Where are you from?
I come from Kathmandu City, I live there with my family.
Do you work or study?
I'm working, I'm a systems engineer with one of the cellular network companies based here.
What is the major challenge at your job?
Well, apart from the daily technical problems associated with maintaining the network operational and solving problems, we need more resources to extend coverage to other areas. Mobile and internet coverage is growing rapidly here at the moment, last year it increased by more than 50%, so we're experiencing a lot of challenges related to network capacity.
Would you recommend this job to others?
Yes, definitely, I think it's a very interesting job for a young person and there are many changes happening at the moment driven by technology. It is an important time, and in the future I think it will be even more important for the development of my country.
Do you like to take pictures?
No, not really. I took a couple of photos last week, but that was for work, so that I could explain a technical problem to a colleague. I really don't take many personal photos, I'm very shy. My sister loves to take photos though, she probably takes enough for both of us.
Do you have a family portrait at home?
There is an old family photo that we have in our main room. It shows three generations of my family, my grandparents, my parents and me and my brother and sister. It was taken a long time ago when we were children. It's not very big, but it's one of my mother's favorite photographs.
What is unique about it?
I think it's the only photo we have that has both sets of grandparents in it. There are my maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents together. Only two of them are alive now, so I think that makes the picture even more special for my parents and the rest of the family.
When was the last time you took a picture?
The last time was last week, I took a picture of an network installation for by boss to show a problem with the way it had been done so that a technician could come and rectify it.
Do you think people exercise a lot these days?
A lot? No, not really, not here. People who live outside the cities walk a lot, especially those who live in the country and the mountains. And children play some sports and other activities. I suppose they get a lot of exercise, but you don't often see people doing exercise like in some other countries.
Do you exercise yourself? What exercises do you do?
I do when I have time. I still play soccer with some friends from school. We try to play every weekend, but sometimes I'm busy and can't make it. I tried to learn yoga about a year ago from a book, I wanted to learn how to relax and I had heard that yoga can be very beneficial for you in the long term. I tried it for a couple of months, but then I stopped doing it. Maybe I'll try again soon because it was quite interesting.
Describe an event in your countryEvery year in October or November we celebrate the festival of Chhath; it is an ancient Hindu festival which is dedicated to the sun god Surya. It lasts for four days and there are various activities that people do or are involved in during the period.
People believe that Surya is responsible for maintaining life on earth so they pray and offer thanks and also make wishes for things they would like to happen in their lives. It's thought that worshiping the sun brings good fortune to families, farmers and many aspects of our lives.
The first day of Chhath involves people bathing. Many people go to a holy river, and they sometimes take the holy water home with them to help in the preparation of the offerings. People clean their homes and only eat one meal during the day.
People cook some traditional vegetarian food, some people even cook it on a special stove made from the earth and use wood to do the cooking, there are also some special beliefs that the utensils used for cooking should be wooden but nowadays many people use metal ones.
On the second day, people don't eat, or they fast, they eat something in the evening once the sun has gone down. The traditional food includes rice and puffed-wheat as well as bananas.
On the third day of this event, people spend most of the time preparing the special food, families might go to a pond or river and offer their prayers and offer milk to the sun as it sets. There is also chanting or traditional singing.
It can seem like a carnival at times when friends and family all come together to celebrate it. There is also another tradition we observe which is Kosi when we make earth lamps and place them under a canopy which is supported by five sticks, the sticks represent earth, wind, fire, air and water, the five elements of the earth. Many people perform this ritual in the evening at home with their family.
The next day you can see many people at the riverbanks making their offerings to the sun as it rises in the sky, and then they eat. This is one of the most important cultural events for many people in this part of the world and many families spend time together during this special time of year.
Do you think people from the countryside forget their local culture when they move to the city? Why?
Sometimes, I think they lose some of the activities because life in the cities is quite different, but many people try to observe their old way of life the same as it was before when they first move to the city. It's different if you've been brought up in the city, we don't do all the traditions that exist but we know about them.
Sometimes it's not possible if you're working in a modern company so we may make some celebrations but the actual rituals are adapted to be more convenient and less time consuming.
How can people be encouraged to preserve the culture?
I think that teaching young children about our history and culture is very important. If we don't do this then we might lose some of our culture in a few generations. Even if we don't observe all of the traditional activities that our ancestors did, it's important to know about them and their significance in our culture.