The grand finale of the Barsha Best Performer-2015 was held this Saturday, December 26, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
This event was conducted in search of talents in singing within the Bhutanese Americans. Forty aspiring resettled Bhutanese singers from different states in the US participated in the event among whom Ramesh Kadel from Richmond, VA is declared the Best performer. The other three contestants Sahara Rai from Illinois, Jeetendra Giri from Harrisburg, Gopal Magar from Utha declared 3rd, 2nd and 1st runners up respectively. They all were awarded with trophies and offered to sing in a new album in the making.
Having a talent is not appreciated unless there is a platform for them. There were numerous brilliant singers, and many talents in different fields of art but they all had a common barrier of not having a platform. It was just because of the status of being refugee expelled from Bhutan. The identity crisis and poor financial situation were some crucial barriers for talent hunts. The talents were just limited and known within the refugee camps they lived. However, after the generous offer of resettlement from the US government, Bhutanese refugees began to uncover the talents that remained suppressed for over two decades. Thus, Barsha Best Performer contest is one such platform produced by Sakchayam (Adept) group, a Bhutanese youth group based in Pittsburgh sponsored by Barsha Jwellers.
The setting of the contest was entirely unique of its own kind comparing to any such program conducted ever around the world. The first episode of audition started in last July with the participants sending their recorded voice for the initial selection. The fourteenth episode came up with the top four contestants. Three judges were: Pramod Kharel from Kathmandu, Nepal, Damber Khapoong from North Dakota, and Balaram Gurung from Pittsburgh working from their own location. The Judges selected the top ten contestants and then audience voted them online and through SMS. It is worth noting that the two Bhutanese judges in the US were working on voluntary basis whereas Mr.Pramod Kharel from Nepal wasn’t paid enough to compensate for the service. The organizer expressed appreciation for their commitment and contribution towards producing new artists.
The sponsor of the event Mr.Bhanu Phuyel said, “All the contestants were very disciplined that they did not miss any of our rules and regulation. This year Bersha Jewelers supported the Sakcham Group, I am optimistic that someone or a group from any place would come forward to assist Sakcham to continue its second season.” He further added that the top four contestants were offered to give their voice in a new music album that is in the making. The revenue generated by selling the new album will be used for the Best Performer event in 2016. In addition, Mr.Phuyel being one of the co-producers of a new Nepali movie, ‘Dreams’ announced that five percent of the revenue collected in the screening of the movie in the US would go towards 2016 Best performer management. The movie is scheduled to screen in the US from 4 March 2016. The movie is co-produced by Bhuwan KC, Dr. Kapil Rizal from Kathmandu and Bhanu Phuyel from Pittsburgh.
Speaking during the finale, Robin Bista, one of the anchors of the show and member of Sakchayam Group said, “this is the initiative to bring all the Bhutanese youths with multiple talents in a platform, whereby, their unexposed skills and gifted abilities get due attention.” He also mentioned that he was happy for his group because within this very short span since inception, more than ten countries outside the US have known his group through this program. He credited this progress to the helping hands of thousands of their well-wishers.
Meanwhile, Dev Gautam, proprietor of the Nepali clothes and cosmetics, based in Pittsburgh awarded Ramesh Kadel, the winner of the event with an opportunity to have one week long trip on Caribbean cruise. The award includes sponsorship for one additional individual that the winner can take. He added, “It is my utmost pleasure to be a part of such an event. Those young brothers and sisters from the community I grow get chance to reveal their talents that would otherwise remain unknown. At least, those who believe in having talents in them shall now get
motivated. The program dedicated solely to uplifting those young ones encouraged me to sponsor this trip.”
The final winner declaration was made based on the number of votes the contestants received via online and SMS voting. Among the trio judges Pramod Kharel from Kathmandu could not attend due to his pre-scheduled program. Damber Khapoong from Fargo and Balaram Gurung from Pittsburgh interacted with the contestants and shared their experience among the audience.
On the occasion, a new music album ‘Yo Maan’, was released for public. Damber Khapoong thrilled the audience with some of the songs from the album. Khapoong has given vocal in the album and all lyrics by Prakash Ghimirey from Fargo. Yo Maan is the fourth music album brought to the audience by Khapoong since 1994.
Rup Pokharel, president of Bhutanese community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) appreciated the role played by the young students in creating such a praiseworthy platform. He encouraged the parents to assist their children in the course of exceling their skills starting from home. Applauding the generosity extended by the sponsors, Barsha Jewelers and Dev Gautam in respecting the desires of the students, he said, “this is an example of how a small effort made by the willing hearts makes a big difference in the community. It is always good to invest, big or small, for the good cause.”
Bhola Dhungana, the leading anchor of the entire season, thanking everyone involved said, “The encouragement, suggestions and criticisms from you all- helped making the season successful one than we had expected. The remarks Sakchayam Group has received from different sectors are the invaluable assets and we will be guided per those remarks as always to launch other programs in future.”
Guest artists from various cities in the US entertained the audience with melodious songs. Audience from various cities in the US attended the finale.