World Heritage Day | Hamro Patro

World Heritage Day

While sitting in Kathmandu, Basantapur Durbar area, and drinking tea in the evening, the area narrates the history with a smile. There was a civilization on the walls and idols of the temple and in the gajuras and every part of the wooden mandapa stored the footsteps of past time and history, its period and civilization.

Often at that time, I had a feeling that our ancestors built these properties, one day these walls will remain the same but I will grow old. Maybe my great-grandpa and his grandpa also visited here, they are gone but these monuments and sites withstood and shall remain even after my demise. These monuments and sites are a matter to protect and preserve but due to lack of good promotion and protection, we are gradually losing our heritage and identity aren't we?

It is as if our identities, shattered by the 2015 earthquake, are unable to rise again. Our histories, suffocated by unmanaged urbanization, seem to be diminishing every passing year. This generation has a deep responsibility to promote and protect all these assets and structures and pass them on to the next generation.

Today, the International Day of monument and sites is celebrated on the 18th of April every year and this day is also celebrated in Nepal between different programs. The slogan for this year's World Heritage Day is "Complex Pasts: Diverse Futures". This means that even if the past is complex, the future must be decentralized and inclusive. Establishing a link between heritage and identity, this year's slogan envisions a heritage-oriented world.

Can Buddha statues blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan's Bamiyan Valley be reinstalled? Due to the inability to think in time, the heritages from which the names of the heritage are derived, those heritages have vanished. Let's take an example of Kasthamandap, the monument from which Kathmandu city is named. Miserably, the debris of kasthamandap is yet to rise above the dust.

This generation has seen Kathmandu without the wooden pavilion of Kasthamandap and the capital city without the Dharahara tower. Some other heritages have been destroyed by the 1990 BS earthquake and have never been able to rise, which we even do not know.

The remnants of the temples and shrines that were torn down during the road expansion narrate our negligence to the heritage protection. Preserving the heritage that preserves the key details and histories, including who we are and where we came from, is important to both our identity and our culture. Our ancient water taps (Dhungedhara), statues, gates, buildings, and every piece of brick and wood are precious, it is our duty to protect them. Let everyone be aware of these things today.

Nepal is a country of ancient cities with a rich history. Basantapur Durbar is just a representative place. How much have we been able to preserve such treasures that we have experienced and seen for thousands of years? Today, it is time for all Nepalis to think deeply about the answer to this question.

The temples are blocked by the commercial hoarding boards or the historic stalls built as parking lots; Today is the day to ponder our inability to rebuild another temple and palaces by putting the pieces of heritages scattered by the earthquake in one place.

This year, the locals of the Lubhu region of Nepal have set a great example in heritage conservation. Locals have opposed the government's plan to expand the road in the area of ​​Lubhu. The locals finally forced the authorities to take the road from another place. The present generation will get to see the temples and heritages of the Lichhivi period. Speaking of heritage conservation, I would like to heartily commend the locals of Lalitpur Lubhu.

International Day For Monuments and Sites has been celebrated since 1982 and on this day many voices of heritage protection are raised all over the world. Today is also important for the institutional practice of trying to bring back the idols and arts of our deities sold in the world market by smuggling. Protect the heritage from East Mechi to West Mahakali and let the coming generation assimilate the importance of monuments and sites.

Best wishes

Suyog Dhakal

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