Lalitpur, Sept 1: The Kathmandu-Kalinga Literary Festival has kicked off today in Lalitpur. Co-organised by the Yashaswi Academy and the Nepal and Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) of India, Minister for Foreign Affairs NP Saud inaugurated the three-day festival amid a function here today.
On the occasion, the minister expressed the hope that this event would play an important role in the exchange of culture in the South Asia. It is a matter of happiness for us that the festival has been organised in Kathmandu putting Nepal at the centre, he said.
“We will be incomplete if we cannot connect the culture of Varanasi with Kathmandu, Janakpur with Ayodhya, and Biratnagar with Hastinapur. It is because we (Nepal and India) are connected with each other in terms of culture and language. Our similarity is Sanskrit language.”
He also urged the participating litterateurs from various countries to get involved with the culture and beauty of Nepal.
Similarly, the Kathmandu KLF director and the Academy founder Ranjana Niraula said the festival aims to promote literary and cultural activities.
Calling on the people to ‘get lost’ in literature through open heart and mind, she expressed the belief that the three-day Festival full of inspiration, academics and excitement will be memorable.
Professor Avadhesh Pradhan, actress and writer Divya Dutta, Prof Madhav Prasad Pokharel and actress Manisha Koirala’s names were announced for the ‘Yashaswi Sahitya Samman’ honour in the inaugural programme. However, Koirala was not present in the peogramme.
Similarly, those awarded with the ‘Yashaswi Book Prize’ initiated from this year include writer Bibek Ojha towards fiction for his book ‘Aithan’, Dr Nawaraj KC towards creative non-fiction for his book ‘Sunyako Mulya’, Renuka GC towards story for her book ‘Sanesh’, Dr Mahendra Malla towards poetry for the anthology of poems entitled ‘Bhasako Bakpatra’, Govinda Giri Prerana towards biography for the biography ‘Sushree Parijaat’ and Anuradha towards children’s literature for her book ‘Chhamchhako Chhamchhami’.
Others prized with the ‘Yashaswi Book Prize’ are Rima KC towards translation for her translation of ‘Selected Poems by Amrita Preetam’, Narayan Ghimire towards food and medicine for his book ‘Raithane Khanpan Ra Chadparva’, Lakpa Dendi Sherpa towards autobiography for his autobiography ‘Himalayan Maverick’ and Sushant Thapa towards English poetry writing for his anthology of poems entitled ‘Means of Merit’.
Founder and director of KLF Rashmee Ranjan Parida, Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Music and Drama, Nisha Sharma, Prof Dr Madhav Prasad Pokharel and Dr Bibek Dev Roy, among other dignitaries attended the inaugural programme.
Artists and litterateurs from Nepal, India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have gathered here for the Festival.