Rai, Sareena

Sareena Rai
1 June 2015Feature

An earthquake diary by a Nepali anarchist


30 April: ‘Came across these 4 young punks in charge of clearing out debris in their
own neighborhood today. This is an all ages show everyone.’ photo: Yuva Ekta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nepal was hit by a long-predicted earthquake (7.8 on the Richter scale) on 25 April. Over 8,000 people were killed. There were over 100 aftershocks, including a 7.3 quake on 12 May.…

1 July 2013Comment

The Personal Column

My father was a Gurkha and we lived in a British army camp in East Nepal where all the Nepalis lived on one side of the camp and all the British on the other. My father, a commissioned officer was given housing on the British side which made things kind of weird for me and my sister.

I would swim, ride horses, and attend the whites-only small, makeshift elementary school. At sleep-overs, I found myself wanting to eat the colonel’s daughter’s strawberry-flavoured imported Punch and…

20 October 2011Blog entry

<p>O. Bertin, M. Gurung, N. Tegmo and&nbsp; S. Rai write from Kathmandu.</p>

If one does a search on the entrance of Genetically Modified (GM) food and crop products into Nepal, there really isn’t much written on the topic. According to a Food Research Officer for the Government of Nepal Yakindra Timilsena, resident of Kailali district, “Till now no published data was found about the GM food and crop products which enter Nepalese market” [sic]. This was posted in his personal blog on 20th March, 2011.

This small article wishes to highlight the impending doom…

13 August 2011Feature

Kosh, sub-editor, mid-20's: I am from a lower middle class family; I joined the protests and got beaten up several times and arrested once. Change takes time. People who were suppressing their desires so far have openly started putting their ideas forward. This is the beauty of democracy. Hopefully, things will improve soon.

Dinesh, 22, (ex-member of the revolutionary wing of the students' union Akhil Krantikari): Now I can freely go to other areas in Nepal, which…

13 August 2011Feature

Sareena Rai interviews a young Nepali on politics and the constituency assembly elections held in April in Nepal.

Karl Marx saw the red flag with Che Guevera’s silhouetted face on it on my bedroom door. Looking surprised he said: “Che. I read about his life. Tapain leh maanuhuncha? Do you respect him?”

I said yes, I did “respect” him. The question was so sincere that I didn’t feel right to add that Che had also become an over-hyped pop-art icon. It was kind of nice that this young man had no idea about that. Usually kids know the face without knowledge of the revolutionary stuff.

“And…

1 June 2011Review

PM Press, 2010; 352pp; £16.99

At first I thought that Sober Living for the Revolution was about historical, successful “sober” anarchist collectives and how they organised. The first part of the title misled me. Then I read the rest of the title which went on as “Hardcore Punk, Straight Edge, and Radical Politics”. Second thoughts: “Oh no! Interviews with a bunch of straight-edgers!” To be honest, being into hardcore punk, I never got into the whole straight edge scene in the same way that Ian Mackaye didn’t (whose song…

1 February 2011Feature

Rai Ko Ris, a punk band from Nepal, toured Europe last autumn. Frontwoman Sareena Rai describes how the anarchist scene surprised her.

To exist as a band without the corporate music industry is in itself a political feat.
– Ian McKaye of Teen Idols, Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens

White Man Destroys Culture.
– Sticker stuck on a wall at a venue in North Germany

Sitting in a village on the edge of Kathmandu happily listening to the Subhumans, I had this yearning to go to Europe. A good friend of ours from Holland calls the West “the fortress”; he said the people, the culture, and…

31 January 2011Blog entry

Rai Ko Ris, a punk band from Nepal, toured Europe last autumn. Frontwoman Sareena Rai describes how the anarchist scene surprised her.

 

“WHITE MAN DESTROYS CULTURE” is printed in big letters on a sticker at a venue in West Germany where we played. This phrase became my “theme” as we continued to tour throughout Europe. I realized how just reading about stuff or about people’s lives is simply not enough. There’s nothing more important than meeting people from different worlds. I talked a lot about how white man may have destroyed something in the past, but right now I felt that white people can give something back by…

31 January 2011Blog entry

Rai Ko Ris, a punk band from Nepal, toured Europe last autumn. Frontwoman Sareena Rai describes how the anarchist scene surprised her.

One of the most amazing things that struck me was that 95% of all the shows were organized by people who were just hitting 40 or were beyond it. We were amazed to see such necessary collaboration between ages and sexes. I was sure we were going to be the only oldies (+37) at each show but in fact it is mainly “the oldies” keeping many underground venues and squats going.

I was totally inspired by that.

In one city in France I met three women who all played music or sang in at…

31 January 2011Blog entry

Rai Ko Ris, A punk band from Nepal, toured Europe last autumn. Frontwoman Sareena Rai describes how the anarchist scene surprised her.

Much of my time in Europe was spent drinking… drinking tons of their best herbal teas and not-so-good chalky hot water. It was not until I got back to Nepal that I thought, maybe that chalky stuff all boiled up and hot probably didn’t help my voice recover one bit.

Drinking alcohol is big in Europe, I decided. There is no party without a drink. And there is no gig without drink. There are band names about drink; there are band names named after beer, or drinking, or about being drunk, or…

23 January 2011Blog entry

<p>Rai Ko Ris, A punk band from Nepal, toured Europe last autumn. Frontwoman <strong>Sareena Rai</strong> describes how the anarchist scene surprised her.</p>

“To exist as a band without the corporate music industry is in itself a political feat” – sticker stuck on a wall at a venue in North Germany

Sitting in a village on the edge of Kathmandu happily listening to the Subhumans, I had this yearning to go to Europe.

A good friend of ours from Holland calls the West “the fortress”; he said the people, the culture, and the way the whole place works is like a fortress, sealed and intimidating. I agreed with him and so why would I want…

1 March 2009Feature

For the past two years Peace News has been tracking the civil war and ensuing peace process in Nepal. The British government contributed military training and equipment to the conflict, but the British non-governmental organisations also have their part to play in entrenched inequality. PN interviews a Nepali domestic worker in Kathmandu.

I thought this would be a vox pop bit in Peace News but as it goes, I am beginning to feel weirder and weirder about walking around with a pen and a little notebook in my hand asking people questions about their lives.

I had it all planned; I was to do what I generally like doing best anyway – wander around the village early in the morning, say my usual “namaste” to all, most of whom are small land holding farmers.

Last week I received some ripe cucumbers and pears from…

1 April 2007Feature

The demonstrations had been going for a couple of days, and my middle class ass was feeling impatient to join "the masses" and engage in the united protests against over 230 years of medieval tyranny in Nepal.

Attempts at gathering people for a candlelight vigil after curfew hours at the Infoshop failed. Only the singer of our band showed up; everyone else was afraid. Our pro-royalist neighbour expressed his dissatisfaction at the candles, and we thought he was going to turn us in…