Gangnam style sends Nepali youth into raptures

In what seems to be the first public display of its kind in Nepal, Manang Marsyangdi Club (MMC) players and supporters danced to the tune of “Gangnam Style” at Dashrath Stadium, Kathmandu some two years back. They chose the music and dance style of South Korean rapper Psy to celebrate their much awaited victory over their final opponent Ranipokhari Corner Team by a whopping margin of 6-1 at the NCell Cup Football Tournament. MMC is one of the leading A-Division football clubs in Nepal.

Much before that, Nepali social network users of Facebook were exposed to the South Korean musician Psy’s chartbuster, which was released in July 2012 as the lead single of his sixth studio album Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1. “Gangnam Style” was recognised by Guinness World Records as the most “liked” video on YouTube in September 2012. Eventually, by December 21, 2012, it became the first YouTube video to reach a billion views, which rose to over two billion as of May 31, 2014, making it the site’s most watched video worldwide. Nepali Internet users were also part of this massive lot.

Contemporary media reports say that the success of “Gangnam Style” has led to the further rise and spread of the Korean Wave to other countries. With the song continuously attracting worldwide media attention, it also led to various broadcasting networks and national newspapers to focus its attention on K-pop and other aspects of Korean culture. For example, The Daily Telegraph published an article recommending its readers to try out everything from K-Pop to “K-Cars,” “K-Phones,” and “K-Cuisine.”

Psy, the man with the Gangnam Style fame, is Park Jae-sang, a South Korean singer-songwriter, rapper, dance musician and record producer. Park is better known by his stage name Psy. Gangnam Style is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul, where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain “class.”

What is so special about the Gangnam Style music is largely its catchy beat that not only takes people on a dancing spree, but also peps them up all the way when its beats go on tangent with the well-timed change of pace and rhythm. Another merit is Psy’s amusing dance moves in his music video and during live performances in various locations around the world; the nonchalant, yet artistic dance moves have become a phenomenon worldwide.

Soon after its release, Nepali youth performing Gangnam Style became a common sight in street festivals. Likewise, schools and colleges have also spawned numerous parodies and dance moves inspired by Psy’s Gangnam Style at their cultural programmes across the world; and Nepal is no exception. The public performance of Gangnam Style by the Manang Marsyangdi Club players and supporters during the NCell Cup Football Tournament in Kathmandu two years back was one of the highlights of Gangnam Style’s influence on Nepali youth.

The very Gangnam Style has inspired the recent movie titled Gyan-puu Style, produced in local Newar language of Nepal. The key figure associated with the making of this movie is Nepal’s leading actor and ace fight-director Rajendra Khadgi, who has reportedly cast his grand daughter as its child artiste playing the protagonist’s role. Gyan-puu Style, the Newar equivalent of Psy’s Gangnam Style, also features a parody song with the refrain of “Thwo-laa Gyan-puu Style” as its signature tune. The movie has reportedly become not only the talk of town, but also a big hit in the capital valley.

The movie titled Gyan-puu Style is produced by Rajendra Khadgi, who is Nepal’s leading actor and director.

Nepali movie Gyan-puu Style

Earlier, the Gangnam Style popularity among Nepali masses surfaced when comedian Jitu Nepal (alias Mundre), danced funnily to Gangnam Style in a popular Nepali television serial Jire Khursani. Sooner afterwards, a video called “Gangnam Rajesh Hamal Style” was uploaded on YouTube on November 15, 2012, featuring Nepali film superstar Hamal and actress Karishma Manandhar, who in the edited version were shown dancing in an old Nepali movie.

Nepal’s association with Gangnam style was further highlighted as Nepali media reported that singer Psy became a donation mentor to the Nepal Hope School Project.
With Psy’s Gangnam Style emerging as a big global success, does it not evince that music works of any country and culture could reap global market success and economic and social benefits in this globalised world? It applies to Nepali artistes as well.

One Response to Gangnam style sends Nepali youth into raptures

  1. Arhan Sthapit, PhD 22 January , 2018 at 2:05 am

    Thank you THEASIAN ASIA for publishing my write up

    Reply

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