When one thinks of Nepal, images of gods and goddesses well up in our minds. A wide diversity of religions co-exist harmoniously like nowhere else in the world, even Hindus and Muslims accept and respect each other. Even the former King, who was deposed in 2008, is still recognized by many as an avatar of the God Vishnu.
So, you can imagine my surprise when a few years back, one of our sponsors, Jeff Seavers, founder of the West Michigan Freethinkers (now, Center for Inquiry), informed me some years back that there is a contingent of Humanists in Nepal! And lo & behold, I did locate the Society of Humanists Nepal, (SOCH) on the internet and met with its coordinator, Uttam Niraula. Uttam told me of their youth group which, like AAA, meets regularly with speakers and has pro-active social programs (www.soch.com.np).
Uttam again contacted me during my recent stint in Nepal, and we decided that because our young adults were doing very similar things, we could benefit by working together, i.e, cutting our costs and doubling our numbers and efforts. Uttam even approached a local college where he had connections to see if they would let us use their newly remodeled auditorium for our monthly meetings, gratis (since the campus is closed on Saturdays). Thus saving us the rental costs of a wedding palace we had been using.
Our first combined meeting in November was a dual presentation of each of our organizations to the other, and was well received: everyone was excited about setting to work. We broke up into 4 groups of about 25-30 and independently come up with ideas of what we could do together. These, too, were presented to the body as a whole, and it was decided that immediate efforts would go into a blood drive the following Saturday. In addition, the next Saturday AAA would stage a flash mob in the city squares of Kathmandu and Patan to attract an audience to observe a street play performed by SOCH against Governmental Corruption. As this was performed just two days after the National and Provincial Elections, it reminded everyone and put the newly elected representatives on notice. Please take a few moments to view these links: Link 1:https://youtu.be/LD3Pq2CDNyE Link 2: https://youtu.be/gkVlSru3SGo