The annual ‘Nepal Day’ event was organised successfully at a beautiful venue of Museum of Ethnology at Koln, Germany on Saturday by organising discussion programs and presentations on the theme “Nepal Youth: Turnaround?”
Around 30 presentations were made in front of around 200 participants including leading German academics, professionals, social workers as well as NRNs based in Germany. The 25th “Nepal Day” event was organised by the German-Nepal Friendship Association (GNFA).
Speaking on the occasion, Charge d’ Affaires at the Nepali embassy in Berlin, Prakash Mani Paudel, said that such events helped in promoting long-standing friendship between the two countries. He thanked the GNFA for organising the program regularly for the last two decades.
Mayor of Koln, Hans Werner-Batsch; German ambassador to Nepal H. E. Frank Meyke and other dignitaries sent their messages wishing all success of the program.
Desk Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Gertrud Aichem-Degreif, reflected on her recent visit to Kathmandu and said the government of Germany was committed to assist Nepal in its pursuit of modernization and economic development. She also referred to the German contribution supporting the constitution making process in Nepal by organizing the recent visit of Dr. Rainer Arnold, a German constitutional expert and professor at the University of Regensburg to Kathmandu, among others.
Speaking on the occasion, noted singer Ani Choying Dolma said Nepali youths are known for their simplicity and friendliness. She said Nepali youths were capable of turning around the country if given an opportunity. She also sang songs calling upon youth to dedicate for their motherland.
During the program, a well-known scholar and academic Dr Karl-Heinz Kramer of the University of Heidelberg made presentation on political situation in Nepal. ’ Lisa Neubert (Berlin) made a video presentation on ‘Youth and Society in Nepal’ while Shusmita Malla (Kathmandu) made presentation on ‘Economic Migration: Is this an outdated model and Dr Amina Maharjan (Munchen) on ‘Youth and development cooperation in Nepal’.
Similarly, Lisa Mattil M. A. (Berlin) made a presentation on ‘Community Radio in Nepal’ while Dr Michael Muhlich spoke about the meaning of community centers in Nepal. Fidel Devkota (Berlin) made presentation on ‘Youth of Mustang in the time of change: a case from Dhe village’. Julian Krick (Achen) spoke on the water power for Nepal while Bijaya Sagar Pradhan made a presentation on the possibilities of investment in hydropower investment in Nepal.
In his presentation, Marco Fischer (Erfurt) spoke about his efforts to set up an International Centre of Himalayan Biodiversity in Nepal. He said such a Centre would not only help conserve rich biodiversity of Nepal, it would also take initiative to get patents for new genes.
Amrita Gautam (Koln) made a presentation on the hands-on educational model developed by a group of youth researchers to help in the teaching and learning of science and technical education. Ms Bettina Gemperti (Berlin) shared her experiences of helping youths in Bhaktapur in choosing a career. Sulav Duwal (Berlin) spoke about studying in Germany under scholarship while Philip Wolfle (Bonn) spoke about volunteering in Nepal.
In a panel discussion entitled “Youths in Germany and Nepal: Commonalities and Differences,” Sulav Dulal (Berlin), Aparna Pandey (Bremen), Philip Wolfle (Bonn) and Sarita Shakya (Kathmandu) shared their interesting experiences.
In the final session, Dr Christof Zotter (Heidelberg) made a presentation on Rituals in Nepal while Sulochana Gosai (Bonn) spoke on how products from traditional lokta paper was reaching out to new markets. Leonie Hasselberg (Frankfurt) discussed about the transformation Nepal’s Teej festival had undergone over the past few years. Sarita Shakya made a presentation on how Amrit Shakya—also referred to as ‘modern Arniko’ together with Binayak Shah and other team members—has introduced Nepal’s rich architectural heritage in World Expos in various countries including China and Germany.
Chief patron of the Non-Resident Nepalese Association ICC and President of the German-Nepal Friendship Association Ram Pratap Thapa said the event was aimed at promoting academic exchanges between Nepal and Germany and expanding people-to-people level contacts at various levels. Thapa, who is also the Honorary Consul General of Nepal for Germany, thanked all the participants for their encouraging participation.
For general museum audiences, Najni Gurung, Swaraj Sagar Pradhan, Prajwol Neupane and other artistes presented Nepali songs and dances. Books, souvenirs and Rudrakshas from Nepal were also displayed on various stalls in the museum. Nepalese embassy in Berlin hosted a Nepali dinner for all the participants at the conclusion of the event.
A 12-year-old budding singer, Swaraj Sagar Pradhan, won hearts of the audience by singing patriotic songs.
New Board of the GNFA
On Sunday, 47th annual general meeting of the German-Nepal Friendship Association elected a new board for the period of 2014-17. Mr Ram P Thapa has been re-elected as President of the Association while Anne Sengpiel and Norbert Meyer have been elected as Vice Presidents. Similarly, Uwe Hens has been elected as Treasurer and Christine Petrasch as Secretary.
Similarly, Dr Karl-Heinz Kramer, Ute Repgen, Karsten Althaus and Amala Dahal have been elected as members of the Association unanimously. During the meeting, office-bearers presented progress and financial report of the Association while the board also adopted plan of action for the coming year.
The German-Nepal Friendship Association was formed in 1967 to promote bilateral relations between the two countries.