By Josephine Edmonds
The recent Nepal earthquake caused heartbreak across the world as important traditional and cultural Nepali heritage landmarks were destroyed.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday April 25, devastating the Nepali people and killing over 7,000 people, said earthquake survivor Sulav Khanal.
19-year-old Mr Khanal is still feeling small aftershocks.
“It doesn’t create any damage, but it still makes us feel unwary [sic]” he said.
“We are shocked by the present situation, I’m feeling so sad, I wish I could stop all of these.”
In the country’s capital, Kathmandu, the iconic and popular heritage site Durbar Square suffered severe damage, stated BBC News article, Nepal’s Kathmandu valley treasures. They stated that most damage has been done to Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square, with collapsed walls, pagodas and traditional temples, and the 200-step Dharahara tower has fallen.
New Zealander, Kimberley Leckie, 17, visited these sites in 2013. She feels extremely saddened by the damage to these.
“I experienced what it is like for the Nepali people to have somewhere to go and pray, it is a big part of their culture, and now it is hard for me to comprehend what it would be like for them,” she said.
“This has affected me because I have seen what it is like for them to have a place of security where they can go and be at ease, and pray, giving them a sense of belonging and a place where they can practice their religion freely.
Miss Leckie feels privileged to have seen these original buildings, and is fundraising for friends in Nepal, by selling firewood and pinecones, in time for the New Zealand winter.
Many other New Zealander’s are fundraising and donating funds to the cause. New Zealand Nepal Society completed fundraisers this week, and raised $40,000 for the victims in their homeland, donating it through the Red Cross Foundation.
There are also about ten Givealittle fundraisers online that have so far raised approx. $377,165. Plus there is the one million that the New Zealand government has pledged.
Mr Khanal talked about the heritage landmarks and said, “they were the best part of our country.
“Each and every Nepali’s heart is broken for this reason, but the reconstruction process will be carried out in the future.”
The New Zealand Nepal Society posted a photo on their Facebook page of the Dharahara Tower with the caption “will bounce back and stand tall again”, reflecting on the strength of their country.
Mr Khanal knows his country is grateful for the help.
“I’ve heard about the aids provided by New Zealand. Many, many thanks for those countries that helped us and those who prayed” he said.