Nepal Samacharpatra, a leading national daily of Nepal, redesigned their masthead for the first time ever to commemorate the original script of Nepal, ‘Ranjana Lipi,’ for Newari New Years Day or Mha Puja.
Ranjana Lipi was developed in the 11th century by the indigenous Newar people of Kathmandu Valley. Registered in the United Nations, it’s considered to be the standard Nepali calligraphic script. However, it’s also complex and artistic and hardly used today except in religious scriptures and literature found in monasteries. Most Nepali are more familiar with Devanagari script.
The aim of Nepal Samacharpatra was to remind and connect the next generation of Nepali youth, who have largely stopped speaking their native Nepal Bhasa, of their own history, tradition, and cultural values. Newars fear the language will disappear in the next fifty years, so the government has been looking for ways to preserve it.
Recently, Kathmandu Mayor, Bidya Sundar Shakya, requested all the schools in the city teach Nepal Bhasa to students.
“We wanted to wish Happy New Year in our native, original script,” said Kapil Kafle, the editor of Nepal Samacharpatra. “We also wanted to share the newer generations the beauty of this calligraphic script.”
Nepal Samacharpatra is one of the largest national newspapers in Nepal. It’s part of Kamana News Publications which also publishes Kamana, Sadhana, News of Nepal and organizes the Kamana Film Awards, the biggest cinema awards of Nepal.
“The Ranjana Lipi Masthead, on the New Year Day, took everyone by surprise and has been well appreciated,” said Ujaya Shakya, an advertising professional. “I would like to applaud Nepal Samacharpatra for this innovation and ingenuity.”