If you have ever watched an aerial performance, be it on television, online, or live, you must have marveled at how beautiful and smooth it all looks. However, there is much more to the story. Aerial acts require stamina, endurance, patience, and a lot of practice. The Week caught up with some fantastic aerial dancers who, while promoting this incredible dance form, have been diligently working on their craft every single day. Here, we bring to you their inspiring stories.
The captain of the National Debate Team, Apratim Shrivastav, says that it is his reading habit that has boosted his confidence and given him the ability to be able to think from different perspectives. For the 18-year-old, there can no alternative to reading and books are his lifelines. Here, in a conversation with The Week’s Ashma Chhetri, he talks about how his reading habit has shaped him and also shares five of his favorite titles.
Graffiti or murals, for a while now, have been a huge part of the emerging art culture. While earlier we used to see a graffiti or two at a few streets across town, now we can spot one almost everywhere we go. Sometimes we see the artists hard at work in the scorching sun and watch in amazement. We might click a few pictures or tell our friends about a certain mural that caught our attention but we seldom, if ever, find ourselves wondering about the artist whose names often get lost in a corner of the life sized art.
The earthquakes of 2015 left many Nepalis in despair. Not only did it leave many people homeless but it also destroyed many of our important heritage sites. And, even today, three years after the massive earthquakes, these precious heritage sites, that speak volumes of our culture and tradition, have not been restored to its original glory. It is this scenario that compelled social activist Alok Siddhi Tuladhar to raise the issue of effective renovation and restoration through various campaigns.
Sitting for an examination can be nerve wrecking but for visually impaired Pramod Gyawali, who is currently pursing Bachelors in Education, it’s not only about butterflies in the tummy. He has to dictate the answers to a junior student who will be writing his exams for him. This, he says, is complicated for multiple reasons as well as a perfect example of a flawed education system for visually impaired people.
23-year-old Iih doesn’t like to travel in buses and planes, especially not while traveling within Nepal. He claims he wants to experience the geography and culture up close and interact with the locals and for that traveling on foot is the best option. And that’s what he has done. Iih has traveled from east to west Nepal on foot, braving injuries and surviving an almost fatal accident. Here he shares his experiences.
Almost every student, at one point of life, dreams of going abroad for higher education. But that dream isn’t easy to pursue as the college application process is a tedious and tiring one. Nevertheless, the abroad allure often trumps the hassles and hurdles one has to face while preparing to go to college in a foreign land.
The venture started in 1998 when Prajwol Shrestha took some handicrafts from Nepal to Hanover, Germany, and sold them online through eBay. The only motive behind selling those goods was to earn some extra bucks to afford a quality living in Germany as a student. However, after his graduation, things changed. The handicrafts were greatly appreciated and gradually the demand increased in the international market. Due to this, he decided to continue the same export-business on a larger scale and established a small, cottage enterprise, NepaCrafts. Today, the company is home to many marginalized local artisans and the creations are sold across the globe.
Manish Lal Shrestha never thought he would be a professional artist and make his living through colors and brushes. It was his mother who sent him to India to study arts and encouraged him to pursue it professionally. Today, after decades of training, Shrestha is an art expert who has been actively working to promote visual arts through his studio/gallery, Mcube in Patan, Lalitpur.
Tsewang Sadutshang has always been a fitness enthusiast and believes you are what you eat and thus tries to eat healthy. But, last year, when she returned to Nepal after graduation, she realized that the Nepali market has very limited options when it comes to healthy food. This was what gave her the idea of promoting health and wellbeing through delicious drinks with no added sugar and preservatives.
Ropuma Manandhar’s professional studio is located in the garage at her home. This is where she sits and sketches her masterpieces and brings them to life with the help of three other staffs. This is the birthplace of Chuplag Studio that many Instagram fanatics are surely following by now. A physical store of Chuplag Studio is at Dallu Awas in Siddhartha Chowk, Kathmandu.
In October 2017, armed with a sleeping bag, a medical kit, a pair of sandals, two trousers and three t-shirts in her travel bag and a map in her hand, 24-year-old Melina Rai was all set to trek from Khaptad National Park to Rara. The best thing, she says, was that she was going alone. She confesses that she lacked a proper plan but was determined to explore and enjoy the far western region of Nepal.
She worked at a junkyard, sorting recyclable scraps from waste, for 25 years. Today, she’s the manager and owner of the finance company, Samyukta Safai Jagaran. Maya Tamang says this wasn’t luck. It was the result of hard work, dedication, and a desire to do better in life.
The website of Backstreet Academy tells you it will help you meet people you would otherwise never meet and do things you will never get to do. It’s apparently how you should travel. And Backstreet Academy, a travel venture that connects travelers with locals and experts for a cultural exchange to make for an ultimate travel experience, aims to help tourists truly enjoy a place while the locals reap the benefits of tourism.
Mahesh Shah* was tricked by a ‘friend’ and sentenced to seven years in jail on a drug possession charge. He has served his term and is now a free man but, in his case, being free comes with its fair share of baggage. Though, now at 38, he works as a laborer and has a loving family, he confesses that his days out in the world hasn’t been much better than the time he was in jail.
Do you remember how you used to (and still sometimes do) rid your home of dry wastes such as plastics, bottles, old books, and stray metals pieces? There would be someone (on a bicycle, most of the times) collecting all that to take to a scrap dealer who would then recycle and reuse it. But now, as these jobs get rarer by the day, we usually have these things lying somewhere at a corner of our homes ready to be dumped whenever possible. Many even toss these wastes at various places around the city where waste has accumulated due to random dumping.
Tai Chi isn’t a commonly known form of martial arts that is practiced to build confidence, stamina, and physical strength. Instead, it is one of the oldest Chinese discipline that is believed to have originated way earlier than the principles of yoga. This form of martial arts is practiced for defense training and various health benefits and it comprises of slow, mindful, meditative patterns and full-body energy that comes from standing postures and movements. Despite all that, it’s never been very popular. However, that didn’t stop Nima Syangdo Lama from taking it up. He has been learning Tai Chi for years now and currently even teaches this martial art form to those seriously interested in learning it.