Sunday, June 19, 2016

Olympic Day Celebrated in Portland

Rabin Man Shakya

A program was organized by International Open Friendship Taekwondo Championship (IOFTC) in Portland on Saturday, June 18, 2016 to mark the Olympic Day.

Chief guest on the occasion was Aaron Paulson, who is the winner of two gold medals and one bronze medal at various Paralympic Games in swimming.

Speaking on the occasion, Paulson stressed the need for discipline and perseverance in the sports. He said: " Life is a journey and is about setting goals for yourself."  Paulson also replied on questions asked by the audience participants.

Karen Blackledge, general secretary of IOFTC informed the gathering that the next IOFTC tournament is going to be held in Portland in October this year. The program was conducted by Sunil Rajkarnikar.

On the occasion, Blackledge handed over the US flag to Paulson while Master Diwakar Maharjan presented Nepalese national flag to Olympian Sita Rai.

To mark the Olympic Day, a peace rally that went through in the neighborhood of Hollywood district was also organized by IOFTC.

The Olympic Peace Rally in Portland was participated by students of the Hollywood Taekwondo School, their parents, a large number of people from Nepalese community in Portland including the representatives of NRNA-NCC-USA Oregon Chapter and Nepa Chhen.

It is to be noted that Olympic Day is celebrated by thousands of people in more than 160 countries.

Commemorating the birth of the modern Olympic Games, Olympic Day is not only a celebration but also an international effort to observe the Olympic values of FairPlay, Perseverance, Respect and Sportsmanship. It is also a day to celebrate the International Olympic Committee's three pillars: Move, Learn,Discover.

Actually, Olympic Day is a chance for us to wave the flag of fair play and sportsmanship. In the chronicles of Olympic movement, the name of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue, is written in the golden letters.

It was de Coubertin who realized the moral and educational value of sports and on June 23, 1894 began the task of reviving the Olympic Games. He constituted a panel in charge of organizing the first games and created an intarnational Olympic movement.

Hence, the first games of the modern era were organized in Athens in 1896 and the International  Olympic Committee was officially established.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Nepali Movie 'Relation' Shown at Hollywood Theater

Rabin Man Shakya
Former Associate Editor, The Rising Nepal

When 'Relation', a Nepali feature film produced by Diwakar Maharjan and directed by Dipendra Prasad Dahal was shown at Hollywood Cinema Theater in Portland on Sunday, June 12, 2016, it was a big success not only among the Nepalese  community, but a large number of Americans also showed up to watch the Nepali movie.

Sunday's successful show of 'Relation' at Portland's Hollywood Theater is a testimony that the Nepalese community love  to watch the Nepalese movies.

The movie offers a wide spectrum in terms acting styles, themes, languages, use of taekwondo and so on.

Actually, 'Satya Harishchandra' was the first movie made in Nepali language and directed by D B Pariyar in Kolkata, India in 1951.

However, the first Nepali movie made in Nepal itself was 'Aama' (Mother) which was produced by the Information and Publicity Department of His Majesty's Government of Nepal in 1964. Since then, hundreds of Nepalese movies have been made, mostly masala movies.

Overall, there is a sense that despite all the gains made in the history of Nepalese cinema in recent decades, the social values and importance of sports like taekwondo have rarely been portrayed in the movies.

The movie 'Relation' is all about the reminiscence of an American traveler Kristina from Portland, USA. Kristina is herself a Blackbelt in taekwondo. It is a story of family feud between Dhan Bahadur and Sahinla.

Likewise, it is a love story between Chandre and Kanchi. Similarly, it is a story about criminal activities of a rural gang of villains led by Sangle and Anjan. This is a story about use of taekwondo against the criminal activities in a village on the foothills of Himalayas.

Sharing views about the movie, Aniruddha Shakya, a Nepali Portlander said: "The storyline of the movie is very good. The movie gives a glimpse of Nepal's rural life. Diwakar Maharjan's taekwondo scenes are inspiring."

Similarly, Jeff Rugen, an American, threw light on the movie: "I liked the movie because I got to know something about Nepal, its difficulties and problems, its amazing rural scenes."

Use of taekwondo against the prevention of crime in rural Nepal in the movie is commendable, added Jeff.

"Nepalese movies are not shown in Portland's cinema theaters, therefore it was a fun to watch a Nepali movie here", was the reaction of many Nepalese Portlanders, after watching the movie at Hollywood Theater.

Asked about his involvement in the movie, Diwakar Maharjan said:"It is not easy to be a commercial movie producer and also take up a role of playing a taekwondo master for the first time in my life. It is challenging but I love to take up challenges. I felt so good because  it is a good educational movie for society with martial arts action."

Saying that this is his first movie as a producer, Diwakar said that he had ventured into movie production to do something for the development of Nepal, even if he has been living in the US for a long time.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Ambar Gurung: A Great Maestro

Rabin Man Shakya
Former Associate Editor, The Rising Nepal

Judging by the comments in the social media sites and blog posts, president of Nepal Bidya Devi Bhandari as well as prime minister K P Oli - by not attending the funeral or at least by not paying last respects to late Ambar Gurung - have created the latest outbreak of controversy that the composer of Nepal's national anthem "Sayau Thunga Phulka Hami Yeutai Mala Nepali" has been ignored by the government even after the death.

So what was the reason that late Gurung was ignored even after his death? With all the credentials to become the national star of Nepal, Ambar probably had some bad qualifications - he came from a Gurung family and he was not associated with any political party!

The fans of Nepalese music in Nepal and all over the world are deeply moved by the sad news of Ambar Gurung's demise.

Ambar was one of the bright stars in the constellation of talented Nepalese artistes. Therefore, his demise is a great loss to the nation. My sincere tributes to the man who dedicated himself to enhance, develop and enrich Nepalese music.

Still when I was with The Rising Nepal, I had the privilege and honor to take an interview with the renowned luminary in 1994 at his office at the Royal Nepal Academy in Kathmandu. It was during that encounter with the great impresario that I came to know about a lot of details on his life and his creative activities.

Maestro Ambar was talented and erudite. He had a gift for music. He was honest, outspoken and had strong opinions, and he was not afraid to express them.

The late maestro has had significant triumph in his long career: He had the honor of composing the national anthem of Nepal, he rendered music to more than 1,000 Nepalese songs, he composed music for first Nepali operas Malati Mangale, Muna Madan and Kunjini.

"Nau Lakh Tara Udaye", "Timi Bhulma Paryau", "Ma Ambar Hun, Timi Dharti" and "Ye Kancha Thataima Yo Bainsha Jaan Lagyo" are some of the amazing songs composed by late Ambar Gurung.

"Ye Kancha Thataima Yo Bainsha Jaan Lagyo" vocalized by Narayan Gopal and Tara Devi has always been one of my most favourite songs ever. I used to listen to that song in Nepal and here in Portland, Oregon, USA I still enjoy listening that song over and over again in the CD player and in the YouTube.

Ambar and his relatives were natives of Gorkha district, but Ambar was born in Darjeeling, India on Feb 26, 1938. Late King Mahendra had invited him to Kathmandu in 1969 to help establish and chair the music department of the newly established Royal Nepal Academy. Ambar's signature accomplishment came at the Royal Nepal Academy where he worked for 30 years.

The late maestro has been awarded with Indra Rajya Laxmi Pragya Puraskar, Jagadamba Shree Puraskar, Chhinnalata Puraskar, Gorkha Dakshina Bahu and so on. And there are three books written by the great virtuoso:(1) Samaalera Rakha  (2) Achherka Awajharu and (3) Kaha Gaye Ti Dinharu.