Friday, 1 July 2016

A year later: Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur was one of the most culturally hard-hit areas of the quake. Parts of Durbar Square, including the 16th century Vatsala Durga Temple, were demolished. Here are some images taken around the affected site.

One of the saddest moments I encountered during my stay was reading this banner about the earthquake victims. Here, the message reads, "Our condolences and request for participation at Gai Jatra to remember the 343 Bhaktapur residents and 188 international visitors, who sadly passed away as a result of the 2072 (Nepali year) earthquake" Gai Jatra is the festival of cows, mainly celebrated in Kathmandu, to commemorate the death of people during the year. I came across an eastern Asian lady who was snivelling. As soon as my eyes met hers, she broke down into an emotionally painful gush of tears. I couldn't help but try to console her.

Looking back at the situation of Nepal, I'm afraid I cannot help but emphasise on the importance of safety and precaution that should be undertaken. I heard from my younger cousins that their schools now hold earthquake drills which is a good step forward. These measures should be spread everywhere, especially at home and working areas. Here are two webpages which give clear and straightforward steps on how to ensure earthquake safety.

City of Alhambra_earthquake safety

Aichi Prefecture_prevention

Unfortunately, I cannot say more in terms of the Nepali government and their agenda in providing help. You have already read my rant about them in my previous post. Nepal seems a nation with more politicians than civilians, and the government sadly seems to hold a goal in providing entertainment and adding salt to the wound, instead of doing what its supposed to do. I'm afraid, all we can do is help each other to overcome this calamity, which has proven to work best. I wasn't there during the quake but I would like to express my thanks and greatest gratitude to everyone who helped. I also have a newfound and utmost respect to the Nepal Police and Army who helped every citizen in every way possible. The government said the armed forces were acting on their behalf but sadly, any Nepali citizen, including my 7-year-old cousin, isn't gullible enough to believe them anymore. Lastly, I'm not the only one in saying how thankful we are to the nations who supported Nepal during the crisis.  

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