Bhachchek Bazzar, Nepal
Yes, I’m back to Nepal.
After 3 months in 2015, I came back to this stunning country, made of astonishing landscapes and beautiful people. I came back to develop a photographic project you are soon going to see on Blobally. It is staged in the Gorkha district, the area that was the epicentre of the 2015 earthquake, which left over 9000 people dead.
In order to work on this project, I simply set out on a trekking throughout the district, and found myself spending the Holi, the Hindu festival which celebrates the arrival of the spring, in a little mountain village named Bhachchek.
It was March 22. At the beginning of the day, I didn’t really care it was Holi. I was completely focused on the project. I had heard a lot of stories about the festival, and seen plenty of pictures, but it never caught my full attention. Probably, this was due to the well known challenge of taking shots during a celebration where coloured powders, eggs and water fly everywhere.
Suddenly, though, I understood that being there, in a tiny village at the foothills of the Himalaya, represented a great occasion to portray this colorful event. Far from the crowds of Kathmandu and other major cities, snapping some shots seemed an easier task. Anyway, I decided to join the party without my camera first. I knew I was, as every foreigner, a craved target. Thus, I surrendered to this fact, and got out of my room. Within five minutes, I looked like a Gauguin’s Polynesian character. Nevertheless, I had fun, played the game, and earned my respect. At that point I sneaked back to get the camera. Managing to avoid the crossfire, I finally took some pictures.
The youth gathered along the main road. After making sure my t-shirt wasn’t going to be white anymore, they shared with me their weapon, the red powder. I couldn’t do anything but joining the fights. Everyone was the target, and no one seemed to care that much about. It was pure fun.
After the fight was over, it was time to sing and dance. Microphone and speaker popped out, and loud notes flooded the streets. The celebration went ahead overnight.
It was a great day. I enjoyed the event in a very intimate, original way. Everybody knew each other over there, and there was a genuine familiar atmosphere. In the mountains time runs peaceful, and life is still simple. That’s why, here in Nepal, I try to spend on the peaks the most of my time.