Nepali history is full of ups and down like many places in the world. Look at China and Greece. Every country seems to have good times and bad. Only then can we appreciate what has happened to Bandipur and Bhaktapur here in Nepal. They were the centers of commerce and power and something changed. The rulers and local people did not care or waited too long to understand the changes. They went through very bad times, and now with greater understanding of the realities, are in for better times. It has taken the effort of many people and a lot of resources but the places are back on the map again.
These success stories of how people are able to turn things around are very important during difficult times of transition. It is easy to despair and give up. We need success stories to keep our hopes up. It is also important to remind ourselves each day of what is possible. The Great Himalayan Trail looks like another important achievement that is here to stay and will help the lives of the people in communities in these remote areas. They contribute a lot to managing vital natural resources for the millions who live down stream. It is critical that we recognize their role and help them do what they do in any way we can.
As we enter the hot days in Nepal before the monsoon sets in, many festivals are upon us. From horse festivals to the chariot festival dedicated to bringing rain to Nepal, people everywhere will be participating in them. Perhaps the rulers understood the need to engage the population in “interesting diversions” while waiting for the rains and the plantation season. It is also a climbing season and there are going to be numerous outdoor activities for you to choose from. Cycle rallies are in vogue. The more the people become involved in outdoor activities, the greater the chances to involve them in cleaning the environment. The two are closely related.
Talking of outdoors, let us not underestimate the value of reading and all the great books we have to choose from. There are some good book stores now to choose from. There are good publishers and good authors to select from for our reading pleasure. People are today more connected than ever before leading to a lot more sharing of experiences and insights. We are able to gather insights from the past for use in the present and future. In Nepal a lot of these insights are still in the oral tradition. As family structures change, we may need to do a lot more to record them in various mediums. At ECS we do our part to contribute to this process and goal.
Whatever you do this coming month and wherever your travels may take you, please make some time for the Nepali way