Discussing Culture at AF Kathmandu

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Nepal has always existed at an interesting crossroads of sorts with India, China, Tibet, the Islamic world, and Europe. Over the years, this rich diversity of identities has given birth to several cross-cultural intersections. However, in the contemporary context of accelerated globalization, multiculturalism has gone international at an unprecedented scale and become starkly different. It is becoming increasingly important to create a balance between celebrating existing cultural identities and allowing them to enrich themselves by interacting with other cultures.

Pauline Vengeon (Director, AF Kathmandu) addressing the audience at the panel discussion

Pauline Vengeon (Director, AF Kathmandu) addressing the audience at the panel discussion Photo Credits – Akash Nepal

The Himalayan country offers a refreshing case study of how preserving one’s cultural identity does not mean closing doors to the outside world. It is keeping this framework in mind that Alliance Française de Katmandou organised a panel discussion entitled This Matter of Culture on June 29, 2018 in collaboration with Nepal Economic Forum and the Embassy of France in Nepal. The discussion highlighted the fact that while cross-cultural relationships are not a guarantee for lasting peace and happiness, they do foster understanding, tolerance, and acceptance.

HE Yves Carmona, Ambassador of France to Nepal, addresses the audience

HE Yves Carmona, Ambassador of France to Nepal, addresses the audience Photo Credits – Akash Nepal

The primary focal points of the discussion were Multiculturalism, Globalization, Migration, and Connectivity. The panelists included Akankshya Tyagi (founder of Social Friendly), Alize Biannic (professional ballet dancer and founder of Solis Performing Arts Company in Nepal), Sameer Khatiwada (economist based in Manila), and Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha (a museum and gallery professional working with Nepal Art Council). The session was moderated by Sujeev Shakya (Chairperson, Nepal Economic Forum).

The Panel Discussion in Progress

The Panel Discussion in Progress (from left to right) Alize Biannic, Sameer Khatiwada, Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha, Akankshya Tyagi, and Sujeev Shakya Photo Credits – Akash Nepal

In a freewheeling conversation, each panelist brought a different aspect of the subject to the fore. Akankshya Tyagi talked about how media technology, including social media, has created a highly connected and interdependent world. On one hand, this presents opportunities to learn and grow from other cultures. On the other hand, the lack of an online filter often leads to harassment and cyberbullying. Alize Biannic elaborated on how multiculturalism can help bind people from different backgrounds and opinions together. Sameer Khatiwada presented a nuanced assessment of how migration has promoted multiculturalism since times immemorial. Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha focused on how modernisation is frequently confused with westernisation and how the two can be very different from each other.

A video recording of the panel discussion can be found on the link below :

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 ...