The harvest season is here and most people are not only feeling optimistic and confident, but will also be spending a lot, sometimes beyond their means to celebrate and participate in the various festivals. From gold to marigold, from new clothes to a new paint job, this is the season when money really circulates in Nepal. Seeing is believing. Most of the transactions that take place will be outside the formal economy and is not accounted for in formal economic reports. You can see and experience for yourself the true size of the Nepali economy during this festive month. Somebody ought to make this a topic for their PhD thesis.
If you take a starving dog off the streets, feed it and make it healthy and strong, it will never bite you; that is the principle difference between a dog and man. Do not know the exact quote but it is usually safe to say Mark Twain is credited for these wise words. It is really great that we have a day dedicated to the dog and treat them like a “spirited demon” or recognize its role in society. Sadly many dogs are treated badly at other times during the year. Many of us do our little bit to take them off the streets. We need to do more for all animals in general and as the festivities proceed we shall also have days dedicated to the crow, and the cow.
In this issue of ECS, we shall take a closer look at the history of civil aviation. The mountainous terrain makes road building expensive and a real engineering challenge. Paying for the repair and maintenance of roads is not easy and hence Nepal has a good network of air fields and flights that get us around. Time is the real cost here and hence the frequency of the domestic flights as well as the willingness to invest in this sector of the economy. We need to do a lot more to make these flights safer. Nepal’s reputation seems to rely on minimizing the bad news that gets out. Believe it or not, Nepal does have a railway line…nothing to be proud of, but is something people love to talk about and help us stretch the imagination. Some day we may have a “bullet train” going east to west or connecting China and India.
In this issue, we also bring to you stories of festivals, musical instruments, the artist and the sites around town where these can be observed and enjoyed. We also bring you stories and images of the Himalaya and urban communities in historical cities that live off ancient water systems. We also feature women writers whose work is being recognized more and more here in Nepal and abroad. At ECS, we have been presenting Nepal to you month after month for over a decade and yet we seem to have only covered the “tip of the iceberg”. There is so much more out there. Whatever you are doing this month, please make some time for “the Nepali way”.