| March 26, 2017
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Have your say: The colors of Kathmandu

There is a lot that we complain about here in Kathmandu. From water woes and load shedding problems to crumbling pavements and bad traffic jams, there’s a lot that make us angry on a daily basis but then again, on the other hand, there’s the occasional mountain sighting when the weather clears up that just brightens your day, the narrow alley that lead you from the main road to a completely unassuming place, and the durbar squares where you see a new thing in every visit.

There is a reason why people have chosen to make this city their home. What is it about Kathmandu that appeals to them? The Week spoke to some people to find out what they love about this multifaceted city.

Nivida Lamichhane
public relations officer, Rockstart Impact

Kathmandu is lovely because of its unmatched versatility. It’s a city of contradictions and there’s probably nothing you can’t get to experience. Want a dose of spiritual healing? You can head to Boudha. Want a short family trip? There’s Taudaha just 20 kilometers on the outskirts of Kathmandu. There’s also the fact that people from all over Nepal have come to settle here and because of that it’s become a melting pot of different cultures and that makes it fascinating. You get to see different kinds of festivals being celebrated and get to sample various types of cuisines all within a single city. Where else would you get this luxury?

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Also, Kathmandu is amazing because of little things that you don’t get to experience elsewhere. Where else would you get to see a monkey crossing the road on wires? It’s funny and fun at the same time. You just have to look around to see and experience these tiny things that will definitely make you happy.
 
Kanchan Kharel
president, YUWA

As somebody who needs to be constantly connected with the national stake holders as well as the global audience at large, Kathmandu serves as the most ideal place. I certainly couldn’t have done it anywhere else in Nepal. The capital provides various platforms to learn, teach, network as well as collaborate with various people from different sectors. It certainly is a hub of activity and most of the important progresses are centered here. It’s perhaps the biggest benefit of this city. It’s easy to access resources and facilities from here as well. As far as career choices go, there certainly isn’t a more favorable location to reside in.

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Living in Kathmandu also means that you are automatically in a position to pick and choose. Be it food or sources of entertainment or job opportunities, Kathmandu never fails to offer multiple choices. I like that. It’s really a privileged place to be in.

Ujjwala Maharjan
spoken word poet

I think this is an interesting time to be living in Kathmandu. There is always something or the other happening around town. Be it the art scene or the entrepreneurial circles or the social activism field, there is a certain energy and I like that Kathmandu offers a lot of opportunities to mingle with these people from various sectors. Being a small place, it seems we have formed a tight network.

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For instance, if we have the spoken word groups in Delhi, we see that they are divided into factions because of the size of the city. But in Kathmandu, there is a real unity among those involved in the same projects and I really like that.

I certainly couldn’t have helped make the kind of impact with Spoken Word as I have, if I were living elsewhere. If I was living abroad, this wouldn’t be as much of a big deal since this is already an established practice there. Kathmandu has proven to be a wonderful spot to start and spread this movement throughout the country.

Shilshila Acharya
CEO, Himalayan Climate Initiative

The first big reason for me to stay back is the fact that I’m not running away from my country’s problems. I’m giving back to my own society and people, which I always wanted to do. I feel good that I’m being a part of the solution and not the problem. One big benefit I see of staying and working in Kathmandu is that it’s very easy to work with the best talents of Nepal and also to work on a policy level with the Government.

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When I was out of Nepal, there two friends of mine who lost their parent and couldn’t fly back home on time to see them or attend the funeral. To me, it felt like such a helpless situation because we were so far away. So the first thing I realized was that I always wanted to be near my family members, and be there for them in times of need or during important moments. So the benefit of staying in Kathmandu is that I can be close to my family members. Even if they’re not in Kathmandu, at least they can come visit me or I can go visit them within a day’s journey.

The added benefit of staying in Kathmandu is, most of your friends either live in Kathmandu, or even those friends who live abroad, they must come to Kathmandu when they come to Nepal. That way, living in Kathmandu, I get to meet all types of friends from different stages of my life, including my childhood friends after many years.