'Pawri girl': A five-second video brings India and Pakistan together

  • 9 months   ago
'Pawri girl': A five-second video brings India and Pakistan together

BBC

A five-second video has done the impossible - brought social media users in India and Pakistan together.

When Pakistani video creator Dananeer Mobin uploaded the video on her Instagram page on 6 February, little did she know that she would become an overnight internet star in both nations.

So you may ask, what's so special about the video? But before we tell you, you must watch the original video:

On the face of it, there is nothing special about it. She says: "This is our car, this is us, and this is our party". The video shows a bunch of young people enjoying themselves.

And that is where the answer lies. When the news has been mostly about death and despair recently, the happy faces in the video cheered people up in the two countries - who are usually at odds on most things because of the decades of sometimes deadly animosity between the two nations.

"What could be better than sharing love across the border at a time when there is so much trouble and so much division around the world," she told BBC Urdu.

"I'm glad my neighbours and I are partying together now because of my video," she says, referring to Indians.

A bit more about the video...

Dananeer Mobin, 19, whose Instagram bio says "call me Geena", is a social media influencer from Pakistan's northern city of Peshawar.

Her posts usually centre around fashion and make-up.

In the viral video, she says the line in her native Urdu "Yeh humari car hai, Yeh hum hain, aur yeh humari pawri ho rahi hai" (you already know the translation!), swinging the camera around as she speaks to the viewer.

She uses the English word for "party" but pronounces it "pawrty".

She explains in text below the video that she's poking fun at "burgers", who come to visit the northern mountainous parts of Pakistan on holiday.

Pakistanis use the term "burger" to describe the rich elites who may have studied or worked outside Pakistan and speak with an American or British-tinged accent. The burger was very expensive when it first came to Pakistan, as opposed to the local version - the humble bun kebab.

"It's not my style to talk like this in burger style…. I did it just to make you all (my Instagram followers) laugh," Dananeer says.

 

'Memefest' - by Pakistan and India

She even says in the post that this is meme-worthy content. And she was clearly right.

Far from being offended, Pakistanis starting recreating the short clip and doing what Pakistani Twitter does best: making memes.

It wasn't long before some high-profile actors and cricketers got involved.

The Pakistan Cricket Board shared a video of the Pakistani national team doing their version of the video after winning a series against South Africa.

It also saw an explosion in popularity across the border after an Indian DJ took her phrase "ye humari pawri hori hai" (we are partying) and turned it into a catchy song.

Yashraj Mukhate, who has taken meme-able videos and turned them into songs before, gave a shout out to the "pawri girl @dananeerr".

Have a listen.

Soon, Indian social media users also jumped into the "memefest".

And then the floodgates opened - from brands to police officials, all of them joined the "pawri" mood.

And here is India's Press Information Bureau wading in to tell people about their fact checking initiative.

The police in India's Uttar Pradesh state also joined in to tell people that they could be called in case a "pawri" in the neighbourhood was disturbing their sleep.

But as everyone gets in on the action, Dananeer would like to make one thing clear.

"I know how to say party - and I know it is not pawri," she says.

 

Reporting by Saira Asher, Vikas Pandey and BBC Urdu.

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