Religious images removed from mascot

Kathmandu, January 26

Locals and activists, in the presence of various government authorities and security forces, today removed the religious pictures or symbols painted on the two sculptures of life-size yeti — Visit Nepal 2020 mascot — placed in Basantapur area.

The VNY Secretariat is placing yeti mascots at various tourist destinations across the country and these mascots show main highlights and attraction of the particular place.

Many locals and activists say that painting images of gods or any other symbols related to any religion on the mascots has created confusion among people.

Many people take such yeti mascots as god’s statue.

A picture went viral on social media today, where a woman is seen worshipping the mascot placed outside Boudhanath Stupa, a world heritage site. The mascot has a picture of the under-construction stupa.

Local activist Ganapati Lal Shrestha said, “It is an attack on people’s religious belief as they portray the yeti as god.” He added that the paintings of the revered goddess Kumari on the body of Yeti and lord Gautam Buddha on the back of it and various gods and goddesses and religious symbols on various body part of the Yeti mascot is also condemnable.

The mascot placed at Basantapur had an image of living goddess Kumari painted on its forehead.

Yeti is a mythical creature which is said to be found in the Himalayan mountains.

Niti Shrestha, consultant at the office of NVY Secretariat said that they did not intend to hurt anyone’s religious sentiments, they were rather trying to promote cultural and religious significance of the area by portraying those images and symbols on the mascot. She said that yeti was famous in various folklores, and foreigners identified them with mythical characters like Big foot.

Sangam Dhakal, an official at the VNY Secretariat, said they would now be more careful in choosing images or symbols to be painted on the body of the mascot. “We will think of painting pictures of various flora and fauna and natural heritage on the mascots.