Editorial . January . 2014

Save the yeti

Nepal needs the yeti and the yeti needs Nepal. It has always been like this and let it be as it is forever. Everyone loves a good mystery, something that is just beyond one’s reach. Something that is there and yet not quite there, if you know what I mean. The yeti has provided a great character for a story that attracts many to the Great Himalaya and hopefully many more will continue to come. This issue of ECS helps to keep the legend, folklores, sightings and “proof” of its existence alive. The yeti is most welcome to stay in the Nepal Himalaya for as long as it sees fit. Many people, in the meantime, have also cleverly branded their businesses without paying any royalty to the yeti. This needs to change. From airlines, restaurants, hotels, to carpets…all owe it to our very own yeti.

In every issue of ECS we have been featuring people whose work is unique and contribute to making Nepal such a fascinating place. This issue is no exception. One reason that almost every repeat visitor to Nepal cites for their decision to come back, are the people. They may be working with the poor, with artists, saving plants and birds, or starting a new enterprise; all wonderful personalities that make up this unique place called Nepal. Of these wonderful people, the country remembered the great Nepali singer Narayan Gopal last month with various programs. Here is someone who contributed over 500 songs that many Nepalis listen to, sing and hum regularly. Many young artists are inspired by his singing abilities. It is 23 years since the great singer passed away.

At the south western end of Nepal is a hot bed of biodiversity and home for many large animals including elephants, tigers and the famous bhahra singhe deer. The Suklaphanta National Park is a pristine piece of nature that helps Nepal contribute to conserving so many endangered species. It is a flight or a long drive away but worth the trip. While Chitwan is close to Kathmandu, it is also crowded and increasingly noisy; and has become less and less attractive to the nature lover. Suklaphanta is quiet, pristine and an experience of a lifetime. Do take time to visit this beautiful national park.

With the elections behind us, the conversation has once again shifted to the economic agenda. Wealth creation and its equitable distribution must take center stage if we are to have lasting peace. Handicrafts and agriculture products are literally the low hanging fruits for Nepal and we are all grateful to people who have been contributing to this cause. It is for each of us to help these entrepreneurs to succeed by buying products that help build these small businesses across Nepal. We are happy to feature them regularly in ECS. A little closer to Kathmandu is the historical town of Kirtipur. The Champadevi hills just behind it and the mystical wetland of Taudaha which are all great places to visit and enjoy over the weekend. Please take time out to try local restaurants and authentic Newari food. I always do. Whatever you are doing this month, make sure you set aside some time for the Nepali way.