Editorial . August . 2013

Beyond Daal-bhat

Many visitors to Nepal go back and tell the world that Nepalis eat rice, vegetables and lentil soup two times a day. Well, this issue of ECS Nepal is going to prove this wrong. As diverse as the topography, climate, cultures and jewelry, Nepal is proud of have a whole variety of food. The diversity of food this country offers is second to none; and perhaps what we have not done is tell the story well. ECS Nepal is dedicated to this cause. It is a “public information campaign” and we hope you are informed and motivated to go out and try all the wonderful tasty and diverse food out there. Please also take time out to help spread the word.

Talking about food in general and rice in particular, the monsoon is here with us, as it has been always. The western Himalaya has witnessed some of the worst floods at a huge cost of human life, property and arable land. Historically land and food are valuable commodities in the mountains, and Nepal’s under development is indicated by our inability to get it from the surplus south to the deficient north. When disasters strike, the vulnerability is exposed and people so hungry and suffer. As for the ongoing relief work, we all know that prevention is better than cure. The only problem is that many believe bad things only happen to other people for the wrongs they did in the past. It does not need to be that way. Look around and see if there are precautions to be taken against man-made or natural disasters.

If you want to avoid the mud on the streets or love the rain but do not like to get wet, you can turn to all the good books that are available. We have the usual great choices of international best sellers and there is an increasing collection of local publications by Nepali authors as well. There are books on many aspects of Nepal and book shops (with coffee/tea shops) are coming up all over town, indicating their growing popularity. In this issue of ECS Nepal we bring you more stories of successful conservation initiatives and the entrepreneurs behind them. Bhaktapur has shown to the world that history and heritage can be a real asset and numerous businesses can be built up on the sound base of good conservation work. Craft, art food, guest rooms, tours, cultural programs, just about everything can and do have a market and the wealth spreads.

Speaking of spreading, Nepali coffee and tea are doing really well both as products for sale and export, but also as readily available good drinks and refreshment. It is really interesting to see many shops that specialize in the supply and sale of coffee and tea alone. Momo - our favorite dumplings have also done very well for themselves. No social gathering or dinner is complete without a plate of these wonderful appetizers or what many like to call snack. With the monsoon rains here to stay, the numerous festivals also begin in the Nepali calendar. Gai Jatra, falls on August 22 this year. Whatever you are doing, make some time for the Nepali way.