Parade with Arad Goch Theatre Company on St David’s day
On my second day, I found my table and task and started my work for the festival. Simultaneously I felt like I was disturbing to friends, asking so many questions but Carwyn (Marketing Officer) was ready to give any answers very quickly without any hesitation. Carwyn mentioned to me about an interview with one of the performers who is going to perform “Pizza Shop Heroes”. It was on the Sky news channel and talking about how one refugee survived hardship and war to become a theatre performer. On the same day, I had the great opportunity of meeting with Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, chair of the board of directors of the Arad Goch Theater.
Around 3 pm, Mari came by and informed me that we are going to see a dance performance called “Boundaries” at the Art Centre. It was such a nice surprise that on my second day, I got an opportunity to go Wales’ largest arts centre, which is also recognized as a national flagship for the arts. At 4:30, myself, Mari, Meg, Bethan and Marged hopped into a car and were off to the Art Centre. The Art Center is located on a hill at the top of the town so the weather was a bit cold but inside, there were so many people, the centre had an extremely warm feeling. One of the performer’s parent was speaking with Mari who then introduced me to the father of the performer. He was also an actor and we talked about Nepal and the Himalayas. When we entered the hall, the performance had already started. The overall performance was in Welsh, but could be easily understood because they were using tape to create visible boundaries. The topic was contextual and during the performance, I reflected about my country’s current situation where so many people, women, and children are limited because of poverty, discrimination and violence, which is built by some superior power for their own personal interest. After the program, I again met up with Elin who wanted to learn more about me personally and the Nepalese culture.
On 1 March, for the St. David’s parade, The Arad Goch team members were already prepared for the parade, so we got ready with our theatre company’s festival’s flag and flyers. This reminded me of a similar program I participated in Nepal. Our theatre company joined with other various musical company’s and local people to join in the parade. Finally, the parade stopped in between the town of Aberystwyth and the Cardigan Bay. At that point, the Mayor and other core members of the local government gave speeches. During the speeches, we distributed our festival flyers and when the band played the national anthem, the program was finished. After the parade, I made a visit to the biggest library in Wales, “The National Library of Wales. While visiting the library, I noticed the design was very similar to the Kaiser library in Nepal. Today, the Kaiser Library is still badly damaged by the devastating earthquake of 2015.
In the evening, Mari and I went to a pub (The Black Lion Pub Y Llew Du) where we met up with Jeremy. Mari had planned to play her guitar while Jeremy would play the accordion. Mari sang a very beautiful traditional Wales folk song. This social musical gathering reminded of my country’s Rodhi (a kind of musical cultural gathering) and Lok Dohori (folk musical gathering). We spent the next three hours listening to lovely music reflecting on the wonderful day we had.
Words by Sunaina Panthy