The Kathmandu Literary Jatra is an annual international literature festival held in Nepal. Its mission is to provide a free and open space for creative expression through art and literature to promote the growth of an informed and thoughtful community. The Jatra believes that mutual understanding and respect between people from diverse cultural and linguistic heritages is a prerequisite to the formation of a cohesive and just society. It views literature as a powerful tool to promote intercultural exchange and overcome communication barriers. Through literature in all its different forms, the Jatra organizes readings, discussions, lectures, workshops, exhibitions and performances in multiple languages for all age groups, to foster a continuous inter-cultural dialogue between the various ethnic and linguistic groups who reside in Nepal and the South Asian region.
The Kathmandu Literary Jatra sees literature as a unique creative tool that promotes inter-cultural dialogue and discourse. It believes that a prerequisite to a just society is a critical mass of informed and thoughtful citizens who engage and challenge prevalent social structures and norms. To this end, the Jatra seeks to create space for mutual respect through literature in all its forms. It promotes cultural exchange and breaks communication barriers.
Our logo borrows heavily from the iconographic tradition of mudras that are a part of this region’s cultural heritage. A mudra is a symbol and seal of meaning employed in the region’s visual language. While some mudras involve the entire body, most are gestured through hand and finger placement.
The logo was chosen deliberately to honor our traditions as well as to present them in the light of modernity. The symbol our logo uses, a hand holding a budding lotus flower, is representative of both Hindu and Buddhist iconography. Within these traditions, it is most commonly associated with Lakshmi and Vishnu in Hinduism and the bodhisattva Manjushree in Buddhism.
The lotus is a symbol of wisdom and enlightenment. It represents the purity of body, speech, and mind as it floats above the muddy waters of attachment and desire. Its unfolding petals suggest the expansion of the soul. It is beauty rising up from the mud of its origin, holding a benign promise of transcendence. In Hinduism it also represents creativity – Brahma, the god of creation, appears on a lotus that grows from Vishnu’s navel. The Buddhist deity, Manjushree is the bodhisattva of wisdom and holds a lotus delicately by the fingers of his left hand, representing his enlightenment.
In our logo, we have chosen a budding lotus, one that is just starting to bloom. This represents one who is on the path towards enlightenment and is seeking wisdom.
- Festival Chair
Sujeev Shakya, President, Nepal Economic Forum
- Festival Advisor
Namita Gokhale, Author and Co-Founder of the Jaipur Literature Festival
- Program Advisors
Manjushree Thapa, Author
Sanjeev Uprety, Author and Professor of English at Tribhuwan University
Rabi Thapa, Author
Govinda Shrestha, Publisher, Ratna Pustak Bhandar
- Executive Team
Suvani Singh, Festival Director
Pranab Man Singh, Program Coordinator