Monthly Archives: January 2012

Pushkar Shah – Cycling around the world in 11 Years

I was watching a film ‘Life in a day’ and the Korean cyclist reminded me of a cyclist from Nepal–Pushkar Shah. 

I remember I was still in Nepal when he took his bicycle and went to conquer the world. I haven’t heard about him for a while so when I did my research found his website 

Who better than the man himself to describe about him and his mission. 

“On November 29, 1998 I set out on an 11 year-long journey to capture my dream, the dream of riding 221,000-kilometres around the world on my bicycle to spread the message of peace and hope for my country and for the world. This mission is not about material gain or international fame. It’s simply about spreading the message of peace. If you see a Nepalese guy panting and puffing on a bicycle with a sticker “I ride therefore I am” please yield and for one second think about how you as an individual can contribute to world peace. This is my tenth year and I have already toured 150 countries and hope to complete the world tour in a total of 11 years. During my tour, I visit schools and clubs in different communities and like to speak about peace, respect for other religions and cultures, living in harmony, respect for human rights and democratic values. 

I like to meet civic leaders and exchange views. After graduation from college, I worked as a school teacher and participated in the Democracy Movement in Nepal in 1990. I was arrested and imprisoned many times for my political activism. It had a deep impact on me and I decided to embark on a world tour spreading the message of Peace. I began my journey with only 100 Nepalese Rupees (One Euro) given to me by my mother. I have no official sponsor and have thus far been able to pursue my dream through the kindness and generosity of the many strangers who have befriended me along the way. 

When I began my journey ten years ago, many people did not believe that such a trip was possible and said that I would get no further than India. As of July 2009 I have visited 150 countries in Asia, Asia Pacific, North America, Central America, South America, Caribbean, African, Middle East and the Europe

In May 2010, I cycled from Kathmandu to the Everest base camp.” 

Here are some of the photos of his trips. 

I know that he was a courageous man to even attempt to cycle around the world with very little support and money. I still remember the day he left Kathmandu, there was this big event for his farewell and it made the headlines in the country. 

Currently he is back in Nepal and is still cycling for various causes.

Another happy ending

The bride

On Saturday, one of my friends got married and it was a happy ending of yet another love story. 

My friend, HW is from China and her boyfriend, RF is an Aussie and there is a bit of story to tell you before I go into the details about their wedding.

HW and RF met in a university 6 years ago in a small town called Orange in country NSW. HW finished her bachelor degree and moved to Sydney to do her masters while RF stayed there and continued his study. So they have been having a long distance relationship for the last 4 years. They used to travel whenever possible to meet each other. 

SL and me- The bridemaids

On top of that HW’s family were not ok with the relationship in the beginning which pushed the wedding further because HW didn’t want to be married without the blessing of her parents. Like most parents, her parents wanted her to find a Chinese guy to be her husband. 

Last year RF had to go to China for work so he made an arrangement to go and see HW’s parents even  she was not there. I think meeting with the guy in person helped HW’s family to realise that RF is a good person and their daughter will be happy with him. Despite the language barrier, they were happy to meet the guy their daughter was talking about for a while. 

The happy couple

Luckily everything fell into place and last Saturday they got married. HW’s parents were here from China to bless her and RF had his family present as well. 

It was a beautiful wedding with their friends and family. They had a registry wedding followed by reception. 

The bride wore a while gown with maroon embroidery with a long the train for the wedding and she changed into a red gown with diamonds for reception. The groom wore black dinner suit. She made her own bouquet with pink and orange roses. 

Me and my friend SL were the bridesmaids. We both choose to go with a long gown; I wore an aqua blue one while SL wore a purple one. 

Posing with the bride and the groom

First we went to the marriage registry where they had their wedding vows exchanged in front of the wedding celebrant. Then we came back to the hotel where we had nibbles and drinks followed by a buffet dinner. 

There was a toast for the bride and groom with a few speeches which was then followed by the cake cutting ceremony.   

Here are some photos from the day.


So everyone out there in a long distance relationship and/or intercultural relationship (I have a few specific people in mind right now), hope this year will bring you lots of hope and good luck for your own wedding. I am sure I will be reading about your wedding preparation in the near future. 

Chinese New Year: Year of the Dragon

In Australia, there are many Chinese migrants so every year we see Chinese New Year celebrated in full swing. It is a time when not only Chinese but all of the people in Australia enjoy Chinese delicacies and culture. 

This year, Chinese New Year celebration started from yesterday and will go on until the mid of February. It is the year of the dragon. Dragons are most powerful and lucky signs in Chinese zodiac so this year is believed to bring great news to lots of people. 

Many believe there is a balance between heaven and earth in the lives of people born in the Year of the Dragon and they are blessed with good fortune. Those who are born in this year are believed to be innovative, flexible, self-assured and passionate. However, there is also a dark side to Dragons which is that people can be stubborn, intense and quick tempered. 

I read in the news somewhere that China is expecting more babies this year as it is one of the luckiest signs. 

In Sydney, there will be lots of activates marking the new year, like street festivals featuring arts, entertainment and children’s activities, Chinese New Year markets showcasing arts, crafts and food stalls, dancing, music and people wearing colourful costumes to welcome the Chinese New Year, vibrant displays of Chinese lanterns, dragon dances, new lion dances, Chinese magic shows, Orchid New Music, bamboo dances, fire crackers display etc. 

There are many traditions and customs associated with the festival, here are some of the commonly practiced that you might like to try : 

  • Wear new clothes on New Year’s Day (January 23 in 2012) and be on your best behaviour, as actions on this day set the tone for the year to follow.
  • Enjoy a New Year banquet, keeping an empty seat to symbolise the presence of family members who can’t be there.
  • Eat fish on the eve of Chinese New Year (January 22), and keep some stored for the next day. The Chinese phrase “may there be surpluses every year” sounds the same as “may there be fish every year”.
  • Enjoy a bowl of traditional Korean duk gook, a soup of thinly sliced rice cakes, to represent a clean start to the New Year.
  • Serve uncut noodles as they represent longevity.
  • Wear red, as the colour scares away evil spirits and bad fortune.
  • Give red lai-see (“lucky money”) envelopes to pass on prosperity and good luck.
  • Clean your house and sweep out the bad luck of the previous year.
  • Decorate your house with apricot and peach blossom, symbolic for new beginnings and sold during Vietnamese Tet.
  • Say farewell to the Kitchen God, the guardian of the family hearth. As he reports to heaven on the behaviour of the family over the past year, make sure to feed him sweet foods and honey, either as a bribe, or to seal his mouth and prevent him from saying bad things.
  • Pay off all debts and cast aside all grudges. 

Check which Chinese zodiac you were born in: 

  • Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008)
  • Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)
  • Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)
  • Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)
  • Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)
  • Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)
  • Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014)
  • Sheep (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)
  • Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)
  • Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)
  • Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)
  • Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) 

At work, we celebrate different things like Songkran (Thai New Year), Mexican Republic Day (There are no Mexicans in our team but still who can resist yummy tacos and burritos  🙂 ) and Greek Independence day. I guess we all just need another reason to celebrate and party so we are ready to celebrate Chinese New Year. 

Today most of us at work were dressed in red as red is the lucky colour in Chinese culture. Also one part of the office is decorated in big paper dragon and lots of red lanterns. 

We all cooked one Chinese influenced food and we had lunch together. It is really amazing what people can come up with. We had fried rice, noodles, dumplings, wontons, spring roles and lots of sweets for desert. It was really yummy and different to try so many Chinese influenced dishes made by people from different cultures. We had only one colleague from China so it was interesting to know about real Chinese culture from her. 

Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!! Hope the dragon will bring all of you lots of luck and happiness for the rest of your life!!!

Can you wear your wedding dress again?

When people start planning for a wedding, most of them have a budget and plan on how much they are going to spend on their big day. Some may have a small wedding with only close friends and family while others will have a big lavish fairy tale wedding. Normally, for white weddings, brides spend lots of money on their dress. That is one of the biggest expenses on the wedding budget. But most of the time this dress is worn only once, on the big day and then kept in the closest as a souvenir. I quite like the idea of hiring these dresses as well but then most of the women are too emotional to part from their wedding dress so they normally buy them. Let me not go to the part about what may happen to the dress if ones marriage breaks or one is angry with the soon to be ex husband later in the life.

With Nepali weddings we wear many outfits. I had 10 different outfits for different days during my wedding, which lasted 10 days. Most of those outfits I can wear again on many other occasions like parties and festivals. I have already worn some of them for my friend’s wedding. There is a Dupata sari which you reuse again when there is a celebration called ‘Janku’ or ‘Bhat Khuaune’ (rice feeding ceremony) of your kids. All of my wedding outfit will be reused again and again as I had spent good money for them and I love them as well.

But with a white wedding dress most of the time reusing it is not possible because normally they are long and in off white or white colour with long train. You really can’t wear that to anyone else’s wedding and alternation is the only option.

One of my colleagues who got married more than a year ago came up with a brilliant idea with her friends to reuse their wedding dress (they all had white wedding). There are 10 girls altogether one day who were talking about what they are going to do with their wedding dress. Their dresses stared from $1000 to $6000 which was worn only once and was then collecting dust in their closets. So one of them came up with the idea to organise a ‘Wedding dress Night Out’. So last night they went out in their respective wedding dress to a French restaurant. They hired a photographer as well and got some very nice single and group shots.

My colleague told me that she had a great time and all the other people in the restaurant were complimenting them on their dress. I was so excited to hear about the whole idea and seeing their photos was even more amazing. Some of the girls had this princess style gown so they looked like a princess on their night out. I really admire their determination to reuse their dress and getting a great night out with friends in the process.

Where is your wedding dress? Have you worn your wedding dress after your wedding? Please share if you have similar stories.

Life in a day

Life in a day is a film made by YouTube to capture lives of different people around the globe on 24 July 2010. Last year YouTube asked its users to capture on film their day on 24 July and upload them. They then assembled more that 4,5 00 hours of footage from the users from 192 countries and made a film directed by Oscar-winning Kevin Macdonald.

Editor Joe Walker spent more that 7 months editing the clips into a 1 hour 35 min film and the result is fantastic to watch. All the clips are captured by handheld cameras but quality was really good.

There are a few highlights of the movie I loved. But let me start by saying that I love that Nepal was featured in the film, a big thanks to the Korean cyclist on a world cycling tour, who was in Nepal that day.

Watching this film made me realise again (some times I forget it) that there are so many different problems people face in their life while I am upset for not finding a right dress to go out in, there are people out there in the world at that moment who are starving or sick.

Some memorable clips are of a South American boy who shines shoes in the street for a living, the man who proposed to his girl with bent knees, a gay guy coming out of the closet, cute twin babies, a photographer walking the streets of Kabul (he said, “People think streets of Kabul are not safe but look it is safe. At least for us” 🙂  ).

I didn’t like the way a cow was slaughtered in the clip and also was sad to see an Americana mum with cancer as well as a life of an army wife. Some people have very hard lives and it is important that we realise that. Also there is a clip of a sick Australian man in the hospital after his open heart surgery and African culture where a woman who kneels before her husband daily.

One guy even films himself doing graffiti and stealing from the supermarket. It was sad to see a footage of a panic at a festival in Germany which caused death.

The funniest clip was of a wedding of elderly coupe who wrote their own vows. Loved their wit and humour and their view towards their life. It gets hilarious when a bride hits her husband to be with her bouquet.  Another funny clip was of a dad who faints in a birth room while taking a video of the birth of his new baby. (I said funny but it might be scary to some people.)

There were few questions asked like “What scares you?” and “What do you love the most?”  And some of the answers surprised me. Like there is a guy who is afraid of gay people while this little girl is scared of people who don’t believe in god. With the love question, I loved it when a man said he loves his family the most. J

There is so much to learn from this film. It is an emotional and real representation of our world. If you want to watch the movie, it is free on YouTube.  Here is the link


You may also like:

*I’m Addicted to Game of Thrones *The Hunger game *The Man Who Sued God