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PRABAL GURUNG

On The Runway and Taking Off ISSUE ISSUE 12 13 APR-JUN AUG-OCT2010 2010 Rs. Rs. 50 50


EDITORIAL Y! Issue 13 AUGUST - OCTOBER 2010 ON COVER:

How Inconsiderate Have we figured the figuring out part yet? I think I have. With every other adjective used to describe us Nepalis there’s one more and I am certain this is what plagues us as people – being inconsiderate. Small incidents and shining examples present themselves in our every day. I wake up to the siren of the garbage collector. I peer out the window and sure enough Inconsiderate is already at play. He drops his pile on the ground when he could have directly flung it into the garbage truck. That results in stench and litter spreading its tentacles; as it starts drizzling the garbage floats away. I get ready to leave for work and what a drag it is to commute in the city. If you haven’t already noticed the roads are swarming with the Inconsiderates. There is always someone bursting the seams and hitting the pavements leaving no space for pedestrians. Not to forget those that wriggle their way out of traffic jams just to outdo another person by a few seconds. Cars parked on narrow roads without showing signs of budging even when a long line of cars honk an inch away or the noisy horns that persist despite the jam ahead. I get home after a long day and turn on the TV. Reality Show. Flip. Reality Show. Flip. Hindi Soap. Flip. Nepali Song. Flip. News – Politicians are discussing... Flip. Reality Show. Flip. News – The deadline for a new PM to.... Flip. Consider the Inconsiderates who have held the entire nation at ransom - our political parties. They are so busy fighting each other they've forgotten the real fight. While they bargain, discuss, talk, crib, control, threaten, blame, the country drowns in the ever rising flood of problems. And if we were to start grading the performance of our political parties one thing in common would be the colour red. This issue we've attempted to understand the nature of some the problems, the weaknesses and the implications.

Tsering Choden

The cover is themed around two subjects the magazine presents this issue - food security and Nepali movies. The style of the cover pays homage to the popular dramatic cinema posters of the 1950-early 1980s from the subcontinent. The photos range, in location, from the northwestern tip of Nepal to the country's southeastern border region. The cover also predominantly features women a critical labor force; recent reports indicate that 72% of economically active women work in agriculture sector compared to only 48% of men. Cover Photos: Kashish Das Shrestha

EDITOR Tsering Choden

CONSULTANT Sudan Bista

DESK EDITOR Vikash Pradhan

MANAGER, ADMINISTRATION Suneeta Tuladhar

NEPALI COPY EDITOR Viplob Pratik

CONTRIBUTORS

STAFF WRITER Kashish Das Shrestha GRAPHICS/DESIGN Swapnil Acharya ILLUSTRATION Preena Shrestha PHOTOGRAPHER Sudhir Bhandari

KATHMANDU NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati Rabin Giri Utsav Shakya Bipra Acharya SALYAN Resham DC JANAKPUR Dhurba Jha DHANGADHI Shrawan Deuba

Published by Y Enterprise Private Limited P O Box: 6532 Thapathali, Kathmandu, Nepal Phone: +977 1 4254267 Email: mail@yzine.com.np URL: www.yzine.com.np CDO Kathmandu Registration: 04/062/063

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Y! does not subscribe to any writer's views and thoughts. Any opinions expressed is solely the writer's own. Y! is not responsible or liable or any expression thereon.


CONTENTS

MAIN FEATURE Nepal: A Hungry Agrarian State Page 7

FEATURE Lost in Translation? Page 50

DISCUSSION [Re]-Defining the Nepali film industry Page 20

FEATURE Bridging Notes Page 42

REPORT af6f]n] NofPsf] axf/ Page 11 REPORT db/zf–:s"n Page 13 YUVA Year of the Youth Page 14 WHO'S ASKING? Page 15 FOLLOW UP hl6n 5 Joj: yfkgM cof] Uo n8fs'sf]  kL8f Page 16 ALBUM REVIEW Page 18 EXTRA MILE Flatline- A Promise That Fizzled Out Page 24 FEATURE A strange predicament Page 26 WWW The Facebook Phenomenon Page 29 FEATURE Logging out Nepal's Forests Page 30 GROUND REALITY 5 years then and 5 years from now Page 32

Y! PICKS Page 34 PLAIN JANE : Plain Speak Page 36 BLOGROLL Page 36 SHE'S THE STORY od'gf vgfn Page 37 Y! NOT FLY p8\g] ‘8f“k]m’ Page 40 BOOK REVIEW A journey – within you! Page 46 BOOK REVIEW ldqtf / cfbz{sf] b:tfj]h M do"/ 6fOD; Page 47 VOICE u+ufk|;fb Clifb]j Page 46 REPORT lgzfgf dflyNnf]  d:of{ªbL Page 56 CA UPDATE aGg ;S5 Ps jif{df ;j{;Ddt ;+ljwfg Page 58 PHOTO FEATURE Peter Sutherland Workshop Page 60 IMPRESSIONS Riding the Tempo Page 66

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CONTRIBUTORS Y! STAFF PROFILE

New Media Scholarship.

SWAPNIL ACHARYA

Smriti Felicitas Mallapaty is a freelance journalist based in Kathmandu who writes about environment and health issues.

Swapnil Acharya is a web and graphic designer, visualiser, photographer and a writer. Swapnil started web and graphic design while he was still in school, but the "big thing" happened to him after winning the "WAVE Web Winner" award in 2006. After having done three group photo exhibitions, Swapnil continues to pursue his interest in photography and photo editing as well. He is member of the official photo selection committee of Galleria CUC, a photo gallery in Pulchowk, Lalitpur. Also a music and movie enthusiast, Swapnil wants to make his presence felt in all forms of art and expression. During his recent tenure in Karobar National Daily, he worked as the head of layout and design. A student of Business, Acharya has no formal training in web designing/new media. Self-trained and good at his job Acharya took up the post of Designer in Y! Magazine from Issue 12. He is also currently involved as the Creative Director with Diyaalo Technologies, a web engineering firm based in Kathmandu.

CONTRIBUTORS IN BRIEF Dr. Bipin Adhikari is an expert of constitutional law. Bharat Koirala works for Annapurna Post Daily in Pokhara. Since eight years he has been writing about socio-political issues. Besides that he teaches mass comunication and journalism in Pokhara. Yasmin Taj started her career in journalism from The Himalayan Times and now works for The Times of India as a Senior Correspondent and Senior Copy Editor. She writes mostly about corporate affairs, HR issues, business, industry and employment trends. She has also done various special features for the Economic Times and The Telegraph. Bibek Bhandari is a correspondent for Republica national daily. Before joining Republica, he interned for Rolling Stone India in Mumbai. Bibek has covered stories from the Everest Base Camp to Kashmir and has been published in The Dallas Morning News and the Hindustan Times. He is also the winner of the 2009 SAJA Atlantic Media 6 yzine.com.np

Richa Bhattarai is pursuing her masters in English from Tribhuwan University. She is interested in writing poems and stories. Her literature reviews appear regularly in Nagarik and Republica Daily. Dinesh Kafle is a research scholar at Centre of English and Culture Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He likes to study the cultural and political history of South Asian nations. Ganga Prasad Rishidev belongs to the Mushar community of Sonapur in Itahari. Ganga’s parents were the first in their community to send their children to school. A social worker now, Ganga is actively engaged in improving the lives of the people in his community. Yamuna Khanal became actively involved in various social activities as a member of various clubs and organisations while in college. She was however in search of a medium that would further her social cause more effectively and found it in Samad Community Radio, Lahan, where she has been involved since its inception. Peter Sutherland is a New York based artist. His work employs some of the techniques of traditional documentary photography to capture the hidden beauty of ordinary objects and everyday situations. He's released several publications and films, most recently Buck Shots (powerHouse Books) and Tierney Gearon: The Mother Project (Zeitgeist Films). Maia Ruth Lee is a Korean artist who is not particularly based anywhere. She was brought up in Nepal, graduated from art university in Seoul, and lived, studied and worked in Italy and Canada. Her works are mainly paintings and drawings, but she has expanded her fields in graphic design, illustration, and teaching. Her most recent solo exhibition was held at Siddhartha Art Gallery in Kathmandu in May 2010. Aya Tasaki is a student of graduate studies at The New School university in New York. She recently spent the summer in Nepal for her International Field Program to research contemporary issues of Nepali migrant workers.


MAIN FEATURE

Nepal: A Hungry Agrarian State text and photos by KASHISH DAS SHRESTHA

The agrarian nation, once an exporter of rice, is hungry and the problem is exacerbating for a variety of reasons in the hills as well as the plains.

A woman and a girl share food while waiting for the World Food Programme to begin its food distribution in Sarkighat of Humla district, May 2010.

J

uly in Nepal: the sky over the Terai is an infinite gray and dramatic clouds drape the country’s hills and loom over the valleys in the north. Below them, patches of bright green paddy fields – in neatly plotted flatlands and meticulously carved out terraces on hillsides. The clouds are long awaited; they bring the promise of rain. In Nepal, more than 75% of the country’s labor force is engaged in agriculture and the

sector accounts for about 35% of the Gross Domestic Production. Still, the sky is the only real form of irrigation. Rain devastates too but rain is good; it is the only hope, increasingly temperamental. Only 1.1 million hectares of Nepal’s 3.1 million hectares have some form of irrigation, while only 0.4 million hectares of the country’s 1.5 million hectares of paddy fields have year-round irrigation.

Traveling through the country from east to west in the last six months, it doesn’t take much to notice the visible role of agriculture in Nepali society. It isn’t work but in fact a way of life. Festivals, time line for migration work, national political events, all revolve around plantation and harvest seasons. In fact, traveling through Nepal at any time of the year is to witness a nation producing food in some capacity. But a significant portion of Nepal’s farmers are able to engage only in subsistence farming, and 41 of the country’s 75 districts, or an estimated 7.5 million of the country’s 30 million people, have an acute food shortage while some parts of the country chronically live in near famine like conditions. “Following the poor summer crop production, the 2009/2010 national edible cereal balance is estimated to be 316,465MT deficit, which is 140 % higher than last year and by far the largest deficit of the past decade,” the August 2010 Nepal Food Security Bulletin by World Food Programme noted. The agrarian nation, once an exporter of rice, is hungry and the problem is exacerbating for a variety of reasons in the hills as well as the plains.

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Karnali The northwestern edge of the country, Karnali, encompasses 15% of Nepal's land mass and is the largest of its 14 administrative zones. Karnali is also home to some of the country’s most remote and least developed districts. Flying above mid-western Nepal, the terrace farms carved out of magnificent hills look like marks on sand left by waves rolling back into the sea and the cluster of mud and stone homes resemble seashells that it might have washed in. The hills here can easily rise more than 2500 meters high; some are solid rocks, others are mud-brown and wind whipped on one side, lush green with trees on the other. Far below, rivers wind their way deep in the valley at the foot of these hills, and in the horizon the Himalayas stand tall against the backdrop of a deep blue sky. Earlier this year the American government announced Nepal had been selected as one of 20 focus countries for President Obama’s $3.5 Billion Feed the Future initiative. Traveling through Humla, Mugu and Dolpa districts in Karnali this May, it was easy to understand why Nepal was included in the list. Apart from experiencing chronic food insecurity, the region has lived through several famines, the last one of which occurred in 1995/1996. The World Food Programme’s August 2010 Food Security Bulletin notes that 19 Villages

in Humla, or the district’s 74.9% of the population, are considered ‘Highly Food Insecure.’ Walking through hills from the village of Sarkighat through Gothi to reach Rodikot is to witness devastating poverty and experience a surreal sense of desolation. Rodikot is at least 3-days walk away from the district headquarter Simikot. The path that leads to this village ranges from trails along the Humla Karnali river to steep and perilous foot-wide trails few hundred meters above the river. “Had we emphasised on infrastructure development in the 80s, many roads would have come up in the region by now. But we lost that opportunity because the state completely forgot about Karnali at the time,” says Pitamber Sharma, former Vice Chair of the National Planning Commission who had also served as the Regional Planner for the Mountain Enterprises and Infrastructure Division at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) between 1989-2000. A little after 5AM, on May 19, the skies open up at Sarkighat, the remote village along the Humla Karnali. The pre-monsoon rain is a respite from months of drought that has become more regular than farmers in the region would like. The traditional winter snow has become quite illusive too. “There was a time when we would be waist deep in snow during the winters,” says Bir Kha Rokaya. “Last winter and

A small community across the Juphal airport in Dolpa district makes the most of its available natural resources, May 2010.

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the one before that, we barely saw any snow. And what snow did come melted away fast.” Similar observations were reported from different parts of the country all through the winter. What do you do when your traditional crops don’t grow as well because the traditional weather patterns have changed? Add to that an unchecked population growth. It is not that the farmers have given up harvesting their traditional crops either; the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives indicates that food production in Karnali has been generally increasing over time. And household surveying has shown that people still farm local crops. The issue of unchecked population growth, however, consistently comes up; some families have as many as seven children while it seems having four or more children per couple hardly raises an eyebrow here. This can’t be good for a region where a good harvest year only translates to onecrop harvest that may last between four to six months. The following day, on May 20, afternoon winds sweep in dark clouds that swiftly cover the clear blue skies above Juphal VDC in the district of Dolpa, south east of Humla. Little past 2PM the drizzle becomes rain. Children take shelter in cowsheds, people sit outside their rooms and watch nature at work, and an elderly couple takes the opportunity to seamlessly plant a batch of chili plants. “The winds are too strong,” explains Prem Lal Bika. “The rains clouds will be gone soon.” Still, locals in this area have it better in many ways. Last May the Juphal Irrigation Project’s 2.5km long canal was completed with the help of the World Food Programme. In exchange for their work, approximately 226 households received 36 metric tons of food. The canal now irrigates 500 hectares of land in five of the Juphal’s nine wards, benefitting more than 2,300 people from 500 households. Locals also use the water for daily household purposes. Juphal also has an airport and is only a couple of hours walk away from the district headquarter Dunai. “Now we have to seriously put together a comprehensive 10-15 year plan for the region, looking at many angles and taking advantage of their hydro-power and tourism potential,” says Sharma. Otherwise, him and many other experts worry, it may just be too late for Karnali.


The Old-Village of Mattikhan If villages of Karnali offers glimpses of poverty and desolation, the old village of Mattikhan offers an entirely different set of social conditions that translates very differently to sustainable food security. It's mid-July in Mattikhan. White clouds magnificently envelope the

Following the poor summer crop production, the 2009/2010 national edible cereal balance is estimated to be 316,465MT deficit, which is 140 percent higher than last year and by far the largest deficit of the past decade.

horizon in the mornings and evenings, and in the late afternoon a Himalayan peak may just be able to pierce through the clouds in the northern skyline. In the Fall, however, Mattikhan boasts stunning view of Himalayas and the popular lakeside tourist city Pokhara. Indeed, the locals have been working to develop Mattikhan itself as a tourist destination: road links have been established; a resort is in the making, and a panorama-viewing tower under construction. The village in its most recent incarnation is in fact two separate villages split between Syangja and Kaski districts in the western hills. Its people too live in two worlds. Most of the old Gurung households live off pension from family members who served in the British or Indian Army. However, today almost every household in the village, including the Dalits, has at least one family member working in a foreign country sending home their earnings. July is peak plantation season in Nepal but here in Mattikhan large fields

and terraces on the hillsides remain untilled. For one thing, there’s hardly any labor force left in the village to work the fields since they’ve all transformed into migrant workers. Then, the money they send home, combined with the pension received by most households, gives the residents of Mattikhan a relatively strong purchase power. Add to that the road that connects the village with Pokhara’s marketplace: any supplies local shops and residents need are ordered in the morning via phone and delivered the same evening or the next day from Pokhara. On the flip side, the village could have perhaps instead taken advantage of their connectivity to Pokhara by supplying the city’s countless hotels and restaurants with fresh produce. Exploring this model could have also possibly created good work and longterm financial security option for at least some of the villagers who have gone off to toil in the desert sun of the Middle Eastern countries or work in dangerous circumstances of Iraq.

Fish farming on the Fewa lake and paddy fields along the lake side in Pokhara of Kaski district, October 2009.

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The young migrant workers of Mattikhan, and they are all men, don’t work jobs that offers them the luxury of a lifetime pension like their fathers and grandfathers are privileged to; their monthly paycheck is their only real financial security. When they return home in a few years at the most, and in the eventual demise of their household’s pension earners, what possible turn might Mattikhan’s socio-economic structure take, and how will its food security be affected? If Mattikhan does manage to develop as a tourist destination as it hopes to, will these farmlands be developed for real estate as seen in other parts of the country or will community members who have just returned home from working abroad revert their family’s land for agriculture to supply local produce to the resorts and restaurants that would be developed here? Or, when Mattikhan’s sons return home and realise there isn’t any work or opportunity in the village, it is highly likely that they will move their families to Pokhara (as some already have), or even Kathmandu or another urban center with more promise of income generation, further perpetuating the country’s centralisation when the need is to really decentralise. In the present one might be able to understand Mattikhan’s temptation to exercise its purchase power. But how might its current socio-economic structure translate for the village in the long run? It might not be a path that they can easily tread through. And today, there are many Mattikhans across the country.

Terai On July 18, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives announced that only 40% of the total paddy fields across the country had been planted, an ominously low number. In eastern Nepal the figure was only 25%. All in all, only 32% of paddy fields had seen plantation in the terai, which constitutes 71% of the country’s paddy fields. While the Terai maybe blessed with the climate and the soil to produce as much as three harvests a year if done right, the monsoon harvest is critical for the country. Inarwa is a village in the southeastern Sunsari district. It is also the district headquarter and the national east-west highway runs through it, splitting it in half. For a good part of the year, either side of the highway is a vast garden of crops: rice, sugarcane, corn and jute. On a warm April evening, a group of farmers steadily processed their rice harvest in a machine at the edge of a sizeable empty brown field. Across the highway, a woman walked through her family’s Sunflower farm. In fact, Sunsari district is now one of the nation’s largest sunflower seed producing regions, thanks to its close proximity to the Indian border and the market that exists there for Sunflower oil production. Come July, the Sunflower was all gone but every possible bit of arable land was being planted with paddy while jute and sugarcane also filled the landscape. The Banana plantations and Mango groves were full of fruits. Still, change is coming here too. Between Inarwa and Biratnagar, the industrial town with an airport to its south-east, is a settlement called Duhabi with a two-lane road that connects these three locales. In Duhabi

water canals run through and around uninterrupted farmlands. However, its strategic location and relative serenity is luring people from both Inarwa and Biratnagar to build houses there. Itahari, the nearby urban center and the major east-west-north-south junction on the highway there, has experienced a major real estate boom too. A key factor to this phenomenon is the fact that Sunsari and other parts of eastern Nepal are major labor exporters to the international market, and a lot of money that has come into the region has been invested in real estate. On cue, developers have in recent years bought large plots of prime agriculture land along the highway and deeper inside in Inarwa, Duhabi, Biratnagar and Itahari, and plotted them for housing or commercial real estate development. There is no clear record of just how much farmland has actually been plotted by developers in the Terai. It’s not just in the east; central Terai too has undergone a major real estate boom with developers snapping most property they can find. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives report on low paddy plantation this year attributes the fact solely on late monsoon. It does not seem to address the impact lack of labor force might have had. It also seems they have not factored in the conversion of farmlands to real estate development or farmlands that are untilled because their landowners have moved to urban centers because of security or better financial and social opportunities such as jobs for themselves or schools for their children. Continued on Page 48

Dusk settles over a freshly planted paddy field in Sunsari distrrict in eastern Nepal. Junly 2010.

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REPORT

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lsGg klg ;xof] u u¥of] Ú, sfhLdfg lyªn]  yk]  . af6f] af6 cfly{s cfh{g eP;Fu}  o;n]  ufpFn] df cfTdlge{/  x'g]  ;fx; klg a9fPsf]  5 . af6f] s}  sf/ 0f dlxgfdfq vfg k'Ubf afFsL 5fs 6fg{ x] 6f} +8f, lrtjg /  sf7df8f} +;Dd dhb'/ L ug{ hfg'kg] { cfu|fjf;Lsf]  afWotf clxn]  x6] sf]  5 . sf7df8f} +df sk8f k;ndf sfd u/ ] /  b'O{ aif{cl3 ufpF kmls{Psf ;Gtf] if clxn]  ahf/ d}  sk8f k;n vf] n] /  a;] sf 5g\ . …oxL af6f]  v'n] kl5 yf] / } k} ;fsf]  nflu ;x/  hfg'k5{ h:tf]  nfu] gÚ, pgn]  eg]  . af6f] n]  cfDbfgL a9fPkl5 clxn]  ufpFn] x? cfˆgf 5f] / f5f] / LnfO{ v] tLkftL of ;x/ df sfd ug{ k7fpg 5f8L ljBfno egf{ ug{ yfn] sf 5g\ . …uPsf]  kfFr aif{df ljBfyL{sf]  ;+Vof em08}  krf; k|ltztn]  a9] sf]  5, o;sf]  sf/ 0f klg oxL af6f]  g}  xf] Ú, cfu|f % d}  / x] sf]  ;'Gb/ Lb] jL lgDg dfWolds ljBfnosf lzIfs a'l4nfn lyªn]  eg]  . dgx/ Laf6 ;ft lsnf] dL6/  /  8ANo"PkmkL;d] tsf]  ;xof] udf lzv/ sf] 6af6 s'n @^ lsnf] dL6/  af6f]  tof/  ePkl5 clxn]  klg 8fF8fFvs{ uflj;b] lv lardf kg] { sl/ a !% lsnf] ld6/  ;8s aGg eg]  afFsL g}  5 . ‘dgx/ L hf8\g]  ;8s k"/ f ePsf]  lbg t xfdLnfO{ :ju} { cfpF5 xf] nfÚ, 8fF8fFufpFsL ^* aifL{of a[4f ;] tLb] jL uf] n] n]  elgg\ .


REPORT

db/zf–:s"n text by YAMUNA KHANAL & RAMBHAROSI YADAV

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j{ klZrd  /fhdfu{n] 5f]Psf] nfxfgaf6 nueu !$ lsnf]ld6 / blIf0f klZrddf kb{5 v' /lsofO{ ufpF .   /fhdfu{af6 nueu ;f9] tLg 3G6fsf] lxF8]kl5 cfOk'Ug] v' /lsofO{sf] j8f g+a / b'O{df 5 df]xb cnjgft cn ;fnLcft sGof ljBfno . s /La 8]9 bzs cl3 v'n]sf] To; ljBfnodf lxGb'  / O:nfd b'a} wdf{jnDaLsf afnaflnsf k9\b5g\ . v'n]sf] s]xL jif{ d';ndfg ljBfyL{x?dfq k9\g] o; ljBfnodf la:tf /} lxGb' kl /jf /sf ljBfyL{x?n] k9\g yfn]  . Toltv] / ljBfyL{sf] ;+Vof klg yf] /} lyof]  . t /, clxn] To;sf] ;+Vof a9] / @^^ k'u]sf] 5 . h;sf] >]o hfG5 ToxfF  /x]sf] ;fd'bflos  /]l8of] k|;f /0f ;+:yf ;dfb Pk\mPd\nfO{ . o; Pk\mPd\n] ;~rfng u /]sf] k|f /lDes afn lzIff sfo{qmddf db /;fdf k9\g] afnaflnsfx?n] efu lng yfn]kl5 To;sf] k|efjn] ubf{ ljBfnodf egf{ x'g]x?sf] ;+Vof a9]sf] xf] . @#@ hgf d';ndfg  / #% hgf lxGb' ljBfyL{ k9\g] pQm ljBfnodf lzIfsx? klg b'j} wdf{jnDaL 5g\, rf / d';ndfg  / b'O{ lxGb' .  /]l8of] sfo{qmd z'? gx'Fbf;Dd db /zf k4ltdf k9fO{g] pQm ljBfnodf xfn sIff Ps b]lv cf7  / gdfh b'j} kl9G5 . ljBfno rnfpg k|To]s kl /jf /n] plAhPsf] cGgsf] k|lt !) dgaf6 Ps dg lbg] u5{g\ . h;af6, lhNnf lzIff sfof{non] jif]{gL @$ xhf / ?k}ofF dfq pknAw u /fpg] of] ljBfno l6s]sf] 5  . v' /lsofO{ ufpFsf] of] syf g]kfnsf cGo db /zfx?sf nflu klg cg's /0fLo x'g;S5 . vgfn ;fd'bflos  /]l8of] ;dfb Pkm=Pd= -!)@=^ d]ufxh{_, nfxfgsf ;dfrf / k|d'v x'g .

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13 Aug-Oct 2010


YUVA

Year of the Youth This year's International Youth Day is a particularly important day for youth around the world. In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution proclaiming the Year commencing this International Youth Day (August 12, 2010) as the International Year of Youth.

I

n 1999, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that August 12 be declared International Youth Day. The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organised to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995.

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www.un.org “This year's International Youth Day is a particularly important day for youth around the world. In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution proclaiming the Year commencing this International Youth Day (August 12, 2010) as the International Year of Youth.” In line with the theme for the International Year, the theme for this year’s International Youth Day is “Dialogue and


WHO'S ASKING? I love listening to the radio. I am very interested in being an RJ as well. Can you give me advise as to how to reach my goal?

Laxmi Prasad Khatiwada, Journalist Kala Subba (Hits FM 91.2): Nice to hear that you are interested in radio. Well, like any other profession, one has to have skills for RJing. But above all, the main ingredient for success in this field is passion. No doubt, you have to have knowledge of music and you have to be perfect in the language that you are interested in. For example, if you want to do English shows, you have to master the language. You can take basic trainings from many different institutions or else you can listen to different radio shows so that you have basic ideas about how one speaks on air. Applying for the job is to drop your application and bio-data at FM stations first, later you are called for an interview and then the rest depends on how you present yourself in the interview. More than your academic qualifications, your skill and talent will be focused. Hoping that my suggestions come handy, I wish you all the best. Mutual Understanding”. The choice of theme reflects the General Assembly’s appreciation of the value of dialogue among youth from different cultures as well as among different generations. In Nepal AYON, YES Nepal, Heart Beat, Richa Bajimaya Memorial Foundation, YUWA, Young Yatri, Nepal Youth Forum, Green.Society along with different youth organisations celebrated International Youth Day by organising different events on 11th and 12th of August 2010 under the central theme "Dialogue and Mutual Understanding". The program held on August 11 was organised at Alliance Francaise, Teku. Different educational programs including documentary, photo exhibition, poster presentation, forum theatre, art workshop, youth talks that were related to youth were organised. The second day, International Youth Day, started with a youth rally from Shanti Vatika, Ratna Park to GAA Hall, Thamel after which different entertaining programs were organised. New and emerging bands performed their numbers. Youth also enjoyed b-boying dubbed as 'Youth Dance'. Different youth organisations informed the visitors about their working. The event was a start to the collaboration between different youth organisations in the future so as to follow the theme and to celebrate the International youth year so as to empower youth towards nation building.

What are the qualities required to become a successful VJ? Is it necessary to look good and which is more important – talent or dedication?

Purna Rai, Student Suraj Singh Thakuri (Kantipur TV): I believe to be a good presenter you need to have a sound knowledge of almost everything that has a relation with our lives, be it politics, social issues, sports etc. Education is the key word when it comes to becoming a good presenter. Good looks and good presence of mind is also another important factor but as the saying goes, looks may fade away with time but the brain doesn't. Sense of humor, spontaneity and down-to-earth attitude are the qualities of a good presenter.

15 Aug-Oct 2010


FOLLOW UP

DURGA LAL KC

hl6n 5 Joj: yfkgM ‘c

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‘cof] Uo n8fs'’sf] kL8f cgldgsf]  Kofs] h sfo{qmd cGt{ut jlx{udgdf k/ ] sf t"kmfgl;+x s7fotnufot rf/  k"j{ n8fs'x? ndxLsf]  Pp6f js{zkdf df] 6/  ;fO{sn agfpg]  zLk l;Sb} 5g\ . hLjg lgjf{xsf nflu of]  tflnd kof{Kt geP klg o;afx] s csf] { ljsNk gePsf]  t"kmfg atfp“5g\ . text by DASHRATH GHIMIRE

sf] xnk'/ –$ rk/ uf} / Lsf t"kmfgl;+x s7fot -@)_ lkln lju|] 8 5} 7f} F l8lehg bz/ yk'/ af6 jlx{udgdf k/ ] sf k'j{ dfcf] jfbL n8fs' x'g\ . cgldgn]  k|df0fLs/ 0f u/ ] /  b] zsf ljleGg : yfgjf6 Ps}  ;fy jlx{udgdf k/ ] sf rf/  xhf/  ^ ;o $ hgf dWo]  k5{g\ t"kmfg . df] 6/ ;fO{sn jgfpFb}  u/ ] sf]  cj: yfdf ndxLsf]  Pp6f df] 6/  ;fOsn js{zkdf o; ;+jfbbftf;Fu pgsf]  e] 6 ePsf]  lyof]  . cgldgsf]  Kofs] h sfo{qmd cGt{ut pgL nufot jlx{udgdf k/ ] sf rf/  k"j{ n8fs'x? ToxfF df] 6/  ;fO{sn agfpg]  zLk l;Sb} 5g\ . hLjg lgjf{xsf nflu of]  tflnd kof{Kt geP klg o;afx] s csf] { ljsNk gePsf]  t"kmfg atfpF5g\ . pgL eG5g\, æof]  kof{Kt t 5} g, t} klg ca o;} af6 u'hf/ f ug] { ;f] r jgfPsf]  5' .Æ kf6L{n]  / f] huf/  lbnfpF5f}  eGb}  etL{ u/ fPsf]  pgL ;lDemG5g\ . pgn]  dlxgfsf]  rf/ ÷kfFr xhf/  tna kfOg]  cfZjf;g kfPsf lyP . cfly{s cj: yf sdhf] /  ePs}  sf/ 0f hfuL/ sf]  cfzfdf sIff !) sf]  6] : 6 k/ LIff 5f8] /  dfcf] jfbLdf k|j] z u/ ] sf t"kmfg cfk\mgf]  kf6L{n]  lhDd] jf/ Lk"j{s cfk\mgfaf/ ]  ;f] Rg gEofPsf]  cfz+sf u5{g\ . cfk\mgf]  kf6L{ ;Qf lnK;fdf nfu] sf]  pgsf]  wf/ 0ff 5 . alxu{dgdf k/ ] sf clwsf+z k"j{ n8fs'x?sf]  jt{dfg tl: a/  xf]  of]  . pgLx? hLjg wfGg of t s'g}  zLk l;Sb} 5g\ of t / f] huf/ sf nflu vf8L d'n's jf lxGb': tfg uPsf 5g\ . sltko eg]  ufpF3/ d}  cfk"mnfO{ Jojl: yt ug{ ldlxg] t ub} {5g\ . t/ , alx{udgdf k/ ] sfx?n]  cfk"mnfO{ cof] Uosf]  ku/ L u'yfPsf sf/ 0f ;dfhdf 3'nldn x'g ;d: of k/ ] sf]  atfpF5g\ . clg sf]  sxfF s;/ L hLjg ofkg ub} {5g\ eGg]  tYofª\s klg 5} g . alb{of af;u9L, df] ltk'/ –% sf ;'gLn a: g] t -@!_ nfO{ Joj;fo ug] { dg 5, t/ 

To;sf nflu pgL;Fu cfjZos wg 5} g . pgL eG5g\, æzLk;Fu}  Ps d'i7 ;xof] u / sdsf]  Joj: yf eP ufpF 3/ d}  Ond ug{ ;SYof} F, t/  lagf / sd l;s] sf]  zLksf]  s]  sfd < snd rnfpg]  xftn]  xltof/  rnfpg l;sfP, clxn]  cof] Uosf]  tSdf le/ fP/  3/  g 3f6sf]  agfP . x'Fbfx'Fbf ;dfhdf 3'nldn x'g ;d: of k/ ] sf]  5 .Æ h'Dnf uf] 7Lrf} / –& sf eLdjxfb'/  j'9f -@!_ nfO{ klg ufpF 3/ df df] 6/  Uof/ ] h / fv] /  pBd ug{]  O{R5f 5 . æalx{udgdf k/ ] /  : jtGq kG5Le} Fm ePsf 5f} F, ca n8fO{FeGbf cfk\mg}  Joj;fo u/ ] /  a: g]  a] z 7fg] sf]  5',Æ pgn]  eg]  . g] tfx?;Fu c;Gt'i6 pgsf]  ljrf/ df kf6L{sf g] tfx? cfbz{sf efif0f dfq 5fF6\5g\ . afFs]  kmQ] k'/ –& gofFa: tLsf / fhs'df/  rf} w/ L -@!_ eg]  jlx{udg kl5sf]  hLjgnfO{ gf} nf]  hLjg 7fGb}  zLknfO{ g}  hLjg Ho"g]  cfwf/  agfpg]  atfpF5g\ . pgL eG5g\, æoxL sfdnfO{ Jofj;flos ?kdf n} hfG5', afFRg]  ljsNk c? s] xL 5} g, To;} n]  sfd u/ ] / } a: 5' .Æ alx{udgdf k/ ] sf dWo tyf ;'b"/  klZrdsf clwsf+z k"j{ n8fs'x? cgldgsf]  Kofs] h sfo{qmd cGt{ut zLk l;Sg / flKt k|fljlws lzIffno df} / L3f6 cfPsf 5g\ . ljBfnoaf6 clwsf+z n8fs'x?n]  xfp; jfol/ ª\u, 8sdL{ /  df] 6/ ;fO{sn js{zk ;DaGwL zLk l;s] sf ljBfnosf lgdf{0f k|lzIfs s'n/ fh rf} w/ L atfpF5g\ . s] xL ;dootf alxu{dgdf k/ ] sf sltko k"j{ n8fs'x?sf cg';f/  ltgnfO{ ltgsf la|u] 8af6 ! ;fpgdf pkl: yt x'g]  ;"rgf hf/ L ePsf]  ;dfrf/  klg cfPsf]  5 . æalx{udgdf k/ ] sf n8fs'x?nfO{ etL{ ug{]  of] hgfsf sf/ 0f af] nfPsf]  x'g'k5{ gq lsg af] nfpFy]  <Æ t"kmfg eG5g\, æPs k6s cof] Uo eGg]  5fk al;;s] sf]  5, xfdL hfFb} gf}  .Æ pgsf]  egfO{ cg';f/  k"j{ n8fs' s'g}  u'l8of xf] Ogg\, h;nfO{ h'ga] nf dg nfUof]  lsga] r ug] { . 17 Aug-Oct 2010


ALBUM REVIEW by KASHISH DAS SHRESTHA

Ka'La'Karmi : The Hari Maharjan Project The Hari Maharjan Project's debut, Kaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Laâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Karmi, was a much-anticipated album amongst Nepal's more serious contemporary music audience. Hari shines on the album and it reasserts what most audiences familiar with Nepali guitarists, or just Hari's work, may have already known: he remains one of the most versatile guitar virtuosos in the country. Having said that, the Hari Maharjan Project is by no means confined to Nepal. Indeed, what is best about their debut album is that it works perfectly as a jazzfusion album irrespective to the nationality of the musicians and the backdrop of the Nepali music industry. For most parts of the album, it remains fairly up-tempo with styles reminiscent of swing and gypsy jazz. The sweet and mellow 7th track on the disc, Raktika, makes for a pleasant breather. The following track, Teesa, edges out to more eastern melodies with a bluesy solo midway. The last track, Himakshi (Golden Eye), is probably this reviewer's favorite track on the album. As a steady rhythm weaves a canvas, for 4 minutes and 22 seconds Hari flawlessly, and with care, paints a melodic guitar solo that

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transports you to a bygone era of the West. Here, he sounds absolutely at ease, even playful with some of the notes and techniques. It is the perfect finish to a very good album. It is also a fine example of a local talent taking on the world confidently, and raising the bar in the Nepali music industry in the process. It can safely be said that it will be sometime before an album like this comes around from Nepal again.

Nakshyatra: Nabin K. Bhattarai In 2004, as we drove to a photo shoot for WAVE magazine, Nabin Bhattarai had mentioned to me that he grew up listening to classic rock and that Deep Purple was one of his favorites. It came as a bit of surprise to me as Nabin Bhattarai that most people knew at the


time and know today is a pop singer/songwriter who broke through with a love ballad and went on to produce many peppy chart toppers. Years later, in his latest album Nakshyatra, he seems to have allowed his influences to come alive, and it does him good too. Nakshyatra opens up with a surprising rock tune, Din Hos Ya Raat, with Nabin singing over a steady kick-drum and snear based backdrop, some distorted guitar and a very 70s rock guitar solo. The third track, Halla Nagara, is a modern pop love song with some bold and fairly good uses of synth sounds not often used in our music industry. The 8th track, Imaan Bechchhaun, is a genuinely thoughtful song, both

lyrically and musically. The singer narrates the ills of the society as he sees it, touching on social issues of greed and creed, religion and violence. In the background, the mix of the synth base with a steady guitar plucking, the rise and fall of a subdued choir of brass instruments between the verses, and the harmonised hum of a chorus is all quite well done. I doubt any pop-album available in the market today can boast a song as maturely produced. The album sounds like one that Nabin made not just for quick hits, but also something that he could really work on in ways that he might have wanted to for some time now. The album cover lists Nabin as the music composer for all the songs, although the music arranger/ producer lists various names. Here, he has clearly drawn from a lot of his old western influences; the use of organs, synths, drums and distorted guitars all do seem to work in his favor. Yes, there are a few off-the-cuff pop tracks but even those seem to offer some

thoughtful musical nuances. The pop music scene has for some years been a free-for-all genre where people have bought their way into having an album and a music video released and enjoying their 15 minutes of fame. Nakshyatra serves as a reminder to the music industry of the kind of work they ought to be looking for and promoting instead of cluttering their own market with anyone throwing cash at them. This time around, Nabin doesn't seem to be just chasing pop-charts (although some songs deserve to be on them) or writing songs him and his audience can bounce to at shows; Nakshyatra is a pop album that seems to be designed for listening. Nakshyatra is, a mature pop album and Nabin's veteran ways clearly comes through. The sound is uninhibited and anyone who had brushed him off as just another mushy pop singer should give this singer/songwriter another chance and pick up his latest album.

19 Aug-Oct 2010


DISCUSSION

ARI K BHAND

E text by BIB

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epali cinema, which was born in the black and white era of 1964— when the first feature film Aama was released—blossomed into colour with Kumari in 1977. Over the past 50 years, as the number of Nepali films soared and multiplexes increased, the industry has been flooded with people, who perhaps see it as a revenue-grossing pit, and technology has taken the shooting and projection of Nepali cinema to the modern era. However, the Nepali film in general appears to stand in the same threshold from where it all started. Times have changed; people, the technology, and, to some extent, the audience. Yet, the film industry seems to be stuck in a time warp. Old references and benchmarks all remain, with people, the filmmakers and the audience, talking about their fondness for movies produced in the '80s and early '90s.

They gush about how much they liked the narration, script and acting in movies like Kusume Rumal, Samjhana, Saino and Lahure. Now ask them to name one good movie watching experience from recent times and there is either a long pause before the answers or complete silence. Anup Poudel, a film student and an aspiring filmmaker, doesn’t hesitate to name his favourites from the past like Samjhana and Chino but the confidence in his tone melts as he speaks about current cinema. “Lack of originality and out of context stories and characters are some of the weaknesses of Nepali movies,” opines 20-year-old Poudel, also the winner of the 2010 Democracy Video Challenge organised by the US Department globally. Comparing current movies with those from earlier times, Poudel adds,

“most of the filmmakers have forgotten to localise the content and concentrate on making larger than life movies.”

The Scene From producing one or two good movies annually, the Nepali film industry currently produces about 30, a progress definitely of sorts, but only in terms of quantity and not quality. Most of the films still depend on a half-acentury-old formula. Nabin Subba, a contemporary filmmaker who tried to make a fresh start, is quite vocal about his frustration about this industry also known as Kollywood. “I don’t think anything has changed here. I don’t see any changes in the subject, the

treatment, quality and even acting. Movies like Kusume Rumal and Kanyadaan were far better,” says Subba who watched most of the films produced during 2055/56 BS as a jury member of the Nepali Film Award. Venting out his dissatisfaction on new releases, he adds that the stories lack creativity and originality, and are often copied from Bollywood or, as the latest fad is, Korean movies. And it shows. Going by poster and promos alone, the recent lot of movies do promise a makeover, something new or of a newer generation, but that’s where it all ends. The poster of The Flashback for example, a recent release, that shows two actors lip-locked has

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garnered much attention from passers by, and the film is said to be one of the ‘next generation’ Nepali films. However, the appeal and claim of freshness ends with the poster as the film itself lacks even a trace of freshness. It seems like it’s just another Bollywood clone, with poor acting and subpar cinematography and editing. Bhuwan Chand, Nepal’s first feature film actress, clearly remembers Nepali cinema’s early days where there was more emphasis on quality than quantity. She says that she hasn’t seen the new lot of Nepali movies but does watch the trailers on TV. She labels them ‘masala movies’ and adds, “they resonate the changing times and are only delivering what the market demands.”

21 Aug-Oct 2010


Society Nepal, who With a large portion specialised in film studies of the Bollywoodfrom Delhi University and influenced Nepali did his post-doctorate market demanding research on media run-of-the-mill masala management from New flicks, Kesang Sherpa, York University, says, “Old who holds a degree movies were made from the in Film Studies and heart but the new ones are Ethnicity, Race and “g]kfnLsf] b[li6sf]0faf6 made from the brain.” He Migration Studies further that the movies from Yale University, s;/L syf eGg ;lsG5 adds look alike because of the thinks that the industry needs to talk about eg]/ rnlrqsdL{x?n] directors’ narrow vision, in mainstream re-imaging of Nepali k'g{sNkgf ug'{ h?/L 5 . especially cinema, which ‘hasn’t raised films before setting a standard definition or o;n] g]kfnL rnlrq its standard’. However, with the entry redefinition of Nepali nfO{ JofVof of new filmmakers and some films. perspective, the buzz “Filmmakers must ug]{ k|lqmofdf ;3fp fresh is about the ‘redefinition of re-imagine how a story could be told from a k'¥ofpg]5 .” Nepali cinema’. Alok Nembang, a music Nepali point of view. video director, and one This would help this s];f“u z]kf{, rnlrq lj1 of the contemporary film process of defining directors, sees the Nepali Nepali films,” Sherpa film industry emerging. states referring to “We cannot expect things to happen how countries like Kazaksthan faced overnight,” he says. “And the existing difficulties in creating their cinematic trend of commercial boy meets girls, identities after their resurrection from mushy love stories are a good way to the USSR. Nepal, though not a part begin.” of a fragmented state, is in a similar “We cannot expect newcomers to situation, one of creating a social, come in and make movies that deal political identity after the decade-long with complicated issues. This could Maoist conflict that gave birth to a new be the time to practice and get used to republic. making films and then we can move on to complicated topics,” Nembang says. Though Sano During a stage when the State Sansar, his debut has gone through a series of pofilm, appealed litical and social reforms, critics to the audience say Nepali movies have however with its new feel, story was stuck with decade-old doctrines: the another cut and

same old story, obsolete forms of storytelling and characterisation. While the '80s and early '90s saw the rise of quality films like Samjhana, Kusume Rumal, Lahure and Chino—though they were Bollywoodinfluenced— movies being produced in the new millennium don't even come close.

Dr. Pradeep Bhattarai, president of the Film Critic

22 yzine.com.np

æof] k'/fgf] 9f+rf df s]lx kl/jt{g dfq xf] / of] cj:yf Ps lbg cfpg' g} lyof] .Æ nIfg\ s'Gbg, lgdf{tf

paste job from a bunch of Korean and Hindi flicks. Nembang, however, clarifies, “I don’t want to change anything. I just want to give a little style to my movies.”

The difference

The definition or the redefinition of Nepali cinema maybe a topic up for debate, but there has been a transformation, and it hasn’t only been from black and white to colour and from using analog cameras for shooting to using digital cameras. A new generation of filmmakers along with fresh ideas is undertaking the task of giving a facelift to this industry with a fast deteriorating identity. With Numafung (2003), the Nepali audience had a taste of a different kind of movie, and most importantly, partially in a language that wasn’t Nepali. With a good plot and a storyline set in a local context, the narration and direction gave the movie a new place in Nepali cinema, and made a name for itself even in the international arena. “[Though it’s a movie] based on an ethnic community, it addressed a national audience,” Sherpa says. “It was speaking a language of inclusion and synthesis (building up, not breaking down), and opened the possibility to re-imagine the definition of Nepali films and Nepali national identity at large,” she adds. Subba, the director of Numafung, says that he only wanted to make a movie that would represent and showcase a Nepali movie at a global platform. “Films are a medium of expression that showcase the society. And with Numafung, at least the global audience could understand that it was a film from Nepal,” Subba says while disapproving of today’s Nepali films, the core values of which are æPp6f rnlrqdfqn] commercial. “I don’t even want to talk about s]xL km/s kb}{g . them,” he says. Out of the 100 movies cf};tsf] sfg'g cg';f/ that were made and submitted for the film awards, Subba only liked two. The /fd|f :t/sf y'k|} rest came not even close to what he rnlrqx? cfPkl5 feels Nepali films should be, given the 50 years of Nepali cinema. dfq o;sf] c;/ What has slightly changed is the b]lvg] 5 .Æ filmmaking technology. The last decade saw the rise in the k|lbk e§/fO{, use of digital cameras and new forms rnlrq cfnf]rs ;dfhsf cWoIf of production and post-production techniques. Kagbeni, released in 2008,


“We haven’t understood the seriousness And though the new wave set a milestone for Nepali of the industry –the technical and of films may score a bit in films as the first one to academic knowledge is direly lacking,” terms of eye-candy, they be shot with a 2K digital he says. “If there is no sound in our desperately lack content camera. movies, it’s like a C grade Hindi movie,” and are shallow at best. It brought a new Bhattarai adds. Chand misses the appeal to Nepali cinema While a mass of new moviemakers strength of the script and and many coined its forge ahead to save the sinking ship, stories in the new movies release as Nepali cinema’s people like Subba, who have stuck and in such a situation, she ‘redefining moment’. Even to filmmaking for a while and have notes that it is difficult for the very critical urban æclego sf} z n analysed recent releases, don’t see the actors to showcase their mass went to see Kagbeni silver lining very near. “I used to say b]vfpg ;lsg] skills. in hordes. that there is a space for progress, but Anup Baral, a theatre However, technology e"ldsfx? lgs} sd after watching the movies from the past and film actor, also shares alone isn’t a milestone two years [for judging], it’s worthless similar insights. He says, nor has it redefined e]l6G5g\ .Æ to say that we will improve the Nepali “there are a very few Nepali cinema thinks film industry,” Subba says. “I don’t want cg'k a/fn, cleg]tf performance-based roles,” Laxan Kundan, who has to speak anything about it,” he adds which doesn’t allow actors been doing production in in despair. Looking ahead, filmmakers to show their skills and Nepali cinema for the past like Malla and Poudel, who have proper potential. He further adds that the 17 years. He feels, “this phase is ‘only an education and exposure, and people Nepali filmmakers are still behind in upgrade from the old technology’ and it like Kundan with technical proficiencies the implementation of casting calls ‘had to come someday’.” may perhaps drive the Nepali film to a and proper definition of characters, According to Sherpa, “a good movie true redefinition. which could result in a better product reflects a filmmaker’s sincerity and While Kundan dreams of making a overall. To churn better films, critics and creative vision and technology is not film like Lord of the Rings, he also knows filmmakers, groomed in the new school more important.” of the challenges. So he will rather stick of thought, clearly see an important Kagbeni, however, was a to a combo of a well-written story, element lacking in Kollywood: proper ‘technological marvel’ feels Kundan, proper characterisation, entertainment education. though the movie wasn't successful. value with a splash of visual effects. Sampada Malla, 23-year-old Sherpa meanwhile fails to see anything Rather than make claims, it would be filmmaker who graduated from Asian original in it. “It felt like Stanley best to just make ‘good’ films. When that Academy of Films and Television in Kubrick's Shining meets Eric Vialli's happens, Nepali films will inevitably be Noida, India, makes her point amply Caravan meets a Nepali tele-serial,” she ‘redefined’. clear. She says, “this is such a profession opines. wherein you need not only art but craft With the new generation of as well and film education is important filmmakers, Nepali films have seen new to learn that.” forms of pastiche from other channels The situation is changing that were unexplored, thinks film critic however, and the few emerging Bhattarai. He believes that the industry skilled personnel, though has detoured from Indian films to limited, are determined Korean and Iranian now, producing to make changes in this genetically modified, different films. expanding yet immature When even these films, often termed industry. They have chosen this ‘well-made’ and ‘different’ fail to notch field as a profession and are up the numbers at the box office, it is ædf}lnstfsf] sdL passionate. clear that they aren’t enough to sustain “You have to learn the the goodness of Nepali cinema. tyf c;fGble{s syf grammar of films—from how “And just one movie doesn’t make / rl/qx? g} g]kfnL to operate a camera to taking the difference,” Bhattarai adds. “Given æof] o:tf] Joj;fo rnlrqx?sf s]xL shots and techniques for the law of averages, it can only happen xf] . hxf“ snf dfq sdhf]/Lx? x'g .Æ editing,” Malla, who currently when a series of movies with good value is in Bollywood to gain some come together to multiply the impact.” geO{ bIftf klg x'g' practical experience in k kf}8]n, cfjZos 5 / rnlrq cg' filmmaking after her degree, pbodfg rnlrqsdL{ tyf 8]df]qm];L The problems says. “It comes only with ;DalGw lzIffn] of] lel8of] Rofn]~h -blIf0f tyf dWo education and experience,” she Though a certain touch of illusionary s'/f l;sfpF5 .Æ Plzof 5]qsf_ ljh]tf adds. prosperity looms over Kollywood, its Bhattarai also makes his ;Dkbf dNn, share of problems cannot be denied. stance and says that due to pbodfg rnlrqsdL{ Technology and post-production has the shortage of people with flourished but there is a distinct lack of proper education, Kollywood effective storytelling and the rules of lacks ‘texture and structure’. moviemaking are still undernourished. 23 Aug-Oct 2010


EXTRA MILE

Flatline-

A Promise That Fizzled Out g]kfnL lqms]6nfO{ cGt/f{li6«o :t/df k'¥ofpg] xf] eg] lqms]6 P;f]l;og g]kfn (CAN) n] uDeL/ eP/ o;sf] ljsf;sf nflu ;f]Rg' k5{, ;+u7gsf clwsf/Lx?nfO{ klg lqms]6sf] ljifodf vf;} ?lr 5 h:tf] b]lvFb}g, pgLx?sf] p2]Zo h:tf] b]lv“b}g, pgLx? olQs} af]8{sf ;b:o eP/ a;]sf 5g\ text as narrated by PARAS KHADKA

W

ith the World Cup fever slowly receding, many are left wondering if Nepal will ever figure in one. If some sports administrators were to be believed in the early 2000s, Nepal would have already figured in a World Cup. It wasn’t a wild speculation then, and yes, we aren’t talking of football here, but cricket. Football, perhaps, still commands a much bigger fan-base in Nepal, but as a sport, Nepal had a really good chance of making it into the big league in international cricket in the first half of the last decade. It is still possible, however, first, it is essential to figure out how and why the earlier promise fizzled out. After becoming an affiliate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 1988 and an associate member in 1996, Nepal has been taking part regularly in Asian and International competitions, performing especially well in the U-19 level. In fact, Nepal’s dominance in the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) U-19 Elite Cup was such that it won every staging of the tournament from 2000 to 2009. In April, 2009, Nepal lost to Hong Kong in a group stage match, thereafter losing to Afghanistan in the semi-finals. In the early 2000s, Nepali cricket was on a high, and the mood upbeat,

24 yzine.com.np

National League by Nepal cricketers (subsequently withdrawn) in May/June this year, was perhaps Nepali cricket’s lowest low, and a bitter portrayal of how things stand at present. We have on this issue, Paras Khadka, one of Nepal’s finest all-rounders talking about himself, his career and the paradox called Nepali Cricket.

Formative Years Cricket was my thing, but as a child I was interested in all kinds of sports. My teachers in school were very supportive and that's when I started concentrating on cricket. My cricketing career got underway when I was selected for the Nepal U-15 team.

The State Of The Sport Then from players to the administrators. Some cricket officials even foresaw Nepal getting one-day-international (ODI) status by 2007, and a place in the cricket World Cup in the same time frame. Fast forward to 2010, Nepal is yet to get the status of a one-day playing nation, and even in the Asian context, its grip is slowly loosening, with peers like Afghanistan overtaking it and stealing the limelight in the international arena. The recent boycott of the

The golden era of Nepali cricket has just dawned and I am lucky to have made an entry. The Nepali U-19 team did well in the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2002. The same year, the senior team qualified for the ACC Trophy. While still in school, I got a chance to represent Nepal internationally. It was a big honour for me and cricket in general was going in the right direction. It was becoming increasingly popular even among fans.


Paras Khadka An allrounder who bats in the middle order and bowls medium pace, Paras Khadka has represented Nepal in three U-19 World Cups, in 2004, 2006 and 2008. He bowled the crucial last over in the Plate semi-final against South Africa in 2006 to take his team into the final and finished the tournament as the highest wickettaker for Nepal. Khadka was the Man of the Tournament in the U-19 ACC Trophy in 2007, a performance which helped Nepal qualify for what will be his last U-19 World Cup. Khadka took 12 wickets in the 2008 World Cup and led Nepal to their second successive Plate final.

The State Of The Sport Now Cricket is very, very popular here, and with events like the Indian Premier League (IPL), the viewership is soaring. Having cricket specific channels on TV has also helped popularise the sport. Fan support is also very encouraging. With the right kind of infrastructure and support from big corporate houses and the government, Nepali cricket can go a very long way.

Reasons For Failure In Recent Years The main reasons why Nepal has not been performing well in the last few years are the lack of proper management, weak domestic structure and the lack of exposure for the players. Talent alone cannot sustain Nepali cricket for long - talent blooms with exposure, and that has not happened. We need to explore the possibilities. I feel cricket is one sport where Nepal can do well even on an international level. It is essential to discover new talent and hone it. The past decade has been good for Nepali cricket, but administrative support is lacking. We still don’t have a Central Cricket Academy, which is very essential for nurturing emerging talent. It is also necessary to recruit former cricketers and send them across the nation to scout for talent. The more cricketers we have, the better it will be for the sport.

Strengths And Weaknesses We have some immensely talented players. It may sound like a cliche, but our strength is our spirit, and the fact that we play as a team. Our weakness is the lack of exposure and the lack of a domestic structure. Only by playing against tough and skilled opponents do we improve. In the U-19 level we play against many cricketers who establish themselves in the senior circuit, and we fare quite well. However once we reach the senior stage, we do not get the same kind of exposure and our talent stagnates. Given better infrastructure and the chance to play against better teams, Nepal can definitely do well internationally.

Of ODI Status By 2007 And The World Cup To be very frank, it was an achievable dream, but a whole lot of things were

Source www.cricinfo.com

necessary for that to be possible. The administrators in the early 2000s were basing their predictions on the performance of the U-19 team, which was fantastic. However, the seniors did not get the same kind of patronage and support. We didn’t have the right cricket structure then to be saying that we could be playing the World Cup in 2007.

Cricket Association Of Nepal’s (CAN) Role If Nepali cricket has to live up to its promise, CAN has to be serious about developing the sport. The administrators take their positions for granted. They are just there in the board without any real interest or intent for the game. I also feel that cricket is very popular in the corporate sector, and given the right kind of push by the administrators, it's possible to create a positive synergy. We can start our very own version of the IPL with the active participation of the corporate sector.

The Corporate Sector’s Role The corporate sector has been very supportive so far. I, personally, have benefitted a lot as a member of the Yeti Airlines cricket team. It is among the few organisations to hire cricketers to play for them. The colleges have been particularly encouraging - a whole lot of young cricketers are getting scholarships and free education in colleges here. A more active participation of the corporate sector can make Nepali cricket professional and help it develop. We need support in terms of infrastructure

g]kfnL lqms]6n] ljut s]xL jif{df /fd|f] ug{ g;s]sf] s]xL sf/0fx? dWo] /fd|f] k|zf;gsf] cefj, sdhf]/ cfGtl/s ;+/ rgf / v]nf8Lx?sf] nflu kof{Kt cj;/x?sf] sdL, k|ltefdfqn] g]kfnL lqms]6 wfGg d'lZsn x'G5 . k|ltefn] cj;/ kfPdf dfq km'Ng df}sf kfp“5, t/ To:tf] ePsf] 5}g and finance. If there is money in any sport, it will develop by itself.

Why Afghanistan, Why Not Nepal It boils down to exposure – Afghanistan lacks infrastructure too, but most of them have been playing in the Pakistani league, and are very gutsy players. We have the same kind of talent and determination, but something is just not clicking.

A Realistic End-note With the right kind of attitude from players, administrators and sponsors, we may get ODI status by 2015. But a whole lot needs to be done - create a professional domestic cricket structure, upgrade the facilities, expose the players more. Anything is possible, but again, it isn’t enough to dream. It has to be followed up with fruition.

25 Aug-Oct 2010


FEATURE

A strange predicament Waste in Khumbu is managed by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), an NGO run entirely by locals in the area. Headquartered in Namche Bazaar, the SPCC is responsible for the collection and disposal of garbage from Lukla to Everest.

G

arbage collection in Kathmandu city runs as smoothly as a CD that’s been through the grind – at skip-pausehold-your-nose tempo. The latest round of disagreements between government officials and locals living near the landfill site at Sisdole are tolerated as just another interruption to be resolved by just another temporary settlement. For days we tiptoe over our wretched droppings, then make another contribution to the pile while facing the purer skies. Dhan Bahadur Banya laughs at our predicament. A garbage collector in Namche Bazaar for the past 12 years, he gets a tickle to think that his work could be brought to a halt by protests. “Perhaps, the collection is delayed by a day or two because of festivals, but for no other reason.”

Under control Insights into the attitudes towards waste management in the high-altitude terrain of Khumbu 26 yzine.com.np

only bring further ignominy to us valley-dwellers, but maybe also a few transferable lessons. Waste in Khumbu is managed by the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC), an NGO run entirely by locals in the area. Headquartered in Namche Bazaar, the SPCC is responsible for the collection and disposal of garbage from Lukla to Everest. Over 20 staff-members maintain the trekking route and sanitation in villages, as well as ensuring that expedition groups bring all their garbage off the mountain. Combustible waste, including plastics, is incinerated in pits, and non-combustible waste like tins and glass is sent downhill to Kathmandu. Biodegradables are of no real concern for the SPCC. The SPCC’s budget is supported, minimally, by annual fees of between Rs. 1200 – 2000, charged to large houses and lodges in Namche Bazaar. Since 2000, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has granted the SPCC the contract for fixing

SHIKHAR BHATTARAI

text and photos by SMRITI F. MALLAPATY

No Malice: SPCC workers Tak Man Tamang (left) and Yam Kumar Tamang remove garbage chucked over the wall.


the Khumbu Ice Fall. The SPCC hires climbers, known as the Ice Fall doctors, to build the ladder-and-rope route across the ice fall for mountaineers attempting to climb Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse that year. For this, they collect an average of Rs.10,000 per expedition (there were almost 40 this year) depending on the size of the group - their primary budgetary income. In addition, the SPCC charges Rs. 60 for each kilo of human waste collected in blue barrels from the expedition teams. The barrels are brought down from Base Camp to Gorakshep.

Diligent elves It is early morning and a few people have gathered in Khumjung village, just above Namche Bazaar, to prepare for an annual celebration later in the day. Most of the children are involved in a marble-firing tournament on the sandy court, but two little boys have discovered something much more intriguing. The diligent elves shuffle back and forth between a garbage bin and the rear of the green building, each time reappearing with a lid full of garbage. What have they found? A cave filled with precious trash, and the admirable social workers that they are, they are excavating it clean. This would sound like a storybook tale for the street corners of Kathmandu, but here in Khumjung, garbage bins are not an uncommon sight, and young adults alerting against littering, not an uncommon sound. A morning-after look at the party floor is a study in

v'dh'ªl:yt ;fd'bflos kmf]xf]/ hnfpg] e§L / kmf]xf]/ kmfNg] 7fp“ dfg] leQf], af}4 :t'k / dfWolds ljBfnosf] k|j]zåf/sf] ;ª\ud cyf{t ufp“sf] d'6'd} 5 . contrast – in place of the ravaged battleground one finds after a gathering in Khula Munch, only a sprinkling of wrappers is left behind here. And when locals blatantly flick garbage around, the SPCC cleaners are quick to berate them despite the sometimes fractious and juvenile response. Once a week SPCC workers Yam Kumar and Tak Man Tamang of Khotang walk from Namche Bazaar

down to the river banks - a drop of almost 600 metres in elevation - and back, to collect around 10 kgs of garbage along the way. The rest of the week they are stationed in Namche Bazaar, where they can amass between 150 kgs (offseason) and 400 kgs (season) per day. “We dug these bins permanently into the ground at the edge of the trail for easy visibility. Unfortunately some travellers still find it easier to chuck their garbage over the wall,” says Yam Kumar pointing to the newly-installed green metal frame, right opposite another tall tubeshaped wicker bin. But they aren’t here to carp, and so pedal down the sharp slant to clear the area from the disregard of others. In another example of what would be the ultimate farce for Kathmanduites, the communal incinerator and landfill site in Khumjung is centrally located at the village meeting grounds, across the mani wall, Buddhist stupa and Secondary School entrance. Indeed, the Bagmati also conveniently runs through the heart of Kathmandu for easy dumping, but there are obvious differences between the two. One SPCC worker in Khumjung is responsible for picking up any overlooked packaging on the path and for lighting the incinerator, but the villagers have to deposit their waste here themselves, separating out the combustible from the noncombustible as instructed. And one can always depend on one’s neighbours to welcome redundant biodegradables. Ngawang Kaisang Sherpa doesn’t own any cows, so instead he gives his leftover potato peels and

Location, location, location: The landfill site at Khumjung.

27 Aug-Oct 2010


Ngawang Kaisang Sherpa gives his spare potato peels to his neighbour for animal feed (top right). The SPCC's work is visible throughout the trekking route (bottom left).

P;\kL;L;Ln] hfx]/ u/]sf] lgb]{zdf kj{tLo If]q ;kmf /fVg' kg]{ pNn]v 5 . kmfNg' kg]{ cS;Lhg af]6n, PnkLhL Uof; l;ln08/, 6Lgsf a§f / Aof6/Lx? h:tf ;fdu|Lx?sf] yfGsf] nufPsf] k|df0fLs/0f P;\kL;L;Ln] glbP;Dd ko{6g tyf p8\8og dGqfnodf /flvPsf] w/f}6L kj{tf/f]x0f 6f]nLn] lkmtf{ kfp“b}g . 28 yzine.com.np

greens to his neighbour. Their agrarian lifestyle promotes the reuse of toilet waste in the form of fertilizer. Urine and excreta collected in an outhouse, or ‘karpicharpi’, is mixed with straw and removed every six months. Once a year, the emergent compost is applied to the soil. Then if an initiative turns bland, innovation and improvement are easily accessible condiments. The SPCC’s mandate includes keeping the mountain clean. If expeditions do not receive certification from the SPCC for clearing their waste, such as oxygen bottles, LPG gas cylinders, tin cans and batteries, they will not be refunded the assigned deposit from the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation. Previously, expeditions would get a chit from the SPCC representative at Base Camp, but then dump their garbage on their way down, in places like Tengboche. “This year we were much stricter,” explains newly-hired Base Camp inspector Tsering Tenzing Sherpa. “We granted receipts only after our officers in Namche Bazaar had also weighed the garbage.” Another problem in Base Camp is the presence of glass, in the form of alcohol and ketchup bottles. “We are working on a total ban on glass

because of the hazards of broken glass on the trails for our yaks and trekkers.” A partial ban has already been imposed, with no glass beer bottles allowed through Lukla air cargo.

Swallowing excuses The Khumbu region, ofcourse also faces challenges in its waste management, and its success can partially be attributed to its smaller, more close-knit communities. Regardless, the local’s comprehensive approach and proactive attitude are transferable to the larger-scale scenario of Kathmandu. “Over the past five years, awareness regarding waste management has considerably improved,” maintains SPCC treasurer Pemba Tsering Sherpa, “Still, if we had a bigger budget we could start recycling programmes, purchase modern incinerators, and maintain our pits better.” Recycling would curb the negative environmental and health impact of burning hazardous material like plastics. If an autonomous, non-governmental organisation can take full charge of waste management in this difficult terrain, we Kathmandu lowlanders have little excuse for the quagmire we’re in.


WWW

Number of users

on Facebook in Ne

pal

515 260 Number of male

users

350 440

The

Number of female

users

158 900

Penetration of Fac ebook in Nepal to population

0.01 %

Phenomenon

Average Cost Per Clic

Average Cost Per 100

[infographics]

$ 0.02

T

he Facebook phenomenon has taken over the world, and if you have access to a computer and are connected to the Internet, you are probably a part of it. In a span of a little over six years, it has emerged as one of the world’s biggest brands, crushing competitors on its way and successfully fending off a slew of ‘facebook killers’ on the way. Current estimates put the total number of Facebook members at a little over 500 million, which by any standards is a neat and tidy number. Where does Nepal figure in this total. It’s not quite up there among the front-runners like the US and the UK, but it’s no pushover either and the facts speak for it:

25-34

k

$ 0.05

0 Impressions

Female

31% Male

69%

27% Male-Female Ratio of Facebook Users in Nepal

9% 44-64 2% 55-64 1% 65+ 1% 35-44 7%

16-17

18-24

47%

13-15

7%

Age Distribution of Facebook Users in Nepal (Age group - Percentage)

536 762

Users 485 157 438 552 381 947 330 342 278 738

May ‘10

June ‘10

July ‘10

Growth of Facebook Users in Nepal (May-July 2010) 29 Aug-Oct 2010


FEATURE

LOGGING OUT NEPAL'S FORESTS

Firewood logs ready to be sent to the market by a community forest in Dang.

text and photos by KASHISH DAS SHRESTHA The Parliamentarian Forest Task Force

I

t’s a humid June evening in the plains of Dang in western Nepal and the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Means' convoy of the Forest Sub Committee is driving on a highway that cuts through a forest. The sun is steadily sinking behind the trees. In their shadow, piles of log, neatly cut and arranged. “Let’s stop here and look at this,” instructs Parliamentarian Ram Kumar Sharma, the Chairman of the Sub Committee, to the driver. The convoy of two jeeps with the members of the Task Force and two accompanying jeeps of security detail come to a halt. All afternoon the Sub Committee had spent hours discussing matters of forest management and timber smuggling in the area with members of local Forest User Groups, the District Forest Office, members of various political parties, and community members, amongst others. 30 yzine.com.np

Two days ago, they had done the same in Surkhet and the next two days they would do the same in the districts of Banke and Bardiya. Parliamentarian Sharma waits for his fellow Task Force member, Parliamentarian Gagan Thapa with whom he has conferred constantly through the trip. The two walk purposefully towards the first pile of logs set aside to be transported to the market for firewood as others follow in tow. A debate ensues between Parliamentarian Sharma, who says a number of the logs are larger than the size they are allowed to be, and a member of the responsible Community Forest User Group (CFUG) who says that’s not true. According to the Forest Act of 1993 which governs Nepal’s forest management, logs for firewood are not allowed to be longer than 2ft in length and 1.5ft in girth. “This one looks almost 3ft,” challenges Parliamentarian Sharma.

“I can assure you, you are wrong,” shoots back the CFUG member. “Fine, get me a measuring tape,” Parliamentarian Sharma confidently replies. Apart from being a politician, he also has a Forest Ranger background. The measuring tape arrives after nearly 30 minutes of debate in the evening heat. The log in question is 2 ft. 10 inches long and there are several more logs on the outer layer that seem to be of similar size. “That’s just about 2ft,” the CFUG member contests. “No, 2ft. 10 in. is about 3ft.,” Parliamentarian Sharma replies. As he walks back to the jeep, he instructs the local District Forest Officers to recheck the inventory here before it is sent to the market.


A Proposition To Curb Timber Smuggling

Parliamentary Natural Resources and Means Commitee's Forest Sub Committee members in Dang. L to R: Kul Prasad Nepal (UML), Ram Kumar Sharma (UCPN-M), and Gagan Thapa (NC)

Resizing The Situation “There is no denying the corruption we see in both state and community forest management. It's also clear that there is full political consensus at the local level when it comes to this,” Parliamentarian Gagan Thapa said after the Bardiya meeting. “But the idea is not to cite the problems with community forestry and use that as an excuse to centralise forest management again. The pitfalls of that should be quite clear. What we need to do is find a way to make things more accountable on all sides and try and find solutions that makes it all the more difficult to continue deforestation for timber smuggling.” In Kathmandu, Ghanshyam Sharma, who has for sometime served as the chairman of the Federation of Community Forest Users, Nepal (FECOFUN), challenges the idea of accountability. “The government is not accountable so why should we be?” he irrationally contests. Established in 1995, FECOFUN now has more than 11,000 community forests under its banner and considers itself a force to be reckoned with to challenge any policy it does not like with the threat of strikes and defying government taxes. It’s a shame that the current Minister of Forest and Soil Conservation, Deepak Bohara, comes with a legacy of corruption and commands no respect in the bureaucracy. Insiders and those who have worked with him in the past say that his office, along with the Young Communist League, the youth wing of the Maoist party, are deeply involved in the current timber racket. The position of the District Forest Officer (DFO) is considered a highly

prized tenure for which the Minister’s office is accused of demanding large sums of money in exchange for the appointment. Perhaps then it comes as no surprise that at least several DFOs have been found to be involved in illegal timber trade. Minister Bohara has, however, declared that his office will soon come out with a new Forest Policy in a matter of months. If he is serious about it, here is a proposition for him to consider.

Forest Regulation 2051 (1995) Chapter 1: Heading ‘Preliminary,’ subheading ‘Definitions’: Article 2 (e): “Firewood means wood other than of Acacia Catechu of less than two feet in length and one feet and six inches in girth which cannot be used as beams and poles or sawn Timber.” Chapter 2: Heading ‘Government Managed Forests,’ subheading ‘License to be Obtained and Markings to be Affixed”: Article 3: “The markings specified by the Department shall be affixed while cutting, making into pieces, using, taking out, selling and distributing, transporting or exporting the Timber and Firewood of the Forest.”

The Loophole the Forest Act leaves The fact that logs can be sold for firewood means it allows timber to be smuggled disguised as, or with, actual 2ft. long firewood logs. It is also near impossible to actually mark, verify and approve the trees that are to be cut for the purpose of firewood.

Make an amendment in the act that continues to allow the use of forests for the purpose of producing firewood with the condition that the end product may no longer be in the form of a log, but rather woodchips, charcoal, or biomass based brickets. After all, it has been clearly established that the dangerous rate of deforestation today is not because of the need for firewood but rather the timber smuggling syndicate that have misused the Forest Act’s Chapter 1 Article 2(e). If logs for firewood can no longer be distributed from forests, timber logs cannot be hidden within them. Forest User Groups might argue that adding these steps will be time consuming and labor intensive for a largely volunteer based program. However, it is not that Forest User Groups don’t have money. If they have invested in many social infrastructures such as schools and health camps, there are ample examples of them misusing it too. But adding these steps and paying the people who have worked on it is also about making managing a community forest more feasible by investing that revenue back into the forest, already a clause in the way that Community Forests are supposed to use their revenue; 35% for poverty reduction and 25% for forest management. In fact, by incorporating bricket-making as a core component of Community Forest Management in Nepal, the managers increase their revenue potential significantly because biomass bricket can be produced even with raw materials other than wood. It is also a much healthier product for the consumer than the firewood itself. There are many variables to an issue such as this, and there isn’t a one shot solution. Not only do we need more forest rangers they need to be better trained and equipped (what is the tax revenue from forests invested in?). Still, curbing corruption is not easy; if a log can be sold, a bribe can convince the DFO what to categorise that log as. So, if timber is being smuggled as firewood logs, then it is worth considering changing the form of the product and not the service it delivers, especially if it potentially offers more environmental and fiscal sustainability. 31 Aug-Oct 2010


GROUND REALITY

Dr. Deepak S. Shrestha President Richa Bajimaya Memorial Foundation THE WAY I SEE IT! The few passing years have presented a big challenge; everyone has been subjected to a phase that has brought out the real you. Be it the socalled responsible individuals running the country, businesses forcefully shut down in the name of a national revolution, education institutions closing down, development halted, good-doers obstructed, religion segregated. It’s hard to imagine how daily wage earners survive with all the bandas. No one is left untouched, be it a beggar, a monk or the head of the nation. I fall in this too, as a student, a friend, a son, fresh graduate doctor and as a citizen. I recall the tortures added to tragedy, for eg.,classes being cancelled yet having to take an exam under risky circumstances, attending a funeral despite a banda and treating patients. Even under such circumstances, I achieved my goal and completed my course while the nation was finding a new direction. It felt as if things were changing but now I wonder if we are

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changing too and whether this change is for good or for worse? As an aspiring medical entrant, I often heard, ‘as tough as entering medical school is, the journey has just only begun. To study is tough, to complete is tougher, to practice toughest and the journey never seems to end’. I tested for a Masters seat in a reputed institution in Nepal, but only in vain. For many of my friends, the future builders of our country seem convinced that the nation doesn’t have an answer for them so they believe that the best way to go is to find an alternative - a better answer, a different place with more opportunities, a stability perhaps. I ask who is to be blamed, who is to be benefited and who is to suffer? The question remains as I move ahead trying my best to see the brighter side but fearing, in the corner of my heart, that the future holds something different. The journey continues with a glimmer of optimism that I won’t succumb to what may come, but with a question that only time will answer. I can only say that I will play my part in every little deed that will count.

Durgesh Bhattarai The past five years have been delightful. I made some wonderful friends in college and I excelled in my studies as well. I enjoyed each and every moment of it. I developed post-modern thinking in that period. The most delightful moment of my life was when I passed my Masters in First Division. I imagine the next five years will be a little different. Currently though I'm teaching in a private college and I hope to continue in this field. I hope to make an identity for myself in this profession.


years THEN and years from NOW kfFr jif{cl3 / kfFr jif{kl5

Durgesh

Sanjeev

Sanjeev Maharjan Five years ago I was a Science student. As I continued my studies I opted for Physics as my major and have since continued in this subject. My specific sector in Physics is Plasma. Five years from now I hope to become a scientist. In any case I see myself as a specialist in this field.

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Y! PICKS

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Clu ea pa are bik

Norbu Tshering Sherpa Director â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Nuri Appliances and Logistics Pvt. Ltd, Teku Norbu is an avid biker and he feels that the best thing about riding a bike is the freedom it gives to the rider. His prized possession is a Honda CX 500 with the now phased-out Transverse V-Twin Engine. He has been to India on it a couple of times and finds riding on it very different from other bikes. 34 yzine.com.np


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orbu Tshering Sherpa and Sampanna Yakthumba belong to Motor Horse Biker's ub which is based in Jawalakhel. They met ach other at the club and started sharing their assion for bikes and also going for rides. There e lots of other riders with various vintage kes.

photos SUDHIR BHANDARI

Sampanna Yakthumba Executive Director - Lobsters, Durbarmarg Sampanna has a passion for riding and collecting bikes, and his prized possession is a BSA 67â&#x20AC;&#x2122;, made in England. A classic and a one-of-a-kind in Nepal, it has been handed down from his grandfather to his father to him. Priceless as it is, Sampanna would not part with it for anything. 35 Aug-Oct 2010


PLAIN JANE: PLAIN SPEAK

BLOGROLL

When the light outside dims, And shadows fade into the night, When everything around me grows quiet, The silent voice within me speaks. I procrastinate And yet thrive on spontaneity I long for conversations In those unspoken words I withdrew from the rat race But I wasn't competition to begin with I enjoy my freedom But know I’m living on borrowed time I gather it’s in my best interest to be myself That’s the only way I know how I say things will change tomorrow And I say it over and over again I know I can’t always be right, And sure enough I’m told I’m wrong, While there are times when I know I am wrong, And yet they seem so right. I’m a firm believer of destiny Which is why I wait for it to happen Trust is hard to come by And so sometimes I feel alone I thought I believed in coincidences But they are all in fact karmic connections Selfish as it seems, I live my life on my terms But why don't I have control of the steering wheel? I create worlds in my head That tend to collide in the space outside Just when I think I've figured it all It dawns on me that I have yet to figure myself out I listen because it helps to vent, And although I believe in that I talk less, but here's how it works. I don't speak as much As I seem to do when I write. Send your free verses to mail@yzine.com.np 36 yzine.com.np

Unlike our past Blogrolls, this one features a few posts rather than a blog. Michael Greenwell, the blogger, has been blogging for a while now and his eponymous blog makes for quite a substantial and involving read. Our focus, though, is on The A-Z of Nepal. http://michaelgreenwell. wordpress. com/2007/06/26/the-a-zof-nepal/ Michael worked as a volunteer in rural Nepal in 2003, helping build a school. As his words suggests, he was bowled over by the warmth and friendliness of the people he met with, so, when he returned home, he compiled a 6000-word A-Z of Nepal as a primer for volunteers coming to Nepal. The posts dating back to mid-2007, and based on Michael’s impressions in 2003, are a little out of date now but relevant still to a large extent, and makes for a very interesting and informative read. The posts are divided into sections, the first being A to C, so, readers may need to look around for the follow up sections. However, Michael does provide a free downloadable pdf with the complete A-Z along with a couple of anecdotes and photos.


SHE'S THE STORY

YAMUNA KHANAL

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37 Aug-Oct 2010


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dw] ;df clxn]  lx+;f 5 . d oxL 7fp“df sfd ul/ / x] sL 5' . sltko cj: yfdf cfkm\g}  ;'/ Iff;“u}  n8b}  sfd ul/ / xg' k/ ] sf]  5 . l/ kf] l6{ªsf]  l;nl;nfdf ljleGg : yfgdf hf“bf cg] s lsl;dsf hf] lvd dfq xf] Og, w] / } dg 5'g]  s'/ f tyf 36gf;“u cfTd;ft ug] { df} sf ldN5 . O{6x/ L cfP . : s'ndf xF'bf y'k|}  Sna /  ;+: yfdf a;] /  sfd u/ ] sf sf/ 0f O6x/ L cfPnuQ}  d} n]  Tof]  sfdnfO{ cl3 a9fP . t/  d] / f]  nIo t / ] l8of] sdL{ aGg]  lyof] , To;} n]  d cfkm'n]  ul/ / x] sf]  sfdaf6 ;Gt'i6 lyOg . )^$ ;fndf l;/ fxfsf]  nxfgdf ;fd'bflos / ] l8of]  ;dfb PkmPdsf]  : yfkgf ePkl5 eg]  d} n]  cfkm\gf]  / x/  d] 6g]  cj;/  kfP . ;dfb PkmPddf klxnf]  k6s af] Ng hfFbf dnfO{ efiffsf]  7"nf]  ;d: of k¥of]  . k"jL{ kxfF8sf]  dfG5]  dw] ;df uP/  sfo{qmd rnfpg'kbf{sf]  w] / }dWo]  Pp6f ;d: of lyof]  Tof]  . t/  sfd ub} { uPkl5 clxn]  Tof]  ;d: of x6] /  uPsf]  5 . ToxfFsf]  : yfgLo efiff klg km/ /  af] Ng /  a'emfpg ;Sg]  ePsL 5' . dw] ;df clxn]  lx+;f 5 . d oxL 7fpFdf sfd ul/ / x] sL 5' . sltko cj: yfdf cfkm\g}  ;'/ Iff;Fu}  n8b}  sfd ul/ / xg' k/ ] sf]  5 . l/ kf] l6{ªsf]  l;nl;nfdf ljleGg : yfgdf hfFbf cg] s lsl;dsf

hf] lvd dfq xf] Og, w] / } dg 5'g]  s'/ f tyf 36gf;Fu cfTd;ft ug] { df} sf ldN5 . h;dWo]  ;w}  ;Demgf cfO/ xg]  Pp6f 36gf eg] sf]  ;Kt/ Ldf bfO{hf] sf sf/ 0f >Ldfgaf6 cnu eP/  a: g afWo ePsf dlxnfx?sf]  syf xf]  . Tof]  l/ kf] {l6ª d} n]  cfkm}  u/ ] sL lyP . ;Kt/ Ldf x/ ] s @) hgfdWo]  Ps hgf dlxnf bfO{hf] sf sf/ 0f >Ldfgaf6 5'l6P/  a: g'kg] { afWotf 5 . vf;u/ L l;/ xf /  ;Kt/ L nufotsf lhNnfdf bfO{hf] sf sf/ 0f w] / } dlxnfx?nfO{ lhpb}  hnfOg]  36gf klg ePsf 5g\ . gf}  dlxgfsL ue{jtL dfq xf] Og tLghgf 5f] / f5f] / Lsf]  cfdfnfO{ ;d] t bfO{hf] s}  sf/ 0f 3/ af6 lgsflnPsf 36gf klg oxfF 5g\ . t/  ;dfhn]  o;af/ ]  vf;}  7"nf]  kl/ jt{g Nofpg ;s] sf]  5} g . ;'wf/ sf s] lx 36gf ePsf 5g\ t/  o;n]  ul/ a dlxnfx?nfO{ ul/ a x'g' g}  cle;fk xf]  eGg]  wf/ 0ff abNg ;xof] u k'u] sf]  5} g . cfkm'n]  ef] u] sf ;d: of pgLx?n]  aflx/  Nofpg g;Sg]  clg To;} sf]  kmfObf p7fP/  pgLx?dfly zf] if0f ub} { hfg]  ;+: sf/  g}  al;;s] sf]  kfP . cgk9 dfq xf] Og, k9] n] v] sf dflg;n]  klg bfOhf]  gNofPsf]  eGb}  >LdtLnfO{ lbPsf]  oftgfsf]  36gfn]  hf]  sf] xLnfO{ klg ljlIfKt agfpF5 . dlxnfn]  ef] u] sf zf/ Ll/ s /  dfgl;s oftgfsf s'/ f ;Dembf dfq}  klg dg c;fWo}  lk/ flnG5 . ToxL laifodf l/ kf] l6ª ug] { qmddf e] l6Psf Ps hgf sfg'g Joj;foL ldqn]  oxfF P;Pn;L kf; u/ ] sf]  s] 6fsf]  d'No ;ft nfv clg PdaLaLP; kf; u/ ] sf]  s] 6f]  xf]  eg]  p;sf]  d'No #) nfv xf]  egL ;'gfpg' ePsf]  lyof]  . d} n]  oxL s'/ f / ] l8of] df ahfP . sfg"gdf Pp6f s'/ f n] lvPsf]  eP tfklg ;/ sf/ n]  tL ck/ fwLnfO{ sf/ afxL ug{ ;s] sf]  5} g . k} ;fsf]  cf8df w] / }s'/ f ePsf 5g /  b08xLgtf a9] sf]  5 . ;dfh abNg]  o: tf]  ufx|f]  sfd ug{sf nflu 3/ af6 eg]  dnfO{ 7"nf]  ;xof] u 5 . d] / f]  kl/ jf/  d} n]  u/ ] sf]  sfddfly ;w} + uj{ u5{ . d] / f]  ;kmntfnfO{ 7"nf]  pknAwLsf ?kdf lng' x'G5 . h;n]  dnfO{ lhDd] jf/  agfPsf]  5 . x'gt ;dfh d} n]  eg] h;/ L kl/ jt{g x'Fb} g eGg]  d} n]  a'em\b}  uPsL 5' . To;sf nflu klxn]  cfkm" /  To;kl5 ;+rf/  dfWodd}  klg sltko kl/ jt{g Nofpg' kb{5 eGg]  s'/ f dnfO{ nflu/ x] sf]  5 . t/  klg ug] { eg] sf]  xfdLn]  g}  xf]  /  To;sf nflu / ] l8of]  ;a} eGbf sfdnfUg]  ;fwg xf]  eGg]  s'/ fk|lt d] / f]  ljZjf; x6] sf]  5} g, ;fob slxNo}  x6g]  klg 5} g .


39 Aug-Oct 2010


Y! NOT FLY

p8\g] ‘8f“km] ’ text by BHARAT KOIRALA

g]

kf]v/f ljdfg:yndf 8fFkm]sf] k/LIf0f p8fg ul/+b} . 8fFkm]df a;]sf AolQm tTsflng lj1fg tyf k|ljlw dGqL u0f]z ;fx .

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 kfnsf] Oltxf;df p8\g] ljdfg lgdf{0f ug] { j} 1flgs x'g ljsf; k/ fh'nL -@^_ . kf] v/ f u} x|fkf6gsf k/ fh'nL ;lxtsf] 6f] nLn] rf/ jif{ cl3 / fhwfgLsf]  k'Nrf] s OlGhlgol/ ª SofDk;df l/ ;r{ y] l;;sf]  ?kdf 8fFk] m hxfhsf]  cjwf/ 0ff NofPsf lyP . k9fO{ ;lsPkl5 pgsf ;fyLx? ljb] z hfg]  w"gdf nfu] , t/  pgn]  cfkm\gf] g] t[Tjdf 8fFkm] Po/ qmfˆ6 km] la|s] ;g u|'k agfP  . / , Tof]  ;d"xsf]  ;ft hgf ljBfyL{n]  ljdfg lgdf{0f yfn]  clg ;kmn klg eP  . pgsf cg';f/ , 8fFkm]  lgdf{0f sfo{df !) nfv ?k} ofF eGbf a9L vr{ ePsf]  5 . 8fFkm] sf]  @! dªl;/  @)^% df kf] v/ fsf] cfsfzdf ;kmntfk"j{s k/ LIf0f p8fg ul/ Psf]  lyof]   . lgdf{0f ePsf]  tLg jif{kl5 dfq}  8fFkm] n]  p8fg cg'dlt kfPsf]  lyof]  . cfkm"n]  agfPsf]  ljdfg @)^# ;fnb] lv p8fg cg'dltsf nflu bf} 8w'k ub} { cfPsf ljsf;sf]  6f] nLn]  lgs}  ;+3if{ ug'{ k/ ] sf]  lyof]   . p8fg cg'dlt dfUbf gful/ s p8\8og k|flws/ 0fn]  cGt/ f{li6«o gful/ s p8\8og ;ª\u7g tyf cGo ;'/ Iffsf]  sf/ 0f b] vfO{ p8fg cg'dltkq lbg g;lsg]  kq hf/ L u/ ] sf]  lyof]  . g] kfnLn]  g}  agfPsf]  hxfh p8fpg ;/ sf/ n]  aGb] h ul/ lbPkl5 lbSs ePsf]  6f] nLn]  s} of} F k6s ;/ sf/ sf]  9f] sf 9S9Sofpg' k¥of]  . ;/ sf/ L kbflwsf/ Lsf] rf;f] / gh/ df


g] kfnLn] g} agfPsf]  hxfh p8fpg ;/ sf/ n]  aGb] h ul/ lbPkl5 lbSs ePsf] 6f] nLn] s} of} “ k6s ;/ sf/ sf] 9f] sf 9S9Sofpg' k¥of]  . gk/ ] sf pgsf]  To;k|lt s'g}  u'gf;f]  5} g . pgL eG5g\, æcfkm"n]  ug{ ;s]  h]  klg ;Dej 5, c?sf]  d'v tfs] /  s] xL x'g] jfnf 5} g .Æ ut jif{ O6fnLdf ;DkGg jN8{ Pc/  u] d k|ltof] lutfdf efu lnP/  pgn]  cfˆgf]  ljwfdf pTs[i6 : yfg xfl;n u/ ] sf lyP  . @% j6f ljwfdWo]  ljsf;sf]  6f] nLsf]  lhDdf xjfOhxfh agfpg]  /  p8fpg]  lyof]  . km] 8] / ]zg ckm Pgf] / ]l6s OG6/ g] znn]  cfof] hgf u/ ] sf]  pQm k|ltof] lutfdf pgsf]  6f] nLn]  gf}  lbgleq hxfh tof/  kf/ ] /  bzf} F lbgdf p8fPsf]  lyof]   . g] kfnLx?df v'aL eP klg k|fljws kx'Fr sdL ePsf sf/ 0f kl5 k/ ] sf]  atfpF5g\  . pgn]  eg] , æxfdLdf v'aL sd 5} g, 6] Sgf] nf] hLdf kl5 k/ ] sf dfq}  xf} F .Æ clxn]  8fFkm]  ljsf;s}  3/ sf]  s/ ] ;fdf / flvPsf]  5  . 8] 9 jif{ cl3 ;F: s[lt ko{6g tyf gful/ s p8\8og dGqL lxl;nf odLn]  8fFkm] nfO{ kf] v/ fs}  / ftf] k} x|f] l: yt cGt/ f{li6«o kj{tLo ;+u|xfnodf / fVg]  7fpF lbg lgb] {zg lbPsL lyO{g\ . To;sf nflu cfjZos k|lqmof rln/ x] sf]  kxnstf{dWo]  cN6/ g] l6E;sf cWoIf ;d'Gb| kf} 8] nn]  hfgsf/ L lbP . clxn]  g] kfn kj{tf/ f] x0f ;+3df cfPsf]  gofF g] t[Tj;Fu klg o;af/ ]  s'/ fsfgL eO/ x] sf]  kf] v/ f ljdfg: ynsf OlGhlgo/  cf] d zdf{n]  hfgsf/ L lbP  . ;+u|xfnosf k|d'v ank|;fb / fO{n]  8fFkm] sf]  ;a}  kmfOn s] Gb|df k7fO{;lsPsfn]  ca l56\6}  g}  ;+u|xfnodf / flvg]  ljZjf; JoQm u/ ]  .

8fFkm] sf]  k|fljlws kIf cGo ljdfge}Fm agf} {nLsf]  l;4fGtdf of]  ljdfg agfO{Psf]  k/ fh'nLn]  atfP wfjgdfu{df &#=@ ls=ld= k|lt306fsf]  ultdf (%=#@ ld6/  u'8] kl5 o;n]  hdLg 5f] 8\5 . o;df cli6«og k|ljlwsf]  OlGhg h8fg ul/ Psf]  5  . p8fgsf]  ;do rf/  ;o lsnf] u|fd tf} n wfGg]  Ifdtf ePsf]  8fFkm] %) ln6/ OGwgdf ^ xhf/ kmL6dfly b'O{ 306f;Dd nuftf/  p8\g ;Sg]  bfjL ljsf;sf]  5 . o;df cli6«og k|ljlwsf]  OlGhgafx] s afFsL ;a}  sfd g] kfnL 1fg, ;Lk, k|ljlw /  : yfgLo ;fdu|Lsf]  k|of] u 5 . ljdfgnfO{ xfjfdf t} l/ g cfjZos !) ld6/  km} lnPsf]  kv] 6f k|of] u ul/ Psf]  5 ljdfgdf b'O{ j6f cf/ fdbfoL l;6 5g\  . l;6d'lg OGwg 6\ofÍL 5 eg]  lqe'hfsf/  ljdfgsf]  kl5Nnf]  efudf zlQm oGq h8fg ul/ Psf]  5 .

‘cfkm"n ] ug{ ;s] h] klg ;Dej 5, c?sf] d'v tfs] / s] xL x'g ]jfnf 5} g .’ ljsf; k/ fh'nL

41 Aug-Oct 2010


FEATURE

In this fractured reality, music best presents that elusive unanimity, and Kutumba, with its fare of folk tunes, truly transcends borders and bridges the gaps between people, place and in many ways, even time. text as narrated by KUTUMBA

D

iversity maybe Nepal’s biggest boon, but, perhaps, also its biggest bane. Just a little larger than the U.S. state of Arkansas, this nation is blessed with an unparalleled geographical and cultural diversity. Sadly, on those very lines, there are deep and wide cracks in the socio-economic landscape of this land. Even in these inclusive times, when the very concept of Nepali is being redefined and to more :yfgLo gfr widened closely reflect the cToGt} nation’s diversity, cfj]zk"0f{ lyof], finding a common is not easy. dflg;x? ground Traditional symbols wfl/nf] xltof/ of the Nepali identity, lnP/ language, religion gflr/x]sf lyP, and attire, have been wanting. pgLx? cfuf] found In this fractured df klg 6fpsf] reality, music best xfNy] presents that elusive 42 yzine.com.np

photos ARUN GURUNG unanimity, and Kutumba, with its fare of folk tunes, truly transcends borders and bridges the gaps between people, place and in many ways, even time. Starting humbly in 2004 with renditions of popular Nepali songs using traditional instruments, four albums old, Kutumba today is synonymous with Nepali folk music. The popularity and influence of this ensemble now borders and, possibly, exceeds that of its more illustrious senior, Sur Sudha. Despite some shuffling of members, this group, which is big by local standards, has managed to stay together and perform as a unit over the years. This spell, as the members will agree, has been an education, literally, and their discography bears witness to that. With each release, Kutumba has added to its repertoire of instruments and sounds from different regions and cultures spanning the length and breadth of Nepal.

This is Kutumba’s journey so far in their quest to uncover the myriad native Nepali musical instruments, learn them, assimilate their sounds in their own, and preserve them for posterity.

Hatemalo Janakpur, October - 2007 As part of the Hatemalo series, Kutumba toured Janakpur when the Madhesi movement was in full swing. Pahadiyas were being driven away from the Madhesh and


news abounded of armed gangs and rampant extortion. We were warned by many, and were reluctant initially to tour in the Madhesh, but we took the plunge and emerged more Nepali than we ever were. Practising and performing with Minap (Mithili Natya Kala Parishad) was an eye-opener for them, the audience and us. When the countryside was burning with hatred between the Pahadeys and Madheshis, we proved that non-Maithali musical instruments could very well play Maithali music and vice versa. Music then managed to cross regional and racial boundaries, and the locals somehow were very appreciative of it. Even the mahanta of the Janaki Mandir was very impressed by our music. The highlight of the tour was performing with Minap at a peaceful concert in Janakpur, said to be one of the biggest ever there. Our performance in Janakpur may have been just a little drop in a

huge pool, but we could feel the locals open up to us and somehow relate to our music as Nepali, rather than Maithali, Newari... After returning from Janakpur, we released our fourth album, which had a distinct Maithali theme.

10-days Closed Camp Dhulikhel After having established a close and fruitful relationship with Minap, we

Kutumba sangha Hatemalo A hatemalo, which means hand in hand, is one of Kutumba’s unique efforts at researching and preserving indigenous music in Nepal. During a hatemalo, Kutumba goes to a particular region in Nepal, stays and interacts with indigenous musicians, sharing ideas and skills, exposing the locals to folk instruments from other parts of Nepal, and being exposed in turn to new instruments and sounds from the region. There have been four hatemalos so far: at Banepa, Panauti, Pokhara and Janakpur. During these hatemalos, Kutumba has found the locals very positive and appreciative, but generally lacking in leadership. The talent is there, the skills and the enthusiasm, but a dearth in leadership and guidance means that their music seldom hits the mainstream to get noticed.

collaborated to bring more music and musicians into our fold. In this camp, we managed to interact and perform with musicians and singers from five different regions of Nepal. The Chaudharys of Lahan were particularly thrilled to perform live before a general audience, having played for over 25 years, but confined to social gatherings. We were, in turn, enthralled by the nacharies, men who dance dressed as women, and are as elegant.

Nepal Tour January 05 - 23, 2010 Dadeldhura By the time our Nepal Tour came around, we had done our bit of touring, but

kxfl8ofx? dw]zaf6 v]lb“b} lyP, / x/]s lbg xfdLn] xltof/wf/L ;d"x tyf n'6kf6sf af/]df ;dfrf/ ;'GYof}+ . xfdLnfO{ ;a}n] o; af/]df ;fjwfg u/fPsf lyP / ;'?df dw]z l5g{ xfdL lgs} 8/fPsf lyof}+ t/ xfdLn] ;fx; u¥of}+ / klxn] eGbf klg a9L g]kfnL eP/ cfof}+

Closed camp during Hatemalo at Dhulikhel.

this was definitely a big one, and we were all looking forward to it. We started from Sher Bahadur Deuba’s home town, Dadeldhura. The town has good roads and is fairly well developed. We were in fact surprised by the service offered to us at the hotel we stayed - it was top class. As we were told, people from this town go to India for employment. Anyway, this was the first performance on our Nepal Tour and barely minutes before the show, our generator went kaput. Had this been in Kathmandu, we would be a noshow, but not in Dadeldhura. Some enterprising people diverted power from the powerhouse to our venue using thick cables. The show was on, and our tour, literally kicked off. Kapilavastu At Kapilavastu, we were told that Amitabh Bachan’s hit from Silsila, Ranga Barse originated from a community here. The Awadhi culture is prevalent here and while we were being introduced to the local music and instruments in Kapilavastu, we heard Ranga Barse being sung. We were told that it was a Holi song, and that there 43 Aug-Oct 2010


were some common verses between their version and the one in the film. The local dance form looked very physical with people dancing on blades and putting their heads into pits of fire, but what intrigued us more were the musical instruments, the Pharsa in particular. It consists of two sharpedged metal daggers that are placed together and shaken produce a unique slknj:t'df to sound. Then there is xfdLn] yfxf kfof}+ the Dampha, a huge ls cldtfe drum that produces a rhythmic beat. aRrgsf] rnlrq veryNepali is not l;nl;nfsf] commonly spoken rlr{t uLt ‘/+u here, so, it’s easier in Hindi. The a/;]’ klg oxL talking locals were not aware ;d'bfoaf6 of Kutumba and our cfPsf] lyof] music. So, we showed them some videos and found them fascinated by our instruments, especially the Tungna. With no good hotels around, we decided to spend one night in our bus, and another, all 11 of us crammed into one room. The physical discomfort apart, the people were generally warm and friendly.

44 yzine.com.np

Bara The music in Bara is predominantly, Bhojpuri and like Kapilavastu, there is a large Muslim community here. Salim Samdarsi is perhaps Bara’s best known resident. A poet and qawwali exponent, he apparently knows all the politicians around, and has himself been involved in a lot of political movements that have taken place in Nepal. Most of his songs preach the concept of ‘one God’ and tries to bridge the gap between Hindus and Muslims. Even at 75, he is very much a one-man show. Bhojpuri songs are very melodious, but often quite vulgar. In the past, as we were told, a lot of women took part in music, so, the men devised a way to keep them away they started including vulgar themes into their music, so Clockwise from left: much so, that in time, the A packed hillside at Dadeldhura, Local songs got so vulgar, it effectively musicians lend a hand during practice at Kapilvastu and A recital on stage at Phidim. became a male domain. The vulgarity apart, Bhojpuri songs pack a lot of punch and common and cultural shows manage to sound modern while rare. We took our chances, retaining their folk flavour. and looking back, we feel It was peak winter when we reached vindicated. Bara, so, it was very cold and the sun hardly visible. Phidim From the plains, our next Lahan stop was uphill to Phidim, The culture in Lahan is essentially Maithali and Tharu. Smack in the middle but the going wasn’t smooth all the way. From Birtamod, of the plains, Lahan sees a conflict there was a banda between the Tharus and the Maithalis organised by Limbuwan - the former preferring to call their supporters, so, we were land the Terai and the latter sticking to held up for almost Madhesh. Despite being conflict-ridden an hour. We finally and a town that goes silent by 7PM, managed to get organising and seeing through a musical a letter from one event of four hours, smoothly, is quite of the Limbuwan a feat. This was made possible thanks group members, and to the efforts of Rakesh Gupta, the with that in hand we coordinator of the organising team. We moved ahead. On found him to be the most efficient of our the way, we were coordinators. stopped many times We were interviewed at a local radio by people in fatigues, station, and as we told them, it had but with the been a conscious choice on our part letter in to perform at Lahan, where conflict is hand, we could carry on Innovative way of soliciting peace, Lahan ahead (top) and The Nepal Tour Bus (below).


nfxfgsf rf}w/L ;d"xsf] cuf8L cfP/ ahfpg kf}08 lgs} pT;flxt lyP, ljut kRrL; jif{ b]lv ahfpâ&#x20AC;&#x153;b} cfPsf] ePklg pgLx? cfkm\g} ;fd'bflos sfo{qmdx?df dfq l;ldt lyP without any incidents. We finally reached Phidim at midnight where we came to know that the organisers had been waiting for us since 8PM. There organisers were a very amiable and agreeable lot, but to our consternation, they agreed with everything we said, but that rarely got translated into action. The local music is slow, but melodious. The people were impressed by the array of instruments we had carried with us, and an upcoming radio station even requested us to make jingles for them. The most popular local instrument appears to be the Chyabrung, which is basically a huge Dhime. After our performance, one of the

organisers, Khem Dai, taught us the basics of the Dhaan Nach, where everyone dances in a circle, holding hands. During these dances, a man can woo a woman by holding her hand, and the two taken as a pair thereafter. Strange as it may sound, but moving up the hills from the plains gave us some comfort from the cold. The weather at Phidim was much more pleasant and bearable compared to the extreme cold of the plains.

Parting Note Kutumba was perhaps the first folk music ensemble to embark on a tour spanning the length and breadth of Nepal, and we benefitted immensely from the experience. Travelling with the locals and performing with them, we are now able to perform and include in our music, the sounds and instruments from both the east and west of the country. We look forward to go to the Himalayan regions now. As we realised, every place and region has its own distinct culture, identity and sound, and yet, songs like Resham Phiriri are heard, liked and played by all - a clear proof of the unity in the apparent diversity. It was good to see youngsters taking interest in our music, and knowing so much about their own. It was very heartening to see people of different races and places welcome us and our music with open arms. The hostility we had heard so much about, appeared only on the surface, and once they heard us playing their tunes using our instruments, the outwardly shell broke down, and we felt accepted as one of their own. 45 Aug-Oct 2010


BOOK REVIEW

A journey – within you! text by YASMIN TAJ On Seasons of Flight, Prema, the protagonist, sets off on an odyssey of self-discovery across geographies in the hope to invent a life for herself in a strange land with connections and memories of her homeland still lingering. Amongst all the chaos and political turmoil in her country and her village atop a hill in war-torn rural Nepal, Prema, takes you on a journey from living in the hills and struggling to understand the nuances of life to moving to one of the most developed nations in the world, the USA and trying to find herself there. A childhood lost to the early demise of her mother followed by her younger sister disappearing and joining the Maoists, Prema starts her early life in Nepal with a college degree in forestry, resulting in a job with an NGO and is quite satisfied with the way things are going with her lover Rajan. But destiny has other plans, and even though she fills up a US Green Card Lottery with little interest, she ends up winning it! This is where the trajectory of her life changes. Leaving behind an old father who only wishes for his daughter to achieve her dreams, Prema sets off to Los Angeles and starts life anew. In the US, her journey towards discovering herself begins from trying to explain to people where she comes from, Nepal – a country less known to people on that side of the world. From explanations like ‘it is near India’, or ‘where Mt Everest is’, or ‘have you heard of the Sherpas?’, to refuting claims of people who believed Nepal is Naples, any Nepali reader will smile and identify with Prema’s instances of introducing herself and her country. Soon, Prema settles down to a job 46 yzine.com.np

of a homecare attendant to an elderly American woman, Esther, and discovers more about the American way of living after moving out of the home of the Nepali family she was living with in Little Nepal. She also discovers another side of her persona - her passion and immense love towards Luis, her American lover. But no matter how far you go or how hard you try, to leave your past behind, there always remains a string that keeps you connected to it. Prema too tries hard to embrace this new way of living but soon realises that she can never totally leave the place she came from. “It was and it was not far, where she came from. Some days her birth village felt centuries away, and other days it was too close, she could not get far enough away from it.” From moving jobs to homes to having casual relationships and eventually finding love with Luis and a

warm connection with Esther, Prema still missed something; she wasn’t homesick, yet there was something missing. What gives Prema a reason to look at life in a different way and find a purpose in it, is her encounter with Fiona, a lepidopterist and lawyer on the lookout for El Segundo Blues, a tiny butterfly that ‘stayed still for long stretches and then took flight in a flutter of blue. A creature that goes through cycles of transformation before it is finally ready for a season of flight’. Her life follows a similar trajectory. It takes its own flight at intervals and remains silent and unmoved other times. What’s most interesting about the character Thapa has created is the fact that Prema is just a simple South Asian woman striving to find fulfilment in life. She goes along in her journey with the flow, yet, does it in her own special way. She is self-centred to an extent, yet has a heart of gold. Thapa’s style of writing is highly descriptive and it’s amazing how she looks at the little intricacies in life and describes them with such ardour. Her socio-cultural observations are impeccable, something that every Nepali, who has stepped out of the country, would agree with. From Prema’s discovery of her own self, her journey into a new and strange land and her attempt to reconnect with her homeland, this narrative of a Nepali immigrant against the backdrop of Nepali politics is certainly an absorbing read. After ‘Tilled Earth’, with this book, Thapa has certainly maintained her reputation of being a critically acclaimed and internationally accomplished Nepali author. Yasmin Taj is the senior copy editor and senior correspondent of The Times of India, New Delhi.


BOOK REVIEW

ldqtf / cfbz{sf] b:tfj]h M do"/ 6fOD; text by RICHA BHATTARAI

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xfd|fL k/ fun]  bf] xf] ¥ofO / xlG5g\, …/ fHo sdhf] /  eP o:t}  x'G5 .Ú pkGof;sf/ sf]  n] vg z} nLsf]  ;an kIf eg] sf]  pgsf]  ;/ ntf xf]  – hf]  sf] xLn]  klg of]  pkGof; k9\g /  a'‰g ;S5 . o:t} u/ L pko'Qm ;Dkfbgn]  klg pkGof;sf ;+jfb /  36gfqmdnfO{ yk ltVv/  agfOlbPsf]  5 . t/  oxL ltVv/ tf ykg]  qmddf pkGof;sf/  sxLF t lgs}  7f8f]  klg eOlbPsf 5g\ . oL sdhf] / Lx?nfO{ la;{g]  xf]  eg]  pkGof;df y'k|}  k|z+;gLo tTj 5g\ . ;j{k|yd t b'O[ dlxnf kfqsf]  ;an k|of] u g}  ;x|fgLo 5 . k/ fu ofbj h:tL cfFl6nL /  bx|L kfq zfob}  s'g}  g] kfnL pkGof;df e] l6Pnf, /  p;nfO{ dg k/ fpg]  yk sf/ 0f t s]  5 eg]  pm cfˆgf]  8/  g n'sfpF5]  g eGg wsfpF5]  . ljutdf /  clxn]  klg wDSofOsf,

ckx/ 0f ul/ Psf /  dfl/ Psf ;Dk"0f{ kqsf/ sf]  k|ltlglw ag] /  pm plePsL 5 . Jojxfl/ s /  cfbz{jfbL rl/ qsf]  nf] enfUbf]  ;lDd>0fsf ?kdf p;nfO{ k|:t't ul/ Psf]  5 . w] / } cfDbfgL x'g]  a} Fssf]  hfuL/  /  cy{xLg k|] d hLjgaf6 jfSs eP/  pm cfOk'U5]  ;fyLnfO{ klqsf ;~rfngdf ;xof] u ug{ . k/ fusL of]  ;fyL ln;f/ f klg ;+3if{zLn o'jtL xf]  hf]  cfOk/ ] sf]  lhDd] jf/ L k'/ f u/ ] / } 5f] 8\5]  . kxf8 /  dw] zsf oL b'O{sf]  k'g{Mldng klg km] l/  cl3 a9\5 pgLx?sf]  pbfx/ 0fLo ldqtf – h:tf] ;'s}  s7f] /  dgnfO{ klg kufNg ;S5 of]  cg'kd aGwgn]  . a] nfa] nf rnlrqsf]  efuh:tf]  nfUg]  t/  k|foM kTofl/ nf]  of]  ldqtf k':tssf]  cGTo;Dd sfod}  / x] sf]  5, aLrdf h] h:tf afwf cfOk/ ]  klg – wDsL, ckx/ 0f, clglZrttf . pgLx?;Fu}  ufFl;P/  cfpF5g\ cg] s k|;ª\u, h'g rfxLF pkGof;sf/ sf l/ kf] l6{ªsf lx:;f em} F nfU5g\ sxLn] sfxLF M stf/ df Ps afa'sf]  d[To', cfd kf7ssf]  / fzLkmndflysf]  ljZjf;, u'/ fF;sf]  a] df] ;f} dL km"n . oL ;a}  k|;ª\unfO{ ;d] 6\g]  nf] edf pkGof;sf/ n]  x/ ] s ljifosf]  ;tx dfq 5'g EofPsf 5g\ . t/  n] vsn]  pkGof;el/ d}  dg nufP/  j0f{g u/ ] sf /  ;a} egbf ;'Gb/  efu eg] sf]  k/ fusf]  afNosfn g}  x'g k'u] sf]  5 . p;sf]  lzlIfsfsf]  ;f/ Lsf a'6\6f, p;sf]  caf] wkg, p;n]  lrq sf] g] { k'tnL . oxfF ld;fOPsf]  d} lynL efiff clt :jfefljs 5, /  ;'xfPsf]  klg 5 . Psrf] l6 p;sL cfdfn]  elG5g\, …ht tt g}  bf} 8, P e'ge'g af} cf .Ú cfdfsf]  dfof k|i6}  v'6\ofpg ;lsG5 of]  dft[efiffsf]  k|of] udf . cfˆgf]  / fi6«k|lt o:t}  ddtf JoQm u5{g\ n] vsn]  klg, g] kfnsf y'k|}  lj;ª\ult k|lt lrGtf u/ ] /  M t/ fO{–dw] z ;d:of, ;fdflhs c;'/ Iff, kqsf/ sf]  hf] lvd, e|i6frf/ , cftª\s, cflb – ;a}  cToGt ;/ n Pj+ k7gof] Uo z} nLdf . k|z:t ;Defjgf /  n] vg Ifdtf t n] vsdf 5Fb} 5, cfkm"n]  5fg] sf]  ljifodf s] lGb|t eO{ o:t}  efiffdf k|:t't ub} { uP pgsf / rgfx? emg}  k|z+l;t aGb}  hfg]  5g\ . 47 Aug-Oct 2010


untended.” He added: “The government will also encourage cluster settlement in hilly and mountain areas where houses are scattered and built without any planning.” This particular strategy holds immense hope for regions like Karnali where independent development of broadly scattered hamlets is just not feasible in so many ways. Indeed, this is land reform that the country has desperately needed for a long time and what many experts had been arguing for all along. The bitter truth is, however, Nepal’s history of political instability and hollow words from its Ministries compels one to wonder just how much work will actually be done and how much policy really implemented. After all, ours is a government that takes pride in its agro-sector but fails to make available adequate fertilizer during the same months every year.

Continued from Page 10

Food Production and Fertilizers “I have allocated Rs. 1 billion 500 million to provide subsidy to chemical fertilizer…I have allocated Rs. 50 million to provide 50% capital subsidy on the cost of machinery equipment to the organic fertilizer factory to be established by cooperatives,” the Minister of Finance, Surendra Pandey, had declared while announcing the country’s fiscal plans last June. Who knows how the Ministry of Finance came up with those numbers and how they planned to disburse those funds. What farmers know is that come a year later, they faced a devastating fertilizer shortage across the country, an old story that repeats every year. By January farmers across the country start preparing their cattle manure as fertilizers for their monsoon plantation season. Yet, somehow, the government of Nepal seems incapable of planning at this capacity – to expect the need for fertilizers and make them readily available in the market during set dates every year for the most critical planting season: April-July. In late June, in the western district of Dang whose fertile valley is the largest in South Asia, farmers faced a choking shortage of fertilizers. At the end of July farmers in the far-western district of Kanchanpur were forced to buy fertilizers in the black-market as government subsidised fertilizers failed to reach the region on time. The ripple effect of the lack of oversight of fertilizer mafia has also forced people who live in the border region, i.e. much of terai, to buy cheap and often date expired chemical fertilizers from India. Continuous use of this dangerous and low-grade fertilizer poses great threat not just to the productivity of the land but also the health of people who live off it. 48 yzine.com.np

Contemporary Studies

A woman sifts the family's winter harvest on her rooftop in Juphal of Dolpa district. May 2010.

Food Production Land Reform Mention of Land Reform in Nepal immediately implies land distribution for it is how the political establishment has long treated the subject. However, at the end of July, the Ministry of Land Reform and Management announced that it was actually developing a National Land-Use Policy with an implementation period of 15 years under six categories: agriculture, forest, pasture, settlement, urban development and industrial. “This policy would end the existing categorisation of land on the basis of productivity and evaluate the land on the basis of its usage,” Kalanidhi Poudel, the Under Secretary of the Ministry and a member secretary of the policy drafting committee said. “Keeping in view the growing threat on food security and rapid population growth in urban areas, the government aims to end the increasing practice of leaving land

It is no easy task to pin point the problems and outline the solution of an issue as vast as food production and security in Nepal, volumes have been published by scholars and practitioners. A valuable addition to those volumes would be research on contemporary issues surrounding the subject in current socio-political context, something not readily available.

Vertical Farming Vertical Farming is essentially a multi-floored greenhouse with builtin sustainable mechanisms. In the Nepali context, a simpler version of the actual concept (Dickson Despommier, professor of environmental health sciences and microbiology at Columbia University, 1999) could be designed. A structure such as this could make the most of rainwater for immediate as well as stored irrigation to pursue multiple crop cycles where only one might exist. It could also help sustainably industrialise agriculture in various capacities such as by making it nonweather/climate dependant to a large degree. The terraces carved on Nepal’s hills for long have been a defining feature of our landscape. However, this model of farming is labor and investment intensive, inefficient, and also hinges


Top (left): A Sunflower farm in Inarwa of Sunsari district, April 2009, (right): Young girls taking a break from working in the fields of Tasar village of Makwanpur district, April 2010. Bottom: A man heads towards his field in the late morning in Inarwa, June 2010.

on clearing out forests critical to climate and soil erosion resilience, especially in sloping terraces; all factors that contribute to confining farmers to subsistence farming. Could vertical farms, then, be a viable alternative? Could Villages or Wards come together and work on a vertical farm and operate it as a Co-operative with traditional division of labor and yields? If paddy, mustard and corn plantation can be moved to a vertical farm, the terrace farms could be restored as community forests and managed watershed areas.

Reverting terraces to forests would enable local communities to pursue agro-forestry for cash crops as well as other avenues for additional income (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation schemes, biomass brickets for firewood substitution). Vertical Farms can also be most effective for Kathmandu and other urban centers. Market economy doesn’t allow these places to have huge swaths of land dedicated to paddy fields anymore, but importing everything it consumes from outside is not feasible economically or environmentally. Vertical farms could possibly largely offset the import of daily produce without really competing for space with commercial or residential real estate developers. An industrial scale vertical farm could really take a new form of commercial agriculture in the country.

Come August The rain that feeds is also the rain that floods, and by early August the havoc wrecked by monsoon is well documented in the national and

It’s not just in the east; central Terai has in fact gone through one of the country’s biggest real estate booms with developers snapping most property they can find. international media. The competition for space as well and the need for more food production will only intensify in years to come. At the same time, science predicts major climate shifts that will affect the region’s traditional form of agriculture drastically. It cannot go on this way for long, it mustn’t. Nepal needs to adapt to these challenges and explore its sustainable options. Policy formulation and implementation must have local participation, farming must be made to move beyond subsistence and that won’t happen if the government’s commitment doesn’t rise above rhetoric and annual budget declarations. Nepal has a long way to go to in order to meet its food needs, but the problem cannot be dealt with just by reforming agriculture policies; work needs to be done on the country’s policies on population and economy too. There is hope yet for the agrarian state, but how much longer its people can afford to wait is less certain. 49 Aug-Oct 2010


FEATURE

Lost in Translation? It is generally assumed that the standard of English in government schools in Nepal is pretty dismal, and the reason for it is generally thought to be the sub-standard curriculum. However, going through the English Curriculum designed by the Curriculum Development Centre will throw up a pleasant surprise. 50 yzine.com.np

text by DINESH KAFLE photos SUDHIR BHANDARI


I

t may perhaps be complex, but very often, when it comes to the English language, be it an interview, a test or just a conversation, many Nepalis admit their handicap before they even begin; “I was schooled in a government school, so, excuse my English.” Accordingly, it is generally assumed that the standard of English in government schools in Nepal is pretty dismal, and the reason for it is generally thought to be the sub-standard curriculum. Giving in to this preconceived notion, most private schools even supplement the SLC Board’s curriculum with additional books and courses. However, going through the English Curriculum designed by the Curriculum Development Centre will throw up a pleasant surprise. It is a good, well thought of course of study. For starters, the curriculum acknowledges English as a language, learned, bettered and mastered with use. So, the course is very usage oriented with distinct Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking modules, along the same lines as English competency exams like the IELTS and TOEFL. The course material has been designed to be practical and encourage interaction between students as a way of learning, which is perhaps the best way to learn any language. One common crib about the curriculum is its simplicity, which is often wrongly interpreted as not up to required standards. But, simplicity never hurt anyone when it's about a language and its use. In fact, the best users of a language often preach simplicity in form and structure. So, what is perceived as a weakness is in fact the strength of the curriculum. Syntax and semantics are of course the building blocks of a language, but common experience suggests that with adequate practice and use, even without a conscious knowledge of the technicalities, one can figure out when something is amiss with any sentence spoken or written. While parallel curricula swamp students with an excess of the nuances of English grammar, the Board’s curriculum weeds out the nonessential while retaining the necessary. The very fact that the curriculum approaches English as a practical subject makes it interesting. The choice of material included makes it even more so. Just how many people can lay claim to having The Beatles’ Yesterday and Yellow Submarine as a part of their Class 8 English syllabus? Further,

kf7\oqmdn] c+u|]hL ljifonfO{ Jojxfl/s ljifosf ?kdf lng' lgs} ?lrk"0f{ s'/f xf] / ljifoj:t'sf] rogn] t emg} o;nfO{ /f]rs agfp“5 . o:tf slt dflg; 5g\ / h;n] la6N;sf] "Yesterday" /

"Yellow Submarine"

nfO{ cfkm\gf] cf7 sIffsf] c+u|] hL ljifosf] kf7\oqmd eg]/ bfjL ug{ ;S5g\ / < To;dfly x/]s kf7df 5nkmn x'g] x'“bf o;n] l;Sg] k|lqmofnfO{ lgs} cGtlqm{ofd'ns agfp“5 h'g s'g}klg efiff l;Sgsf] nflu ;xof]uL x'G5 . every exercise encourages discussions making for a very interactive learning experience, well suited for language learning. Given that the curriculum is well thought through, simple, interesting and very practical, why is it not showing the expected results? One very visible reason is the design and printing of the courseware, which makes the curriculum a victim of being judged unfairly by the cover. The text is littered with typographical errors and the paper and print quality leaves so much to be desired. Another reason for it maybe access to the courseware itself, especially the listening module, the tapes for which are not easily available. Or is the textbook produced not at par with the high standards set by the curriculum? These surfacial reasons apart, there are perhaps others that is leading to the well thought about curriculum being lost in translation and thus coming short on delivery. In 1998, the Curriculum Development Centre replaced the traditional curriculum with a new one that introduced the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach. The communicative approach of teaching demands competence in linguistic, socio-linguistic (pragmatic), discursive and strategic aspects. The new curriculum focused on imparting knowledge of grammar, vocabulary, and other skills necessary for communication. But, though effort has

been made to employ communicative language teaching approach, the curriculum does not seem to have covered all the aspects. At the core of the problem lies the mismatch between the intent of the curriculum and the content of the textbook. Durupada Sapkota, English curriculum officer, Curriculum Development Centre, Sanothimi, hints at the inadequacy of course content in the curriculum itself. “While the curriculum is designed at par with the philosophy of CLT, it still lacks the aspect of literature”, says Sapkota. She adds, “This keeps students from being competent enough to use their grammar and vocabulary skills in wider spectrum of circumstances.” “Language can be taught through literature, but the current textbook neglects that fact”, says Gopal P. Pandey, lecturer of English at Tribhuwan University. “The present textbooks of government schools clearly demarcate language teaching and literature teaching”, says Pandey, “which is absolutely wrong.” A common belief in language teaching is that learners can learn language only when they are given exposure to contextualised language functions, forms and notions. Presentation of language items in isolation hinders language learning. Due to the lack of task-based problems and exercises and literature, teachers 51 Aug-Oct 2010


“Those who have recently passed out from college cannot give their maximum while teaching school level students, as the two curricula do not match with each other. We are trying to bridge that gap between these curricula, which would then ensure better results in language learning.” Durupada Sapkota English Curriculum Officer, C.D.C., Sanothimi of English find the textbook prescribed by CDC incomplete in the teaching/ learning of English. As Sunam Thapa, English teacher at St. Xavier's School, Jawalakhel, says, “apart from teaching the basics of grammar and vocabulary, a student should be exposed to literary books from the beginning.” She adds, “this helps students expand their horizon of knowledge, and they can use language to express their creative thoughts.” “Therefore” contends Thapa, “in order to fulfill the need of the students, it becomes necessary to prescribe additional books apart from the one prescribed by CDC.” According to Thapa, in SXJ, in addition to the Grammar and Composition textbook prescribed by CDC, students

52 yzine.com.np

use the workbook of ‘Learning to Communicate’, and also ‘Oxford Reading Circle’ which includes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction texts. However, Rudra Adhikari, English teacher in Arunodaya Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Pharping, asserts that additional textbooks do not necessarily guarantee an increase in the language competence of students. “The problem, rather, is in the evaluation system,” he says, highlighting the loopholes in the examination process. “Questions are set from outside the textbooks prescribed by CDC. Such an imbalance between the textbook and the evaluation system, thus, makes it necessary to teach additional textbooks.” For curriculum development officer Sapkota, the lack of compatibility between the curriculum at college level, i.e., I Ed and B Ed, with the school curriculum is also a hindrance to the expected outcome. “Those who have recently passed out from college cannot give their maximum while teaching school level students, as the two curricula do not match with each other,” she says, adding, “we are trying to bridge that gap between these curricula, which would then ensure better results in language learning.” As these loose strings prevail between the curriculum and the text, and between the college level curriculum and school level curriculum, all of which are extremely complementary to each other, the attitude of the teacher also has an important role to play. Many, including academicians, planners and teachers themselves, point towards the teachers as the major reason for such a poor performance. “Though the curriculum is based on CLT, teachers of government schools have not yet come to terms with this, and they are still lingering with the traditional Grammar-Translation Method (GTM),” says Adhikari. The GTM has remained the dominant mode in traditional language teaching and teachers here apparently stick with it because they can get away with the text by merely translating words and sentences in Nepali. Chudamani Sharma reveals, “since teachers tend to take teaching as more of a means to make their ends meet than to impart knowledge on students, the latter, on their part, also prefer the GT method as it is easy for them to follow the teaching.”

“In the past, I tried to conduct classes in full English medium, but considering the capability of students, I had to resort to the GTM, despite knowing that it is not the best way of teaching" confesses Sharma. “While teaching a poem, for example, teachers give a Nepali version of the same, and so, the elements of poetry like symbols, metaphors, meters, etc., go unnoticed in the process.” In order to effectively implement the communicative approach of language teaching/learning, National Centre for Educational Development (Saishik Janashakti Vikas Kendra) has been providing 10-month long trainings to primary and secondary level teachers from its nine educational training centres across the country. “But, due to the negligence on the part of teachers”, says Sapkota, “almost all the efforts towards strengthening the competence of students have been in vain.”

“The problem, rather, is in the evaluation system. Questions are set from outside the textbooks prescribed by CDC. Such an imbalance between the textbook and the evaluation system, thus, makes it necessary to teach additional textbooks.” Rudra Adhikari Teacher, Arunodaya Madhyamik Vidyalaya, Pharping


Moreover, schools of rural areas are not equipped with audio record players and cassettes, which are essential supplements to the textbook. Sapkota admits that CDC has not been able to send these materials to rural schools. “But,” laments Sapkota, “teachers are also not willing to use these materials because they need to put in extra effort, and also because they do not want to change their method of teaching. So, whatever audiovisual materials and teacher support materials we have are not used optimally.” While teachers are regularly criticised for not reviewing their method of teaching, the technical quality of the textbook is also the same as it was years ago. The textbooks do not look inviting as to make one want to get hold of them, as books normally do. “Do not judge a book by its cover, goes the saying, but the quality of the books printed by CDC are, in fact, of poor quality,” admits Tarjan Rai, chief art designer at CDC. He maintains that the obvious compulsion to keep the prices low forces them to print textbooks in only two colors—red and black. “This results in pictures, be it of a cucumber or a banana, look red, which the students find funny,” adds Rai. The shortage of manpower in printing also adds to the problem. According to Rai, earlier CDC had four outlets to print books, but while the number of outlets has increased to nine, there has been no substantial increase in the manpower. To lift the workload, CDC is now outsourcing the printing of textbooks to private publishers in 15 districts, which, Rai says, also helps in enhancing the print quality of textbooks. “Talks are also on for increasing quality even if it means increasing price of the textbook,” adds Rai hopefully. The applicability of CLT also depends on the size of the class. In a government school, the number of students is way too higher than the

ideal. “Government school classes resemble the haat bazaar,” says Pandey bitterly, “which makes it impossible to implement CLT in classroom teaching.” Obvious as it is, individual teachers have no fault in such a situation. Lack of English-speaking environment both at home and in school is another reason for the lack of confidence among students when it comes to English. Since it is normally not used as a means of communication at home, it is only in school where

‘;/sf/L ljBfnosf] clxn]sf] kf7\oqmdn] efiffsf] cWofkg / ;flxTosf] cWofkgnfO{ b'O{ 5'6\6f 5'6\6} ljifoh:tf] u5{ h'g lgs} unt xf] .’ uf]kfn k|= kf08], c+u|]hL cWofks -lqe'jg ljZjljBfno_ communication in English is possible. But in government schools, there are usually no language restrictions. Moreover, as students mostly take English as a subject to pass the exam and not to learn, they prefer to speak either Nepali or their mother tongue among peers. The environment is comparatively more inclined to English in private schools. Apart from having to speak English among peers, which many schools make it a part of general discipline, students are engaged in co-curricular activities like extempore speech, elocution, drama, etc., in English, which further enhances their confidence. “Even during normal conversations, we encourage students to use grammatically correct sentences and proper pronunciation,” says Thapa. However, in government schools, there is no such environment which helps

students groom their English language skills. In government schools, the only subject taught in English medium is English itself. So, there is little chance for students to have a strong grasp of the English language. According to Sapkota, CDC has recognised this fact, so it has already begun a pilot project of teaching translated textbooks of all subjects. In the beginning phase, all textbooks of classes 1 to 4 and 9 to 10 have been translated, and are being taught in districts like Gorkha, Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Lalitpur. “After reviewing the progress report, we will expand this project to all the districts. This will contribute towards strengthening the foundation of English in government schools,” says a confident Sapkota. That a number of primary schools teach additional English in place of a mandatory course in mother tongue leaves room to hope that students will get more exposure to English though at the cost of their right to study the mother tongue. “In spite of the numerous drawbacks, the quality of language teaching and learning has increased after the communicative approach of language learning was introduced in the school level curriculum in 1998,” says Sapkota. This is also evident in the fact that the Directorate of the Controller of Examinations has pulled back English from what was considered as the most difficult trio along with Maths and Science. There are plenty of bottlenecks with regards to the English curriculum in our schools, but introducing CLT appears to be a step in the right direction. Looking at things in general, it may take time for the initiative to bear fruit, but we can hope that some day in the near future, English language skills will be a strength rather than a weakness for every Nepali student, irrespective of the school attended.

53 Aug-Oct 2010


VOICE

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u/ ]  h;af6 ;d'bfonfO{ lax]  nufotsf sfo{qmddf cfjZos kg] { ;/ ;dfgx?sf]  Joj: yf ug{ ;lhnf]  eof]  . ToxL ;+: yfdf ;fKtflxs % ?k} ofFsf b/ n]  art ug] { afgL klg a;fPF . 3/ sf]  cfly{s ca: yf sdhf] /  x'Fb}  hfg yfn]  kl5 d} n]  cfO{P kl5 k9\g ;lsgF . k9fO{ 5f8] /  d} n]  Ps aif{ sf/ vfgfdf dhb'/  eP/  sfd u/ ] F . @)%^ ;fndf ljjfx klg u/ ] F . To;nuQ}  d} n]  r] tgf clea[l4 s] Gb| gfds ;+: yfdf sfd kfPF . Tof]  ;+: yfn]  xfd|}  ;d'bfodf afn /  k|f} 9 lzIff sfo{qmdaf/ ]  sfd ul/ / x] sf]  lyof]  . ufpFsf cgk9x?nfO{ k9fpg'sf ;fy}  d} n]  hGdbtf{, gful/ stf, 5'jf5't lj/ f] wL cleofgx? klg ;+rfng u/ ]  . t/ , of]  sfd ;/ n lyPg lsgeg]  Ps t xftd'v hf] g{ g}  ;d: of ePsfx? o;nfO{ cj;/ eGbf klg emGem6sf ?kdf lnGy]  eg]  csf] {lt/  slyt pRrhftsf dflg;x? klg xfd|f]  o: tf]  sfdnfO{ vf;}  ;sf/ fTds ?kdf x] l/ / x] sf lyPgg\ . y'k|}  r'gf} tLx? cfP, t/  d} n]  k5fl8 kms] {/  x] l/ gF . o;aLrdf d} n]  w] / } eGbf w] / } hgf;Fu

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REPORT

lgzfgf L b ª { f o : d   ] f n N y dfl text and photo by RABIN GIRI

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CA UPDATE

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;j{;Ddt ;+ljwfg text by DR. BIPIN ADHIKARI

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BIKASH KARKI/NEW REPUBLIC MEDIA

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PHOTO FEATURE

Peter Sutherland workshop June 18 -21, 2010 text by MAIA RUTH LEE

T

he idea of gathering and the concept of people coming together is a beautiful thing. A photographer from New York (Peter Sutherland), an artist from Korea (Maia Ruth Lee), a videographer from Britain (Alice Wellum), five teens and a sign language interpreter from the school for deaf children in Bhairahawa (Esther-Benjamins Trust [EBT]), and five teens from Home of Voice of Children (VOC, an organisation working with street children) teamed up for a four-day photography workshop to achieve this. Each teen from Bhairahawa was paired with a teen from Voice of Children, and as partners they had to find new ways of communicating and collaborating. Their positive and curious attitudes broke barriers and helped them to reach outside of their comfort zones. Introducing new constructive ideas to children was the main objective of the workshop, and the objective was achieved from the very start as the kids started to communicate through simple sign language. Holding a camera and learning how to shoot is the basics of photography, but what type of subjects you choose and how you capture a specific moment is where the real magic shows. This huge task that could have been the biggest obstacle during the workshop, did not deter them from taking these intriguing shots. The collection of photos produced during the workshop is planned to be published as a book by the end of the year.

Mask made during Portraits and Fashion photography activities. photo Bunu, EBT

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Voice of Children is a local NGO established in 2000 to improve the condition of Street Children in Nepal with the aim to support and rehabilitate them through educational and vocational training opportunities, health services and psychosocial counselling. The main objective is their re-integration back into their families and communities and preventing them from violence, exploitation and sexual abuse in the street. www.voiceofchildren.org.np Film point-and-shoot cameras used during workshop. Photo taken during first hike to a nearby village for documenting its environment and inhabitants. photo Pruna, EBT

Photos from first evaluation of the first test roll of cameras. photo Sudhar, EBT

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Photo from first hike. photo Sam, VOC

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Photo from second hike to a nearby Mandir. photo Raj Kumar, VOC


Photo during second hike to a nearby Mandir. photo Krishna, VOC

63 Aug-Oct 2010


First test roll in a nearby village photo Rita, EBT

Backdrop made for Portraits and Fashion activities photo Raj Kumar, VOC

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Photo from a Kathmandu Amusement Park outing. photo Krishna, VOC

Group photo of kids with final masks and t-shirts made for Portrait and Fashion activity photo Maia Ruth Lee

65 Aug-Oct 2010


IMPRESSIONS

Riding the Tempo text by AYA TASAKI

I

The tempo doesn’t provide any shelter like an air-conditioned subway or cab in New York, it just gives you wheels. You know if the rain is coming, because you smell it in the wind. You know when you’re nearing a chowk, because you feel the tempo dodging people more frequently.

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like the tempo the best. It’s the rattly ol' three-wheeler that fits 10 passengers on a regular load, about 14 on a super busy-we need to step it up and make more money sort of load. It’s more satisfying to beat on its clunky metal roof, the signal we use when we want to get off, than on that of a micro. The micro’s short for micro bus, one of those vans that seat maybe 10 people in the States. In Nepal some clever interior manipulation has been done and it will hold anywhere from 18 to 25 people, the latter involving some major twisting of limbs and hunching over. You can absolutely get your daily yoga on if you manage to squish into one during rush hour. The micro has some soggy lining on the ceiling that makes the beating experience notches below the tempo. Air flow within the vehicle is usually non-existent and the heat and sweat generated is not for the faint of heart. The only thing that may be worth it is to sit right by the guy who collects the money, opens/closes the door and yells out destinations: the conductor. He also seems to have another job, which is to hang out the window and frantically wave other vehicles and things away from smashing into the side. It seems to work. Strangely enough, I haven’t heard any crashing sounds on the streets yet. If you’re lucky enough to have someone that can translate, or if you’ve been secretly perfecting those Nepali skills, you may hear these conductors trying to get passengers by saying that they are the last micro headed for that certain destination. I’m eager to hear of other lies they conjure up, those sly businessmen. How brilliant. The tempo doesn’t provide any shelter like an air-conditioned subway or cab in New York, it just gives you

wheels. You know if the rain is coming, because you smell it in the wind. You know when you’re nearing a chowk, because you feel the tempo dodging people more frequently. I’m a pro at this public transportation now, completely selfproclaimed and topped with a naïve foreigner grin. A little over one out of every two attempts gets me to my destination, and I swear the statistics are rapidly changing in my favor. For being here for two weeks, I call that success. Then of course, I always manage to bang my head as I get on and off the tempo. That totally messes up my flow, not to mention it blows my cover as a pseudolocal. It’s also when the drivers are courteous enough to ask everyone where they are going, when my cool Nepali façade is ripped away. Chakrapath, Narayan Gopal Chowk, Maharajganj, Thamel, Jawalakhel, Pulchowk, Bhatbhateni, Ratna Park, Sundhara. The names of places I can deal with, thanks to my religious studying of the Kathmandu Valley map every night. When the drivers get even nicer and start asking things in detail, then it’s all over. But I’m not afraid to get lost here – I feel that term is so irrelevant, like it is in Manhattan. Check back with me in another week – I may be considering becoming a driver for tempo route 5. Aya Tasaki is a student of graduate studies at The New School university in New York. She recently spent the summer in Nepal for her International Field Program to research contemporary issues of Nepali migrant workers.


Y!13  
Y!13  

Nepal: A Hungry Agrarian State

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