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Priyanka Chopra Jonas Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Sharjah: Actress and activist Priyanka Chopra Jonas hailed the Oscar glory heaped on the celebrated black comedy ‘Parasite’, a South Korean film, and called it a sign of amazing times that people live in.

Chopra Jonas was a guest speaker on the opening day of the two-day International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2029) being held at the Sharjah Expo on March 4.

“Imagine, a movie like ‘Parasite’, with English subtitles, won the Oscars this time. It shows the world is opening up to foreign languages and that is so important to mutually promote communication among cultures and people… Movies are breaking stereotypes now,” said Chopra Jonas during her session.

The former Miss World and UNICEF activist was on call to speak on the topic ‘Why Does The Screen Have So Much Impact On Public Opinion’.

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Priyanka Chopra Jonas Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

She took the example of her own wedding with American singer Nick Jonas of how her lavish nuptials triggered a conversation of Indian cultures. She had unwittingly used her celebrity to spark dialogue on cross-cultural exchanges. Playing holi (an Indian festival of colours) with celebrity talk show host Jimmy Fallon on his show had many interested in knowing more about the festival. Governments too can tread a similar path.

“Government leaders can come together and the can cross-pollinate culture, tradition, food, and talk about things that bring the world closer,” she said.

The ‘Quantico’ star also implored governments to work with public figures that enjoy enormous clout and privilege to spread the word about effective communication.

Chopra Jonas’ journey from Bollywood to Hollywood is a part of entertainment folklore now, but she claims she has always championed for diversity and better representation of women.

“When I first started working in Bollywood movies, I was a girl with ambition and wanted to be the best. My quest back then was to create female actors that aren’t marginalised or a sidekick to the boy. When I went to work outside of India, my quest was for better representation,” said Chopra Jonas.

She also gave a big shout out to Indian film actors such as Kangana Ranaut, Deepika Padukone, Alia Bhatt for pushing the proverbial envelope with empowering, strong female characters on the big screen.

In her eyes, communication by governments is the key to a better world.

“Be honest and direct in your communication. In a world where there’s so much information, communication and information is our biggest weapons the governments have. The governments know better than us on how to give the public information. So information to public is absolutely crucial,” she said.

Chopra Jonas also underlined the importance of social media and how it helps bring the spotlight to global issues like refugee crisis. The actress, who has an army of social media followers, loves the direct access to her fans and how she can communicate her thoughts without any middle-men.

Social media can be a powerful tool in communicating issues to a larger public.

Taking the example of how she documented her visit to Jordan’s refugee camps in her role as a UNICEF ambassador in 2017, she claimed that the individual stories that she posted on her social media account had a huge impact on spreading the message of peace.

“By taking someone like me who is a public person to a place like Jordan we are able to magnify the voices of people who don’t have it,” said Chopra Jonas.