Nepali literature in UAE has been very vibrant since a long time ago. Despite their busy schedules, the enthusiasts of literature working there have been undertaking various literary activities from time to time. It is also true that the literary activities there are being led by Sagarmatha Sahitya Pratisthan and Srijana Wachan Dabali. Lately, the International Nepali Society UAE has also been supporting these organisations in their initiatives.
Sometimes the organisers in the UAE bring together the writers working there and listen to one another’s creations, and some other time they invite writers from Nepal. In the same line a grand literary and musical event is being prepared in the UAE in the near future.
The team of “Sahitya Varta: Srashta ra Sirjana”, an online literary discussion programme, being broadcast from the Facebook page of the first literary Nepali SahityaPost, is going to organize the programme entitled “Sahityawarta Literary Honour, Grand Poetic Meet and Musical Event.”
Poet and artist Jeevit Khadka Magar has taken the responsibility of coordinating this programme while poet and singer Deepraj Neyonghang is its Chief Manager. Poet DG Sharma, Europe Coordinator of SahityaPost, is assisting them as a Co-Coordinator.
Three artists invited from Nepal will be honoured at the ceremony to be held in Dubai, UAE on August 27th. The event is scheduled to take place at Wescott Hotel in Burdubai, Dubai from 11 a.m. on the day.
In the event being organized to mark the completion of the 50th series of “Sahityawarta: Srashta ra Sirjana”, senior Nepali poet and cultural expert of international acclaim, Mr. Tulasi Diwasa will be conferred “Sahityawarta Special Literary Honour” along with cash. Similarly, Editor-in-Chief of SahityPost and famous writer Aswini Koirala, and renowned singer Raj Sigdel with be honoured with “Sahityawarta Artists’ Honour.”
Ghazal singer Indira Adhikari, who has made Chitwan her permanent home and is currently living in Kathmandu, will be a guest artist in the event. There will be a special recital of her ghazals on the occasion. In this context, we have tried to enquire about the preparation of the event. DG Sharma has had a conversation with the event’s Chief Manager Deepraj Neyonghang and the programme’s Coordinator Jeevit Khadka Magar. Presented herewith is the edited excerpt of the conversation.
We are glad to know that a grand literary and musical programme is being organised in the UAE. How is the preparation going on?
We have almost reached the final stage of our preparation. We are moving forward in an enthusiastic manner by joining hands with the literary, musical, social, business and other organizations working here with great intimacy to have a grand and successful programme featuring our esteemed guests from Nepal.
Organising an event overseas is definitely not an easy task. On top of that, four writers and artists from Nepal are being invited to grace the event as guests. Is not it difficult, considering the finances and management?
First of all, it is a special thing to be able to convince yourself with whatever you are doing whenever you take an initiative. In spite of our engagements with our own jobs here, we have continued our contribution to literary activities with a selfless spirit. As far as the upcoming event is concerned, we have succeeded in spreading the message not only in our limited space, but also in the whole of the country and even abroad.
Our event is being closely monitored by business and various associations, which our sponsors believe, is a strong basis for procuring support. Besides, some professional friends of ours, who are working here, are also famous writers, and their cooperation has been a great asset for us.
In general, individuals or business organizations, who provide financial support to literary programmes, do not show much interest in the actual event. How are you mitigating this gap?
This is a central issue in almost every event of such nature. The event we have planned is not something we can accomplish alone. But when we are positive and are trying hard to do something significant, I believe, there will always be someone who will support us.
To make this event a success, many individuals, businessmen, and our well-wishers have assured us of their support with their hearts, minds, and money wholeheartedly.
Most usually, literary and musical programmes are organised separately. But in this case, they have been combined. Is there any special reason behind this?
This is what makes us distinct from others. Our melody king, late Narayan Gopal once said in a TV interview soon after receiving an honour in a literary programme: “Only after being honoured by a literary institution did I realise that I had made some contribution to literature by singing songs.” Our generation seems to have forgotten the essence of this statement. We talk either about songs and music, or about literature separately. We tend to set them apart. Here we forget a beautiful bridge in between, and that is a technical mistake. If the creations of many of our literary writers resonate in music, why can’t we present both of them together? This can be a solution to the question. This is the intention with which we are going to present literature and music together.
Thank you Sir, and best wishes for the event.
Jeevit Khadka Magar
Literary events are not new to the UAE. It has been seen that the literary organisations here most often organise small events. But you are organising such a large programme without collaborating with any literary organisation. How much of a challenge are you feeling?
Yes, programmes are organised by various organizations from time to time here. It is a positive thing because such programmes promote Nepali literature. They also play a special role in making our literature wider. Another thing is that it is not necessary to have a literary organization to organize such programmes.
Since ‘Sahityavarta: Srastha ra Sarjana’ is a popular literary programme in itself, it can also be considered an institution. As far as the challenge is concerned, whether the programme is small or big, the responsibility is the same. The challenge is the same too. Challenges should not be seen as burdens; they should be seen as an opportunity. Opportunities should be treated with joy and should be considered essential like our jobs. This will make things easier.
What kind of support do you expect from other literary and social organisations in the UAE? And what is their response to this programme?
They have assures us many types of support: financial, moral, physical and many. This programme is being directly supported by Srijana Wachan Dabali, Sagarmatha Sahitya Pratisthan, International Nepali Society and Jhapali Society, UAE.
We are also reaching out to other organizations. Those that share their interest with us will definitely support and promote this event.
Literary programmes have been taking place in the UAE from time to time. This programme in particular is also inviting writers and artists from Nepal. Is this programme different from other events of this type? How would you explain it?
Other organisations have also been conducting programmes by bringing guest artists from Nepal. Such programmes keep happening from time to time. The difference in the one we have planned is that an internationally renowned author, Tulasi Diwasa, is coming to the UAE, and this is happening for the first time. Therefore, the dignity and prospect of this event is unique.
I also believe that the glory of the programme should be higher than average because it is also set to honour famous novelist and journalist Aswini Koirala and renowned singer Raj Sigdel, who are attending the event as honoured artists. Indira Adhikari from Nepal and other writers from the UAE are also reading their creations.
Nepali literature in the UAE has been active since a long time before. What role do you think this programme will play in its further development? What effect, do you think, will the upcoming event have on the literary activities here?
The importance of this programme is self-evident. Our programme is not an ordinary one, whose impact should remain limited to a few writers. Nepali writers all over the world are watching it with a great interest. News about the programme is coming published in many online media from several quarters.
Many writers and readers are interested to be a part of the event. There is a lot of evident curiosity. Therefore, there is no question that a programme of this level should not have an impact on Nepali literature in the UAE. It will inspire almost all the Nepali writers living abroad. I also believe that if other organisations can organise this level of programme in the UAE in the future, the standard of Nepali literature here will rise much above the average.
How do you plan to accommodate other writers working in the UAE in this programme?
Because we have called it “Grant Poetic Meet”, we intend to accommodate as many writers as possible. But the recital is not the only programme we have in the schedule. We also have writers’ honour and a musical event. If we have time left in hand after both these events, we shall give space to selected poets, if not to everyone.
Thank you for your time, Sir. We wish the event a great success.