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A space showcasing Nepal's rich cultural bounty was inaugurated on Sunday.
The Unnati Cultural Village (UCV) is located at Harkapur, Nawalpur, and has been set up in response to disappearing cultures due to increased urbanisation and modernisation.
Set up by Chaudhary Foundation, the Village is located 12 km away from Chitwan's Narayangadh Bazaar.
Inside the complex, there are restaurants, guesthouses and rooms that reflect Tharu culture. The structures are adorned with paintings of various Tharu festivals and celebrations.
Spread across approximately six bighas of land, the Village boasts of a Nepali arts museum, An art centre for the promotion of art and literature, the Kala Ghar where artists can stay and create artworks, a cultural multipurpose hall where cultural banquets, gatherings, meetings, and cultural exhibitions can be organised. Likewise, separate spaces have been assigned for Kala Batika and open-air museums. Artists can create artworks and exhibit them here.
The Village will also produce various local handicraft tools. There are plans to produce skilled manpower and bring the handicraft products to the market.
It is a culturally significant Tharu Village with a Tharu Dabali and Tharu Bar within the premises. The Tharu Bar is being called the 'gadala mod' in Tharu language with 'gadala' meaning rice wine and 'mod' meaning alcohol.
Besides Tharu community, the Village will also incorporate the cultures of other communities including Majhi, Bote, Darai, and Magar, from the Nawalpur region. Dances like Ghatu and Sorathi will also be performed at the Village.
The goal of the Village is to offer a place where Nepali artists and writers can visit and create their art and literature.
Veteran artist Shyamlal Shrestha,Gaindakot Municipality’s Mayor, Chhatraraj Poudel and Vice Chair of Chaudhary Foundation, Nirvana Chaudhary jointly inaugurated UCV amidst an official event. Chaudhary Foundation is the social initiative of Nepals' Chaudhary Group.
The Foundation hopes to open cultural centres across all seven provinces and UCV is a pilot project.
Speaking at the event, Binod Chaudhary, Chairman, Chaudhary Foundation mentioned that UCV has finally come to fruition after years of tireless efforts. “Art, literature and culture are the foundations of any society. If we do not strengthen these foundations, the future generations will forget about it," he said, adding, “We have established Unnati Cultural Village keeping in mind the present and future generations.”
Chaudhary mentioned that his interest in Nepali arts piqued around five years ago when he saw Nepali art at museums set up by World Bank-sponsored Asian Heritage Foundation. The World Bank had provided financial support of 40 million dollars to the Asian Heritage Foundation. “I saw some Nepali arts and crafts there. But, I could not find it in Nepal. That’s why my efforts are directed towards conserving such arts.”
He stated that art, literature and culture can only be revived if they are linked to the economy, and 'UCV' is a step towards that end. "Previously there were no houses in Europe without Nepali pashmina and carpet. Now, no one realises they are missing."
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