A video shot by 19-year-old Dananeer Mobeen in the Nathaigali mountains in northern Pakistan has garnered millions of views and hundreds of spinoffs.
A 19-year-old Pakistani student, who rose to fame after her five-second video went viral on social media across the subcontinent, hopes that many renditions of her monologue will result in more dialogue between her rival neighbors , India and Pakistan.
The short video, shot by Dananeer Mobeen in the Nathaigali mountains of northern Pakistan and uploaded to Instagram, shows a group of young people having fun by the side of a road.
Swinging the camera she’s filming on to face her, Mobeen gestures behind her and says in Urdu, “It’s our car, it’s us, and it’s our party going on.”
Seemingly innocuous, she deliberately mispronounced the English word “party” as “pawri” to mock South Asians who adopt Western accents.
It immediately struck a chord on both sides of the border, triggering the most popular hashtags on social media and garnering millions of views and hundreds of spinoffs in Pakistan and India.
Yeh Narendra Modi Stadium hai, yeh iske do Ends hain… aur yeh buddies ki pawri ho rahi hai. pic.twitter.com/J13uJcFTNH
– Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) February 25, 2021
“It was the most random video. Initially, I had no intention of downloading it, ”said Mobeen, surprised to see that it went viral and adding that the trend was showing the power and reach of social media.
Monologue “Pawri” renditions have since been used by Indian police and the Delhi Commission for Women in their social media awareness campaigns.
Dial 181. Theek hai? 😄 pic.twitter.com/IvmA3NS3aC
– Delhi Commission for Women – DCW (@DCWDelhi) February 24, 2021
In one video, two Indian soldiers deployed in snow-capped mountains give him their own version. “It’s us, it’s our weapon, and we’re patrolling here,” they say.
Popular Bollywood actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone each made a version which also went viral.
Indian dairy company Amul, known for inculcating trendy takes on topical issues in its advertisements, made a “this is our pav-tea” version, nodding to a popular bread snack eaten with tea.
– Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) February 18, 2021
Even politicians have jumped on the bandwagon, with President of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata using the eye-catching hook at a campaign rally.
– Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) February 26, 2021
“I am honored and grateful for all the love across the border,” Mobeen said, expressing joy in fostering a rare friendly cross-border dialogue.
India and Pakistan, two nuclear-weapon countries, have fought three wars and have often had strained relations since gaining independence in 1947.
Relations had recently deteriorated due to developments in the northern region of Kashmir, which the two countries partly control but fully claim.
Last week, their military released a rare joint statement saying they had agreed to observe a ceasefire along the disputed border, after exchanging gunfire hundreds of times in recent months.
Since the video went viral, Mobeen said it has been inundated with offers from actors and models, as well as requests for product approval. Instead, she says she aspires to join Pakistan’s foreign service.