On remembering the Holocaust

A student rally in progress carrying slogans related with social harmony from Patan Durbar Square to UN House. Photo: UNIC

A student rally in progress carrying slogans related with social harmony from Patan Durbar Square to UN House. Photo: UNIC

KATHMANDU, 27 Jan 2012 – An event to remember the Holocaust victims and learn from their experience was held at the UN House, Pulchowk. The event, held globally every year, was themed this year as “Holocaust and Children”.

The event saw children from four schools, Graded English Medium School (GEMS), Valley View School, Chelsea International Academy and Koseli School. “We could have never known what the children murdered in the Holocaust could have contributed to society,” said Robert Piper, the UN Resident Coordinator, quoting the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, adding, “We need to learn from history and protect those most vulnerable in our society, the children.” After a flash-mob performance at Patan Durbar Square and a rally to the UN House, the event started with a few words by Mr. Piper, which was followed by musical performances by Akshendra Jha and the Justice Denied band who performed Phulko Aankha Ma by Ani Choying Dolma, Knocking on Heaven’s Door by Guns N’ Roses and Hamro Nepal by X-Marica and a cover on John Lennon’s Imagine was performed by Revigya Joshi and Utpal Kandel. Spirit building exercises like crowd-based rap performance by Akshendra Jha as well as a warm-up dance exercise called Doing the Dogie was also conducted. The event then went on to team-building sports activities with seven groups of children from different schools. The groups were formed to induce a strong bond among children from different social backgrounds.
“We chose children from different types of socio-economic background. We brought in children from affluent schools as well as not-so affluent schools and made them interact with each other,” said nineteen year-old Nirmal Aryal, volunteer at the event.

The children seemed to be affected by the message the UN was trying to put across. With speeches on the Holocaust and a documentary titled The Last Flight of Petr Ginz, the children were quite knowledgeable about the murders during the Nazi-era in Germany and seemed to have built up the notion that racism is harmful to individuals as well as the society.
“We learned a lot about the ruthless murders that happened during the times of Hitler and how racism and bad treatment can affect people,” said eleven year old Apekshya Khanal from Chelsea International Academy.