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काठमाडौंमा वायुको गुणस्तर: ५४

I'm also from Rebel Mercury, I listen to Balen's rap'

History is not only about looking back, but also about learning from it and moving forward. In my opinion, the government and leaders of Nepal should think about what to do to prevent the recurrence of previous incidents.
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The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs has regional centers in Peru, Toga and Nepal. The Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD), based at Lagankhel in Lalitpur, is responsible for overseeing 43 countries in the region. Deepayan Bashu Ray is currently its director.

I'm also from Rebel Mercury, I listen to Balen's rap'

Born in Kolkata, India, Ray came to Canada at the age of 13. After studying in Canada, he came to the UK. Legally, he is a citizen of Canada and the UK. But he likes to introduce himself as a Bengali. Ray has over two decades of experience in the areas of arms control, sustainable development, humanitarian security, conflict, risk analysis and mitigation, and gender-based violence. Edited part of Jagdishwar Pandey of Kantipur's conversation with Ray about his stay in Nepal, culture, tradition, climate, festivals, etc. : When did you come to Nepal for the first time?

I came to Nepal for the first time in 2014. At that time I was working for Action Aid (an international NGO). Then I arrived in Nepal two weeks before the lockdown due to Covid-19. I came to the current office in March 2020 for a meeting. But at that time I was working in a different organization. Then when it came open application for director post. I applied and got selected and came to Nepal in June 2023. This is my third trip to Nepal.

How did you like the terrain of Nepal?

I really liked the terrain of Nepal. I had always lived in the plains. But look now, from this window of my room (fourth floor of Sanchaya Kosh Bhavan in Lalitpur), you can see the mountains. Which is a very tempting sight. Even when traveling to other parts of Nepal, the terrain of Nepal looks very beautiful.

has met with Nepalis during his work. How did Nepali feel?

I had the opportunity to work with many Nepalis. Obviously, Nepali people are awesome and incredibly inspiring. I am working with people from 43 countries. When I started working, I found that there are excellent women leaders in Nepal. Foreign Secretary Seva Lamsal is the first government official I met in Nepal. I also had the opportunity to chat with him. He is conducting Nepal's foreign policy. I also had the opportunity to work with Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rajni Thapa, who is also Gulmapati of Armed Police Force Baghbhairav ​​Gulm. She is another important woman to move the country forward. Women working in NGOs for example women leaders like Shobha Shrestha and Purnashoba Chitrakar are role models for me. The work they have done for a decade is outstanding. The role of women is very important to accelerate our disarmament. The role played by women in disarmament and arms control matters if results are to be drawn. When women are more involved in participation, leadership and decision-making, it is easier to produce results. Amrit Kumar Rai, now the head of the UN Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and Joint Secretary, and his team members are excellent. It is a pleasure to work with them. They are performing a very important responsibility for Nepal. And, finally speaking of my team, they are the best. They have a desire to work, are professional. It is a pleasure to work in this team.

What is your experience about Nepal's weather?

I am primarily from Kolkata, so I love hot weather. In the last 20 years I have been in Canada and the UK, which have very cold climates. But the weather in Nepal is excellent. My favorite time every morning is watching the weather while drinking tea.

Have you tasted Nepali food? Which food did you like the most?

My favorite food is masham. My weight has also increased because of me. The good part for me and my family is that there is equality in South Asia. As a Bengali I love sweets. Sweets similar to those found in Kolkata are also available in Nepal. I also like Nepali food very much. Nepali food is as tasty as Bengali food.

Have you celebrated any festival in Nepal? What is your favorite festival?

I love all the festivals in Nepal. Being a Bengali, the festivals there and Nepal have many similarities. We celebrated Holi with family. My kids grew up in the UK, so they haven't celebrated Holi that way yet. And they loved Holi very much. Durga Puja is very important for Bengalis. Which is Dasain in Nepal. Tihar and Diwali are the same. It's great fun for me and mine to come back to South Asia and celebrate all these festivals and let my kids know about it.

Do you like to speak Nepali language?

I must say, I don't speak Nepali language. But I can speak Hindi. I can read Hindi script, as well as Nepali. All of you are talented and can speak Hindi. I must say, I'm a bit lazy. Because of Hindi, it has become easier for me to understand and read Nepali. I can understand Nepali language, because Bengali words are also matching with Nepali. I went to an eye and another doctor a while back. Both the doctors are fluent in Bengali. It was very nice to hear that.

Have you heard Nepali songs, music?

I like music very much. If I hadn't gone into this profession, I would have been a musician. Me, my wife and our family really love music. My favorite time of the week is waking up early in the morning to hear someone playing a flute. That's the best time ever for me. I'd love to hear that. I'm also a bit of a rebel. I also listen to Balen's rap songs. That sounds good. At one of the functions I heard the Kutumba band, I thought the band performed traditional music in a modern style. I tried to play the guitar, but gave it up after breaking my arm. The next thing I found a bit different is the Monkey Temple.

Have you read about the literature and history of Nepal?

I read Nepal's Comprehensive Peace Agreement. I continue to study about Nepal. I am currently reading a book called 'Emerging Security Challenges Nepal'. The book analyzes the situation after the peace agreement in Nepal. History is not only about looking back, but also about learning from it and moving forward. In my opinion, the government and leaders should think about what to do to prevent the recurrence of the previous incident. Access to weapons, bullets, ammo etc. should be removed. Technology can be misused by some. Disarmament and arms reduction work on cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI), etc. I urge the Government of Nepal and its leaders to sign all necessary treaties, including disarmament and arms reduction. It not only protects from the external sphere, but also helps in making the right laws and policies internally.

Have you seen a Nepali movie?

Due to the pressure of time, I have not had the chance to watch Nepali films. But I thought about watching.

Which place of Nepal did you like?

I have been to Lumbini, Pokhara, Chitwan so far. When I went to Pokhara, I reached Sarangkot by cable car. The view from there was great. I can stand in front of mountains for hours. Even in my office when the weather is clear, on one side you can see my friends walking and on the other side you can see the mountains. The mountains of Nepal are really attractive.

What do you know about the art and culture of Nepal?

Nepal is a really rich country in art and culture. My wife and I have looked at various arts. Mithila style art felt very lively. That art also reminded me of West Bengal. Such arts are also seen in West Bengal. Thanka painting was also very good. My wife is an artist. He liked it too. Tibetan art was also excellent. The graffiti painting and the message are awesome. Graffiti tends to raise social issues.

Photos : Prakashchandra Timilsena/Kantipur

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