Places and Identity
( This article was contributed by Nashiv Kafle )
When you are to define yourself what will be the perfect way of defining yourself. Telling your full name will be enough or more than that. As regarding this topic the definition of you must be both in the physical way and symbolic way. Physical way as defining yourself with your name and the symbolic as defining you along with your place of living, education, jobs, and more. To be more clearly physical definition is the direct or general definition and the symbolic definition is the vast and deep definition of you. The same thing is implied in the defining of the certain place. Not actually by only its name but through the whole elements which the place consists of.
The collage of media and culture plays an important role in the places and identity. This modern era media has not left any sector without its connection. Suppose we have a particular place with its typical cultural identification. The present day media has come up with the new practice in which the media cope up with the culture and the outcome of that will be the expansion of that place into today’s globalized world. The wide audiences are being gathered by the media in terms of focusing the particular place with its particular identity. Nepal as being a nation of Mt. Everest is one of the most prominent identification of the nation. Likewise the nation of Pashupatinath which we all know is a sacred place for the Hindu devotee. A very general example is that of the Malekhu which a famous place for the fish is. The fish of the Malekhu plays an identification of that place. We know Manakamana Temple very well and most of all have been there for times. Manakamana Temple is famous for itself but what I believe has been is that rather going for the sole purpose of Darshan people enjoy going there for the cable car. The whole identity of the place has been somewhat changed by the only cable car of the nation present there.
When there is a topic of coping up the Media and Culture and defining them in the close relation of places and identity then we have to pick up the typical identity of the place and show how it has been identified very differently via the Media. From the places like Ghale Gaun of Lamjung to the Bhaktapur Durbar Square the places have come up with a very different identification to the promotion of the very place itself. The modern generation of the place has worked out in promoting the place in a new and unique way. In the era of the last 10 years the places have changed and come up mostly with a lot of positive changes. People have been seriously aware of conserving heritage and maintain costly identification of the place. We live in a 3rd world and yet we can be the independent nation through our rich cultural and natural identification best and unique in itself.
I have come up with the brief detail of the place where I live and the changes come up so far during this recent time.
Chovar is a small town located at the top of the hill about 8 KM southwest of Kathmandu. This quiet town is famous for its people working on ancient loom, Tribhuvan University located at the foothill, nature rich area and some old temples. Legend has it that Manjushree cutout the gorge to drain out Kathmandu valley was then a lake. There is a small but picturesque temple of Adinath on the top of a hill. From this top one can have a completed view of snowcapped mountains peaks and whole Kathmandu Valley.
The village can be divided into two parts, top and middle. At the top the Newar communities is situated and at the middle Brahmin and Chetrris are mostly receded. There are other minority of the caste as well. The major castes are Newar, Brahmin and Chetrii. In span of these 10 years the whole perspectives of the local people have drastically changed. Before Chovar was just a place where people would come during Mela of Adinath Temple but now the place is slowly changing into the weekend destiny for local tourist place. Local people are more involved in doing hotel businesses and it is being worked very well. This is the fine example of the places and its identity. The identification of the place has changed from the place of Adinath temple to one of the good option for touring. There has been the 14th cycling tournament Asia in chovar recently which also brought a lot of media attention to the place.
It was due to media that not only this time but from very beginning people have changed their perspective about Chovar. Therefore, Media plays a vital role in giving the identity of the Places.