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Kathmandu Post Online

If you want to keep abreast with political and other news from Nepal, you can read an on-line English-language newspaper:
The Kathmandu Post

The Nepali calendar

Nepal has a calendar which is different from the 'western' one. Like the western calendar, it gets slightly out of step with the seasons as years go by. It is now 24 days 'late'. Consultations are going on how best to rectify the discrepancy (e.g. by skipping one month this year), and without upsetting the important dating or religious festivals.

Basic information about the Nepali calendar (BS calendar = Bikram Sambat calendar). By contrast the western calendar can be referred to as the A.D. (Anno Domini) calendar.

Book publication dates are often given in the BS calendar only, and it is sometimes difficult to figure out whether a date is given in BS or in AD, since the numbers do not at present differ vastly.

More calendar information
2012 AD = 2068 BS.
The Nepali New Year is sometime in mid-April AD.
Losar, the Tibetan Buddhist New Year is also widely celebrated in Nepal. Many Nepalis follow the Tibetan style Buddhism. Tibet and Nepal are adjacent countries.

Flag of Nepal

The flag of Nepal is the only national flag which is not quadrilateral.

Classification of castes (2012-01-08)

Nepali migrants dying abroad

Arguments and alternative views about the best classification of castes in Nepal for legal purposes

Over 1,300 Nepali migrants working abroad have died in the past three-and-a-half years. This includes accidents and suicides. Most of these deaths were avoidable.

Land transactions under Maoist parallel government (2012-02-04)

Suffering of Nepalis working abroad (2012-02-07)

Validity or otherwise of land transactions made by the Maoist parallel government during the civil war

'... around 2.2 million people--7.30 percent of the total population--;are working in various countries. However, the actual number is said to be much higher than that. A majority of these workers are between the age of 20 and 23. The contribution of remittance to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is said to be above 20 percent, ...'

Nepalis in Saudi Arabia: unfair treatment (2012-02-04)

17 Nepalis in quandary in Saudi Arabia

Self help: Nepali ex-pat workers in Qatar

Self help: Nepali ex-pat workers in Qatar pay the salary for two badly needed additional staff at the Nepali Embassy in Doha (Qatar). A large number of Nepalis work in Qatar.

Polygamy in Nepal

Caste issues

Polygamy is now illegal in Nepal.

Polygamy is on the rise in Kathmandu (2012-01-12)

Dalits' road to justice full of hurdles (2011-12-15)

Woman dies in Cchaupadi shed in Achham District (North West Nepal) (2011-01-17). This is NOT in Gorkha Disctrict.

What dalits think about being classified by the umbrella term 'dalits' rather than by the traditional names of their specific castes, e.g. Kami (blacksmiths), Sarki (cobblers), Damai (tailors and drummers at weddings), Sunar, (goldsmiths), Bhul (or Bhool) (leather workers), etc

US Peace Corps

Hierarchy within Damai caste (North West Nepal) - Lohar - Kolti - (2011-01-17)

US Peace Corps returns to Nepal after seven years absence

Intercaste marriage
-  Badi women - Link 1 - Link 2 - Link 3

-  Janata Awas programme (people's housing) (2012-01-20)


Bull against bull (2012-01-19)

Sad news: 400 Gurkhas to be made redundant (2011-01-17)

Bull-fighting Neapali style


List of Nepali festivals

Maghe Sankranti: mid-January AD

Swasthani Brata (a one-month fast in honour of Goddess Swasthani and Lord Shiva (7 January 2012 to 7 February 2012) during which the
Swasthani Brata Katha (scripture) is recited.

Sonam Lhosar, now public holiday, originally only regional and only for the Sherpas, Gurungs and Tibetans.
The Tamangs also celebrate this Lhosar.

Saraswati Puja: 28 Jan 2012 AD (also known as: Panchami Vasanti) and is the festival of learning and the beginning of spring.

Maha-Shivaratri: Mon, 20 Feb 2012

Holi: Thu, 8 Mar, to Fri, 9 Mar 2012
A modern rendering of the story of Holi

Buddha Jayanti (Buddha Purnima): A great national holiday in Nepal to celebrate the birth, day of enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha. It is usually held on the full moon day in May, or sometimes in April. The date varies slightly in the western calendar.

Lhosar (Tibetan New Year) is on xxx 2012?
Lhosar, the Tibetan Buddhist New Year

Diwali (Tihar): Tue, 13 Nov 2012 (5 days). Tihar is devoted to brothers and 'brothers of choice' (miita) It is embedded into the wider Diwali celebrations.

List of many festivals with approximate dates (many dates give are for 2011 and will have changed slightly for 2012, but at least the sequence may be correct).

Ethnic groups in Nepal

A map of Ethnic groups in Nepal

Ethnic federalism

Ethnic federalism not acceptable

School in Jajarkot short of classrooms

School in Jajarkot short of classrooms and teachers
Jajarkot students go to school on alternate days

Note: There are several Lhosars, celebrated by different communities.

Link: Tamang community
Tamangs also celebrate this Lhosar

Sheep farming by Gurungs

Nepal-China border

Revival of sheep farming by the Gurungs in Parche VDC near Pokhara. Decline in sheep farming partly caused by men seeking employment abroad.

Sikles Village - Sikles is the largest Gurung village in Nepal

US keen to develop Nepal-China border (2012-01-24)

Eco-tourism, village tourism: Prospects in Nepal (2011-11-14)

Shiva Community Forest Project (2011-11-14)

Eco-tourism, village tourism: Prospects in Nepal

'Nepal's ambitious National Ecotourism Strategy and Marketing Programme of 2004 emphasises cross-sectoral cooperation at National Planning level, more private participation, poverty alleviation through promotion of village tourism and a full-fledged marketing programme.'

Illustrative problems at Chitwan National Park.

Another quote:
'Shiva Community in Bardia has shown perfect example of living in harmony with people and wildlife as it has devised an innovative method to deal with dangers of wildlife. The Shiva community learnt that soothing green mint leaves and the daisy-like white chamomile flowers drove mega herbivores like rhinos away with just their smell.

Also, the two plants were found to be high-valued cash crops. For their efforts, BBC World Challenge 2011 has short-listed the Shiva Community Forest's project as one of the top 12 projects from around the world that demonstrate enterprise and innovation at the grassroots level and help in social and environmental benefits. These activities have helped to promote conservation of natural resources and habitats and at the same time have helped improving local livelihoods through home-stay.'

Shiva Community Forest Project

Quote from this link:
'Named as the 'Herbal Remedy,' BBC World Challenge 2011 has short-listed the Shiva Community Forest's project as one of the top 12 projects from around the world that demonstrate enterprise and innovation at the grassroots level and help in social and environmental benefits.

Shiva Community Forest is home to endangered species including tigers, Asian elephants and the Indian rhino. Local people have to contend with crop destruction by these wild species. Now, Shiva Community Forest has found a non-lethal way to keep rhinos away from farms by planting chamomile and mint.

In 2002, they discovered that mint and chamomile, both plants repulsive to mega herbivores like rhinos, drove them away with just their smell. Soon, they had the plants bordering their farmlands and the jungles. The farmers no longer needed to sit around in their tall bamboo towers and keep a lookout for these wild animals. They had earned themselves some leisure and a sense of security. More was to follow. The two plants not only made for an eco-friendly defense mechanism against wild animals, they also were highly valued cash crops.'

Homestay tourism with Gurungs

Homestay tourism with Gurungs in Sikles (Siklis) village in Kaski District near Pokhara

Marijuana drugs arrest

Safe motherhood campaign

Marijuana drugs arrest in Hetauda en route to Birganj (2012-02-03)

Safe motherhood plan in Dhading a howling success) (2012-01-24)

Timber smuggling

Timber smuggling in community forest - Saljhandi Community Forest (2012-02-04)

Deforestation in West Nepal (2012-02-04)

Ideas to be explored:
Books for free (Room to Read)

Friendly sites

Budget hotel

Budget hotel in Kathmandu, in the colourful and popular Thamel district.

It is run by Hari Bhatta (popularly known as Harry Botter on account of the miracles he works for his guests) . He is a native of Takukot and a graduate of Maikot Secondary School, Ward 1.

Book by phone because the website booking system is not always working.

Hotel Kathmandu Holiday Inn
J.P. Higher Secondary School Road
Chhetrapati, Thamel
Kathmandu, Nepal

00-977 -1- 423 389 2 landline for hotel
00-977 - 985 103 322 6 (Hari's mobile)
00-977 - 981 369 4411 (Hari's mobile)

Local travel agent

Help poor Nepali children in Mouwa

Experience the beauties of Nepal, Tibet, India, Bhutan with an experienced local travel agency in Kathmandu. Mr Bhupal Niroula speaks excellent English and provides an friendly expert service.

If you want to donate a small proportion of your holiday budget to help clothe and feed the poorest children in the remote village of Mouwa, Panchthar District, Mechi Zone, Bhupal (who was born there) will advise you. You will feel happy when, apart from enjoying the beauties of Nepal, you have also given some joy to Nepali children. See Facebook pictures of distribution of food and clothing. Link to follow here.

833 Atithi Hotel and Lodge, Palkhu,
Takukot Ward 4, Gorkha District

Enjoy the Eco-holiday of a life-time

'Athiti Hotel and Lodge'
Proprietor: Krishna Man Shrestha; tel: 9813769632
Representative in Kathmandu: Sajan Shrestha; tel: 9851133942
The dialling code for Nepal is: 977
How to get there: see maps and route description