(Kathmandu, 3 June, 2012)
The Nepali Wikipedia community celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Nepali Wikipedia on 3rd June, 2012 at Nepal Research and Education Network, Sanepa in Lalitpur, Kathmandu.
The celebrations were inaugurated by the Chief Information Commissioner Mr. Vinaya Kumar Kasajoo with Hack Jatra (Hakathon) started at 11:00 a.m that concluded at 5:00 p.m. Professional software developers and engineering students participated in the Hakathon. Parallelly online contribution was made by the other participants.
The formal celebration session was chaired by Prof. Tulsi Divasa, a reknowned Nepali writer and folklore scholar.
Addressing on the formal program Professor Divasa said if a scholar dies without transforming his/her knowledge to the new generation, the knowledge is meaningless. He related this with a saying “If an example if a witch could not transform her knowledge to anybody, she makes a hole where she dies.”
Ganesh Paudel, a Nepali Wikipedian informed that many other projects in various Nepali languages like Maithili, Tamang, Tharu, Gurung, Limbu, Awadhi and Sherpa are coming out from incubation. “These upcoming wikis can tie the knot of national integrity.” Paudel added.
Pioneer of Nepali Wikipedia Indiver Badal led the cake party of the “Glorious 10th Year Celebration.”
Wikipedia is a free online encyclopaedia with almost 40 lakh articles on different subjects. It exists in all major languages of the world including Nepali and many Indian languages. The Nepali Wikipedia (ne.wikipedia.org) has over 20,000 articles and gets over 7.5 lakh page views per month. Currently, 75 active contributors on Nepali Wikipedia contribute to these articles from different parts of the world.
Mr. Paudel explains, “This celebration is to mark the extraordinary effort of our community members and invite new guys to join in! From Dashain to Newa cuisine to costumes and festivals, there is so much in Nepal’s diverse culture that needs to be written about. We conduct small sessions to teach how to contribute to articles on Wikipedia.”
So, what do these Wikipedians do? They run Wikiprojects online to improve content on Nepali culture, costumes, mountains and geography. Some even work on physics, chemistry and medicine related articles just for the love of the language and to make sure that Nepali people can get more and more information in their own mother tongue.
Hisham Mundol from the Wikimedia Foundation attending the event has encourage the Nepali Wikipedians to take up new projects and suggest ways of increasing the community strength.
Saroj Dhakal, another Wikipedian adds, “Although Wikipedia is widely used by students across the globe, not many know that this information is contributed by common people, young and old from all walks of life! In Nepali and Newari especially, the awareness and the number of contributors really needs to be improved.”