Nepal: Nepal Samacharpatra, a leading national daily of Nepal, for the first time in the history of media, took a step forward to redesign their masthead to commemorate the original script of Nepal ‘Ranjana Lipi’ on the occasion of Newari New Year Day, also celebrated as Mha Puja.
The Ranjana Script (Lipi), was developed in the 11th century by Newar people, the indigenous people of Kathmandu Valley. They used beautiful calligraphy to write Newari, Tibetan, and Sanskrit. The script is the formal script of Nepal duly registered in the United Nations. Therefore, it is considered to be the standard Nepali calligraphic script.
This initiative of Nepal Samacharpatra is a step to remind and connect the next generation Nepali youth to their own history, tradition, and cultural values. The Ranjana Script is a complex, artistic script that unfortunately is not much in use currently except for religious scriptures and literature mostly by monasteries. Most Nepali are more familiar with the Devanagari script, the popular script of the Indian subcontinent.
Recently, Kathmandu Mayor, Bidya Sundar Shakya, requested all the schools of Kathmandu to teach Nepal Bhasa to students. Nepal Bhasa is the native language of Newar people. The crucial issue is newer generations have stopped speaking the Newari language. The elderly Newars fear that the Newari language will disappear in the next fifty years if it is not preserved. Thus, the government has been looking for ways to preserve native culture and languages.
Founded in 1996 AD, Nepal Samacharpatra is one of the largest circulated national newspapers of Nepal, is part of Kamana News Publications that also publishes Kamana (largest selling entertainment monthly magazine), Sadhana (largest selling health and beauty monthly magazine), News of Nepal (online infotainment portal) and also organizes Kamana Film Awards, the biggest cinema awards of Nepal. Nepal Samacharpatra has always taken the initiative to promote Newar culture and language from its founding days.
Kapil Kafle, the editor of Nepal Samacharpatra said, “We wanted to wish Happy New Year in our native, original script. We also wanted to share with the newer generations the beauty of this calligraphic script.”
Ujaya Shakya, the distinguished advertising professional shared, “The Ranjana Lipi Masthead, on the New Year Day, took everyone by surprise and has been well appreciated. I would like to applaud Nepal Samacharpatra for this innovation and ingenuity.”