The wheel of time, it never stops turning, and so another New Year is on the near horizon. We Nepalis are really a very lucky lot, having the chance to celebrate more than just one New Year every year, year after year. Oh yes, we are a lucky lot; while states, fiefdoms, countries, and what not have been, through the ever-moving tides of time, crushed under the rule of invaders from many foreign shores, our small but indomitable country never had to suffer the indignities of being lorded over by strange races speaking strange languages, with strange customs, cultures, and religions.

And while countries, states, fiefdoms, and what not have had to learn and put into practice perforce cultures and lifestyles and religious norms and languages of lands other than their own, we Nepalis have never had to do so, instead staying right and true to our own ancient customs and traditions, our own lifestyles and cultures, our own religious beliefs, and our very own languages.

Nepal has always upheld its own particular identity and uniqueness, though the relentless turning of the wheel of time has brought about innumerous changes in other lands, near and far. Yet, we have never had any qualms about absorbing what we wanted of others’ lifestyles, religions, culture, and beliefs. In this, Nepal has always been, perhaps, one of the most open of nations, with no real desire towards rigidity and inflexibility, and with no burning aspiration to impress upon others its way of life.

And so, let us celebrate one more of our very own New Year with joy and exuberance, taking pride in our unique identity, culture, and customs. Although the past year has seen its share of trials and tribulations, they have been more of the normal kind, in that it has been a fairly peaceful year. No serious natural calamity, no internal strife of the violent sort, no internal strife of the society-upheaving kind either, no undue threats from abroad, and no economic disasters. In short, we have been blessed with a year that can perhaps be described as serene and tranquil.

All this has resulted in many more visitors visiting our land, thus setting the foundation for planning a record number in the years following with great confidence and resolve. Visit Nepal 2020, if you please! The new system of governance has taken hold, and in this too, there appears to be a calm and measured tone in moving ahead with ambitious plans to ensure real all-round development throughout the land.

Now looks like a good time to speed up the process of progress and development, notwithstanding those few but unfortunate cases of some large scale projects being stalled due to things like greed and corruption. But, such instances are becoming more of a rarity than the norm, and there is still much to look forward to concerning aspects to do with the betterment of life for all Nepalis, here and abroad.

Political stability, positive economic activities, good relations with one and all, less protests for letting off steam about perceived grievances, an overall optimistic outlook; yes indeed, these are facets to be appreciated. Especially when we consider what’s happening around the region and the world. Strife, conflict, and war, as well as threats of imminent war, this is what is happening in many lands, near and far. So, keeping all this in mind, let us welcome in our very own New Year in a spirit of peace, goodwill, and tolerance, three characteristics that define the very nature of all Nepalis and all Nepal. .