Saturday, 2 March, 2024

Video telling people not to visit Nepal receives positive response


By Aashish Mishra
Kathmandu, Oct. 21: A video has been going viral on social media over the past four days. In the video, corporate trainer and motivational speaker Mannsi Agrawal outlines seven reasons for people to never ever visit Nepal. Yet, the actual message of the video is the exact opposite.
The seven-minute video talks about Nepal’s diversity, cultural richness, tradition, heritage, cuisines and hospitality, painting an irresistible picture of the country, all the while claiming to present reasons for people to never visit it. So, what gives? Is the video satire, sarcasm? What is it all about?
The story begins when Agrawal came to Kathmandu from her native Kolkata 14 and a half years ago. She got married to a Nepali guy when she was 21 years old and after that, Nepal became her home. The nation’s nature and people mesmerised her and she wanted to share the pleasant experiences with her friends and family.
“I repeatedly invited my cousins and friends over to Nepal,” Agrawal said, adding, “Whenever I would ask them, they would agree and give me their word but then got busy in their lives and never turned up.”
“My brother visits frequently and my mother also comes sometimes. But the larger family and friend circle never do.”
So, Agrawal decided to make the video in question. If she couldn’t convince people by asking them to come to Nepal, she would try to do so by saying don’t come. “It was reverse psychology to show them what they were missing out on,” she said.
Vaguely inspired by an article she read about France years ago, this is the first tourism-themed video Agrawal has ever made. She had initially intended to only send it to her peers to whom she wanted to get the message across. But she thought that other people might be interested to learn about Nepal too. So, she posted it publicly on her Facebook page and from there, it took a life of its own.
In just four days, the video has garnered over a million views and more than 11,000 shares. It has also received nearly 3,000 comments, almost all positive. Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali also tweeted an article about Agrawal which contained the video. “It has been overwhelming,” she said about the response received by the video. “Too many things are happening too fast. I am still processing it all.”
She said that she has received messages from people from countries like India, Turkey, Italy, France, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and many others inquiring about Nepal. Many Nepalis have also messaged her, calling her Chhori (Daughter), Didi (Elder Sister) and Bahini (Younger Sister).
“I came to this country as a Buhari (Daughter-in-law), but after the love I have received, I am going to be living on as a Chhori,” she shared on her page. This love has also motivated her to make more videos and she said that she had one idea she would soon begin working on. Regarding expansion plans, though, her focus for the near future is on Facebook only. “I am comfortable with the platform,” she said.
She hopes that the video will help promote Nepal to a large audience.