As the lights went down

Photo: Hariz Baharudin

Kutumba is the first-ever band to perform atop Swayambhunath.

While cities around the world commemorated Earth Hour 2014 by switching off their lights, here in Kathmandu, it was marked a little differently. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Nepal collaborated with a string of artists including renonwed folk ensemble Kutumba for an evening of music, poetry, and art atop the majestic Swayambunath Stupa on Saturday.

“It is a great privilege to play here. We are excited because along with playing our music we'll also talk about our duty to fight climate change,” said Pavit Maharjan, percussionist of Kutumba.

With their performance, the group also became the first-ever band to perform atop the world heritage site. The band members stood on platforms while they played, as a sign of respect for the heritage site.

Kutumba, who is often credited for the successful revival of forgotten folk tunes from villages and bringing them to the mainstream music scene, has been an avid supporter of various social causes. The band had earlier been a part of advocacy campaign for children’s rights to education. “Our music has always been about giving back to society,” Maharjan told Nepali Times in an earlier interview.

Along with their popular tunes, Kutumba also played Planet Nepal a special song dedicated to the evironment.

While Kutumba energetically dished out tune after tune, renowned artist Ashok Man Singh spontaneously worked on a live painting, and slam poet Ujjwala Maharjan read a piece dedicated to nature.

Earth Hour, which began as a lights-off event in Sydney in 2007 is now marked in more than 7000 cities worldwide. Participants are requested to turn off their non-essential lights for an hour at a designated time set by the organisers.

article posted by:Arun Gurung, Kutumba