Chinese TV series Journey to the West, based on a Chinese novel depicting the epic adventure of a Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuan Zang, is going to be aired in Nepali language for the third time.
The Nepali translation and dubbing of the TV series was done by Araniko Society, an alumni association of scholars and experts who have graduated from China.
At a press conference here on Wednesday, Araniko Society said the series will be broadcasted on two TV channels owing to its growing popularity among the Nepali audiences.
Addressing the program, renowned Nepali writer and scholar Satya Mohan Joshi said that the Chinese series will help Nepali people understand Chinese culture, art and philosophy.
"China is our neighbor. And we get to know about its culture from the series. It is a welcoming step. It will help in the promotion of cultural ties and friendship," Joshi said.
Hailing the monk for his contribution to the promotion of Buddhism, he said that the series based on Xuan Zeng's journey will help Nepali audiences embrace cultural diversity.
The series, which is of 25 episodes originally, has been divided into 50 episodes, each of 30 minutes in Nepali language. It will be aired on two TV channels Nepal Mandal and Indigenous TV from the upcoming weekend.
Journey to the West was aired for the first time in the South Asian country in 2016 on Nepal Mandal. The channel aired it for the second consecutive year in 2017, following the encouraging response from the audiences.
"Based on our data, nearly 1 million people had watched the series through our channel in the past. We got positive feedback from our audiences, thus we are happy to air it again," said Mahesh Maharjan, head of Nepal Mandal.
According to Araniko Society, the Nepali translation and dubbing of the series, through local artists, was completed four years ago. It took nearly two years for the completion of technical works.
Fifty-two-year-old Umesh Mayalu was one of the dubbing artists, who lend his voice in the series.
"I have given voice for both monkey and pig characters. It was very difficult during dubbing, but I am very happy to be a part of the work," Umesh told Xinhua.
British theater director and presenter Jonathan Miller, the star of the "Beyond the Fringe" comedy revue, has died. He was 85.
Miller's family said he died Wednesday had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.
One of the country's most important figures in the arts, Miller enjoyed a decades-long career that encompassed theater, television and opera. Some of Britain's largest and most respected arts institutions, including the National Theatre, the British Film Institute and the Royal Opera, hurried to pay tribute to his long career.
Born in London, Miller studied medicine before turning to the arts, spurred by the success of the satirical revue "Beyond the Fringe."
The show, which also featured Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Peter Cook, went from London's West End to Broadway.
With the holiday shopping season upon us, actor and "Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is encouraging people to take part in Small Business Saturday, an effort to shop at local, independent stores on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Growing up in the neighborhood of Washington Heights, the award-winning actor and "Hamilton" creator said small businesses were a staple in the neighborhood.
"I think New York City is better when it's full of small businesses. I think the world is better. I grew up in a neighborhood that was dotted with small businesses," Miranda said at a recent pop-up shop put on by American Express, creator of Small Business Saturday.
"That's a part of what makes New York special and makes the world special, is those places you can't find anywhere else in the world," he said.
This year, he also became a small business owner by teaming up with a group that includes theater owner James Nederlander to purchase the Drama Book Shop, a century-old store in the theater district that was in danger of closing due to high rent prices. The new location nearby will open in March.
The death of South Korean singer and actress Goo Hara, whose body was found at her home in Seoul this week, has again shone a spotlight on pressures that stars, especially females, face in the cutthroat K-pop industry and in deeply conservative South Korean society.
Goo's death at age 28 came less than two months after the death of Choi Jin-ri, or Sulli, another K-pop star and Goo's close friend. Experts say both Goo and Choi faced extensive cyberbullying and sexual harassment from the public and media throughout their careers, which took a toll on their mental health.
Police say they are still investigating Goo's death and found a "pessimistic note" at her home.
Once popular mostly in Asia, K-pop has spread far beyond South Korea, thanks to wildly popular groups such as "BTS" and "Blackpink."
Goo debuted in 2008 as part of the five-member girl group Kara, which shot almost immediately to fame and helped pioneer the K-pop global phenomenon.
She later launched a successful solo career in South Korea and Japan.
Sulli began her career around the same time as Goo, debuting as a member of the girl band f(x) in 2009. She also had multiple acting roles after stepping away from her singing career.
Goo made headlines when she took her former boyfriend, Choi Jong-bum, to court last year. Choi claimed to have been assaulted by her, while Goo accused him of threatening to release a sex video of her.
During the dispute, Goo's Korean agency didn't renew her contract. A court sentenced Choi to 1 ½ years in prison on charges of coercion and assaulting and blackmailing Goo. The jail term was suspended, keeping him out of prison. Choi appealed and the trial is still ongoing.
K-pop is highly competitive, with dozens of groups debuting each year. Industry experts have long warned about the dark side of the scandal-ridden industry. Aspiring artists, as young as their early teens, train for years. Only a few debut and even fewer are commercially successful. The likelihood of their success increases if they sign with a handful of top entertainment agencies.
The industry is known to have strict rules for their stars — including dating bans, spartan training and diets, and sometimes slave-like and unfair contracts. Experts say the industry has additional requirements for its female artists, unspoken rules reflective of South Korea's patriarchal society.
Park Hee-A, a K-pop journalist and writer of "Interviews with K-pop Stars," said female stars are bound by rigid societal rules of femininity.
"Some female idol members have gotten ostracized for not smiling in a television show and reading a book about feminism that contradicts male-dominated patriarchal South Korean society," Park told The Associated Press.
Expectations of purity and chastity govern women in South Korea. Goo faced a barrage of hate comments following media reports about the sex video despite her being the victim of revenge porn.
"The topic of sex is taboo in South Korea compared to western countries," said Tae-Sung Yeum, attending psychiatrist at Gwanghwamun Forest Psychiatric Clinic. "There's a high moral standard required, especially for female celebrities, because South Korea is a patriarchal society."
Sulli, Goo's long-time friend, also made headlines, often malicious and misogynistic, for speaking out about subjects such as ageism and feminism. She was criticized for wearing shirts without a bra, calling older male colleagues by their first names and openly supporting feminism.
Yeum said it's difficult for K-pop stars to seek professional help for depression, especially in a country where many people believe that psychiatric disorders can be "treated with one's will." He said multiple suicides in the industry stem from stars being plunged into a hypercompetitive system with a plethora of abuses from a young age.
When Sulli was found dead in her Seongnam home, Goo bid farewell to her friend in a live-streamed video. "I will live more diligently for you," Goo cried while apologizing for not being able to make it to her funeral.
Two days before Goo's death, she uploaded a final selfie on her Instagram with the caption, "Good night."
The family of British celebrity chef Gary Rhodes say he has died at the age of 59 with his wife Jennie by his side.
A statement issued Wednesday by Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien in Dubai, where he operated restaurants, said the Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce his passing Tuesday.
The statement did not elaborate further on the cause of death, saying only that the family thanks everyone for their support and asks for privacy.
Fellow British celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver expressed their sympathies with Rhodes' wife and children in messages on Twitter Wednesday.
The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi says Rhodes had been residing in Dubai since 2010, where he was also known for his dine-in menu at cinemas.