Monday, February 05, 2007

We all live in a Fantasy Kingdom

My whole “Where am I wearing?” idea stems from the disparity between Us and Them. What’s really strange is when you find out that all of the Them’s are not so different than all of us Us’s.

Over half of Bangladesh’s 130 million people live in poverty. But that didn’t stop the Them’s that aren’t so different than us Us’s from spending $400 million to build the amusement park Fantasy Kingdom. It has all of the things we We’s, and you know who you We’s are, love about amusement parks – greasy food, semi-maintained roller coasters manned by people who really don’t give a crap. And the entrance fee is only $3!

I’m so there.

The storyline of Fantasy Kingdom, as told by Fantasy Kingdom’s website:

“Once upon a time, there was a magical kingdom of fun and excitement where Prince Ashu and Princess Lia along with their four extraordinary friends, Zipper, Zuzu, Bangasaur and Bobo, spent their days in fun and frolic, dancing and playing with the people of their kingdom. But with time, this mysterious kingdom disappreared because the people in Prince Ashu's land had forgotten how to smile and became busy with their day to day lives. Then many years later, Prince Ashu recreated his lost kingdom here in Ashulia, Dhaka, so that people would forget their worries and again learn to smile and have fun.”

If this sounds like an experience in which the real culture of Bangladesh may be under-represented. It probably is.

In a 2002 BBC report:

“Located on a greenfield site more than an hour's drive from Dhaka, the Disney-style theme park sits a little incongruously alongside paddy fields and villages that have no running water or electricity.”

The villages with no lights or plumbing can be seen from the roller coasters. What more cultural experience do you need?


Melissa said...

Sad but true. With the similarities between the us and thems, turns out it is a small world after all...

Kelsey said...

Yep, no matter who we are that first hill tickles the ol' tummy, but only if we can swing the $3 admission fee.