Int'l festival: Best platform to broaden your horizons

Based on different themes, many different programmes and festivals are being organised in the Valley. Like many, I have been a part of such festivals. Among them I especially visit the festivals of technology, art, and food. They provide a platform for refreshment and gatherings. Such festivals show different cultural and religious values and provide new taste to festival goers. But on the other hand, we always have to compromise in quality. In many places, we come across misleading advertisements, which are far from what the main theme is and it is annoying. Also the management lags behind in many cases.

— Aayush Adhikari, Kirtipur, Kathmandu

Every year Kathmandu hosts dozens of international festivals. Among them, I enjoyed ‘20th Nepal International Book Fair’ the most. The fair boasted a total of 118 book stalls. Twenty of them had been set up by the international publishers. I also learnt from the organisers that the prime motto of the fair was to bring national and international publishers, bookstores and distributors together in order to promote the growth of publishing sector in Nepal and encourage book lovers like me. I enjoy reading books so this fair proved great for me. I enjoyed every moment of this week-long book festival where I bought some of my favourite books like Alchemist, A Tale of Two Cities, Go Set a Watchman, et cetera. For promoting love for books in Nepal, such fairs play a vital role. So, we must visit these fairs and encourage others to do the same.

— Ujjwal Jha

Couple of years back I had gone to a festival organised in Patan with my mama and cousin. We spent some quality time watching different stalls everywhere. It was really a fun-filled moment for all three of us and we enjoyed a lot. The festival showcased authentic Nepali culture which I liked the most. I still think such festivals should be organised in all districts of Nepal in order to attract customers. I also bought some food items at the festival. Most of the people who had come to the festivals were Nepalis and they had good time wandering here and there to purchasing things of their choice.

— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor

The city of temples has become a cosmopolitan city in the last decade. And international events are an example. I sometimes attend exhibitions of photography, books and artwork. Surprisingly these events attract few visitors despite having a free entry. And the organisers often seem indifferent towards those few visitors who care enough to attend. In today’s world, where the public spend half their day on smartphone, those organisers should bring more interactive features in their events so that they can attract more visitors.

— Nerinav

Every year festivals of arts, music and more representing our culture and civilisation are organised. There is a trend of celebrating such customs in our own way. It enhances friendship and harmony. We can meet different people and know about them, share our thoughts and have some fun. But there’s also discrimination in such festivals and I hate this aspect.

— Subhamitta

I have been to an art festival. Such international level festivals help people to have better understanding of different sectors, not all people know about all different areas — music, art, books, photography, et cetera. The best part of such festivals is that they help people to know more about our values, norms, beliefs and traditions. Not only we are able to conserve our traditions, norms, and values through such festivals, foreigners also can have good understanding of Nepali art.

— Mohan Raj Sapkota, Jadibuti

I am not particularly picky about the categories as they are normally integrated. For instance: if you go to a food festival, chances are there might be music and fashion too. So, wanting to experience new things, I fit myself in any festival as per my schedule. Since the last few years, I have been attending the Patan Festival. It’s spectacular because in one single festival you can witness wide varieties of cuisines, games for children and cultural representations with brief history. It’s truly overwhelming. Sadly, the downsides of such festivals do exist! The price of food is usually quite expensive and you have no choice when you are tired and hungry after strolling around. Likewise, the inclusion of musical concerts when other things are also going on in the same festival, makes it quite inconvenient when it comes to crowd management unless there is a separate section divided for concert purpose only. I remember, how my nephew wanted to stay for awhile in the festival for horse-riding but my mother wasn’t feeling safe. So, we left as soon as people started going wild and loud in the concert. I think, family feel is slowly missing in such bigger festivals. Perhaps it is something to do with the management!

— Alina Khadgi, Sydney, Australia

I have attended some of such festivals. I think they can give a lot of ideas about other countries’ lifestyle through the medium of food, fashion, music, art, et cetera. And we can learn something new. These days people across the globe are coming forward in terms of creativity. The international festivals can help such creative people explore their creativity while learning from others.

— Sabin Basnet, Thimi

Such kinds of festivals on different themes can be regarded as a good platform to flourish raw talents of countryside unless they are not organised commonly. For instance beauty pageants that are being organised every other month diminish the quality and value of such pageants. The worst part is that such programmes also affect the image of other unique programmes. Besides that, such programmes lack professionalism. One of the horrible parts for me is the lack of management of garbage during such festivals. But we can also find positive aspects in such events — talented people can show their skills and ordinary people can know and taste different aspects of arts. Different people of the same field can jam up and venture their ideas and talents.

— Aakash Maharjan, Baneshwor

Nepali art is known for its rich cultural heritage, religion, ethnic views, and diversity. And the socio-political contemporary views are so indigenous that they can easily attract the likes of youth to elders. Sometimes back, I visited Siddhartha Art Gallery, which is Kathmandu’s best gallery for contemporary arts as it provides space for extraordinary exhibitions. The art exhibition that I attended was a part of the ‘2nd Kathmandu International Art Festival’ with the theme ‘Earth Body Mind’.

The theme was dedicated to one of the critical and most important issues of the 21st Century—climate change, global ecology and rising temperature. The best part of the exhibition was the theme in itself. The awareness about global environment and climate change is indeed the major requirement in the current scenario. Using art as a tool for social change can change the perspective of people at a glance. The another factor was that it highlighted Nepali art in national and international forum as various artists from all over the world had participated in the festival. Such festivals not only give new dimension to art movement but also help in the interaction at highest level. The only thing required henceforth is to extend the same to nooks and corners of Nepal and not be restricted only to Capital because art is a key to social awareness, art changes people and this change leads to innovation and, empowerment.

— Subhash Aryal, Checkpost Chandragiri Municipality, Kathmandu

I have attended some of the festivals organised in the Valley. I think it is good to conduct such festivals. It helps to flourish our culture, traditions, rituals et cetera, and also conserves and preserves them. Our culture is a part of our life. So, such festivals should be conducted as frequently as possible.

Once I attended a music festival in Basantapur — it was awesome. There were lots of people from young to old. It was a pleasurable moment. People were busy in celebration, forgetting their sorrow — there was no discrimination in terms of race, caste, economy et cetera. So, this festival became a platform for peace, harmony and equality. Music blurred the hierarchy and helped in integration. But our traditional and classical music were being polluted in the name of modernisation. It seemed we were leaving behind our music and accepting others’ music. The festival was not promoting our Nepali cultural music which was the bad aspect of it. So, a festival should be organised to create harmony and peace and that promotes what is Nepali.

 — Yugal Subedi, Sankhamul

I prefer to attend every international film festivals held in Kathmandu. After participating in such numerous events, I have realised that they are very fruitful for filmmakers, actors, audience, critics, organisers and businesspersons. Such events give recognition to new filmmakers and actors among audience or critics. The awarded movies reap more audience. Likewise, they help to spread good network between filmmakers, media representatives and other professionals that could lead to possibilities of collaborative works between various nations. Promoting tourism, benefiting the local business, and raising cinema-halls, developing culture of watching movies are other few benefits of such film festivals. These benefits are equally applicable to festivals related to art, music, literature, fashion, photo, food and so on. Such festivals also hold seminars and workshops that help both film practitioners, experts and academicians. Every year, Kathmandu International Film Festival (KIFF) is organised and I have become a regular audience of it. I get chance to meet many filmmakers, critics, actors of various countries at this event. We can see three to four movies each day and best part is that we do not need to pay for that. Watching movies and talking with experts at the film fest have increased my insights about film and filmmaking. But sometime due to lack of subtitles and proper lights and sounds, such events come short.

— Aryan Neupane, Pokhara 

I have been keenly observing and participating in numerous international or local festivals held in Kathmandu every year. Such festivals that aim to develop nation’s art, music, food, fashion, photo, film and so on can really become a supplement to our identity, culture and creativity. I generally attend art, literary and food festivals. Such secular festivals bring all kind of people on the same ground. People, without having to notice their and others’ caste, colour, class, nationality, gender and other boundaries, come together to celebrate. Therefore, they are inclusive which I like the most of such festivals. Generally, such programmes are held in the evenings at the centre of the Valley. It has proper arrangements but at times it becomes tough for us to attend them.

We can attend international food festival or international handicraft festivals organised in Kathmandu. They are very interesting events to visit. We can taste foods of different countries and culture. Likewise, we get chance to buy handmade goods of different nations at one place in low price. I go to various places to attend such programmes each year. It is exciting to see people from different countries and their cultures. But I dislike the way organisers give importance to business and ignore the comfort of visitors in congested places. Once I could not get public transportation to return home after attending such programme. So, I prefer to attend such programmes only during holidays.

 — Dilkeshari Maharjan, Satungal, Kathmandu

Kathmandu hosts a numbers of festivals on diverse subjects every year, and this helps us to broaden our horizon. I try to attend all the festivals of my interest. Such festivals bring people and products from different nations together. They all come and work together for the same purpose. It helps to increase the harmonious relation between countries. It helps to spread commercial value of art, music, food, fashion, photography, films and so on. For example, an international fashion show held in Kathmandu helps to spread awareness about fashion of different countries. Therefore, such programmes help develop tourism, business, art, and traditions. In such fashion shows, designers give local touch to the dress they design. So, they reflect the identity and pride of a nation in their outfits. Sometime, such shows are full of vulgarity and dishonour to certain nation, ethnic group and religion, which can be an issue of dispute.

 — Sapana Sanjeevan, Saraswoti Tol, Janakpur

It may be rare in Kathmandu but I have been following various international photo festivals. I go to various websites and try to acquire knowledge about photography. Actually, I am passionate about photography. I have digital SLR camera that I use for capturing family functions. But I have an aim to be a story teller through photographs. So, I participate at national or international photo festivals in Kathmandu.

Photo Kathmandu, which was recently organised is an international photography festival and I had attended it in Patan. I found it as an unconventional platform for creating conversations between photographers, storytellers and audiences of various backgrounds through visuals. At the same time, lots of photographers, art lovers and clients had gathered to share their experiences. Photographers and photos from Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, USA, China, France and many other countries had became the part of the talk show about photography. There was wonderful talk about photography each day on different panels and I found this event very fruitful. Organisers managed three info points in Patan that were staffed by volunteers for maps, event schedules and general inquiries. Still as the venues were scattered in different locations, I found uncomfortable to rush while watching photographs. Media coverage of this programme was not enough.

— Rabindra Jha, Kirtipur

International festivals promote Nepal in the international arena as a destination to celebrate art, culture and festivals. I went to see Nepal’s international photography festival, Photo Kathmandu, in Patan. It was a two-week festival of photo exhibitions, slideshows and more. The photographs were displayed on walls around the Durbar Square, museums, streets, alleys, temples and other public places, all over Patan.

I had a profound experience at this festival. Not only was it about photography but it was also about exploring Patan through the art galleries and the alleys that I had always seen but never had a reason to go. It told unheard stories and took us to different times and places, in such a short extent of time. I loved the way the town was decorated with pictures all over.

While it got the photo enthusiasts excited, the best part about these festivals was that it even captivated the rest of us. It also imparted us knowledge about history, people and their lives. However, there were only three information centres. We couldn’t find some of the exhibits and there weren’t volunteers around to help us find them.

— Urusha Shukla, Narephat

I am a film enthusiast. I like to watch films made in foreign lands. The best part of international film festival is that you get to watch variety of films for free. Through the stories, characters and setting of a film, you are able to know about the history and people of a country. Such films help us to learn that where ever the humans are from they have the similar kind of sentiments. You also get to listen to the

stories of the directors and producers as well at such international festivals. But some time the people related to the festival promote certain film saying the film has this and that. And after watching the film you get nothing. That’s the annoying part of the film festivals for me.

— Surabhi Malakar

International festivals boost our economy and the relationship between the countries is strengthened. But I don’t like to go to such festivals because they are crowded and half part of such festivals doesn’t seem to connect to the audience. And in some international festivals the ticket’s price is high and they are held during the evening time where if you don’t have your vehicle then you have to pay high price even for the taxi. The duration of such international festivals should be shorter than a week. However, if you have a group of friends that enjoy the same passion, then it’s fun and memorable to attend such festivals.

— Rohan Gurung

If you want to know other’s culture and their lifestyle international festivals are the right place to be. You get to experience life from different parts of world here in your own country and such festivals are the platforms to talk to the artistes from abroad, see them before us and know their ways of life. Through their music, art, photographs and films you get to know about their way of living. Such festivals also help to generate a new perspective about the world. The most annoying thing about such festivals is that they lack proper toilet facility.

— Mrinali Malla

I have been to international food festival and I like that such festivals are held on Saturdays. I also like the ambience of such food festivals with live music, warm sun and so many cuisines to try. They let you experience new taste which makes it all memorable. But I don’t like people who drink at such festival and create a scene. And I hate the restrooms on the premises — the number of restrooms are less and you have to spend a long time in queue. When your turn comes the condition of restroom is too bad.

— Rosy Thapa


Some people never learn from their mistakes. They keep on repeating the same mistake again and again, despite getting regular feedback. But some people are always eager to learn from their mistakes so that they won’t make the same mistake twice. Do you learn from your mistakes or not? How has your habit affected you? Share with an example from your life.

­Send your replies in not more than 200 words by Friday, November 11 by 2 pm to Features Department, The Himalayan Times, e-mail: