Invitation to All Nepali Bloggers

Join Fellow Nepali Bloggers for A Cup of Tea!

An invitation for all Nepali bloggers
(And also those interested in Nepali Blogosphere)

Feb 2, 2007 at Freedom Forum, Thapathali

This is a gathering of Nepali bloggers to talk various issues (all bloggers are free to talk on any issue they want) plus the formation of Bloggers Association of Nepal (BLOGAN).

Venue: Freedom Forum, Thapathali
Date: Friday, Feb 2, 2007 (Magh 19, 2063)
Time: 12:00 noon

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Lofty dreams for a little game

“What’s the national game of Nepal?”

“Uh… Dandi biyo?”

Officially Nepal doesn’t have a national game but for many Nepalese the traditional game played with two sticks is our national game.

The game, which is popular mainly in the hinterlands, is played just for fun and has no universal set of rules.

“But no more,” declares a young gentleman who has started to explore the traditional game and is trying to finalize the first ever draft of its rules. “We have collected the rules of the game from all over the country.”

Bijay Poudel, a 24-year-old Information Management graduate, has even formed the Nepal Dandi Biyo Association (ADBA), which he himself heads. ADBA has already organized a few events and demonstrations around the country, uniting the seven district level dandi biyo clubs. There are dandi biyo clubs in Bardiya, Pyuthan, Udayapur, Sindhuli, Saptari, Dhankuta and Saptari districts.

The association has a clear goal. “We will standardize the game and take it to the international level,” Poudel said. This might look a big ask – and of course it is – but ADBA has discovered that the game is played not only in Nepal but also in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan and India. “A member of ADBA, Lekhnath Ghimire studied a little about similar games in those countries during visits for other reasons,” Poudel informed.

Still, giving the game an international re-organization is a far cry. Poudel is cognizant of that. “It’s not easy, because we are in an initial stage,” he said, adding, “But if all those concerned give enough attention to the game we loved to play, then it’s not that difficult either.”

Dandi biyo may or may not make it to the international level but even if the association succeeds in its short term goal – holding a national level tournament at the earliest- it would be quite a feat.

However, the road doesn’t look easy even at the national level. National Sports Council (NSC), the umbrella organization for sport, has so far ignored their plea to register the association and even the first draft of the rules looks shabby with no fixed number of players and scoring system.

“It’s only preliminary rules,” Poudel defended. “We have just collected the different rules and put them together in the best possible way.”

He said the association will discuss with everyone involved and from the experience of demonstration matches amend the rules. “We may even go for a completely new scoring system and add accessories like helmets for the players,” he added.

Dandi biyo is a traditional game that is fast disappearing from the urban areas. The game involves hitting the biyo – a small stick, with the dandi – the bigger stick, sending it flying as far as possible and scoring points with the lengths of the dandi. It’s an individual game played in a group with the player scoring the most points emerging winner.

Poudel, who worked as a sports writer for a website, conceived the idea of developing the game during discussions for creating new content ideas for the website. “It just came into my mind, probably because I used to play it when I was a boy,” he said. “Once it struck me, I could never get out of it despite having to spend time and money on to it.”

He then started talking about it with anyone he met, with taekwondo coach Thaneshwor Rai encouraging him the most, and persuaded a few friends and sports stars – cricket captain Binod Das, legendary footballer Upendra Man Singh and taekwondo diva Sangina Vaidhya to help him. Binod is a committee member while Singh and Vaidhya are the advisors of the association.

The association and the study of the game is run with the pocket money of the members but Poudel hopes it won’t be longer before people start noticing that dandi biyo can be developed as the identity of Nepal and help him out. “Dandi biyo can become our national identity in the sports arena if we all work together,” he emphasized.

(As published in The Kathmandu Post)

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Delightful Reading

My friend Deepak Adhikari has written an article about blogging in NepalMonitor.com titled (Some) Thoughts from Nepal on Blogging.

An unprecedented numbers of visitors logged on to the blog and demanded more up-to-the-minute updates on events unfolding in Nepal. That was the time when I actually realized the power of the medium called blog. At times, I was exhausted, but I did not give up in that. I thought continuous update was critical in this technology-driven world. Amid curfew and massacres in the street, I gathered the nuggets of information and posted it instantaneously. It was painstaking. I could see how the Internet transforms the way we communicate.

And of course, there is a bitter truth for me and probably all the bloggers.

We bloggers in Nepal need to talk to each other and share our experiences. I must say this is what is lacking in Nepali blogosphere. We at Kantipur Complex regularly discuss blogs but that is a rather confined effort. The idea of Blog Association Nepal (BLOGAN) was proposed but it has not made much headway. One good example of a collective forum for bloggers is Nepali Voices, started in October 2006.

And, let me take this opportunity to congratulate him in advance for his marriage. May the poetry of your life be the best ever piece of poetry of the world.

Jan 28 is the auspicious day of wedding and her name is Kavita, the poetry of my life. Poetry apart, the joys and sorrows, I believe will be halved and shared. You need someone to care, more importantly you need to be loved and I feel fortunate to be worthy of this bond.

Some more reading on Citizen Journalism:

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On Citizen Journalism

Easy to say – blogs are a form of citizen journalism. It looks like a mid-way for all those supports and/or criticize the theory that believes blogs are a form of journalism. What I dislike about it is not the views or the definition of the citizen journalism itself but the way people, even citizen journalists, believe the implementation of it by the mainstream media.

Wikipedia defines citizen journalism as:

act of citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information

It also adds that JD Lasica, a citizen media theorist, classified media for citizen journalism into five types in his article in Online Journalism Review.

1) Audience participation (such as user comments attached to news stories, photos or video footage captured from personal mobile cameras, or local news written by residents of a community),
2) Independent news and information Websites
3) Full-fledged participatory news sites (OhmyNews),
4) Collaborative and contributory media sites (Slashdot, Kuro5hin),
5) Other kinds of “thin media.” (mailing lists, email newsletters), and
6) Personal broadcasting sites

When citizen journalism is defined, people tend to give examples and those examples generally comes in the form of mainstream media. Like one published in The Kathmandu Post:

Is Kantipur or any other mainstream media giving out more space to the letters to the editor is integration of citizen journalism? Or Kantipur Television (or other television’s vox populi) Janmat an integration of citizen journalism? For me, it’s a big NO.

For me to be a citizen journalism or citizen journalism initiatives, the content (news or views) provided by the citizens have to be published without censoring and selection (all those that are socially okay in terms of language). Do the mainstream media’s letters to the editor section follow that ideal? Or can people go to television’s station asking for promotion of their ideas?

Let’s think about it.

Further reading:
The 11 Layers of Citizen Journalism

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