For a past few weeks, I have surprisingly been enjoying conversations about earthquakes. The experience was memorable even if it was terrifying. Now months after the tremors, I’ve realized that it is a topic that can turn strangers into friends. These days when I am in conversation with someone new, to break the ice, I ask “So, where were you during the earthquake?” And like magic, the person immediately relaxes and begins to dramatize their version of the earthquakes.
When I met the Malaysian Ambassador, I asked him the same. He revealed that the terror at the time was so consuming that they had to send back Malaysians who were in Nepal. “We airlifted 500 Malaysians from Nepal immediately”. The fury of the earthquake unfurled so fast and so devastatingly that most people thought it was best to evacuate from Nepal.
Today the tragedy, of course, cannot be erased from the minds of those who experienced it. The memory will stay indelible and perhaps will be part of our everyday conversations for a generation. However, Nepal is now recovering from her losses. She is gradually returning to normalcy. The rebuilding has begun and a new chapter unfolds before us. In this difficult time, we hope to support the nation with inspiring stories from our communities as rebuilding and reconstruction gathers steam.
Our cover story, Tangible and Intangible Heritage in Kathmandu, explores how our intangible heritages bind our connection with our tangible heritages. And how even with the damages to tangible heritages, our faith has not waned. In our photo story Not All is Gone, we give glimpses of Nepal that remain resolute, beautiful and safe even after the earthquake. We have also included a contradicting photostory, Of Ruins and Hope, to take account of the devastation brought by the April 25 earthquake. However, in these ruins we also embrace hope.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we have enjoyed putting it together. Happy reading!