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Thu, 09 Apr 2020

Northeast Today


February 24
15:10 2020

Vasudha Roy


Be it awe or intrigue, the northeastern region of India has always been associated with all things exotic. With the  huge  galore  of tribes, traditions, cultures and customs, all amidst the pristine natural beauty, it has been hailed as a “paradise unexplored” basking in the glory of its own individuality, yet existing harmoniously throughout centuries. This huge diversity in the region has found its  expression  through  a lot many platforms, and has also contributed to piquing the interest of who can be called the ‘unacquainted audience’ (for the lack of a better term). Their interest has taken many forms, from people visiting the region to  gain  a  first-hand immersive cultural experience, to people forming stereotypes based on how misinformed they were and so on. Their misconceptions bridged from how little anyone looked east on us, but the scene looks like it is set for change on a few grounds.

As modernisation dawned in the region and gradually seeped into all spheres of life, the entertainment industry has also been swept by it. With improved connectivity and networking, the plethora of cultures and ethnicities gained a viable platform of expression, as have the people’s unique lifestyles. But, on the other hand, with changing lifestyles, most  of  our time is spent on screens, scrolling on the internet. And in this age of instantaneous entertainment, youtube videos are one of the  gazillion  ways  to spend time on the internet. Making the most of this oppurtunity, youtubers from the northeastern region are making it big in the entertainment industry, creating videos. With refreshing content  ranging from travel vlogs,  music  videos, to comedy and other informative videos emerging from our day-to-day lifestyles, these youtubers have fostered a sense of familiarity within the unacquainted audience, thus aptly feeding their curiosities.

Tickling the funny bone:

Speaking of curiosities, we may have all seen or been through the bittersweet experience of someone from the ‘unacquainted audience’ poke fun at us or build stereotypes about northeasterners because they were curious to know about them. Taking a  sarcastic  jibe  at such curiosities, Nagaland youtuber Miss  Imsong  takes all these stereotypes about northeasterners and  turns them on to the people who created them; in a video titled “presumptuous chinky assumes the North Indian way” which went viral shortly after release. In another such video she deals with the apathy of ‘Mother India’ and the conflicts between her northeastern daughters. Scrolling on her channel, one would instantly become a  fan of the youtuber’s relatable content on daily life struggles, stereotypes, comedic sketches etc featuring her playing the parts in her relaxed comedic style, providing for a wholesome leisurely experience.

A famous quote by actor Peter Ustinov says,  “Comedy  is simple a funny way of being serious” and it quite defines that comedy is well, a serious business. To make people laugh while pushing them to think deeper about what they just saw is no easy feat. Dreamz Unlimited, a youtube channel from Nagaland is the example in this regard. Using a subtle blend of humour and satirical comedy, the channel makes videos on important contemporary issues, in a sincere effort to give their audience a good time. Having made their debut in 2016, the channel got supremely popular and a few minutes on their channel will tell you why so.

Striding on the runway:

In a world of fast fashion, with ever  evolving  trends,  it  is more a boon than a bane to be looked at as a region that is always up to speed with the latest fashion trends. It is common for us to be hearing stuff like “oh you northeasterners have  such a great sense of fashion!” and we do live upto the name too. While there are innumerable channels about beauty and fashion today, fashion blogger Angelina Pongener has this sophisticated yet quirky charm about herself that would make anybody an instant fan. Hailing from Nagaland, she is passionate fashion blogger with a  dream to make it big in the fashion industry. With the wonderful content that she creates on her social media platforms, it would not be surprising is she was to become the next big sensation tomorrow!

For the music lovers:

Festivals and music  go  hand in hand. And in the land of festivals, it would be only foolish to not expect youtube channels dedicated to the same. While some channels shoot cover songs of English songs, some create music of their  own. And some others use the space to uphold and celebrate indigenous  music.  Gathering  a steady fanbase, there are a myriad channels to check out,  if one is willing to experiment with their taste in music like- Alobo Naga, Zuchobeni Tungoe, Tetseo sisters, Mengu Suokhrie, Virie, Imchen brothers, Shalo Kent, Kenny Rio and others. Each of them has their own individuality and uniqueness, whilst showing how diverse the culture of music is in the state. And what’s more, some of them even have vlog videos for their viewers to enjoy  the  comfort  of travel from their pixelated screens!

It  wouldn’t  be  false   to state that  Nagaland  is  quite the goldmine of youtubers. From travel to food to music, fashion, comedy- they got it covered. Gone are the days when  artists  had  to  depend on traditional  platforms  to host them. With new media increasingly gaining traction into our lives, content creation on platforms like youtube is a quick and easy way to reach out to larger audiences, albeit with a few struggles. For starters, the audience is largely undefined, making it all the more difficult to suit everybody’s interests. Many youtubers initially drew flak for the videos they  made on various grounds. And on a platform where popularity is a matter of impressive analytics; consistent hardwork  is  the only key to have. Added to the blatant indifference that the northeastern  region  faces,  it  is a commendable feat to have overcome all these hurdles and achieve the kind of popularity Nagaland youtubers command today.



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