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“U POM GANA?” is a memetic sentence that has become extremely popular in Bangladesh’s online community. Sometimes called “pom gana speak” or “Jalil speak” it is a type of internet slang that has become Bangladesh’s answer to Lolspeak/1337speak/Dolanspeak/Do you even lift and Ermagerd.
August 25th 2012, A video was uploaded to youtube featuring Producer/Actor M A Ananta Jalil Speaking in broken English about his last film “most welcome”. During the interview Mr. Jalil reminisces about an incident where while eating at the local KFC, a group of people jeered at him, calling him “a Bangladeshi hero” (that is to say, he is only good at Bengali style films) to which he retaliates "R U POM GANA? UR MODER POM RUSSIA? " (Are you from Ghana? is your mother from Russia). The video became a hit due to the fail of Mr. Jalil who, whereupon, trying to prove that he was not just “any other Bengali action star” by showcasing his proficiency in English, had failed epically by retorting in utter nonsense. The Interview can be viewed below.
The video went viral and Jalil, already notorious for his dubious action scenes and use of explosions in an attempt to mordernize Bengali film culture, became an icon for English. The radio and media re-ran the interview and many newspapers wrote articles on it. Soon Rage comics, exploitable, YouTube remixes, a plethora of Facebook groups, image macros, t-shirts, crossovers with other memes (Gangnam style/one does not simply) and Photoshops of pom gana became common place, not to mention the thousands of followers who started speaking in Jalil style broken English. This had elevated the action hero to almost a certain Chuck Norris stature among the internet savvy youth of Bangladesh. The Wikipedia page for his movie “Khoj: The Search” cites “pom gana” as Bangladesh’s first internet meme . The Bengali Newspaper The Independent published an article on it as well .
Typically memes of “u pom gana” feature either Photoshops and captions of Jalil, speaking in broken English, Black people (who are dubiously labelled as from Ghana) or Russians interacting with Jalil, Word plays or just in standard rage-comics and image macros.
Variants and Additional Phrases
Many terms used by Mr. Jalil has used have also become popular phrases with internet culture in Bangladesh. Some of the biggest and most popular methods of defiling the English language are as follows.
Wassssap/what is happen: what’s up
Don kitty-size me: Don’t Criticize me
fn1. Youtube Interview- Interview on Bengali talk show / 08/25/2012
fn2. Official Facebook Group- Sir Ananta Jalil / 09/21/2012
fn3. Wikipedia Article- Khoj: The Search / 07/2011
fn4. The Independent Article- Are you pom gana? / 10/05/2012