Nepal Day 2022

NHDP was part of the ‘Nepal Day’ organised by the South Asia Institute (SAI) on 21st and 22nd of July 2022 to celebrate 35 years of academic cooperation between SAI and Nepal as well as 60 years of the SAI.

The two-day event began with signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Heidelberg and the Tribhuvan University by Rector Prof. Bernhard Eitel and Rector Prof. Shiva Lal Bhusal. This was followed by introductions of the Nepal delegation as well as welcome addresses by Prof. Rahul Mukherji, Director of SAI, Rector Prof. Bhusal and Prof. Christiane Brosius. The first day of this event also included a conversation between Prof. Niels Gutschow and Prof. Axel Michaels titled ‘What have we learnt from Nepal?’ Both of them travelled to Nepal in 1962 and 1972 respectively, and headed numerous projects for several years that explored rituals and historical connections. The conversation focussed on what they learnt from Nepal apart from scientific results.

The Nepal day also created an opportunity for all the ongoing projects on Nepal to present their work. These included: ‘Nepal Heritage Documentation Project’ (presented by Rajan Khatiwoda and Bharat Maharjan), ‘Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal’ (presented by Dr. Manik Bajracharya and Dr. Astrid Zotter), ‘Urban Transformation and Placemaking’ (presented by Prof. Christiane Brosius and Sujan Chitrakar) and ‘Himalyan Socio-Hydrology: Evidence from Nepal’ (presented by Prof. Marcus Nüsser and Dr. Susanne Schmidt).

This was followed by lectures by Prof. Sagar Sharma (Kathmandu University) titled ‘Dilemmas of a Nation in Transition’, which was about the socio-economic and environmental challenges of Nepal, and by Prof. Martin Gaenszle (University of Vienna) titled ‘Ethnic Traditions and Global Archives: Changing Research Conditions in Nepal’. Prof. Gaenszle’s lecture highlighted some of the evolving potentials of  ethnographic documentation by means of digital archives and reflected on the challenges accompanying them.

On 22nd July, Prof. Brosius moderated a roundtable on future cooperation between Heidelberg, Tribhuvan and Kathmandu Universities. The event concluded with a summer party organised by the Centre for Asian and Transcultural Studies (CATS).

It was an enriching event that brought together researchers from Nepal and Germany and began the celebrations for 60 years of SAI and 35 years of academic cooperation between SAI and Nepal. The celebration will be continued in Kathmandu in September this year.

The University’s Press Release also highlighted this event to underline the importance of Nepal-based research, especially in the open-access format. The news article (in German) can be read here.

Image 1: Group photo of participants of the roundtable discussion.

Image 2: Prof. Axel Michaels and Prof. Niels Gutschow in conversation.

Image 3: Rector Prof. Shiva Lal Bhusal presenting a token of appreciation to Prof. Christiane Brosius.

Image 4: Audience for the lectures that took place on 21st July, first day of the 'Nepal day' event.

Image 5: Prof. Martin Gaenszle giving a lecture titled ‘Ethnic Traditions and Global Archives: Changing Research Conditions in Nepal’.

Image 6&7: Flyers for the events.