Welcome Message from the President
Namaste, Happy New Year 2076 B.S. In the multicultural mosaic of Manitoba, a Nepali speaking population exists. This population is made up of people who hail mainly from Nepal, Bhutan, and India. To maintain their rich cultural heritage and language, Nepali Cultural Society of Manitoba (NCSM) was established by the community in 2007. NCSM is a non-profit and non-political organization with the vision to promote, preserve, and continue the understanding of cultural heritage and values, mutual respect, friendship, cooperation, and the principle of coexistence among people of Nepali heritage and other communities in Manitoba. NCSM achieves these objectives by organizing and participating in several community-driven cultural and sports events throughout the year.
Over the years, we have witnessed the change in the demography of our ethnic Nepali population in Winnipeg. It is not absolute statistical data; nonetheless, I must say, we have covered a wide range of demographic factors such as family size, age, gender, education and income levels, occupation, religion, birth and death rates, and many other quantifiable parameters. We now have a dynamic population. There was a time when we were a handful of families and could fit in a family living room for most celebrations; now we need an overflow area in a community hall.
With the advent of a population surge, there also comes changes in socio-economic status, which comprises of people with diverse needs within a single community. We host people with different personalities and cognitive levels. Therefore, we observe varied scenarios. However, we must always respect each other as human beings.
We also put a step forward to connect and learn Indigenous Peoples’ cultures as they play an important part in Canada and our city's makeup. During one of our events, we invited Elder Harry Bone, a revered identity in the Indigenous scholar circle, to share the beliefs and cultural values of Indigenous Peoples of Canada. From his talk, our community received a chance to learn of how similar we all are! We all respect and nurture the environment and connect to the mother earth in similar ways.
The NCSM is also a member of the Ethnocultural group represented under Immigration Partnership Winnipeg (IPW) whose mandate is to assist with the settlement and integration of newcomers in Winnipeg. Currently, the IPW initiative is in developmental phase, and the desire is that once it is finalized, it will assist all forms of newcomers to Winnipeg.
It takes a collective effort to make an association like ours viable. We are grateful to the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, Manitoba, for their support with their ‘Pass it Forward’ philosophy. We highly appreciate the longstanding friendship of Terry Duguid, MP, South Winnipeg; Janice Lukes, City Councillor, Waverly West; Jon Reyes, MLA, St Norbert; and many other Winnipeggers. We hope they will be our community friends for a long time to come.
The NCSM plays a vital role in representing our community – we are better visible through our association, and I hope that each member will find a way to serve the organization that serves you. If you have stepped up in the past to volunteer, we thank you. If you have not yet, now is the time. While there is still much to do, I wish the new President and Executive Council a much invigorated and motivated term of service. The commitment and initiatives put forward by the Nepali School Coordinator and volunteer teachers are commendable in keeping the language and culture in our society. Similarly, NCSM community members have been actively involved with Rainbow Community Garden for the past several years.
It is truly hard to believe how quickly the years have passed and that I am writing this message to the NCSM Newsletter as I prepare to transition to immediate past president. I may have contributed only two percent (2%) of my life (if I live to 100); it was indeed a worthy use of my life to serve the community. To reflect on the past year, we had several successful events within the community and built several connections with other communities and organizations. Some of the events are highlighted on the next page by Ms. Ranju Upadhyaya, Vice President, for you to refer to.
NCSM Executive Council and I would like to sincerely thank the individuals and families of the community for your support and dedication to the core existence and essence of the NCSM, financially or in-kind. I thank all the members for giving me the opportunity to serve you as president over the last two years. It has been an honor, a joy, and an experience that I will always cherish. Lastly, special thanks to the family members of the Executive Council of NCSM and to my own family for making this tenure a very successful one with your continued support. I wish all the best to the new council members to steer the community in progress.
Dr. Manika Pradhan
Nepali Cultural Society of Manitoba