Some of Tri’s co-workers take hiking trips every Sunday, and today we went with them to Namo Buddha.
The first time we visited I was blown away by the beautiful monastery there. It was just as pristine this time around, but the fog just wouldn’t lift, so we didn’t get much of a view. I won’t go into the details of Namo Buddha because I did that in my first post, but there were three interesting things from today that I wanted to mention.
The first is that we visited Tri’s dad’s land near Namo Buddha. In my last post, I mentioned that Buwa’s parents immigrated to Kathmandu from that area. They originally lived in a small village called Sankhu, located in a valley below the hill that Namo Buddha sits on. This morning, the bus dropped us off right in Sankhu, so Buwa took us to his parent’s (and now his) land. The oranges growing there weren’t completely ripe, but we opened them up anyway.
I’m starting to get a cold, in particular a sore throat. Nepalis say not to eat sour things during the winter, especially when your throat hurts, but I haven’t eaten an orange in months! So I gobbled it down.
The second interesting thing that happened today is that I learned something about the photo at the top of this blog. I took that photo the first time we went to Namo Buddha. Nepali, the most widely-spoken language in Nepal, is written using Devanagari, the script also used to write Hindi. Newari (or Newa Bhasha), spoken by the Newars (the indigenous people of Kathmandu Valley), is written using the Ranjana script, which is what you see in that photo up top.
Ranjana is displayed on the walls of many a Buddhist temple, and I’ve always wondered why because the monks who live in the monasteries in Nepal are not usually Newar. Even temples in Tibet have Newari script written on their walls. Thulabaa (Tri’s uncle) also went with us today, and he explained why. Apparently someone named Arnico, an architect from Kathmandu, went on a trip to Tibet and then China in the 13th Century. He brought the Ranjana script with him, introducing it to Buddhists he met during his travels. So even though the Buddhist monks who inhabit the Monasteries in Nepal and Tibet are more often of Tibetan or Sherpa descent, they decorate their religious spaces with the Ranjana script. Arnico is also the guy who supposedly introduced the Pagoda style to China.
The last thing today worthy of mention is the girl we met with absolutely beautiful eyes. I like brown eyes (Tri’s eye color), and I like blue eyes too (my eye color), but I really love hazel-colored eyes. This little girl had hazely/grayish eyes with a green ring around the outside. Tri’s dad said that our kids would look just like her…I can only hope!