The first ever International Nepali Poetry Festival was held yeaterday at the South Asian University (SAU), New Delhi yesterday. The one-day festival was organised by Nepali student community of the university, in collaboration with the university’s Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) and book club. The poetry festival was supported by the BP Koirala Foundation under the Nepal Embassy in New Delhi.
The programme began with Dr. Kavita Sharma, President, SAU, welcoming all guest and participants. She shared her vision of South Asia and underscored the importance of poetic exchanges between countries in the region. The Nepali Ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyay applauded the efforts of the organising team for their efforts and encouraged the participants to engage themselves more in such events in future.
The festival proceeded to explore poetic imaginings in Nepal and India through a conversation between Professor Abhi Subedhi, renowned writer and critic from Nepal, with Shri Ashok Vajpeyi, poet and former Chairman of the Lalit Kala Akademi of India. Featured were panels on South-Asiaism - first on the various South Asian translations of Pablo Neruda’s poems and later on feminist writings in various languages of South Asia: Bangla, Daree, Hindi, Urdu, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu and Nepali.
The session was followed by the discussion on Nepali session which was the major attraction of the festival. The Nepali session began with the discussion on ‘Nepali Poetry outside Nepal’ by the panelist which included noted poet Dr. Rajendra Bhandari from Sikkim, Daibaki Timilsina from Assam, and Raja Puniani from Darjeeling. The second session of the peotry festival focused on the discussion of various aspects of Nepali poetry by Bhupinder Adhikari from Dehradhun, Madan Puskar recipient Ram Lal Joshi from Nepal and Sukul Pradhan from Delhi.
Later on, Vishnu Gurung from All India Radio, Dr. Naba Raj Lamsal from Radio Nepal, and Jogen Darnal from Darjeeling expressed their views on ‘Poetry in Media and Academia’. The invited panel guests enthralled the audience with their captivating poetries that focused on different issues and themes.
Sarubhkata Shrestha, the Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Music and Drama, delivered the most awaited keynote address on ‘Contemporary issues on Nepali Poetry.’
The twenty young poets who came from different parts of Nepal and India also entertained the large gatherings by their poetry recitation. Besides, there were also video recitation from different parts of the world, including China, USA, Israel, and Norway. The program was streamed live through DC-Nepal and was coordinated by Ram N. Shrestha and Krishna Sharma.