In the present world dominated by materialistic philosophy, people crave for fame. But at what price? There is a steep bargain one has to make, and it is not as cozy or admirable as one anticipates. Arthur Gunn, originally Dibesh Pokharel, is probably learning it now after his interview in Kantipur TV’s It’s My Show. Premiered on August 20, the show already had more than 200K views on YouTube and 400K views on Facebook. Comments also seems to have poured in like torrential rainfall that seem to bath different states of his now adopted homeland, the USA.
After becoming a darling of Nepalese world over, Arthur is now facing the wrath of the audience who are not at all impressed by his appearance on the TV show. Watched by enthusiastic fans his first appearance on Nepali TV, they seem to have been caught off guard by the change they perceived. It would be unfair to actually fault Arthur. It is just the nature of life: You cannot please everyone. Naturally, he has many critics of his style, manner of speaking and even failure to use Nepali language. The reality is that he has moved on from Nepal to USA, but the fans still have their mindset of a dead pool.
Facebook comments are brutal. He is criticized for everything, his look, speaking, language and probably also his looks (I did not have time to go through every single comment). His “you know,” slur, poor accent has offended the audience here. If only we could tell where the comments were coming from, I would expect expats to be more understanding than the “raithane” Nepalese.
Definitely, his former fans would like him to stick to Nepaliness and speak chaste Nepali. Little do they realize that from media personalities to ordinary people, mixing English words is a fad that keeps thriving No one speaks Nepali without throwing in English words, phrases or even sentences. So, it is not really Arthur’s fault that he responded in English. Why not? He has to adjust to English and US culture now so he is doing what is just natural and beneficial to him. His whole mindset will be to learn and adopt US culture if he is to thrive there.
Audience do not have to bear his hardship and struggles so they can easily make comments without any perspective.
Ministry of Tourism @hello_tourismnp appointed famous American singer-songwriter of Nepali origin Mr. Dibesh Pokharel aka Arthur Gunn, 1 of the finalists of 18th season of American Idol – 2020, as The Global Goodwill Ambassador for Nepal's Tourism. #NepalNOW #TogetherforTourism pic.twitter.com/gLO540jxhg
— Nepal Tourism Board (@nepaltourismb) August 22, 2022
Here are some comments from Facebook:
“What’s wrong with this guy, Nepali bolna kina yeti laaz. Even his English is pathetic. Why invite these types of people? Manchhe bhaneko respectful hunu parchha. Could not stand a minute of him.”
“Is he American or still Nepali.. nonsense .5 yrs USA ke baseko thiyu..Nepali nai birsyu jasto cha.”
“Understands Nepali but loves to reply in his weird accent.It was very awkward listening to him.Hats off to the interviewer for tolerating his crap!And there is no eye contact.It could have been such a humble and realistic interview given the fact that he comes from humble beginnings but the dude couldn’t stop yapping in English!”
“अमेरिकन आइडलमा भाग लिए पछि ब्रो ले नेपाली भुलेछ की के हो? आफूलाई अमेरिकन नै हो जस्तो गर्छ बा”
“Hahah…funny to watch. Ki ramro angreji bolnu ki nepali, k tyo filling words use garera aani accent nikalna khojera boleko ho kto. I can see you are not a fluent english speaker then why so much drama”
In contrast, the YouTube comments are more understanding:
“…Lets stop judging someone or commenting on them on the basis of how they speak or look like and celebrate their achievements.”
“Sometimes people pour overwhelming love and respect for what you are and other times they do the exact opposite to what you are. Get used to it Dibesh !”
“…What if he didn’t speak Nepali…who cares! He has done more for Nepal than most of us…”
As we are aware presentation can also make a huge difference. That seems to be the case here. YouTube has the full interview, almost an hour, while Facebook has a section of only about five minutes. It is normal to get a wrong idea with just an edited piece, which is a well-known phenomenon in the media game. That is why the comments on Facebook are brutal, while YouTube audience have more positive and appreciative responses. The reality may be just very simple which is expressed in a comment, quite appropriately.
“My dear people, it’s not about good English or Nepali, the dude is just high. That’s all.”
Personally, I did not find anything to be so riled up about his Facebook excerpt either. He is living in a cowboy country in Kansas so he has donned a cowboy hat, and he is learning the American way of life, which is his present and future, so he has become used to speaking English, and he might even have some difficulty in recalling Nepali words after not using it like while living in Nepal. I can relate to it personally. About his “you knows,” he has much to learn and mature. Such filter words are a normal part of language use, especially among teens and in daily use. It is present in every language. That is how humans are. As for the complaint about his mannerism, I would not be surprised if he was actually “high,” if not from some puffs, definitely being back home and getting to experience his “fame.”
Arthur is more about singing than interviews so he can make better impression when he is singing. That is a good thing because he has a tour going on in Nepal and Australia. So, after getting more exposed regularly with the stage performance, people can forgive him and appreciate the good things about his life and the contribution he has made for Nepal.
Arthur Gunn With Sanjay Silwal Gupta
The writer is a graduate of Arizona State University in Political Science. He is working as a social activist and motivational speaker for students across Nepal since 2007.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Nepalisite.
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