I’m having a love-hate relationship with Facebook at the moment. My sister has gone fully for the latter and completely come off it this week. Often referred to in the West as an ‘old persons’ app, my young relatives do not use it but prefer Instagram and Snapchat. Thankfully Nepal is still very much ‘old school’ when it comes to social media and everything you ever wanted to know about anything is there. On Facebook. I don’t think I could go through the strain of learning a new app. So for those two reasons I love it. It’s easy to use and all I want to know is there at my finger-tips.
But I hate it right now because it keeps coming up with those “Memories”. Memories of what you were doing this day last year, or the year before, or the year before that. Stretching all the way back to 2009 in my case.
And what I was doing this day in year 20xx is:
Jazzmandu: Always scheduled between Dashain and Tihar I have been attending Jazzmandu since I do believe the second one held in 2003. Those early festivals saw very few locals in the audience, which was mainly made up of resident foreigners. But since Nepalis love music and have no preconceptions, jazz grew to be loved and played around town. As Jazzmandu grew, more and more international musicians joined the local jazz musicians and those playing Nepali classical music on traditional instruments.
In 2013 and 2014 I was part of the Jazzmandu Media Team and got to see behind stage. That was a lot of fun and hard work. My two favourite events are always the Jazz Bazaar at Gokarna Forest Resort and Jazz at the Temple House. The former, a whole day of music in the autumn sun, then wrap up, and letting dancing warm us up in the cool of the evening; the latter, an extraordinary blend of the traditional and the modern set in a beautiful inner courtyard and bringing Tihar alive for me. Actually with Nepali classical musicians the likes of Santosh Bhakta, and the late Rabin Lal Shrestha, Jazz at the Temple House IS Tihar for me. But sadly Jazzmandu is missing this year.
Theater and performing art: Whether ‘regular’ theater at one of the many around town, or a special performance by likes of Solis Performing Arts or visiting performers hosted several times a year by the Japanese Embassy—I miss them all! All over the world performance art has been cancelled in 2020. From the Edinburgh International Festival to the International Theatre Festival held in Kathmandu, and a host of others—they are all missing this year.
Leading up to Dashain: As well as the above, post-monsoon and the lead up to Dashain is always a fantastic time music-wise in Kathmandu. Whether its album launching at 25 Hours or Moksh; a visiting rock band at Purple Haze; the house band at Shisha; festivals the likes of the Boudha Rock Festival or the Kathmandu Blues & Roots Festival and gigs at numerous other venues, this time of year is always a time of music. Venue hopping and even genre hopping in an evening was nothing unusual for this time of year. All missing this year.
Then there are holidays: Often in September and October I would be in either Scotland or South East Asia, normally Thailand. Sadly holidaying in any country is out of question for the foreseeable future. Even Pokhara looks alarmingly tricky.
So while it’s lovely to see those old memories and watch the past live videos I posted, some days I just can’t bear to open those Facebook Memories.