An Analysis of Bend It Like Beckham

Categories: Bend It Like Beckham

I’m just like the rest of you; I was born right here in London; but my cultural and religious differences make me stand out in a white English community. Firstly, I was born to orthodox-Sikh parents who emigrated here from India. Thus, their values, attitudes and beliefs are vastly different to that of Pinky’s and mine. Mum and dad have always had us in their best interest, although their traditional Indian ways interfere with our social life which ends up with Pinky and I lying to them.

Unlike other cultures and religions, Indian culture is based mainly around respect; respect for elders. No matter how old you are, you always respect those you are older than you; and you would never think about dishonouring them. I obviously didn’t follow that rule properly as I played football without my parents’ proper consent. I would even constantly lie to them about getting a summer job, just so I could attend training sessions.

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They were so upset when they found out that I was going to play football professionally. After awhile dad warmed up to the idea, but it took a lot of persuading before mum would agree to let me play football as a career. In their minds they always had an image of me saving lives or putting criminals behind bars; I was also expected to dress like a proper Indian lady and be able to cook full Punjabi meals, both meat and vegetarian. I was also expected to marry a nice Indian boy who also had a good profession and was well respected among the Indian and Sikh community.

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None of my parents’ dreams came true, but they did get to see their daughter doing something that she enjoyed.

Playing a male dominant sport is hard as people don’t take you seriously. Many men or teenage boys see us as sex objects who are prancing around in shorts just for the fun of it. They don’t believe that we take the sport seriously, and look at our bodies, rather than our skills for entertainment. I used to just play football in the park with some of my other male friends, and considered my self to be pretty talented. One day after a friendly game with the boys, I was approached by Juliette who played professionally for the Hounslow Harriers, which was an all girls team. Jules said that I had what the team was looking for! I was so excited; I didn’t even know that they had a girl’s team in London. I went on a trial session and was assessed by their coach Joe, who was a total spunk. He allowed me to play for the team and encouraged me to tell my parents about it. I have to admit, telling my parent was a very hard task, even Joe helped me by coming to my house one day, but my parents wouldn’t hear any of it.

There are many reasons on why my parents were sceptical about letting me play football not only professionally but also for pleasure. For starters, their values, attitudes and beliefs are that women don’t play sport that involve running around in shorts in front of men and that they should be at home cooking dinner and looking after their children and husband. To them, playing football as a profession is not a respectable career; and is seen to be only played men. Mum didn’t want me to play football because she didn’t want me to show my legs to complete strangers whereas dad’s point of view was different. Dad didn’t want me to end up like him, giving up on my dreams. When he emigrated from India, he wanted to play for a white team, but they simply laughed in his face and since that day, has stuck to his Indian way of life. After watching me play at one of our soccer matches, dad was so proud of me, and agreed that I was definitely talented.

I wasn’t the only one who was having trouble trying to get my mum to agree on my point of view on playing soccer professionally. Jules and her mum shared different ideas on what makes a good lady. Mrs. Paxton believed that girls our age should dress up, wear nice dresses, accessories and even makeup. Jules in her eyes was a tom boy and deep inside Mrs. Paxton believed that her daughter was a lesbian. Well actually she believed that any girl who played football was a lesbian and if they weren’t a lesbian then they would never get a boyfriend. She told Jules that ….no boy would go out with you if you have bigger muscles than he does….’Just like my father had faith in me, Mr. Paxton believed that his daughter had what it took to play professionally. Dad and Mr. Paxton have both helped us in achieving our goals, I would never have been able to play if dad did not realise that he didn’t want me to end up like him. The same goes for Jules; her father was there for many matches and also tired to get Mrs. Paxton involved in their daughters’ passion.

Playing football in a white community is not all that bad. I meet a lot of different girls from different cultures, so within our club we don’t have racism. This is not to say that I have not been faced with racism while playing football. During one of my matches with the Hounslow Harriers, I got into a fight with the opposition and was hurt deeply, not physically but emotionally. The referee nor did the other coaches hear the discrimination that I was put up against. They wouldn’t no how it would feel anyway; I was called a ‘Paki’ by the opponent, I over reacted and was sent of for the rest of the game.

My sister and I are very close; we always cover for each other and make sure that our parents don’t know where the other one is. The Indian community is very close as well, so if something happens with one family all the other families know about it. I was at the bus stop one afternoon with Jules and | gave her a hug, coincidently, my sisters’ mother in law thought that I was making out with some English boy and went straight home to tell my parents what she had seen. Not only were my parents upset, but so was Pinky, as her mother in law had called of the wedding as I had apparently brought shame onto the family. The wedding was later called back on as her mother in law could not bare to see her son so upset. My sisters’ wedding was considered to be ‘special within our culture, as it was a love marriage and not an arranged marriage. This means that Pinky and her husband were actually in love and decided that they would like to get married and have a traditional Indian family. It is not uncommon in many Indian families to have your parents chose your partners. They believe that they will choose someone who comes from a respectable family and is suitable not just by their looks but also their personality and the career they have. Indian weddings are big and very colourful, and most of the time half of the Indian community is invited; so it’s a family affair. Unlike my sister, I’m not sure if I would like to have a traditional Indian wedding as being born in a western country, I have adapted to their way of life. Unlike my parents I have different attitudes towards different aspects of life, and would like to see myself marrying someone who is not necessarily Indian.

In the future I would still like to play football professionally and maybe be the next best thing to David Beckham. I will always be thankful for my family, even though we do not share the same beliefs, we are always there for each other, no matter what happens.

In the future I would still like to play football professionally and maybe be the next best thing to David Beckham. Although my family does not share the same values, attitudes and beliefs as I do, they are always there for me, and I wouldn’t change anything. If it wasn’t for my mum, I wouldn’t know how to cook, if it wasn’t for my sister, I wouldn’t have ever gotten out of the house and if it wasn’t for my father, I would never have been playing professional football. We are a close Indian family and we always will be no matter where we live.

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An Analysis of Bend It Like Beckham. (2022, Feb 12). Retrieved from

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