One of the most unique and yet sidelined sites in contemporary urban Nepal are the pati (Newari: phalcha). There is no other space that is as public, dynamic and available for multiple use, and for a variety of social groups, as this arcaded platform. As the nodal points of Newar culture, patis have a meandering history, often undergoing many architectural and social changes. Many also have a daily rhythm that invites use by different local groups. It is a ritual-site, a site for gatherings and leisure, used as shelter, shop or storage. But it is also a site that has been closed down or off, and silently vanished. After the earthquake, it has been seemingly rediscovered as a supportive institution, a much-needed island of momentary relief and solidarity.
With this curated walk, we want to include, and allow the viewer to see through, the eyes of local groups, of elderly senior citizens and youth, unfolding a panorama of the city’s past, present and possible future. A future that considers intangible and tangible heritage as a central element of post-earthquake Kathmandu.
Several patis have been selected as entry-points into these time-lapse excursions. Based on joint research, and supported by local communities and students from Kathmandu University, Brosius, Chitrakar and Shakya have developed visual, spatial and audio narratives for the sites. The patis form a curated walk through Lalitpur, and cover a fascinating range of everyday culture captured in personal histories and memorabilia, collective memories and religious practices, filled with photographs and conversations.
Patis in Patan is part of a larger and long-term collaborative initiative including members of Heidelberg University, Kathmandu University and KVPT. It aims at facilitating and nurturing knowledge about the rich cultural practices of urban Nepal for research and teaching.
Sundhara Pati: Bishal Yonjan, Deepak Lopchan, Dujaw Chitrakar, James Khati, Santosh Jarga Magar
Chyasal and Bhajan Pati: Dikshya Katwal, Sameer Tamrakar, Shreeti Prajapati
Manga Hiti Pati: Manoj Maharjan