looked like her, and I’m sure she count count to ten in Spanish well before she could count to ten in English (and I’m sure she still can’t count to ten in Urdu, her mother tongue!).

    This brings me to question why a remake of Sesame Street is being made at all. Propaganda springs to mind. I hope this isn’t true.

  2. Hi,

    Aww I didn’t realise the Count would not be in the Pakistani version! He was one of my favourties. I don’t think Rani would ruffle too many feathers Sesame Street is quite tame. I agree perhaps Dora would have been a good option too and maybe it will be added to the mix. My nieces love her too and I think you’re right, it’s really nice to see brown cartoons on tv!


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