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Aashutosh Barahi: A content creator on a quest to preserve our heritage

Aashutosh Barahi: A content creator on a quest to preserve our heritage

In the busy world of digital content creation, Aashutosh Barahi stands out as a beacon of cultural preservation and creativity. At 28, Barahi has carved a unique position for himself as a content creator and YouTuber, leading the charge at Jyasa Films, a production company dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the rich tapestry of Nepal Bhasa culture. It all began with a character inspired by his own parents—the lovable ‘Baa’ with his humorous line ‘Dhasa dhala dhai’.

Barahi’s transition into content creation from an IT student began during his internship in an IT company when he crossed paths with Dhiraj Magar. “I saw him recording himself in front of the camera, and talking to it. It really intrigued me,” says Barahi.

Driven by this curiosity, Barahi embarked on his journey into the world of YouTube, immersing himself in research and experimentation to understand the platform. He was eager to learn more about making videos, so he attended an acting workshop organized by Fun Revolution TV, where he met many other like-minded individuals. The workshop not only equipped him with acting skills but also provided him with invaluable connections and insights into the entertainment industry.

In his pursuit of further career opportunities in the field of IT, Barahi made the difficult decision to part ways with Fun Revolution TV. “In 2020, I had an interview for an enticing work opportunity. But I got rejected,” he says. While this setback might have been discouraging, Barahi later realized that the rejection played a significant role in shaping his path towards content creation.

Barahi’s journey into Nepal Bhasa content creation began with a deep-seated desire to represent his culture and connect with today’s generation, particularly teenagers. Despite initial doubts about the audience’s interest due to the declining usage of Nepal Bhasa among the younger population, Barahi followed his instincts and created a video in Nepal Bhasa.

“To my surprise, the video gained significant traction, receiving widespread recognition and appreciation from Newa communities and beyond,” he says. What initially started as a form of entertainment soon transformed into a platform for cultural preservation and promotion. “This was unexpected but rewarding,” he adds.

Barahi expresses his happiness in knowing that his work is making a meaningful impact in today’s society. “Children who don’t speak Nepal Bhasa are learning to speak by watching my videos. I feel it’s a responsibility now—for me and my team,” he says.

Through projects like the Ethic Exploration with Niti Shah, he has witnessed firsthand the decline of cultural values and linguistic diversity in various communities, such as the Rai and Tharu communities. “It’s sad to see all these essential aspects of our identity being lost,” he says, adding, the relevant content in Nepal Bhasa can go a long way in preserving our cultural heritage.

Barahi says he believes that by creating and sharing videos that celebrate Nepal Bhasa and its traditions, he and his team are contributing to the safeguarding of their cultural legacy.

Initially, Barahi’s team consisted of himself and just two other people. However, as their projects gained traction and their ambitions grew, the team saw the addition of four more people. Understanding the historical and cultural context of their topics is crucial for creating authentic and meaningful content. Barahi relies on his instincts for generating ideas but also seeks wisdom from elder people who have a deep knowledge and understanding of the culture and its nuances.

Barahi says he wants to venture into Newa movies in the future despite being unsure about audience response and acceptance. “Despite pouring our hearts and souls into previous projects, such as the Holi Punhi video, we were disappointed by the turnout at a screening event,” he says. But he is grateful for the support he has received this far and emphasizes the importance of audience participation in sustaining the Nepal Bhasa film industry.

Content creators, he says, face a lot of financial and logistical struggles despite putting in a lot of effort. Barahi appeals to the audience for support, not just by viewing content but also by participating in events and programs organized by his team. “When we organize events with a ticket system, it’s important to understand that the proceeds aren’t solely for profits. The funds go towards our other projects, all aimed at enhancing your entertainment experience,” he says.

He wants Newa films and content to be as popular as Nepali or Bollywood movies. Despite the challenges of a smaller audience, Barahi remains undeterred in his goal to tell diverse stories and portray the rich cultural heritage of the Newa community on the big screen. For now, he is proud of his new project, ‘Maya Madula’, a song by Rojman Maharjan and Nisha Dehar, for which the team worked tirelessly for many days.

His commitment to representing and celebrating the rich tapestry of Nepal Bhasa has not only resonated with audiences but has also sparked a newfound appreciation for linguistic diversity and heritage. Barahi’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring content creators, demonstrating that staying true to one’s roots and embracing one’s cultural identity can lead to both personal fulfillment and societal impact.