Editorial . October . 2013

Blowing in the wind

Nepal is unique in so many ways. For example we have six distinct seasons and we are all now enjoying the Sharad season (ritu). The clear blue skies and the steady afternoon breeze are a key feature of the weather at this time of the year. The misty and chilly mornings may require a light jacket, but the day time temperature soars up very quickly. All this makes it perfect for flying kites. These wonderful flying toys come in all shapes, sizes and people actually like to “fight” with them. The yelling and shouting that goes with kite flying adds to the spirit of competition and sense of achievement.  In the good old days these kites were “free” go where the wind took them but today the sky line is dotted with water tanks and antennas creating a bit of a challenge.

It is also the season for putting on those walking shoes/boots and setting off to the destination that you like. One incentive to walk up the north slopes of the Kathmandu valley towards Langtang National Park and the Tamang Heritage Trail is to enjoy a meal of a fresh plate of rainbow trout. The enterprising spirit of Nepalis is amazing and these trout farms and attached restaurants are a great representation of this spirit. The trout has also become quite popular in different restaurants in Kathmandu but there is no substitute to climbing those hills and nothing like having them fresh. Give yourselves a real treat.

In this issue of ECS, we bring you stories and images of the colorful festivals and also the art and music scene in Nepal. We have featured people and their work that we feel should be of interest to you. We also have the regular feature of art and craft and again, try our best to capture the creative abilities of Nepal’s artists and crafts men and women. From the fact that outlets are growing in number, variety and the quality of the art and craft being sold, one feels good and really encouraged. Young people are also spending more time and energy learning their traditional skills, another important change for the better.

The trails in the Khumbu are getting crowded and so are the trails up the Kali Gandaki valley. The airports are crowded and so are the motorable roads leading up to these very popular destinations. Roads and flights are not what the world comes to neither enjoy nor experience in Nepal. Many people we speak to want to experience the Nepal of the sixties and seventies. West Nepal can offer this unique experience. The landscape and the natural beauty, the rivers, pastures, forests, and the pristine lakes are all waiting for you. The local traditions, culture and even food is still traditional and hence unique. What you will not get are the “only for tourist” experience which is what many are not impressed with. Many also agree that the best way to help boost the local economy in west Nepal is to travel through, pay for local services and buy local produce. We are happy to feature west Nepal for you. Whatever you are planning on doing this month, whether flying kites, hiking, or having trout, make sure you make some time for the Nepali way.