You have chosen a very approapriate theme ´´ Newars in action around the world “ which has added a brilliant lusture to today’s convention. The very chracter of Newah people is dynamism, perpetual action; the history of these people shows that ACTION is the inherent virtue of the Newahs. An immortal star in Nepalese history is Buddhist monk Buddhabhadra hailing from Newah community who propagated Buddha’s teachings, Newah Buddhist art and culture in the then Tibet, China and Korea as early as 5thcentury A.D. Likewise in the early 7th Century Princess Bhrikuti, daughter of Lichchhavi King Udaya Dev, although not a Newah herself, belonged to the family ruling Newah subjects and was highly influenced by Newah culture and Newah Buddhism. She, after being married with the Tibetan King Srontsong Gompo in 735 A.D.made an immortal contribution in preaching Buddha’s teachings and deeply embedding Buddhist religion and culture in Tibet. Another noteworthy figure is the famed Newah artist Arniko Palipao who centuries before the Renaissance in Europe lit the flame of Renaissance by propagating art and architecture in Tibet and China. Arniko who was the leader of the jumbo team consisting of about 6 dozen artists and architects’ delegation sent to Tibet by the Malla King of Nepal was called by the Chinese Emperor Kubili Khan to China. It seems the Mongol King who was ruling China had heard of the brilliant skill of Arniko. After reaching China Arniko constructed many beautiful images, busts and built the famous White Pagoda in Peiching and brought a revival of art and architecture in China and in the surrounding areas. The second word of his name “Palipao” undoubtedly shows that he was a Newah. The Tibetan word for Newah is Bhalipao, which was pronounced by the Chinese as “Palipao”. The name of Arniko’s wife whom he left in Nepal is Chaitya Laxmi which also testifies to the fact that Arniko was a Newah.

In the work of reconstruction and rehabilitation we can mention the illustrious name, Gunawanta Shrestha, who was entrusted by King Rajendra Shah the work of reconstructing and rehabilitating almost the entire middle region of the territory of Nepal which was totally devastated by the Great Earthquake of 1834 A.D. or 1890 Vikram Era. (There have been two great earthquakes in Nepal in recent times in 1834 and 1934 or 1890 and 1990 of Vikram Era famed as two Nabbe Saal disasters). The miraculous feat shown by the Newah courtier Gunwanta Shrestha who singlehandedly completed the post-earthquake rehabilitation in a very short period shows the dynamic potentiality of the Newah administrators

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July 14th, 2015

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