|“Nepali” is a television programme that deals with all things Nepali. It talks about the broader scope of the Nepali identity, and how these different identities connect us as a people. – YouTube promo of Nepali TV blog
This past Thursday evening, I sat down with Yubakar Raj Rajkarnikar at Parakhi’s office. I heard about Yubakar’s new project, Nepali: A TV Blog some time ago. The show currently airs on Avenues TV on Saturday nights at 8:30am. I had prepared a few questions to ask him and looked forward to our meeting. When we met, we talked about his new venture, entrepreneurship and passion among other things.
Nirmal: What is the idea behind the concept of Nepali: A TV Blog?
Yubakar: Actually the content came first more than the format. Overtime I had discussions with people I work with around what represents Nepal. Nepali language does not represent everyone. There are so many things that unify and represent us. I had wanted to do something on print, radio and television. At Y magazine (www.yzine.com.np) back then, we had a competition amongst photographers to select pictures that represented Nepal. We later went to a TV station and suggested the idea which they bought. The idea behind this concept was to discover things that are Nepali and to find out what could be those things that are common to all Nepali. We chose the bike because it is youthful, and we wanted to have an informal style to it so we decided to keep a blog format which could be more appealing to the youth.
Nirmal: How many people are working in your team? Do you have historians working with you?
Yubakar: We have 5 core people on the team (Me, Alok Tuladhar, Vikash Pradhan, Tsering Choden, Laxan Kundan) and three other people who helped us in shooting. Actually we did our research by talking to people, through the internet and books.
Nirmal: Who is your target audience? How are you promoting this venture?
Yubakar: Our target audience is the urban youth. To appeal to this group we have used English script throughout the video; the format itself is a blog so it could be relevant to the group. To promote this venture, besides TV we are promoting it on Facebook, YouTube and the website. Newspapers such as myrepublica, The Himalayan Times, and Annapurna Post have also been very supportive of our project.
Nirmal: How do you come up with where to travel and who to interview?
Yubakar: Actually we chose the locations of where to travel and whom to interview. The TV station gave us full flexibility on that. The TV station funded this project and we spent 4 weeks altogether (2 weeks in the east, 2 weeks in the west) to complete this project.
Nirmal: So What is Nepal all about? Is it easy to define who is a Nepali or what is Nepali?
Yubakar: There are a lot of things that make us unique. We have different names, castes, clothes, food, festivals etc. But, the feelings behind those are what connect us. The happiness behind those activities is the same. I also realized that the Nepali smile is wholehearted and I believe it is uniform with Nepali people. I also feel that the entrepreneurial feeling is common amongst us. At various places that I visited, I found people doing innovative and unique things that I did not know existed before. For example, we found a person who has been running a radio program for 10 years which only does program regarding death. In village areas, it’s hard to get or spread the news of death and the radio program helps in distributing that information so people can move about their lives accordingly.