By Mahua HirayOpening Doorz Editorial | May 01 2019

Bangtan Nashik is a regional fan-base of the Bangtan Boys (also known as BTS) nestled in the Wine Capital of India, Nashik. Having being established in 2018, it had its first event at the launch of ‘Burn the Stage’, a documentary based on the Wings Tour by BTS. It was followed by a fan meet where BTS fans in Nashik gathered and rejoiced as they danced to their idols’ songs and sang/rapped some themselves.

Every city has its own fan base, like Bangtan Nashik (Nashik), and it is spearheaded by our national fan base: Bangtan India. The regional administrators carry out timely events, drawing the message and inspiration from BTS and spreading it across ‘The Army’, as the fandom is officially recognized. On Sunday, April 28, Bangtan Nashik had their latest event titled, ‘Love Yourself’.

BTS… A Background
Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South-Korean boy-band formed in Seoul in 2013. They have a large social influence and currently hold seven Guinness World Records, including the world record for most Twitter engagements. To date, they have spent 122 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Social 50 chart. In October 2018, BTS was awarded a fifth-class Hwagwan Order of Cultural Merit from the President of South Korea for their contribution in spreading Korean culture and language.

The amount of effort they put into everything, is amazing. Their choreography and how well it’s put together, how advanced it is, is all a dream. Their effort to connect with ‘The Army’,  their passion to support many youthful issues, especially bullying is commendable.

The fact that the messages they convey through their music are down-to-earth is something not only the youth, but also something even older people enjoy. Their Genres range from Ballads, to Rock, to Hip-Hop, to RnB and what have you.

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In order to make the best versions of ourselves we must know who we really are.

A Journey to ‘Loving Yourself’
Bangtan Nashik, who have been in the forefront of the BTS movement, initiated this packed event on Sunday. In an era of instant gratification, constant need of validation, bottling up of emotions and feeling lonely, Bangtan Nashik welcomed the public and for two hours had an assortment of activities that connected with the ‘inner self’. There were soul stirring conversations apart from carefully picked invigorating activities on how one must know, face, speak and love oneself. The event was aimed at creating a safe haven for one’s insecurities and encouraging all to be raw and real.

Segment One: Know Yourself
ACTIVITY: Having been directed to write ruminating questions for the person on one’s right, the activity took a twist and the audience posed the questions to themselves.

AIM: We aren’t just a “name”. We are a humungous universe by ourselves. Getting old doesn’t make one know oneself. One has to put a conscious effort. In order to make the best versions of ourselves we must know who we really are. What is our personality? What are our core values? How exactly does your own body work and respond over time? What are the needs, wants and dreams? It’s only us who know ourselves better than anyone else in this world. A SWOT analysis or a regular introspection is really vital.

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We have to let go of what is bothersome and toxic.

Segment Two: Face Yourself
ACTIVITY: Having interacted for a while, everyone was asked to write down the first five points that came to them about themselves and the partner they were assigned with. They then exchanged their sheets and reflected on the difference. Post this exercise, one’s insecurities were written on a post-it note and stuck to a balloon. This was set free on the count of three.

AIM: There are times when we need reassurance from others. This is so because we usually tend to listen to our thoughts through the mouths of someone else. The act of ‘letting go’ symbolized how one must take that leap of faith and let go of what is bothersome and toxic. It has to be us who take the action, if not; we will always sway with the wind at the fixed place and keep regretting, tied down in pool of insecurity.

Segment Three: Speak Yourself
ACTIVITY: Whoever was comfortable was asked to come forward and speak about their journey, their story. They had to tell their name to the audience, what excited them, what makes their heart beat. They had to tell their story with conviction, finding their own voice.

AIM: Inspired by the famous speech BTS made at the UN in September 2018, we quoted them to our audience. “Today I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes. Tomorrow, I might be a tiny bit wiser but that’ll be still me too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was and for who I hope to become.”

Segment Four: Love Yourself
ACTIVITY: Everyone was asked to write a letter to themselves full of positivity and kind word, and, about how they should improve and love themselves. They were to open the letter on New Year’s Eve.

AIM: We often get lost in a sea of people and keep expecting different sets of emotions from all. Love is the most sought emotion. Nevertheless, it is fundamental. Everyone deserves it, so why can’t we start with ourselves? Everyone pledged at the event: “For loving myself, I will do whatever it takes.”

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Bangtan Nashik Team: (L to R) Athira Nair, Anushree Bhutada, Manasi Kulkarni, Madhura Hiray and Mahua Hiray

The event ended on an emotional note where strangers hugged and promised that they’d be there for each other. Interestingly, 30 percent of the crowd wasn’t associated with BTS and almost 70 percent of the people were introverts.

Bangtan Nashik was glad to reach out to a people from different walks of life. There were remarkable stories which made some cry, some laugh and some reminisce.

(Mahua Hiray is a student of architecture at the College of Architecture and Center for Design, Nashik. Her interests range from studying architecture to film-making and she lives by the quote: “Change is constant.” Inspired by the Korean Boy-band, Bangtan Boys, she is one of the core team members of Bangtan Nashik).

Also Read: Bringing together people that make a difference

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