KATHMANDU, May 23: When talking of a celebrity, the most common image is that of a Hollywood star living a lavish life with a grand house, expensive cars and pampered pets. A crowd of fans sway with them.
Be it people in the entertainment industry – cinema or music, sports or politics. It’s true that celebrities have their own culture and it does differ when compared to a common man’s life.
The pressure to be perfect in every manner is there for celebrities. But it’s not just because they are scrutinized by the paparazzi but also because their fans keep a close watch on them.
It’s not only the youth around the world who idolize and follow them but Nepal too has witnessed youth who adore international heroes and try to emulate them. From accessorizing themselves to dressing up to adopting their attitudes, Nepali youth are not far away from impersonating their international favorites.
Twenty-three-old Dipendra KC, cofounder of Yuwa, a youth-led not-for-profit organization, is passionate about US President Barack Obama’s personality, and thus miming his presentation style is something he is trying to catch up on. He explained, “I go through writings about him and his books noticing his lifestyle.”
He chuckles and shies a bit saying, “ It’s been over a year that my wardrobe has plaid and plain shirts along with pants and plain and printed ties as part of my formal wear. For informal wear, I opt for plain tees with trousers and dark colored cap like President Obama.” KC also likes to fold his shirt and get his watch noticed while giving public presentations which President Obama can also been spotted doing.
He hears positive remarks about his personality from his peers, yet he says, “I’ve never been compared to Obama by anybody.”
Similarly, RJ at Hits FM and a Bachelor-level student, Sujita Gurung has an attachment with singer Beyonce Knowles, recently acknowledged as the most beautiful woman in the world today.
“I love her attitude. She has a very good balance between her profession and personal relationships,” says Gurung. “I see her as a strong and inspiring individual who is adept at handling her life well.” Gurung doesn’t miss going through Beyonce’s interviews on YouTube and in magazines. She concluded saying, “Imitating her dresses isn’t quite possible but I do try to be like her in terms of personality.”
For 20-year-old Rijan Lal Mulmi, celebrating his fancy for Chelsea Football Club is through owning and flaunting the accessories of the club since grade eight. His first possession was a jersey that was gifted to him. Currently, he owns key rings, alarm clocks, stickers, slippers, wallets, mufflers, footballs, dustbins, wall clocks, mugs, posters, bags and caps that endorse his favorite club. He added, “I even got my room painted blue and white.”
Realizing that the performance of the football team won’t actually affect him, he clarified, “People may call it false pride or label me a fanatic but I see it as medium of communication between friends and family. Even though we support different teams, we have a good sportsmanship, and also the argument we have based on the knowledge of the history of the club and players enhances our debating skills, at the same time bringing us closer.”
Mulmi shared that he is often shouted at for watching football late at night during his exams but he watches it anyway. “I often go in groups of friends and stay over at their place on match days and I haven’t yet been in trouble for it but it may add up.”
Rabi Gurung, store manager of Sky Sports located in UWTC in Tripureshwor, informed, “We usually have boys above age 13 looking for mainly jerseys and other accessories. They often get the jersey personalized with their own names.” The store also has football club accessories such as wrist bands, water bottles, gloves, and CD holders.
Also, how can one forget the influence of pretty, romantic Korean stars? The Korean series have spread like a wave in the hearts of young Nepali girls and boys alike.
According to Ghana Shyam Chaudhary, manager of Archies at Baneshwor, “We have key rings, cell phone hangers, posters, stickers, badges and gift items shown in Korean films, such as small capsules in bottles with letters in them, separable magnets which couples can have and many more. It’s mostly teenage girls who look for such products.”
Although celebrity culture and awareness can be seen on the rise, it’s perhaps difficult for the Nepali youth to, however, imitate them, given the limited choices of products available here.