Nepalese YVC members took part in the 6th international Nepal Pride Festival this year organized by the Blue Diamond Society coinciding with the “Gai Jattra” festival.
“The festival of “Gai Jatra” is one of the oldest and notable of the many festivals celebrated by the Hindus/Buddhists of Kathmandu Valley. Some say the custom goes back more than a millennium, to the time of the Malla kings. Falling on the day after JanaiPurnima, the full moon day of August, Gai Jatra is a day for remembering those who have died in the past year.
The annual festival has become one of Blue Diamond Society’s premier events and draws crowds of local supporters as well as tourists to join in on the fun and enjoyment of the festivities.
The 6th International Pride Festival was celebrated by Blue Diamond Society on last August 30 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal with the theme “The constitutions will cement the hopes cracked by the earthquake, Avoid gender-based discrimination while rebuilding the structures“.
The pride event started from Thamel-gateway of tourist destination and one of the most happening places of Kathmandu and revolved around the city. The event ended at Kumari Temple with candle light remembering deceased of earthquake. One of BDS staff and one Transgender died due to earthquake was remembered and prayed for the departed soul.
Hundreds of LGBT along with their family members, dignitaries from various embassies/UN agencies and supporters took over Gaijatra joining hand on hand with each other. This pride festival was also an opportunity for them to openly express themselves, shout out load and dance with pride, parading through the streets of the ancient Newar towns of Bhaktapur, Patan, Kathmandu, Pokhara, Bharatpur, Bandipur, Gorkha, Dhulikhel, etc.
Nepal is still a socially conservative Hindu country, but it has made several strides toward LGBT equality. It was the first South Asian country to decriminalize same-sex activity in 2007 and is currently on the books to consider whether to legalizing same-sex marriage, according to the country’s current draft constitution. Nepal’s government structure has provided LGBT activists with an opportunity to demand recognition. The country’s transition from autocratic rule to democracy prompted LGBT groups, as well as ethnic minorities, to demand rights and recognition. However, the news is not all positive, as the law ministry is currently working to reverse Nepal’s Supreme Court ruling that decriminalized same-sex activity and stall the movement for marriage equality. If this really happens the laws would affect LGBT people and our activism too.
Link of news coverage of the event in national and international media; or you can keep update from our Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/youthvoicescount
Suman Nepal – Youth Voices Count Members – Nepal.