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Nepal Literature Festival concludes its 11th edition

Nepal Literature Festival concludes its 11th edition

Bookworm Foundation organized its 11th edition of Nepal Literature Festival at Barahighat, on the banks of Phewa Lake, in Pokhara on Feb 15 to 19. 

The festival kicked off following the inauguration ceremony by Chief Minister of Gandaki Surendra Raj Pandey. On the first day, Kalyan Shrestha, former chief justice, gave an address on constitution and good governance. There day also opened the exhibitions by noted cartoonist Batsyayana titled ‘Batsyayana and His Barbs Volume 2’, and artist Suzana Shrish titled ‘Gorkha Women: An Echo in the Story’. 

The five-day festival featured sessions with various national and international writers, artists, politicians and experts.  

Kai Bird, Janice Pariat, Chandrahas Choudhury, and George Van Driem were among the international authors who were part of this year’s festival. Each interaction session opened up avenues for fresh discussions on themes like arts, culture, literature, society, governance, music, films, university, Nepali tradition, economy, tourism, federalism, and the craft of writing and editing.

Journalist Kunda Dixit’s interaction with American author and columnist Bird was a major highlight of the festival. Bird discussed his book ‘American Prometheus’ which inspired the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Oppenheimer’. He also discussed how nuclear warfare is a continual threat to the entire humanity.

Journalist and author Basanta Basnet interacted with comedian duo Madankrishna Shrestha and Haribansha Acharya on the themes of friendship. Economist turned politician Swarnim Wagle and former Miss Nepal Shrinkhala Khatiwada interacted with Sonia Awale on the topic of brain drain. They discussed the possibilities in Nepal and how the non-resident Nepalis, as well as the Nepali students and workers abroad can start entrepreneurship in their home country. 

Likewise, Kamal Dev Bhattarai, the editor of The Annapurna Express, interacted with politicians Min Bahadur Bishwakarma, Padam Giri and Madhav Sapkota, and Sucheta Pyakurel, director of IIDS Center for Governance on the topic of internal democracy in Nepal’s political parties.

Ajit Baral, founder and director of the festival, said the literature festival has grown over the years and has continued to receive a considerable footfall of visitors every year. 

Writer Nagarkoti credited the Nepal Literature Festival for the popularity of other literature festivals that are taking place at the provincial and local levels these days. He also noted that the Nepal Literature festival was the only international standard festival in Nepal.