Bruce Cockburn revisits Nepal after 20 years
Twenty years after his first visit to Nepal, Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn is going back to the country he calls “hands down the most beautiful place on earth that I’ve seen.”
Cockburn returns to Nepal with the same travel companion as on his first trip in 1987 – Susan Walsh, USC Canada’s Executive Director.
You can discover Nepal along with Bruce as he visits communities across Humla. His journey will be captured on video by Robert Lang and Guy Clarkson of Kensington Communications – the same team that produced River of Sand about Cockburns trip to Mali,
Visit the Path to Nepal website for Bruce’s blog entries and images!
Cockburn and Walsh will journey on foot, staying in the villages of Humla district, located in the northwest corner of the country. This remote Himalayan region, close to the Tibet border, gained importance through history as a passage for salt caravans between China and India.
A History of Conflict
Nepal’s long and tragic civil conflict has had a serious impact on development programs in many parts of the country – including Humla. Cockburn hopes to witness how the people of Humla have been living despite their many challenges: isolation, little access to any development resources, and the political conflict – which is finally subsiding.
“One of the things that characterizes people living in difficult conditions is a very well-developed sense of how dependent we humans are on each other,” says Cockburn. “There’s a sense of community that is beyond anything that one encounters in the developed world. “
“This is what allows people to survive their difficult circumstances and to support each other physically and emotionally, given the hard work and pain that they live with,” he says. “It will also be interesting to see what the impact of the war has been on that sense of community because that often has a part to play, and that means things could go either way.”
Walsh points out that, despite the many challenges, the communities supported by USC Canada have managed to continue their work. “The people of Humla own this work, and it’s succeeding because of their resilience and determination. They have put all their efforts, their heart and their ingenuity into it,” she says. Village committees in Humla are actively running small-scale irrigation, organic agriculture, community health and education programs with minimal outside support.
Hear what’s on Bruce’s mind as he prepares to revisit Nepal
|Interview 1.mp3 (1.8 MB)|
|Interview 2.mp3 (2/3 MB)|
Cockburn’s Humla journey takes place November 11-23, and will be the subject of a documentary film in 2008. In the meantime, for other news about the journey, visit Cockburn’s fan site, Gavin’s Woodpile.
So what’s on Bruce’s mind as he plans his journey? “I’m curious to see what, if anything, has really changed with the war in the 20 years… From my own personal point of view that’s the main motivator, and the chance to go back to a country that’s hands down the most beautiful place on Earth that I’ve seen.”
|A Brief Schedule of Bruce’s Trip|
|November 5||Canada||Final thoughts before departing for Nepal|
|November 9||Kathmandu||Thoughts upon arrival in Nepal|
|November 13||Humla District, Longdung Village||Report from the Field|
|November 15||Humla District, Bargaon Village||Report from the Field|
|November 18||Humpla District, Thehe Village||Report from the Field|
|November 21||Kathmandu||Thoughts upon return to Kathmandu|
|November 25||Canada||Reflections on the Journey|