I saw him walking out of the small village school. All prepared for the festival that same evening. Smiling. Looking vibrant as kids can do when they are having fun. I still don’t know why but he was the only boy of his age that was all dressed up fancy. He looked great and he knew it. Proud as kids of that age can be. Little did he know why I was there, not being a tourist but somehow looking like one.
It’s an old village where woodcarvers carve wood. And make art. Traditional art that most people will probably see as local souvenirs to buy and take home with them. I didn’t buy anything because some things are better kept in memory than for real. As if memory wouldn’t be real. Anyway, a middle-aged woodcarver told me that half of the number of woodcarvers left for the big city as a result of the economic crisis. I suppose the kid wasn’t aware of that. At least not on the day I visited his village.
Later that afternoon, or was it early in the evening, the festival tent on the main square was prepared for a good festival evening. People started to assemble and most of the elderly were dressed beautifully in the local traditional costume. Some men were wearing western looking businesssuits as a sort of statement telling the others that they are the important ones. But they weren’t because no one, not anyone ,was looking as good as the boy. It didn’t cost him much effort to match his smile with the richness and happiness of his clothes. Clothes did make the boy in his case. When I took his picture he was all to happy to pose, as relaxed as can be. And when the festival finally started, I left. We looked at each other, smiling and waved. The little Nepali boy and I.
Alice © 2011