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THE ART OF AGEING WELL – Dr. Professor Novel Kishore Rai-72
Dr. Professor Novel Kishore Rai – 72
Rtd. Professor, Tribhuvan University
Born into a ‘lahure’ family in 1947 in a small remote village in the Eastern part of Nepal, it was assumed that Dr. Prof. Novel Kishore Rai would follow in his father’s footsteps to become a ‘lahure’.
But he chose a different path and became instrumental in showing his community that hard work and pursuit of education allowed him to travel around the world, breaking the myth that one had to either be a soldier or be of great wealth to do so.
Having taught the Nepali language at top notch universities such as the University of Kiel, Germany, Leiden University, Netherlands and the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Dr. Prof. Rai’s contribution of teaching in the 90’s at an international platform proved to be invaluable; it paved opportunities for Nepali academicians to also make a mark internationally.
It was also during this time that Dr. Prof Rai was appointed ambassador to Germany (concurrently accredited to Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Czech, Vatican City and Hungary) where he was able to represent Nepal, meeting with world leaders and figures on an international diplomatic platform. And yet, when questioned what his greatest achievement has been so far, without hesitation he replies that the fact he was a pioneer within the Rai community to be an educator and academician breaking the stereotypes in his community, is his biggest achievement.
On the topic of love, he believes that love has evolved to becoming ‘lighter, cheaper and more temporary’ today, however he adamantly believes that love is a blessing that one has to cherish like a beautiful gift. And with that he advises today’s youth about the need to respect the elderly, not only out of tradition but because the knowledge and experience from the elderly needs to be preserved and passed down to future generations. “In our society today, we are copying everything from the West, our lifestyles, mannerism and culture which is not correct.”
He explains that our society needs to grow and develop, but also this needs to be done in a manner where not everything is copied from other countries as we are very capable ourselves.”
At 72, Dr. Prof Rai is still young at heart. Having recently come back from an adventurous trip to Solokhumbu with friends, his passion to travel and meet new people has not changed. He is currently working on his autobiography and speaks at different forums and meetings about his work and profession.