International Everest Day: Promoting Significance of Conservation

Raju Manandhar
An editor at Nepalese Australian
Nepalese Community in Australia All Set for Celebration International Everest Day 29 May 2022
Nepalese Community in Australia All Set for Celebration International Everest Day 29 May 2022

The federation of Nepalese Community Associations of Australia (FeNCAA) is all set to observe International Everest Day on 29 May 2022 across Australia. It has coordinated its efforts among its member organizations in all states and territories to celebrate the first ascent of the highest peak of the world, Mt. Everest by Tenzing Norgay Sherpa of Nepal, and Edmund Hillary of New Zealand on May 29, 1953. Before the historic day, summiting Mount Everest (Sagarmatha in Nepali) was considered an impossible task.

Significance of the celebration, participation, and events

FeNCAA member organizations in association with other community-based organizations across Australia are holding miscellaneous events with an adventure group walk in the morning followed by experience sharing by Everest summiteers, speeches by invited distinguished guests, and barbeque. Nepalese diaspora in Australia has been urged to observe the proud event together with the slogan “Let’s Preserve Mount Everest”. This year’s event will be attended by the members of the Nepalese community, the Embassy of Nepal in Australia, the offices of Nepalese Consulate Generals, political leaders of Australia and Nepal, Nepalese journalists, Australia based embassies and their consulate offices, Australia Himalaya Foundation, Fred Hollow Foundation, Everest summiteers from Australia and Nepal and many non-Nepalese community organizations. It is also hosting a webinar on the social and environmental impact on Mount Everest at 6:00 pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on that day. Environmental experts, scientists, and a minister representing the government of Nepal will be giving an address at the webinar. It has welcomed all to attend the webinar using the Zoom meeting ID: 820 6109 3007 and Passcode: 280612

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FeNCAA stalwarts’ reflections of the event

FeNCAA President Dr. Krishna Hamal said, “This significant day is being held collaboratively by the community organizations to spread information about the identity of Nepal and to bring the protection of the environment in the Mount Everest area to the notice of the people. In recent times, there has been a great flow of mount climbers on Mount Everest. This program is held mainly to raise awareness of the importance of the ecological structure and conservation of Mount Everest.”
FeNCAA Vice-President Bom Yonjan shared with Nepalese Australian. Com. “FeNCAA is hosting a video conferencing meeting on Sunday evening by using zoom participated by the experts working at the mountain development sector about the environmental and ecological impact on Mt Everest caused by global warming and the change in Earth’s climate system. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change in Victoria, the head of Himalayan Foundation, the Mt. Everest summiteers, and environmentalists are going to participate In the interactive session.”

FeNCAA General Secretary Mr. Madhu Pudasaini viewed, “After the new FeNCAA committee was formed for the tenure, 2021-2023, we conducted extensive workshop including all the members to design the action plans for two years. It came up with many points. We discussed among different clusters of committees and decided to celebrate successes and found the proposal of celebrating iconic International Everest day 2022 which is above all political and religious differences. We agreed that in all states and territories the member organizations of FeNCAA in coordination with the respective community-based organization will be observing the day as per their convenience and suitability but with the shared slogan, “Let’s Preserve Mt. Everest. For that, the coordinators of respective states and territories will take the core responsibility on the whole. All of us are concerned that the snow in Mt. Everest is unusually melted and there are serious problems of pollution in the area.”

He further said, “In the past, under the leadership of the renowned community volunteer and journalist Rishi Acharya and other community leaders, Nepalese community in Australia, were organizing different pieces of training and mountaineering campaigns in a general way and now we have planned to put on the show in a more official way. It is celebrated in Nepal also with the same name and our new committee has taken the national initiative to celebrate it in Australia in conformity with the day and way it is celebrated in Nepal.”

The coordinator of FeNCAA NSW Bishnu Hamal said, “We are very excited and proud to pay in Australia our heartfelt tribute to Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa through the celebration. This day is proudly marked around the world to celebrate the extraordinary legacy and significance of the First Ascent of Mount Everest by the legendary mountaineers and boost the mountain tourism in Nepal.”

He further said, “In 2010, the well-known community campaigner Bhimsen Sapkota introduced the significant events such as para diving, and scuba diving by including the like-minded community members. After the formation of the new FeNCAA committee in 2021, it decided to make the event more participatory and organized. In the past, when the current President Dr. Krishna Hamal was the FeNCAA advisor, the mount climbing event was held in Melbourne to celebrate the event and promote the environment.”

He added, “This year on International Everest Day FeNCAA is organizing an 8-12 km walk in 30 Henley Marine Drive, Five Dock, Timbrel Park, NSW, in collaboration with NRNA, Australia, and the broader Australian community. The entry fee is $10 for the participants but it is free of charge for the international students and guardians. It will be attended by the representatives from the Nepalese Embassy in Australia, NSW Consulate General’s Office, and other organizations. It will be a multiculturalism event to be participated by Hillary’s family too. The participants will be hoisting Nepalese flags and wearing t-shirts with the image of Mt. Everest. We have invited 10 members each from 34 community organizations. There will be a BBQ and meaningful speech in honour of this proud day at the end of the event. The participants can buy at the minimum rate the T-shirts as a proud souvenir of the International Everest Day.”

The government of Nepal decided to celebrate Internationa Everest Day every year on May 29 in honour of the conquest of Mt. Everest. It was observed for the first time in 2008, the year of Edmund Hillary’s death. Various memorial events and processions are staged in Kathmandu and the areas around Everest. take place in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and the Everest region.

Tenzing Norgay (right) and Edmund Hillary showing the kit they wore to the top of Mount Everest, June 26, 1953. AP Images
Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary showing the kit they wore to the top of Mount Everest, June 26, 1953. AP Images

Facts and Figures about Mount Everest

Mount Everest was first recognized by the western world in 1841 by the British surveyor Col. Sir George Everest and was called Peak XV on the Tibet – Nepal border. It was discovered to be the world’s highest mountain in 1856 by the Survey Department of the Government of India. The name Mount Everest was then introduced in 1865, respectfully after Sir George Everest. It was originally named Sagarmatha – Goddess of the Sky- by the Nepalese. The puja ceremony is observed at Everest Base Camp before a climber attempts to climb it. The average cost of climbing this famous peak is around £50,000, depending on what support you use including the expensive equipment.

The Glorious Human Achievement and the legendary achievers

So far about 6,000 people have summited Mount Everest, the closest mountain from the skies. It is believed to be over 60 million years old.
Lhakpa Tenzing Sherpa, aka Apa Sherpa a renowned Nepali mountaineer and guide has the distinction of climbing Mount Everest 21 times. Kami Rita Sherpa surpassed the record. At 48 he reached the peak of Mount Everest for the 22nd time in 2018 and so far, he has scaled Mt. Everest 26 times followed by Pasang Dawa Sherpa 24 times and Ngima Nuru Sherpa 22 times. A Nepalese mount climber Lakpa Sherpa reaching the highest peak has recorded the most ascents (10 times) of Mount Everest by a woman.
It is believed that it takes nearly 40 days to reach at the summit. On 21 May 2004, a Nepalese climber, Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who climbed from base camp to the top of Mount Everest in a record time of 8 hr 10 min, is the fastest ever ascent of Mount Everest. A Hong Kong-based teacher, Tsang Yin-hung has recorded the fastest Everest ascent by a woman. In 2017, she successfully summited the highest peak in 25 hours and 25 minutes.

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