AF Kathmandu – Towards New Horizons

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The April 2015 earthquake is said to be the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since 1934 and left behind a wake of casualties and destruction. How did Alliance Française de Kathmandu cope with such a calamity and continue with its mission of spreading French language and culture? The answer is clear – by keeping its eyes fixed firmly on the future and moving forward, one initiative at a time!

Standing at an elevation of about 1,400 metres above sea-level, the city of Kathmandu is surrounded by four major hills – Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. It is only natural then that AF Kathmandu decided to take its entire team on a trek on January 30. Various activities were conducted as part of this team-building exercise. The initiative was a first for AF Kathmandu and saw enthusiastic participation by the entire team!

A Fine Balance - The AF Kathmandu Team at a Team Building Trek on January 30

A Fine Balance – The AF Kathmandu Team at a Team Building Trek on January 30

Another fresh initiative are the Nepali courses for foreigners conducted in English by the certified teachers of AF Kathmandu. The first batch of the same was conducted from February 23 to March 27. Classes were held twice a week with each session lasting 2 hours. The goal is to adapt tried and tested AFK teaching methods to teach Nepali in a quality learning environment which offers modern amenities.

The same philosophy of adapting teaching methods to suit local needs has also been extended to teaching French. AF Kathmandu has been conducting specialised French courses keeping in mind the needs of trekking guides for a long time. However, for the first time a group of intermediary level students visited a Buddhist monastery to conduct their assessment. This was done with the explicit purpose of preparing them first-hand for real-life situations on the field.

French teachers Smriti and Marine with the intermediate group of students for their evaluation

French teachers Smriti and Marine with the intermediate group of students for their evaluation

New partnerships were forged in 2016 to cater to and benefit from the burgeoning tourism industry in Nepal. Silver Mountain became the first Nepali Hotel School to partner with a French Hotel School – namely Sainte-Anne de Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique). The partnership was officially signed in the presence of the Yves Carmona (Ambassador of France in Nepal), Véronique Becchia (Director of  AF Kathmandu), Prabim Bikram Rana (Representative of Campus France at Kathmandu) and several directors of reputed hotels including Radisson and Shangri-La.

Cultural initiatives did not take a backseat with a crêpe party (February 27), the Gypsy Jazz Festival (March 12) and the 5th European Film festival along with the 2016 edition of the Semaine de la Langue française et de la Francophonie. For the latter, a wide range of events were organised including a Karaoke contest (March 14), a Petanque tournament (March 15), a Quiz (March 15 and 18), a Treasure hunt (March 18) and a Cultural show (March 19). 

Jazz

The Gypsy Jazz Festival at AF Kathmandu on March 12

Life seems to have come full circle one year after the earthquake. Various NGOs will be organising a host of initiatives as April 25 approaches. AF Kathmandu will organise a talk entitled “From the Ground Up – Sharing a Story” on April 12 in collaboration with one such NGO called Nepal RebuildsFrom the Ground Up is a collective of young professionals which focusses on sustainable rebuilding through a process that is sensitive to the intangible heritage. The talk will focus on their story, what motivated them to act after the earthquake and the initiatives they have undertaken since.

AF Kathmandu has also tentatively scheduled an event entitled “Faces of Hope – Experts reflect on one nation’s resilience” on April 22. Consisting of a photo exhibition, talks and a cocktail, the event will be a reflection on the disaster, the resilience of Nepali people and some French initiatives undertaken in this context. H.E. Yves Carmona (French Ambassador to Nepal), Christian Manhart (Head of Office and Representative of UNESCO in Kathmandu), Chris Phillips (photographer), Eric Sauvage (seismologist), Denis Blamont (Geographer and Researcher) and representatives from 3 French NGOs – namely ACF, Planète Enfants and Alliance de protection du patrimoine asiatique – are expected to attend.

Siddharth BHATT

Rédaction AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...