CATMANDU, FREIBURG & OTHER POEMS (Satis Shroff)

FREIBURG, CATMANDU & OTHER POEMS (SATIS SHROFF)

 

FREIBURG AND CATMANDU (Satis Shroff)

Freiburg: the finest spire in Christendom,

Which bombs couldn’t destroy

In two Great Wars.

Old men pulled carts with their belongings,

Along the cobbled Kaiser-Joseph-Strasse.

Women were taken to dances,

By African American GIs.

Children received chocolates.

‘Hallo Fräulein!’ did the rounds,

In poverty-stricken, ramshackled Germany.

The GIs returned years later to admire

The splendour of cities they’d bombed.

The Fräuleins were elderly ladies now,

Who frequented posh cafes, operas and lectures.

Catmandu: the all-seeing-eyes

Of the primordeal Buddha,

Still welcomes visitors

From around the globe.

The hippies have long left

This cannabis paradise of yore.

Its hotels and trekking lodges offer

Western food galore,

And fast-climbs for dudes and nerds

To Everest.

The Gurkhas still die under foreign skies,

For the Queen of England.

The Sherpas and porters carry the sahib’s loads,

Suffer from acute-mountain-sickness,

Or still die as unsung heroes,

As Tigers of the Snow.

The children still beg in its strets

Or work in shady backrooms,

Of outsourced fashion firms.

Cat Stevens sings as Yusuf even today.

* * * *

THE DANCE OF THE BIRCH TREES (Satis Shroff)

The naked white birch trees

Stand close to each other,

Waiting for the music

Of the Dreisam Valey wind

To begin.

 

A gust comes,

Followed by another,

Making the trees sway,

Like a wise white woman’s long tresses,

The thin, supple twigs

That almost reach half the size of the trees,

Have a faster rhythm of their own.

 

The hurricane-like wind

Gathers its energy for the finale.

Ah, the upper branches

With capillary-like twigs,

As they anastomose,

Developing into a canopy,

Become intensive

In their movements to and fro.

 

In the background you see

The blue Black Forest hills,

With homesteads like dots

On the snow-covered hillsides,

That are lit now.

 

The blueish-grey clouds which were on the move,

Have taken a prussian blue hue.

A weak yellowish light,

Manages to break through,

Above the snowy-clad peaks.

A semblance of a sunset

In the Schwarzwald.

 

* * *

 

A TRAIN JOURNEY (Satis Shroff)

A screaming train,

Billowing smoke and sparks,

As it reaches Ghoom hill,

Descends to Darjeeling

Looping its way to lessen its speed.

What unfurls is a memorable Bergblick:

The majestic panorama of the snown peaks,

The Kanchenjunga in all its splendour.

The summits like a jeweled crown,

Bathed in golden, yellow and orange light.

A moment of revelation in life,

Shared on a particular evening,

As the sun goes down slowly,

The mountain range is glowing,

A Himalayan glow.

A feast for the eyes of the beholder,

The play of lights

Evoked by the dying sun,

Upon the massif.

* * *

MY MOM’S GARDEN (Satis Shroff)

THERE’S a microcosmos

In my Mom’s garden.

I hear her calling my name.

No, it isn’t the ‘sh’ of Sanskrit,

Nor the ‘sch’ of the Alemannic tongue.

It’s a Nepalese accent from the hills.

A French lass prounced it

With an Alsatian lash.

My Mom loved and grew roses.

In Summer the fragrant aroma

Of the pink and red roses,

Worked like aphrodiciacs.

She grew cabbages, salads and lentils,

Took delight in her abundance.

Sparrows flew around busily in summer,

Swallows flew low in winter.

Between June till September,

The torrential monsoon.

A parrot ith red eyes whirrs by,

Brings the day to an end.

The trees, shrubs and flowers are thankful

Towards Indra who has sent rain.

After Dad’s tragic demise,

She lives in an apartment in the capital.

No garden, just salbei and a few flowers

On the window sill,

As she prays to the Gods

In the Abode of the Snows.

* * *

WIN THE DAY (Satis Shroff)

WHEN you withhold yourself

You become weak,

For it is you yourself,

Who does this to yourself.

Give in,

Surrender to yourself

And you have won the day.

* * *

 

 

STORM IN THE NIGHT (Satis Shoff)

I walke up and peer from my cosy room.

The trembling waves shatter noisily,

With the ebb and the tide.

The frowning cumuli gather in the vast sky.

It’s raining and the waves become choppy,

Trawlers are tossed like logs

By the furious water.

The waves thrash on the cliffs,

Which stand to attention

Like sentinels as the war rages,

The krieg of the elements.

Oblivious of the storm in the night,

I take refuge under my warm blanket,

At the seaside hotel Mon Bijou

In the isle of Sylt.

* * *

Dreamcatcher Talisman Indian Federn Kultur

MAN’S FOLLEY (Satis Shroff)

Bloody colonial migrations in the West,

Blood feuds between white settlers

Versus the Native Sons of America.

Greed-driven ranchers and gunslingers,

Fighting for land and water rights.

This was how the west was won.

Rights?

The rights of the native Americans?

Or the rights of the invading European grabbers?

The Spirit of the Wild West goes marching on.

America is yet struggling with itself.

The clash of haves and have-nots,

The greed for power of the white mainstream,

The conflict of skin and Social Darwinism

Still spills over in Ferguson,

Mother Earth watches over Man’s folley.

* * *

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THE ADMONITION (Satis Shroff)

 

The motley mother moth

Warns the young butterfly:

‘Beware of the candle’s

Flickering flame.’

 

The frolicking butterfly replies:

‘It’s so warm and fascinating.’

 

Golder, flickering flame,

Spending warmth, light and music.

It enjoys the dance,

As the circling wings sway,

And the inaudible music

Reaches its crescendo.

Flying around the burning candle,

In a trance like a Dervish dancer.

 

In its merry ecstatic rounds

It forgets the words,

And is singed by the flame,

When a boy opens the window.

 

A frail frivolous butterfly

That didn’t heed,

The warning of an elderly moth.

Wasn’t the admonition

Of Daedalus the same?

 

* * *

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THE UNKRAUT (Satis Shroff)

 

On the fields are the traces

Of harvested maize.

Where the tender flowers were,

There are now brown, russet leaves,

Scattered by the wind,

From the Vale of Hell.

 

The leaves that gave joy

In their autumnal gaiety,

Now strewn upon the earth,

To be thrashed by the rain,

Trodden by feet in trekking boots.

 

An elderly lady on high heels

Wobbles and breaks her dainty femur,

Over the treacherous unkraut.

The lady is picked up

By an ambulance from the Maltese Cross.

 

The leaves remain to rot.

No one bothers,

As cars speed to and from

The Black Forest.

 

* * *

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MERRY TAVERNS (Satis Shroff)

 

There are taverns in the hamlet,

Where the wine and beer

Make men merry,

And women in deep decolltes,

Cast glances;

Moving their eyelashes.

 

I leave them to themselves,

As I flee and shun them.

My heart wants Ruhe,

I’m dying of pain,

Of longing for you.

 

* * *

 

YEARNING (Satis Shroff)

 

Women are like flowers:

Jasmine, tulips,

Rhododendrons and roses.

But need you pluck everyone?

 

How wonderful to admire them,

Take delight at watching them,

As they bloom and wilt.

 

I see the Schwarzwald stream,

With its refreshing cold water,

Therein I see my countenance,

A pale man with white sideburns.

Then I see you,

A peaceful mind overwhelms me.

My heart begins to glow

With yearning for you.

 

* * *

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ENDURING PAIN (Satis Shroff)

 

Nights I wake up

With terrible pain;

Don’t know where to turn.

Despite the potions from the apothecary,

Capsules from novasulfon, tincture opii,

Pancreas powder with amylase,

Lipase, protease,

Oxalis mixture, hyoscyamus,

Valeriana cocktail,

Depotspritze,

Rounded up with Lormetazepam.

I’m in Schmerz.

 

I kept a stiff upper lip,

When the chirurg solemnly said:

‘Your tumor is like an iceberg,

We only see the top.

Below it’s growing wantonly.

I’m afraid I can’t operate.

If we begin we’ll never end.

Too many mines in this battlefield.’

 

I’d been brooding after the computer tomography.

I didn’t wince.

I was in shock.

The realisation of the diagnosis

Sank slowly in my mind.

I decided to make the best of it.

No use reeling under

The shattering words.

 

When will my anatomical ruin fall?

That wasn’t my problem.

Till then I had time to live,

Every day to the full,

With my senses,

With my thoughts and words.

 

To borrow a line from John Keats:

‘The poetry of earth is ceasing never.’

The beauty and delight of living

Far exceeds the pain from a tumor,

As big as a fist.

 

* * *

 

 

SNOW IN KAPPEL (Satis Shroff)

 

At 2 o’ clock in the morning,

I look out of my window:

It’s snowing in Kappel,

In the Schwarzwald.

 

I see the white snowflakes,

Falling ceaselessly, silently, stealthily,

Made visible by the dim yellowish treet lamp.

 

A car comes crunching down the curve,

Its red rear-lights glowing.

The rooftops and house railings are covered,

As with powder sugar.

 

The clouds are veiled,

And Heaven has become frosty.

Ah, I sleep and wake up again,

To find the lovely hamlet

Ringed with hills and meadows,

Covered with a thick mantle of snow.

Dazzling whiteness where you look.

 

On such a Sunday morning,

I take my snowspade,

To clear the winding stairs:

For common courtesy demands

That passersby shouldn’t slip and fall,

On the street before your house.

We all have to kehr,

Lest others despair.

 

The shepherd from the Molchhofsiedlung

Has left the once-green meadows,

His hundred sheep don’t bleat anymore,

Below Maier’s Hill.

With my snow-chores done,

Followed by a hearty Black Forest breakfast,

I take a brisk morning walk,

Over the snow-clad landscape,

Respire and enjoy the refreshing Bergluft.

 

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THROUGH NEPALESE EYES: SATIS SHROFF

 

THROUGH NEPALESE EYES: SATIS SHROFF

Through Nepalese Eyes

http://www.Lulu.com/spotlight/satisle

 

‘Through Nepalese Eyes’ is about the journey of a young Nepalese woman to Germany to meet her brother, who lives with his German wife and daughter in an Alemannic town named Freiburg. It is a travelogue written by a sensitive, modern British public-school educated man. He describes the two worlds: Asia and Europe and the people he meets. There is a touch of sadness when his sister returns to her home in the foothills of the Himalayas.

 

(205 Seiten) Paperback:  €12.00 Download:  €6.25

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It cries to be written because there are seldom books written by Nepalese writers about themselves. It’s always the casual foreign traveler, trekker or climber who writes about the people in the developing and least-developed countries of the so-called Third World.

 

The likely readers are the increasing male and female tourists, trekkers, climbers from the whole world who make their way to the Himalayas, each seeking something indefinable, perhaps peace, tranquility, spiritual experience or a much-needed monologue with oneself in the heights of the Himalayas. The book is aimed at all Nepalophile and South Asian readers irrespective of their origin, and seeks to contribute towards understanding the Nepalese psyche, the world that the Nepalese live in, and the fact that it has to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of modernisation and innovations from the western world, amid the thoughts and beliefs, cultures and religions of the Himalayan world.

 

The book is divided according to the iterinary of the protagonist’s travels, her sojourn in Freiburg (Germany) and her excursions to Switzerland (Basle and Grindelwald) and France (Alsace and Paris-Versailles) and ends with the chapter ‘Return to the Himalayas’. It deals with the ‘Begegnungen’ or encounters with friendly Germans, the circle of her brother’s friends and the intercultural and inter-religious questions that she is confronted with during these conversations and the encouraging intercultural work being performed by Germans and foreigners specifically in Freiburg and Germany in general in creating a multicultural society, where a foreigner doesn’t have to fear deportation, persecution and xenophobia.

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Introduction:

 

As my friend Satish Shroff requested me to write some introductory words to this book, I decided to start a very unusual way, by congratulating the author for the theme chosen: life, people, mentalities in East and West, with all inherent similarities (alas! few enough) and differences (quite a number). How right the late Rudyard Kipling was when expressing the essence of this subject: “East is East and West is West: Never the twins shall meet”! But by describing the two worlds as twins, he also hints at existing and possibly developing similarities.

 

Today’s world and way of life shortens the physical and mental distances, tending towards globalisation. Let us hope that one day, the only remaining differences will be of the geographic, artistic and cultural kind. Because there are elements which are common to both worlds and, therefore, they bring them together. Human nature, with all its emotions, love, sympathy, sorrow, hatred and a multitude of other feelings, is the same and the common element of both Eastern and Western people. The writer successfully

brings out these points, clearly delineating each character.

 

This work is a window where from one can peep to the East from the West and vice-versa. One can make out the geographical distributions, the cultural distinctions and the historic development of East and West separately. But if someone ponders on it, he finds the same basic human sentiments and values that hold mankind together since times immemorial.

 

Personally, I think that this and other works of this kind will prove instrumental in creating a good understanding between the two worlds, by describing the respective natures, cultures, traditions, art, social life and thus contributing towards a better knowledge and appreciation of each other, which will hopefully result into creating a new, more human world for the whole mankind sharing the same earth and sky. This world should be like a great family, and we, its members, should be constantly striving for maintaining its unity.

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So, my friend Satish, as you see, I consider you one of the architects of this new world, this ideal, this Shangri-La of the whole mankind. In spite of many private and global setbacks, I am sure we are approaching it, with little steps, it is true, but we are coming nearer with every smile, with each gesture of tolerance and understanding between the two still different worlds.

 

I congratulate you, my dear friend, on your efforts to close the gap. May everyone read your book with open eyes, mind and heart.

 

 

(Dr. Novel K. Rai)

 

Former Nepalese Ambassador to Germany

 

Bonn, Germany

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Review by Renate Mousseux. M.A. ED:  Through Nepalese Eyes is a highly interesting, authentic story taking the reader through traditions and customs of 2 different countries. The stories are written through the Eyes of a Nepalese, hence the Title. We learn about the role of women, religious beliefs, political events, ethical and socio-economic situations in Nepal. We see comparisons of Europe and Asia and learn about the vast differences of life. This book is a must read, I recommend it highly.

(Renate Mousseux. M.A. ED. Body Language Expert, Professor of English, French and German USA)

 

 

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What others have said about the author:

 

Die Schilderungen von Satis Shroff in ‘Through Nepalese Eyes’ sind faszinierend und geben uns die Möglichkeit, unsere Welt mit neuen Augen zu sehen.“ (Alice Grünfelder von Unionsverlag / Limmat Verlag, Zürich).

 

Since 1974 I have been living on and off in Nepal, writing articles and publishing books about Nepal– this beautiful Himalayan country. Even before I knew Satis Shroff personally (later) I was deeply impressed by his articles, which helped me very much to deepen my knowledge about Nepal. Satis Shroff is one of the very few Nepalese writers being able to compare ecology, development and modernisation in the ‘Third’ and ‘First’ World. He is doing this with great enthusiasm, competence and intelligence, showing his great concern for the development of his own country. (Ludmilla Tüting, journalist and publisher, Berlin).

 

Due to his very pleasant personality and in-depth experience in both South Asian, as well as Western workstyles and living, Satis Shroff brings with him a cultural sensitivity that is refined. His writings have always reflected the positive attributes of optimism, tolerance, and a need to explain and to describe without looking down on either his subject or his reader. (Kanak Mani Dixit, Himal Southasia, Kathmandu)

 

Satis Shroff writes with intelligence, wit and grace. (Bruce Dobler, Senior Fulbright Professor in Creative Writing, University of Pittsburgh).

Review: Migration in Freiburg (Satis Shroff)

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Satis Shroff received the Heimatmedaille Baden-Württemberg 2018
I was invited to a book introduction and reception on the occasion of the International Day of Migration at the Winterer Foyer of Freiburg’s city theatre.

The well-researched book in question bore the title ‘Migration in Freiburg im Breisgau – its history from 1500 till today,’ and the editors were Ulrich Ecker (City Archive) and Prof. Dr. Nausikaa Schrilla (University of Applied Sciences). The musical accompaniment was provided by the Heim und Flucht Orchestra conducted by Ro Kuijpers.

We all know that migration is not a new contemporary phenomenon and represents an essential factor for urban development, and in this context migrants (males and females) have left and still leave their impressions in the cultural heritage of the city they live in.

The society to which the migrants came was formed, challenged, emphasized and, most of all, enhanced and enriched by the new citizens. This is also the reason why the Cultural Department devotes its time and resources to this long-time research project, which was initiated in 2011 under the aegis of the Community Council of Freiburg City. The city archive was obliged to carry out a research on the migration story, as part of the history of the city. The result is a standard work written by 26 authors, among them historians, social scientists, ethnologists, social workers and the scientific archivists of this city who have compiled these fascinating stories from 1500 till the present.

The documents are readable also for the layman and is written in an interesting way, which was not visible till now—as far as research documents written by scientists are concerned. The publication also depicts the people from Europe and other countries of the world who made their way to this city in Baden-Württemberg, and have left lasting impressions in the community as its new citizens, have brought new perspectives and thereby enriched the culture of Freiburg. Without the contributions of these people, Freiburg wouldn’t be as rich and diverse as today.

The book has 304 pages and 113 images, and bears the ISBN 978-3-923272-39-6 and costs 24,50 euros and is published by Stadt Archiv Freiburg, Grünwälderstrasse 15, D-79098 Freiburg, Germany.

Jean Aymonat immigrated to Freiburg in 1596 from Savoyen, Jerome Ferrand came in 1698 from Languedoc, Alberto Lurati came in 1872 from Italy.

Joseph Bednaz was brought against his will to Freiburg from Poland in 1941, and remained here after the World War II.
Agostinho Dias came all the way from Portugal with his parents who were workers in the Dreisam Valley in the year 1979. Jasmina Prpic fled to Freiburg during the war in Bosnia-Herzegowina in 1992.

The above-mentioned are only six out of many migrants who have come to Freiburg in the course of time in the last 500 years, established themselves here and brought their families or created new families here. The imprint of their influence is evident in the cultural heritage of the city and it was their integration in the teutonic society that was a matter of challenge and choices, that taxed the society, shaped it, moulded it and even enriched it in the process.

The book isn’t about the chronology of events but about themes such as the role of religion in the migratory process, and the presence and echo and how it was reflected upon by the German media, the participation in the society, language learning, pastime schedules and social life of the immigrants. It might be noted that the different migrant groups that have settled down in Freiburg in the course of time not only worked here and sent their children to school but also lived their lives and helped to bring about changes in Freiburg. The numerous portraits of the new immigrants document the individual motives of migration, and the success achieved as well as goals not attained and resulting defeat.

The book handled the theme migration in its historical and local perspectives. From this a few deductions can be made regarding migration, which are firstly not new phenomena, secondly they’re just as normal as migration itself, which has always taken place in in history, and thirdly we cannot imagine Freiburg without migration.

Freiburg is a lovely, attractive city and it is the migratory trend that makes it so attractive. The book analyses the past and the present, as well as the future and comes to the conclusion that migration will further strengthen and it will remain an open and diverse Black Forest metropolis, as we Freiburger are wont to say. As Prof. Schirilla mentioned in her talk about the book:’There are obviously gaps in the book. Die Lückenhaftigkeit des Buches sind nicht vermeidbar‘ but with time even these gaps are expected to be closed after the adage: writing is re-writing.

(Svetlana Boltovskaja, Satis Shroff & a friend from Poland)

Of the 170 languages spoken by the migrants of Freiburg, only a small percentage has been represented, and it is hoped that this publication will lead to other ambitious publications as a series for the City Archive. The book does mirror the migrants and what they have experienced in the Occident. Through the contributions of the new citizens the Abendland has grown and become prosperous and can only be destroyed through its own doings, according to Nausikaa Schirilla.

I’d like to mention a forthcoming book by Svetlana Boltovskaja, a young, bespectacled, blonde I met and talked with at the book event. The title is long, as most academic works show: ‘Educational migrants from the sub-Saharan Africa in Moscow and St. Petersberg: self and alien portraits.’ ISBN 978-386226-256-4, price 28,80 euros, http://www.centaurus-verlag.de. I told Svetlana that during my college days in Kathmandu (Nepal) in the late seventies there were scholarships available for Nepalese and Indian students from the Lumumba-Friendship-University and Moscow University. The Soviet Union educated a lot of young people from the southern hemisphere (developing countries). Hundreds of Africans did their higher education in the old Soviet Union. Today, we find a rather small, active African community the nucleus of which consists of the former educational migrants.
Svetlana Boltovskaja’s interdisciplinary study is an elaboration on the theme of ‘intercultural Black Studies of Russia.’ She has worked on the history of educational migration from the sub-Saharan Africa and has focused on the post-Soviet-period during which economic and societal-political transformations took place in Russia and in the African states. She works as a journalist, translator and as a museum-expert. She did her PhD in ethnology in Freiburg and coordinates different projects in the intercultural sector.

Heimattage 2018: Satis Shroff (Freiburg)

HEIMATTAGE 2018

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Satis Shroff was awarded the Heimatmedaille Baden –Württemberg for Literature and Heimatpflege last Sunday during the Heimattage. The university lecturer, author, artist, singer and humanist hails from Nepal. He has been living since a long time in Freiburg-Kappel and is a member of the men’s choir (Männergesangverein ‘Liederkranz’).

 

The medal recipient said: ‘Something important would be missing without songs in my life.’

To me, ‘Heimat’ is the Dreisam Valley and its people, my neighbours and my friends from the men’s choir who are close to me. I am connected here with people from my own life circle and profession. I have intensive exchange of thoughts and ideas with creative artists like Thomas Rees, Herbert Tombreul and literature-friends Ernst and Helene Ehemann (KKV-Kappel). The Art and Culture Association an enhancement in my life. This is where I feel secure (geborgen) and treasured and appreciated because Heimat is for me a feeling of Geborgenheit, being secure and loved, instead of a place. Heimat is for also Literature, especially English and German Lit.’

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Books by Satis Shroff on: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/satisle

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Dreisamtälerkonzert in St. Peter, Scwarzwald

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Neruda Award 2017: Satis Shroff (Crispiano, Italy)

 

Heimatmedaille Awarded to Satis Shroff

Satis Shroff was Awarded the Heimatmedaille 2018

O sole mio- It's Now or Never: Satis Shroff
O sole mio- It’s Now or Never: Satis Shroff
Satis Shroff (MGV-Kappel) singt Solo: O Sole Mio am Brachtumsabend

Heimatmedaille Baden-Württemberg 2018

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Moderation: Journalistin Dinah Steinbrink
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Ministerin Theresia Bauer MdL, Satis Shroff und Roman Götzmann (Oberbürgermeister der Stadt Waldkirch)

Freiburger author, lecturer and Männergesangverein singer Satis Shroff was awarded the Heimatmedaille Baden-Württemberg am 7.9.2018 in Waldkirch by the Minister for Science Frau Theresia Bauer MdL. The ceremony took place at 16 pm in the katholischen Gemeindezentrum St.Margarethen, Kirchplatz 7, in Waldkirch. Prior to the award ceremony there was a city tour of Waldkirch at 1:30 pm, followed by a coffee and cake session at 3 pm. After which a 3 minute film about the awardee and his activities and contributions towards Heimatpflege were shown.

Heimat is undoubtedly a part of our cultural identity and has different facets. My feelings about Heimat centres around the environ I’m used to: the lovely Dreisam Valley and the people in Kappel, especially the colleagues from the men’s choir and the Art & Cultural Association- Kappel  and the staff of the Academy for Medical Professions.

Satis Shroff: Dozent an der Akademie für medizinische Berufe mit seine Studentinnen bei der Entlassungszeremonie Uniklinik Freiburg.

 

Dozent Satis Shroff with his Creative Writing Class at the University of Freiburg:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHzVCOuDwus&t=8s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLZpdMgt3NA&t=192s

Heimat Feelings in Baden-Württemberg (Satis Shroff)

Ah, the name Baden-Württemberg makes you think of the Germany’s Black Forest, the heights of the Swabian Alb, Oberschwaben, Hohenlohe and the boat rides along the romantic rivers Neckar and Rhine.

Heimat Days are when history comes becomes alive. Impulses are created with the roots of one’s identity and the possibility is given to have a look at the stories of the towns of morgen.

Heimat doesn’t stagnate and is always ‘in flow’ and becomes more and more a feeling, rather than a place. Why? We, humans, are all in motion. The Heimattage event are made to give us all the opportunity to look for one’s personal Heimat feelings. What makes Baden-Württemberg so attractive as a Heimat? How do the people feel when they have lost their Heimat? This happened to ethnic Germans when they were forced under gunpoint to leave their former territories and head for Germany after it had lost the World War II and was forced to capitulate by the Soviet Union and the USA and its Allies.

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Can different Heimats come together?

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‘The town of Waldkirch is pleased to be the host of the Heimat Days, to show the many facettes of the state Baden-Württemberg,’ said Roman Götzmann, the town’s Öberbürgermeister. He was also of the opinion that the upkeeping of the traditions and customs also belong to the description of Heimat.

Waldkirch has been organising events such as: Baden-Württemberg Day in the inner part of the city in May 2018. This was followed by the Landesfesttage with the award of the Heimatmedaille on 7.9.2018 in which ten citizens who have shown social engagement and made special contributions in the category Heimat to enhance customs and traditions.
The 8th of September marked the Brauchtumsabend in which groups from the Heimat and Trachten Associations (vereine) from Baden-Württemberg performed traditional dances, music, folksongs local dialects galore with all their peculiarities.
Yesterday (9.9.2018) was the grande procession ‘Landesfestumzug’ in which 90 Tracht and Dance groups, music bands, fire-brigades and floats from Waldkirch and the entire Baden-Württemberg took part in a colourful procession with a lot of oomph. Not only the vereins were involved in the great cultural festival but also the children’ groups and institutions.The children wore costumes to represent such themes as: the Kastelburg, historical marketplace festival, Mother Nature with Elz, Kandel with local animals, handworkers (masons, carpenters, bakers), the Orgelfest, ‘s Bad (the spa), a replica the St. Margarethen church. Even Liestal (Helvetia), which is the partner town of Waldkirch, took part with its own groups.

3500 participants came from different parts of Baden-Württemberg, Lake Constance, the Black Forest, Zweitäler Land, Swabian Alb and Hohenlohe.

At the end of the Landesfestumzug (procession) Landesvater Winfried Kretschmann and Roman Götzmann handed over the Heimattage flag to Hartmuth Holzwarth, the Oberbürgermesiter (Grand Mayor) of Winnenden, which will be staging the next Heimattage.

A Trachten Exhibition that started on the 24th of August will be held till the 24th of September at the Sparkasse in Waldkirch from 9am till 16.pm in which exceptional hand-made objects will be shown, accessoires, leggings, stockings and, of course, Trachten costumes from the entire baden-Württemberg

And on the 22nd of November the best scientific studies on ‘social engagement’ will be awarded for ‘Heimat Research’ at the Pfarrzentrum in Waldkirch.

 

Literature: Reading at the KuCa, University of Education/PH …

https://satisshroff.wordpress.com/…/literature-reading-at-the-kuca-university-of-educat

http://www.labforculture.org/fr/members/satis-shroff/76717/93303

July 28, 2014 by satisshroff. Creative Writing Workshop at the Schreibzentrum, University of Education (PH-Freiburg). Savvy writings by Creative Writing students …

Satis Shroff Grußwort – YouTube (Historischen Kaufhaus, Freiburg)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLZpdMgt3NA

Grusswort zum Tag der Einbürgerung (Satis Shroff)

Stichwörter-key words: Migration, Nepal, Himalaya, Schwarzwald, Freiburg; Integration: Freiburg, Deutschland, Verein, Gesellschaft, Miteinander, Toleranz, Gegenseitige Respekt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLZpdMgt3NA&t=192s

Satis Shroff singt ein Solo: Brauchtumsabend 2017

A Heimattag serves to deepen the consciousness in Baden-Württemberg for the home state.  I remember that I was invited to Stuttgart on the Day of German Unity and had lunch with our Landesvater Winfried Kretschmann and dinner with the former Bundespräsident Gauck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=tYrcjTU8_3U

http://www.boloji.com/articles/15075/stuttgarter-celebrated-day-of-german-unity

Tänze der Kindertrachtengruppe St. Peter e.V. am 22.Juli 2018 (c)satisshroff

Trachtengruppe Eichstetten in St. Peter (Schwarzwald)

Satis Shroff in St. Peter: 90 Jahre Trachtengruppe St. Peter, 22.Juli 2018

Last year was also a highlight for me when I was invited to Crispiano (Italy) to receive the Neruda Award at a literary and cultural event organised by the Pablo Neruda Association. It was a great honour to represent Germany and Freiburg in Italy.

Freiburger Lesemaraton Satis Shroff – YouTube (Stadttheater Freiburg)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SK_bbdVPOdQ

14.09.2012 – Hochgeladen von Satis Shroff

Lesemarathon im Freiburger Stadttheater, gelesen von Satis Shroff.

https://satisshroff.wordpress.com/2011/12/10/viva-babilonia-freiburger-lesemarathon-satis-shroff/

It is heartening to note that we have a lively and innovative associations (vereine) and citizen’s culture in Kappel and 600,000 throughout the country. We help each other when we stage various events. We’re free, democratic and humane in the society.

Satis Shroff und ein Koreanischer Gast mit den Mitglieder der Trachtengruppe St. Peter neben der Sportplatz. Für das leibliche Wohl war bestens gesorgt.

I’m proud to be awarded the Heimatmedaille Baden-Württemberg and shall treasure it. I find the conservation and promotion of Heimat customs, language, poetry, trachten costumes, music and Lieder and traditions worthy of praise—which have featured prominently in my writings.

Die gesichter ändern sich—das Brauchtum bleibt.Die Trachtengruppe St. Peter wurde 1928 von Adolf Waldvogel gegründet. Die Trachtengruppe St. Peter sowie MGV Kappel sind in der glücklichen Lage auf junge Mitglieder zurückgreifen zu können.

Mit der Heimatmedaille des Landes Baden-Württemberg werden jährlich bis zu zehn Bürgerinnen und Bürgergeehrt, die sich um die Heimat- und Brauchtumspflege besonders verdient gemacht haben. Die Spanne ihres Wirkens reicht von der Volkskunde über den Denkmal- und Naturschutz bis hin zur Kunstgeschichte oder Literatur.

Satis Shroff with Prof. Grizmeck at La Redoute, Bonn
Satis Shroff with the German President Gauck in Stuttgart

Rolle als Vermittler zwischen östliche und westliche Kulturen:

–       Satis Shroff hat Literatur aus Asien kommentiert und Rezensionen geschrieben für die westliche Leser. (cf bookreviews in internet).

–       Obwohl daheim in Kappel und im Freiburgeralltag Deutsch gesprochen wird, habe ich meine Muttersprache auch gepflegt, denn Sprachen zu lernen ist immer eine Bereicherung für Interculturelle Kommunikation und Interaktionen. Zur Zeit lernen ich Italienisch.

–       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1zx9m7K74A

Satis Shroff at a Reading /Lesung in Freiburg-Kappel organised by the Kunst & Kultur Verein

–       Benefizkonzerte: Ich habe abwechselnd mit der MGV-Kappel und KunstundKultur Verein-Kappel zusammen mit der Freiburger Neplesische Verein Benefizkonzerte für die Kinder von Syrien (Unicef) und für die Kinder in Nepal veranstaltet. Wir haben Deutsche und Nepali Lieder gesungen und Nepali Tänze vorgeführt in der Mensa I (Uni Freiburg) und in unsere Gemeindeheim in Kappel. Der MGV hat auch eine alemannische Veranstaltung gemacht.

Nepalese folksdance at a Charity Concert organised by Satis Shroff, MGV-Kappel & FNA e.V. at the University Mensa I

Namaste Nepal: Benefizkonzert in Freiburg-Kappel for the needy children of Nepal after the tectonic earthquake

–       Es wird nicht nur Weihnachten gefeiert sonder auch Dasain (Nepalifest im Oktober) in der Stusibar und Mensa I (youtube Links) & ss with sari-clad ladies.

–       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eRdENbl-9M&t=11s

–       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmWm_Wgvv4o

–       Ehrungsmatinee Gruppe Dreisamtal am 26.März 2017 in St. Peter, Schwarzwald. MGV St. Peter: ‘Vum Kandelberg’ Text: Frauke Alpermann. Eingeladen waren die Dreisamtalchöre: MGV-St. Peter, MGV-Kappel, Gem. Chor Zarten, MGV-Buchenbach, MGV-Oberried, MC Kirchzarten und Gem. Chor Ebnet.

–       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUpjmIjWDcg

–       This is about the organisers and participants of a successful Benefizkonzert (Charity Concert) in Freiburg-Kappel in the Schwarzwald, the friends friends he has made in the country of his choice Germany–and his fellow Nepalese in the diaspora. He hasn’t forgotten his rich Nepalese cultural heritage. He lectures in German and English, sings songs in English, Nepali and German, paints in aquarelle and acryl colours and writes Zeitgeistlyrik.

–       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYUvE5H7s6Y&t=137s

–       SONGS GALORE: From ‘Der Schwarzwald’ to ‘Swing Low’ (Satis Shroff, Mgv-Kappel).

The sky was blue and the sun was shining brightly in the Schwarzwald and we were gathered in the Festhalle (festival hall) in lovely St. Peter. The occasion was a matinee to honour the singers of the Dreisam Valley choirs who’d lent their voices to the associations for 40, 50 and 60 years.

–       Für die Stadt Ilmenau übersetzte ich Goethes Gedicht „Wanderers Nachtlied“ in Nepali.

–        1463992258596

 

–          Bücher und Veröffentlichungen: Ich schreibe Gedichte in Englisch, Nepali und Deutsch und veröffentlicht bei www.lulu.com/spotlight/satisle. Die Bücher sind:“Im Schatten des Himalaya“ (Gedichteband), „Through Nepalese Eyes“ (Travelogue), „Kathmandu, Kathmandu“ Gedichte Anthologie. Zwei  Sprachbücher über die nepalesische Sprache habe ich für die Entwicklungshelder der GTZ, des Goethe Instituts, des DAAD und der Carl-Duisberg Gesellschaft verfasst und sind bei Horlemannverlag erschienen. Der Shreibauftrag kam von der Deutsche Stiftung für Entwicklungsdienst (DSE). Hinzu kommen Artikel über Nepali Themen „Symbole-Nepals Achtausender-Gurkhas“ für Nellesverlag (München) und über „Hinduismus“ in „Nepal: Myths & Realities“ (Faith Book India, Delhi). Mein nächstes Werke sind ‚Rhododendron Song‘ und ‚Schwarzwald Song.‘

–       https://satisshroff.wordpress.com/

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–      https://satisshroffblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/satis-shroff-wcif-direktor-fur-deutschland/

–        Seit Sommer 2016 bin ich Direktor der deutschen Abteilung für die Internationale Internet-Autorenorganisation „Writers Capital.“ Wenn “Writers Capital“ Schreibwettbewerbe organisiert, kann ich beiträge einreichen, auch von mir selbst, denn schreiben tue ich schon lange, Gedichte, Reiseführer, Essays, alles mögliche.Nach dem Motto „ einmal ein Journalist, immer ein Journalist“ schreibt er von Freiburg,  aus anderen Teile der Bundesrepublik und mit seine Reiseberichten über seine Exkursionen nach Italien, Frankreich, Schweiz, Österreich, London verfaßt er eine Art „Landesumschau“ für seine Lesern Weltweit.

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Lyrics from Nepal: Muna Madan by Satis Shroff – Boloji.com

www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles&ArticleID=14422

( Satis Shroff with Nepalese students at the Stusibar, Freiburg West performing the tika-talo and blessing ceremony at the Dasain Festival Celebration 2017)

15.05.2013 – Satis Shroff has translated Nepali literature (prose and poems) by Nepali …lSatish. Satis Shroff 08/08/2013.

http://www.boloji.com/articles/14422/lyrics-from-nepal-muna-madanArticle Comment, Dear Dr Shroff,

–        Herr Satis Shroff ist ein Vermittler zwischen westlichen und östlicher Kulturen und er sieht seine Zukunft in sozialem Engagement, journalistischer, schriftstellerische Tätigkeit und Vereinstätigkeit.

–       http://www.boloji.com/writers/1338/satis

Christmas Concert 2017: MGV-Kappel 'Liederkranz' & Musikverein-Freiburg-Kappel
Christmas Concert 2017: MGV-Kappel ‘Liederkranz’ & Musikverein-Freiburg-Kappel

Engagement im MGV-Kappel soll gewürdigt werden:

–       Marienstift: Mit der MGV-Kappel haben wir im Heim für betagte Menschen (Marienstift, Freiburg) Deutsche Volkslieder gesungen.

–        (Mit Connie & Rebecca Fuß und Band in der Kapplerhalle: Weihnachtskonzert)

The Journey of a Poet: Neruda Award 2017
The Journey of a Poet: Neruda Award 2017

–       Sommerkonzert in Kappler Kirche 2018

–      Macha & Rhodo8a4d0-bhaktapur

Satis Shroff: a song from Nepal in the Nepalese dress

–       ‚Namaste Nepal‘ Benefizkonzert für die armen Kinder in Nepal

–       Haslacher Literaturpodium: Lesung

–      http://www.boloji.com/articles/49742/crispiano-neruda-award-wine-olives

Haslacher Literature Podium: Lesung

Ev. Stift-Freiburg: In der Ev. Stift habe ich Gedichte vorgelesen, die ich zu dem Anlass geschrieben hatte und heimatliche Lieder gesungen (Wiesental etc).

Benefizkonzerte:

https://www.youtube.com/user/MrSatisshroff/videos

–       Im Verein war ich als Schriftführer und anschließend als Vorstand tätig. Wir singen hauptsächlich Deutsche Lieder, was ich toll finde; dadurch tun wir etwas wichtiges für die Heimatkultur und Brauchtumspflege. Wir haben einen Brauchtumsabend jedes Jahr zur Fasnetzeit, wo wir unsere Gesangsbeiträge leisten und Brauchtum pflegen zusammen mit den Schauinsländer Berggeisterverein und die anderen Vereine von Kappel.

–       Heimatgefühl: bedeutet für mich der Ort, wo man lebt und sich wohl und geborgen fühlt. Es ist auch ein Teil unserer kulturellen Identität. Ich fühle mich sehr wohl in Freiburg-Kappel und spüre die Geborgenheit im Verein und die Freundschaften und Miteinander mit den Menschen die hier leben.Tradition, Brauchtum, Sorgfalt und gegenseitige Respekt sind wichtig im Vereinsleben, was ich sehr schätze.

Satis Shroff erhält den DAAD Preis

–        In der britischen Internate hieß es „Omnia bene facere“ (Do all things well). Im MGV-Kappel, Deutschland heißt unsere Vereinsmotto: „In Freud und Leid, Zum Lied bereit.“  Wir sind bei Geburtstagsfeier, Beerdigungen, Volkstrauertag, Kommunion, Ostern und Weihnachten dabei und teilen unsere Freude und Leid miteinander. Das schafft eine Zusammengehörigkeit und eine Miteinander- und Heimatgefühl.

(Kappler Brauchtumsabend: Heimat und Brauchtumspflege mit den Schauinsländer Berggeister)

(Satis Shroff singt Solo am Brauchtumsabend 2018)

(Verleihung der HeimatmedailleBaden-Württemberg an Satis Shroff)

Die Heimatmedaille des Landes Baden-Württemberg bzw. die Medaille für Verdienste um die Heimat Baden-Württemberg ist eine Auszeichnung, mit der seit 1978 Bürger geehrt werden, die sich um die Heimat- und Brauchtumspflege von Baden-Württemberg besonders verdient gemacht haben.

Es handelt sich um eine eher seltene Auszeichnung, die jedes Jahr vom Landesausschuss für Heimatpflege anzehn Bürger vergeben wird.

Traditionell wird die Heimatmedaille den Preisträgern jedes Jahr am 7.September 2018 (zur Eröffnung der Heimattage Baden-Württemberg vom baden-württembergischen Kultusministerin (Frau Ministerin Theresa Bauer) überreicht.

„Heimat“ hat viele Facetten und wohl jeder von uns verbindet etwas anderes damit. Fast immer knüpft unser Empfinden von Heimat an Gewohntes und Vertrautes an, das uns Geborgenheit spüren lässt.

 

Heimat Feelings in Baden-Württemberg (Satis Shroff)

Heimat Feelings in Baden-Württemberg (Satis Shroff)

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Journalist Dinah Steinbrink did the moderation for the Heimatmedaille Baden-Württemberg 2018 at the Katholischen Gemeindezentrum in Waldkirch.

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Ah, the name Baden-Württemberg makes you think of the Germany’s Black Forest, the heights of the Swabian Alb, Oberschwaben, Hohenlohe and the boat rides along the romantic rivers Neckar and Rhine.

Heimat Days are when history comes becomes alive. Impulses are created with the roots of one’s identity and the possibility is given to have a look at the stories of the towns of morgen.

Heimat doesn’t stagnate and is always ‘in flow’ and becomes more and more a feeling, rather than a place. Why? We, humans, are all in motion. The Heimattage event are made to give us all the opportunity to look for one’s personal Heimat feelings. What makes Baden-Württemberg so attractive as a Heimat? How do the people feel when they have lost their Heimat? This happened to ethnic Germans when they were forced under gunpoint to leave their former territories and head for Germany after it had lost the World War II and was forced to capitulate by the Soviet Union and the USA and its Allies.
Can different Heimats come together?

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Satis Shroff (Heimatmedaille 2018) with Minister Theresia Bauer MdL and Roman Götzmann, the Oberbürgermeister of Waldkirch

‘The town of Waldkirch is pleased to be the host of the Heimat Days, to show the many facettes of the state Baden-Württemberg,’ said Roman Götzmann, the town’s Öberbürgermeister. He was also of the opinion that the upkeeping of the traditions and customs also belong to the description of Heimat.

Waldkirch has been organising events such as: Baden-Württemberg Day in the inner part of the city in May 2018. This was followed by the Landesfesttage with the award of the Heimatmedaille on 7.9.2018 in which ten citizens who have shown social engagement and made special contributions in the category Heimat to enhance customs and traditions.

DSC_0043
The 8th of September marked the Brauchtumsabend in which groups from the Heimat and Trachten Associations (vereine) from Baden-Württemberg performed traditional dances, music, folksongs local dialects galore with all their peculiarities.
Yesterday (9.9.2018) was the grande procession ‘Landesfestumzug’ in which 90 Tracht and Dance groups, music bands, fire-brigades and floats from Waldkirch and the entire Baden-Württemberg took part in a colourful procession with a lot of oomph. Not only the vereins were involved in the great cultural festival but also the children’ groups and institutions.The children wore costumes to represent such themes as: the Kastelburg, historical marketplace festival, Mother Nature with Elz, Kandel with local animals, handworkers (masons, carpenters, bakers), the Orgelfest, ‘s Bad (the spa), a replica the St. Margarethen church. Even Liestal (Helvetia), which is the partner town of Waldkirch, took part with its own groups.

3500 participants came from different parts of Baden-Württemberg, Lake Constance, the Black Forest, Zweitäler Land, Swabian Alb and Hohenlohe.

At the end of the Landesfestumzug (procession) Landesvater Winfried Kretschmann and Roman Götzmann handed over the Heimattage flag to Hartmuth Holzwarth, the Oberbürgermesiter (Grand Mayor) of Winnenden, which will be staging the next Heimattage.

A Trachten Exhibition that started on the 24th of August will be held till the 24th of September at the Sparkasse in Waldkirch from 9am till 16.pm in which exceptional hand-made objects will be shown, accessoires, leggings, stockings and, of course, Trachten costumes from the entire baden-Württemberg

And on the 22nd of November the best scientific studies on ‘social engagement’ will be awarded for ‘Heimat Research’ at the Pfarrzentrum in Waldkirch.

Image may contain: 8 people, including Satis Shroff, people smiling, people standing, wedding and outdoor
After the award of the Heimatmedaille at the sekt & snacks reception of Waldkirch City 2018
Image may contain: 3 people, including Satis Shroff, people smiling, suit Image may contain: 5 people, including Satis Shroff, people smiling, people standing

HEIMATPFLEGE: Satis Shroff

HEIMATPFLEGE: Satis Shroff

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Neruda Award for Literature, Crispiano, Italy 2017

Auf ein Lied mit Satis Shroff

Auf ein Lied mit

Satis Shroff

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Geboren in Ghopa, Nepal

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Beruf Dozent (Uniklinik-Freiburg), Autor (www.lulu.com/spotlight/satisle),

Christmas Concert 2017: MGV-Kappel 'Liederkranz' & Musikverein-Freiburg-Kappel
Christmas Concert 2017: MGV-Kappel ‘Liederkranz’ & Musikverein-Freiburg-Kappel

Sänger (www.mgv-kappel.de)

Chorerfahrung: Ja. Zuerst in einer britischen Schule und später beim Männergesangverein.

O sole mio- It's Now or Never: Satis Shroff

  1. Zuletzt habe ich als Solist und Chormitglied in unserem Projektchor gesungen.

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  1. Am liebsten singe ich, wenn ich daheim die Wäsche bügle oder beim Wandern im Schwarzwald oder Grindelwald.
  1. Unter der Dusche singe ich Elvis, Simon & Garfunkel, El Divo Lieder und „Weit,weit weg“ von Herbert von Goisern.

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  1. Zum singen inspiriert hat mich meine Mutter, meine ehemalige britische Gesangslehrerin, Nepals Minnesänger, Broadway, Bollywood und unser Kappler Chor.
  1. Glücklich macht mich Das Lied „I’m Still Standing“ von Elton John.

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  1. Tränen kommen mir bei dem Lied „Durch’s Wiesetaltal gang i“ aus dem badischen Schwarzwald.

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  1. Das schönste Volkslied ist „Sonnenaufgang“ von Peter Cornelius.
  1. Meine liebsten Kinderlieder sind „Humpty Dumpty“ und „Que Sera, Sera.“
  1. Gänsehaut bekomme ich bei dem Chorstück „Abendfrieden“ von Hildegard Eckhardt.
  1. Einen Ohrwurm hatte ich zuletzt von „Nun ade, du mein lieb Heimatland.“
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  3. Ohne Singen würde in meinem Leben etwas wichtiges fehlen.

FEUERTANZ IN AUTUMN (Satis Shroff)

FEUERTANZ IN AUTUMN (Satis Shroff)

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A rhapsody of yellow, orange
Scarlet hues suggest peace,
Yet when the wind blows over the leaves,

It becomes a Feuertanz
In dynamic rouge, yellow, brown:
Glowing and strewn in the air,

And you long for the warmth of your cosy room.

The landscape in ochre, sand and acryls and aquarelle,

Created by Mother Nature,

Throws a mysterious veil
In the early morning.

A delight for the eyes

Of the passing observer and connoisseur:

Of Nature landscapes in the Schwarzwald.
Nature’s artistry: secretive and mysterious.

Outside the sun is at ten O’ clock,
Throwing your shadows on the Alpine meadows,
Akin to the highly expressive figures
Of Alberto Giacometti.
There’s arresting artistry in the works

Of Mother Nature like writings,
Revealed subtly beneath colours.
Smells, taste and crushed leaves

Making you curious,
Beckoning you
To find the meanings
Behind the sensory symbols.

A dialogue takes place
Between the observer
And Nature,

Where you experience  kinetic energy
As well as the peace and tranquility.

It’s autumn in Freiburg,
The Black Forest is laden
With brown, green, yellow red leaves
Tossed carelessly
By the wind.

In Herbst you hear
The expressive rustling movement
Of the leaves.
In the distance looms Kaiserstuhl
With its vineyards,
The blue Vosges peaks of France,
Beyond the Rhine.

In Kappel you discern the whirling of the leaves,
Caused by the Höllentäler,
The wind from the Vale of Hell.
A storm is swirling colours:
Pink and red surrounded by white,
Like snow in a whiteout,

The pitter and patter of rain,

Amidst the din of the thunder

Followed by flashes of thunder

Over the Schwarzwald hills.

 

Nature undergoes a series of mutations,
Where metamorphosis of shapes and forms

And cell migration takes place.
The seasonal changes evoke migrations

Among birds and humans,

In the quest for better pastures, warmth

And a safe haven to roost.
When the travel is over it’s time
For reflections of their inner lives.
The themes are innumerable,

In the quest from the micro to the macro cosmos.

ON WRITING: Satis Shroff

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I like writing which means sitting down and typing what you’ve thought about. Writing is a solitary performance but when I sing with my croonies of the MGV-Kappel it is sharing our joy and sadness and it’s a collective song that we produce and that makes our hearts beat higher during concerts. When an idea moves me for days I have the craving to pen it. I get ideas when I’m ironing clothes and listening to Nepali songs or Bollywood ones. When I don’t have time, I make a poem out of it, for poetry is emotion recollected in tranquillity. When I prepare my medical lectures I’m transferring knowledge from my university past and bringing them together verbally, and I realise it’s great fun to attain topicality by connecting the medical themes with what’s topical thereby creating a bridge between the two. That makes a lecture interesting, which is like a performance, a recital in which you interact with the audience. At school I was taught art by a lean, bearded Scottish teacher who loved to pain landscapes with water-colours. Whenever I travel during holidays, I keep an Art Journal with my sketches and drawings, and try to capture the feelings, impressions of the place and people I meet, and it’s great fun to turn the pages years later and be reminded how it was then. I like doing all these things and they’re all near to my heart.

 

Literature is translating emotions and facts from truth to fiction. It’s like a borderline syndrome; between sanity and insanity there’s fine dividing line. Similarly, non-fiction can be transformed into fiction. Virginia Woolf said, ‘There must be great freedom from reality.’ For Goethe, art was art because it was not nature. That’s what I like about fiction, this ability of transforming mundane things in life to jewels through the use of words. Rilke mentioned one ought to describe beauty with inner, quiet, humble righteousness. Approach nature and show what you see and experienced, loved and lost.

COVER Author satisshroff (c) catmandu

 

At school I used to read P.G.Wodehouse (about how silly aristocrats are and how wise the butler Jeeves is) and Richard Gordon (a physician who gave up practicing Medicine and started writing funny books). For me Richard Gordon was a living example of someone who could connect literature with bio-medical sciences. Desmond Morris, zoologist (The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo) was another example for me. He has also written a book about how modern soccer players do tribal dances on the football-field, with all those screaming spectators, when their team scores a goal. That’s ethnological rituals that are being carried out by European footballers. Since I went to a British school I was fed with EngLit and was acquainted with the works of English writers like Milton, Shakespeare, Dickens, Hardy, Walter Scott, RL Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, HG Wells, Victor Hugo, Poe, Defoe, Hemingway, and poets like Burns, Keats, Yeats, Dante, Goldsmith. Since we had Nepali in our curriculum it was delightful to read Bhanu Bhakta, Mainali, Shiva Kumar Rai and other Nepali authors. At home I used to pray and perform the pujas with my Mom, who was a great story teller and that was how I learned about the fantastic stories of Hindu mythology. At school we also did Roman and Greek mythology. My head was full of heroes. I was also an avid comicstrip reader and there were Classics Illustrated comic with English literature. I used to walk miles to swap comic-books in Nepal. It was mostly friends from the British Gurkhas who had assess to such comics, gadgets, musical instruments they’d bought in Hong Kong, since it was a British enclave then. Science can be interesting and there is a genre which makes scientific literature very interesting for those who are curious and hungry for more knowledge.

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In Kathmandu I worked as a journalist with an English newspaper The Rising Nepal. I enjoyed writing a Science Spot column. One day Navin Chandra Joshi, an Indian economist who was working for the Indian Cooperative Mission asked a senior editor and me: ‘Accha, can you please tell me who Satis Shroff is?’ Mana Ranjan gave a sheepish smile and said, ‘You’ve been talking with him all the time.’ The elderly Mr. Joshi was plainly surprised and said, ‘Judging from his writing, I thought he was a wise old man.’ I was 25 then and I turned red and was amused. As I grew older, I discovered the works of Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Authur Miller, Henry Miller, Doris Lessing and James Joyce. The lecturers from the English Department and the Literary Supplements were all revering his works: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake. His works appealed to be because I was also educated by the Christian Brothers of Ireland in the foothills of the Himalayas, with the same strictness and heavy hand. God is watching you.. Since my college friends left for Moscow University and Lumumba Friendship University after college, I started taking interest in Russian literature and borrowed books from the Soviet library and read: Tolstoi, Dostojewskije, Chekov and later even Solzinitzyn’s Archipel Gulag. I spent a lot of time in the well-stocked American Library in Katmandu’s New Road and read Henry Miller, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Thoreau, Whitman.

 

Favourite books and authors: Bhanu Bhakta Acharya’s ‘Ramayana,’ Devkota’s ‘Muna Madan,’ Guru Prasad Mainali’s ‘Machha-ko Mol,’ Shiva Kumar Rai’s ‘Dak Bungalow,’ Hemingway’s Fiesta, For Whom the Bells Toll, Günter Grass ‘Blechtrommel,’ Zunge zeigen, Marcel Reich Ranicki’s ‘Mein Leben,’VS Naipaul’s ‘ ‘Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness,’ James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses, Stephan Hero, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Faust I, Faust II’, Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace,’ Rainer Maria Rilke’s ‘Briefe an einen jungen Dichter’ Goethe’s ‘Die Leiden des jungen Werther,’The Diaries of Franz Kafka’ Carl Gustav Jung’s ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections,’ Patrick Süskind’s ‘Perfume,’ John Updike’s ‘The Witches of Eastwick,’ ‘Couples,’ Peter Matthiessen’s ‘The Snow Leopard,’ Mark Twain ‘A Tramp Abroad,’John Steinbeck’s ‘The Pearl,’ Rushdie’s ‘Midnight Children,’ Jonathan Franzen’s ‘The Corrections,’ John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River.

 

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Nepali literature has had a Cinderella or Aschenputtel-existence and it was only through Michael Hutt, who prefers to work closely with Nepalese authors and publishes with them, under the aegis of SOAS that literature from Nepal is trying to catch the attention of the world. We have to differentiate between Nepalese writing in the vernacular and those writing in English. Translating is a big job and a lot of essence of a language gets lost in translation. What did the author mean when he or she said that? Can I translate it literally? Or do I have to translate it figuratively? If the author is near you, you can ask him or her what the meaning of a sentence, certain words or expression is. This isn’t the case always. So what you translate is your thought of what the writer or poet had said. I used to rollick with laughter when I read books by PG Wodehouse and Richard Gordon. I bought German editions and found the translations good. But the translated books didn’t bring me to laugh.

 

Tribhuvan University has been educating hundreds of teachers at the Master’s Level but the teacher’s haven’t made a big impression on the world literary stage because most of them teach, and don’t write. Our neighbour India is different and there are more educated people who read and write. The demand for books is immense. Writing in English is a luxury for people who belong to the upper strata of the Nepalese society. Most can’t even afford books and have a tough time trying to make ends meet. The colleges and universities don’t teach Creative Writing. They teach the works of English poets and writers from colonial times, and not post-colonial. There are a good many writers in Nepal but their works have to be edited and promoted by publishers on a standard basis. If it’s a good story and has universal appeal then it’ll make it to the international scene. Rabindra Nath Tagore is a writer who has been forgotten. It was the English translation that made the world, and Stockholm, take notice. Manjushree Thapa and Samrat Upadhya have caught the attention of western media because they write in English. One studied and lived in the USA and the other is settled there. Moreover, the American publishing world does more for its migrant authors than other countries. There are prizes in which only USA-educated migrants are allowed to apply to be nominated, a certain protectionism for their US-migrants. (The lecturer with his Creative Writing students in Freiburg)

The main motivation is to share my thoughts with the reader and to try out different genres. Since I know a lot of school-friends who dropped out and joined the British Gurkhas to see the world, it was disgusting to see how the British government treated their comrade-in-arms from the hills of Nepal. On the one hand, they said they are our best allies, part of the British Army and on the other hand I got letters from Gurkhas showing how low their salaries are in the Gurkha Brigade. A Johnny Gurkha gets only half the pay that a British Tommy is paid. Colonialism? Master-and –Servant relationship? They were treating them like guest-workers from Nepal and hiring and firing them at will, depending upon whether the Brits needed cannon-fodder. All they had to do was to recruit more Brigades in Nepal. This injustice motivated me to write a series on the Gurkhas and the Brits. I like NatureJournaling too and it’s wonderful to take long walks in the Black Forest countryside and in Switzerland. As a Nepalese I’m always fascinated and awed by the Alps and the Himalayas.

Every writer in his journey towards literature discovers his own style. Here’s what Heidi Poudel says about my style: ‘Brilliant, I enjoyed your poems thoroughly. I can hear the underlying German and Nepali thoughts within your English language. The strictness of the German form mixed with the vividness of your Nepalese mother tongue. An interesting mix. Nepal is a jewel on the Earths surface, her majesty and charm should be protected, and yet exposed with dignity through words. You do your country justice and I find your bicultural understanding so unique and a marvel to read.’ Reviewed by Heide Poudel in WritersDen.com.

I might sound old fashioned but there’s lot of wisdom in these two small words: Carpe diem. Use your time. It can also mean ‘seize the job’ as in the case of Keating in the book ‘Dead Poets Society.’ When I was in Katmandu a friend named Bindu Dhoj who was doing MBA in Delhi said, ‘Satish, you have to assert yourself in life.’ That was a good piece of advice. In the Nepalese society we have a lot of chakari and afnu manchay caused by the caste-and-jaat system. But in Europe even if you are well-qualified, you do have to learn to assert and ‘sell’ and market yourself through good public relations. That’s why it’s also important to have a serious web-presence.

Germany is a great, tolerant country despite the Nazi past, and it’s an economic and military power. If you have chosen Germany, then make it a point to ‘do in Germany as the Germans do.’ Get a circle of German friends, interact with them, lose your shyness, get in touch with German families and speak, read, write and dream in German. If you like singing then join a choir (like me), if you like art join a Kunstverein, if you like sport then be a member of a Sportverein. If you’re a physician, join the Marburger or Hartmann Bund. Don’t think about it. Do it. It’s like swimming. You have to jump into the water. Dry swimming or thinking alone won’t help you. Cultural exchange can be amusing and rewarding for your own development.

I always have writing projects in my mind and you’ll catch me scribbling notices at different times of the day. I feel like a kid in a department store when I think about the internet. No haggling with editors, no waiting for a piece of writing to be published. I find blogs fantastic. Imagine the agonies a writer had to go through in the old days after having submitted a poem or a novel. Now, it’s child’s play.

Even Elfriede Jelenek uses her blog to write directly for the reading pleasure of her readers. The idea has caught on. In a life time you do write a lot and I’m out to string all my past writings in a book in the Ich-Form, that is, first person singular and am interested in memoir writing, spiritual writing, medical-ethno writing and, of course, my Zeitgeistlyrik . Georg F. Will said: A powerful teacher is a benevolent contagion, an infectious spirit, an emulable stance toward life. I like the idea of being an ‘infectious spirit’ as far as my Creative Writing lectures are concerned, and it does your soul good when a young female student comes up to you after the lecture and says: ‘Thank you very much for the lecture. You’ve ignited the fire in me with your words.’ I love to make Creative Writing a benevolent contagion and infect young minds with words.

To my readers, I’d like to say: be proud of yourself, talk with yourself as you talk with a good friend, with respect and have goals in mind. If your goal is too high you must readjust it. My Mom used to say, ‘Chora bhayey pachi ik rakhna parchha. When you’re a son you have to strive for higher goals in life. I’d say a daughter can also adopt this. Like the proverbial Gurkha, keep a stiff upper lip and don’t give up. Keep on marching along your route and you’ll reach your destination in life. But on the other hand, be happy and contended with small successes and things. We, Nepalese, are attributed with ‘Die Heiterkeit der Seele’ because we are contented with small things which is a quality we should never lose. Keep that friendly Nepali smile on your face, for it will bring you miles and miles of smiles; and life’s worthwhile because you smile.

About literature I’d say: when you read a novel or short-story, you can feel the excitement, you discover with the writer new terrain. You’re surprised. You’re in a reading-trance and the purpose of literature is to give you reading experience and pleasure. Literature is not the birth-right of the lecturers of English departments in universities where every author of merit is analysed, taken apart, mixing the fictive tale with the writer’s personal problems in reality. The authors are bestowed with literary prizes, feted at literary festivals and invited to literary conferences and public readings. Literature belongs to the folk of a culture, but the academicians have made it their own pride possession.

Would like to hear Hemingway telling you a story he had written or an academician hold a lecture about what Hemingway wrote?

I’d prefer the former because it belongs to the people, the readers, the listeners. In India and Nepal we have story-tellers who go from village to village and tell stories from the Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita. Story-telling has always appealed to simple people and the high-brows alike, and has remained an important cultural heritage.

 

The same holds for the Gaineys, those wandering minstrels from Nepal and Northern India, with their crude violins called sarangis. They tell stories of former kings, princes and princesses, battles, fairy tales, village stories, ballads accompanied by the whining, sad sound of the sarangi. Literature has always flown into history, religion, sociology, ethnology and is a heritage of mankind, and you can find all these wonderful stories in your local library or your e-archive.

woman reading book
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My first contact with a good library was the American Library in Katmandu. A new world of knowledge opened to me. I could read the Scientific American, Time, Newsweek, the Economist, The New York Times, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, the Christian Science Monitor. The most fascinating thing about it was , you only had to be a member and you could take the precious books home. OMG! It was unbelievable for a Nepalese who came from a small town in the foothills of the Himalayas. Nobody bothered about what you were reading: stories, history, new and old ideas, inventions, theories, general and specific knowledge. The sky was the limit. I had a voracious appetite, and it was like the opening of a Bildungsroman. Historical novels tell us about how it was to live in former days, the forms of society involved that the writer evokes in his or her pages. In ‘A Year in Provence’ Peter Mayle makes you almost taste the excellent French food and wine, and the search for truffles with a swine in hilarious, as well as the game of bol. On the other hand, James Joyce evokes a life-changing experience with his protagonists Leopold Bloom and Stephan Daedalus in Dublin on June 16, 1904.

Ulysses is a modern interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, an inner monologue recalled as memories of places, people, smells, tastes and thoughts of the protagonist . The Bhagwad Gita is a luminous and priceless gem in the literary world, possesses world history character, and teaches us the unity in diversity. It is a dialogue between the hero Arjuna and Krishna, who is the chariot-driver. Krishna is an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu. The Mahabharata alone has 18 chapters and the epic has 18 books with legends, episodes and didactic pieces that are connected with the main story. It is a fascinating reading about the war between relatives, written in the 4th and 3rd centuries before the birth of Christ. He who reads knows better than to be indoctrinated, for he or she learns to think, opening new worlds and lines of thought.

In my school-days I read Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and it became alive when I went to the Bastille Museum in Paris with a fellow medical student. My memory of A Tale of Two Cities took shape there, as I peered at the old, historical exhibits and the guillotine. Later in the evening my friend Peter’s sister, who was married to a Parisian said, ‘Oh, Satish, there are so many things to see in Paris than a museum the entire afternoon.’

For me it was like time-travelling to the times of the French Revolution, because I’d soaked up the story in my school days. I could see Madame Defarge knitting the names of the noblemen and women to be executed. Dickens was a great master of fabulation. I was ripe for those stories and was as curious as a Siamese cat I had named Sirikit, reading, turning page for page, absolutely absorbed in the unfolding stories. Time and space and my personal demands were unimportant.

It was the story that had to be read, even with a midnight candle when the local hydroelectric power supply failed. That happened to me when I read ‘The Godfather’ (Der Pate) while visiting a friend from Iceland. I couldn’t put the book down. I felt sad when a 14 year old computer-crazy schoolkid said: ‘Who reads books these days? Everything’s in the internet.’ The question is: do kids read books on their laptops and eReaders? School websites, Facebook, Twitter, What App and You Tube and other apps have added new hobbies for the millennium children who’re growing up. Does the cyberspace-generation have only time for games? I tell them they should use: Google Scholar, Pubmed etc. to gather knowledge and learn to transfer it.

Interview with Freiburger Author & Poet: Satis Shroff

Interview with Freiburger Author & Poet: Satis Shroff

Satis Shroff: Neruda Award 2017
Satis Shroff: Neruda Award 2017

 key words: lyrics, ehrung von satisshroff, schwarzwald, catmandu, katmandu, culture prize, freiburg-kappel, mahabharat mountains, freiburg, London

 

 I could see Madame Defarge knitting the names of the noblemen and women to be executed. Dickens was a great master of fabulation. I was ripe for those stories and was as curious as a Siamese cat I had named Sirikit, reading, turning page for page, absolutely absorbed in the unfolding stories..

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The person Satis Shroff has various faces, of a singer, author, poet, medical lecturer, artist. Which face is near to your heart?

 

 I like writing which means sitting down and typing what you’ve thought about. Writing is a solitary performance but when I sing with my croonies of the MGV-Kappel it is sharing our joy and sadness and it’s a collective song that we produce and that makes our hearts beat higher during concerts. When an idea moves me for days I have the craving to pen it. I get ideas when I’m ironing clothes and listening to Nepali songs or Bollywood ones. When I don’t have time, I make a poem out of it, for poetry is emotion recollected in tranquillity. When I prepare my medical lectures I’m transferring knowledge from my university past and bringing them together verbally, and I realise it’s great fun to attain topicality by connecting the medical themes with what’s topical thereby creating a bridge between the two. That makes a lecture interesting, which is like a performance, a recital in which you interact with the audience. At school I was taught art by a lean, bearded Scottish teacher who loved to pain landscapes with water-colours. Whenever I travel during holidays, I keep an Art Journal with my sketches and drawings, and try to capture the feelings, impressions of the place and people I meet, and it’s great fun to turn the pages years later and be reminded how it was then. I like doing all these things and they’re all near to my heart.

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  1. What does literature mean to you ?

Literature is translating emotions and facts from truth to fiction. It’s like a borderline syndrome; between sanity and insanity there’s fine dividing line. Similarly, non-fiction can be transformed into fiction. Virginia Woolf said, ‘There must be great freedom from reality.’ For Goethe, art was art because it was not nature. That’s what I like about fiction, this ability of transforming mundane things in life to jewels through the use of words. Rilke mentioned one ought to describe beauty with inner, quiet, humble righteousness. Approach nature and show what you see and experienced, loved and lost.

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  1. Normally a scientific mind and literary heart do not go together. How do you manage that? (since you were student of zoology, botany and medicine)

 

At school I used to read P.G.Wodehouse (about how silly aristocrats are and how wise the butler Jeeves is) and Richard Gordon (a physician who gave up practicing Medicine and started writing funny books). For me Richard Gordon was a living example of someone who could connect literature with bio-medical sciences. Desmond Morris, zoologist (The Naked Ape, The Human Zoo) was another example for me. He has also written a book about how modern soccer players do tribal dances on the football-field, with all those screaming spectators, when their team scores a goal. That’s ethnological rituals that are being carried out by European footballers. Since I went to a British school I was fed with EngLit and was acquainted with the works of English writers like Milton, Shakespeare, Dickens, Hardy, Walter Scott, RL Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, HG Wells, Victor Hugo, Poe, Defoe, Hemingway, and poets like Burns, Keats, Yeats, Dante, Goldsmith. Since we had Nepali in our curriculum it was delightful to read Bhanu Bhakta, Mainali, Shiva Kumar Rai and other Nepali authors. At home I used to pray and perform the pujas with my Mom, who was a great story teller and that was how I learned about the fantastic stories of Hindu mythology. At school we also did Roman and Greek mythology. My head was full of heroes. I was also an avid comicstrip reader and there were Classics Illustrated comic with English literature. I used to walk miles to swap comic-books in Nepal. It was mostly friends from the British Gurkhas who had assess to such comics, gadgets, musical instruments they’d bought in Hong Kong, since it was a British enclave then. Science can be interesting and there is a genre which makes scientific literature very interesting for those who are curious and hungry for more knowledge.

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In Kathmandu I worked as a journalist with an English newspaper The Rising Nepal. I enjoyed writing a Science Spot column. One day Navin Chandra Joshi, an Indian economist who was working for the Indian Cooperative Mission asked a senior editor and me: ‘Accha, can you please tell me who Satis Shroff is?’ Mana Ranjan gave a sheepish smile and said, ‘You’ve been talking with him all the time.’ The elderly Mr. Joshi was plainly surprised and said, ‘Judging from his writing, I thought he was a wise old man.’ I was 25 then and I turned red and was amused. As I grew older, I discovered the works of Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Authur Miller, Henry Miller, Doris Lessing and James Joyce. The lecturers from the English Department and the Literary Supplements were all revering his works: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake. His works appealed to be because I was also educated by the Christian Brothers of Ireland in the foothills of the Himalayas, with the same strictness and heavy hand. God is watching you.. Since my college friends left for Moscow University and Lumumba Friendship University after college, I started taking interest in Russian literature and borrowed books from the Soviet library and read: Tolstoi, Dostojewskije, Chekov and later even Solzinitzyn’s Archipel Gulag. I spent a lot of time in the well-stocked American Library in Katmandu’s New Road and read Henry Miller, Steinbeck, Faulkner, Thoreau, Whitman.

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Favourite books and authors: Bhanu Bhakta Acharya’s ‘Ramayana,’ Devkota’s ‘Muna Madan,’ Guru Prasad Mainali’s ‘Machha-ko Mol,’ Shiva Kumar Rai’s ‘Dak Bungalow,’ Hemingway’s Fiesta, For Whom the Bells Toll, Günter Grass ‘Blechtrommel,’ Zunge zeigen, Marcel Reich Ranicki’s ‘Mein Leben,’VS Naipaul’s ‘ ‘Joseph Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness,’ James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses, Stephan Hero, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Faust I, Faust II’, Leo Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace,’ Rainer Maria Rilke’s ‘Briefe an einen jungen Dichter’ Goethe’s ‘Die Leiden des jungen Werther,’The Diaries of Franz Kafka’ Carl Gustav Jung’s ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections,’ Patrick Süskind’s ‘Perfume,’ John Updike’s ‘The Witches of Eastwick,’ ‘Couples,’ Peter Matthiessen’s ‘The Snow Leopard,’ Mark Twain ‘A Tramp Abroad,’John Steinbeck’s ‘The Pearl,’ Rushdie’s ‘Midnight Children,’ Jonathan Franzen’s ‘The Corrections,’ John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River.

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Position of Nepali as world literature in terms of standard:

Nepali literature has had a Cinderella or Aschenputtel-existence and it was only through Michael Hutt, who prefers to work closely with Nepalese authors and publishes with them, under the aegis of SOAS that literature from Nepal is trying to catch the attention of the world. We have to differentiate between Nepalese writing in the vernacular and those writing in English. Translating is a big job and a lot of essence of a language gets lost in translation. What did the author mean when he or she said that? Can I translate it literally? Or do I have to translate it figuratively? If the author is near you, you can ask him or her what the meaning of a sentence, certain words or expression is. This isn’t the case always. So what you translate is your thought of what the writer or poet had said. I used to rollick with laughter when I read books by PG Wodehouse and Richard Gordon. I bought German editions and found the translations good. But the translated books didn’t bring me to laugh.

Tribhuvan University has been educating hundreds of teachers at the Master’s Level but the teacher’s haven’t made a big impression on the world literary stage because most of them teach, and don’t write. Our neighbour India is different and there are more educated people who read and write. The demand for books is immense. Writing in English is a luxury for people who belong to the upper strata of the Nepalese society. Most can’t even afford books and have a tough time trying to make ends meet. The colleges and universities don’t teach Creative Writing. They teach the works of English poets and writers from colonial times, and not post-colonial. There are a good many writers in Nepal but their works have to be edited and promoted by publishers on a standard basis. If it’s a good story and has universal appeal then it’ll make it to the international scene. Rabindra Nath Tagore is a writer who has been forgotten. It was the English translation that made the world, and Stockholm, take notice. Manjushree Thapa and Samrat Upadhya have caught the attention of western media because they write in English. One studied and lived in the USA and the other is settled there. Moreover, the American publishing world does more for its migrant authors than other countries. There are prizes in which only USA-educated migrants are allowed to apply to be nominated, a certain protectionism for their US-migrants.

(The lecturer with his Creative Writing students in the Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg) 

Motivation to write: The main motivation is to share my thoughts with the reader and to try out different genres. Since I know a lot of school-friends who dropped out and joined the British Gurkhas to see the world, it was disgusting to see how the British government treated their comrade-in-arms from the hills of Nepal. On the one hand, they said they are our best allies, part of the British Army and on the other hand I got letters from Gurkhas showing how low their salaries are in the Gurkha Brigade. A Johnny Gurkha gets only half the pay that a British Tommy is paid. Colonialism? Master-and –Servant relationship? They were treating them like guest-workers from Nepal and hiring and firing them at will, depending upon whether the Brits needed cannon-fodder. All they had to do was to recruit more Brigades in Nepal. This injustice motivated me to write a series on the Gurkhas and the Brits. I like NatureJournaling too and it’s wonderful to take long walks in the Black Forest countryside and in Switzerland. As a Nepalese I’m always fascinated and awed by the Alps and the Himalayas.

20170419_103857

Kopie von no waybut down

A Specific writing style?

Every writer in his journey towards literature discovers his own style. Here’s what Heidi Poudel says about my style: ‘Brilliant, I enjoyed your poems thoroughly. I can hear the underlying German and Nepali thoughts within your English language. The strictness of the German form mixed with the vividness of your Nepalese mother tongue. An interesting mix. Nepal is a jewel on the Earths surface, her majesty and charm should be protected, and yet exposed with dignity through words. You do your country justice and I find your bicultural understanding so unique and a marvel to read.’ Reviewed by Heide Poudel in WritersDen.com.

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(Satis Shroff with the former Bundespräsident Gauck & the Landesvater of Baden-Württemberg Kretschmann in Stuttgart celebrating the Day of German Unity) 

My suggestions to readers: I might sound old fashioned but there’s lot of wisdom in these two small words: Carpe diem. Use your time. It can also mean ‘seize the job’ as in the case of Keating in the book ‘Dead Poets Society.’ When I was in Katmandu a friend named Bindu Dhoj who was doing MBA in Delhi said, ‘Satish, you have to assert yourself in life.’ That was a good piece of advice. In the Nepalese society we have a lot of chakari and afnu manchay caused by the caste-and-jaat system. But in Europe even if you are well-qualified, you do have to learn to assert and ‘sell’ and market yourself through good public relations. That’s why it’s also important to have a serious web-presence.

Germany is a great, tolerant country despite the Nazi past, and it’s an economic and military power. If you have chosen Germany, then make it a point to ‘do in Germany as the Germans do.’ Get a circle of German friends, interact with them, lose your shyness, get in touch with German families and speak, read, write and dream in German. If you like singing then join a choir (like me), if you like art join a Kunstverein, if you like sport then be a member of a Sportverein. If you’re a physician, join the Marburger or Hartmann Bund. Don’t think about it. Do it. It’s like swimming. You have to jump into the water. Dry swimming or thinking alone won’t help you. Cultural exchange can be amusing and rewarding for your own development.

1484929358550

Current and future projects: I always have writing projects in my mind and you’ll catch me scribbling notices at different times of the day. I feel like a kid in a department store when I think about the internet. No haggling with editors, no waiting for a piece of writing to be published. I find blogs fantastic. Imagine the agonies a writer had to go through in the old days after having submitted a poem or a novel. Now, it’s child’s play. Even Elfriede Jelenek uses her blog to write directly for the reading pleasure of her readers. The idea has caught on. In a life time you do write a lot and I’m out to string all my past writings in a book in the Ich-Form, that is, first person singular and am interested in memoir writing, spiritual writing, medical-ethno writing and, of course, my Zeitgeistlyrik .

Georg F. Will said: A powerful teacher is a benevolent contagion, an infectious spirit, an emulable stance toward life. I like the idea of being an ‘infectious spirit’ as far as my Creative Writing lectures are concerned, and it does your soul good when a young female student comes up to you after the lecture and says: ‘Thank you very much for the lecture. You’ve ignited the fire in me with your words.’ I love to make Creative Writing a benevolent contagion and infect young minds with words.

To my Readers: Be proud of yourself, talk with yourself as you talk with a good friend, with respect and have goals in mind. If your goal is too high you must readjust it. My Mom used to say, ‘Chora bhayey pachi ik rakhna parchha. When you’re a son you have to strive for higher goals in life. I’d say a daughter can also adopt this. Like the proverbial Gurkha, keep a stiff upper lip and don’t give up. Keep on marching along your route and you’ll reach your destination in life. But on the other hand, be happy and contended with small successes and things. We Nepalese are attributed with ‘Die Heiterkeit der Seele’ because we are contented with small things which is a quality we should never lose. Keep that friendly Nepali smile on your face, for it will bring you miles and miles of smiles; and life’s worthwhile because you smile.

pregnant woman reading a book
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

On literature:When you read a novel or short-story, you can feel the excitement, you discover with the writer new terrain. You’re surprised. You’re in a reading-trance and the purpose of literature is to give you reading experience and pleasure. Literature is not the birth-right of the lecturers of English departments in universities where every author of merit is analysed, taken apart, mixing the fictive tale with the writer’s personal problems in reality. The authors are bestowed with literary prizes, feted at literary festivals and invited to literary conferences and public readings. Literature belongs to the folk of a culture, but the academicians have made it their own pride possession.

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Would like to hear Hemingway telling you a story he had written or an academician hold a lecture about what Hemingway wrote?

I’d prefer the former because it belongs to the people, the readers, the listeners. In India and Nepal we have story-tellers who go from village to village and tell stories from the Ramayana and Bhagavad Gita. Story-telling has always appealed to simple people and the high-brows alike, and has remained an important cultural heritage.

The same holds for the Gaineys, those wandering minstrels from Nepal and Northern India, with their crude violins called sarangis. They tell stories of former kings, princes and princesses, battles, fairy tales, village stories, ballads accompanied by the whining, sad sound of the sarangi. Literature has always flown into history, religion, sociology, ethnology and is a heritage of mankind, and you can find all these wonderful stories in your local library or your e-archive.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My first contact with a good library was the American Library in Katmandu. A new world of knowledge opened to me. I could read the Scientific American, Time, Newsweek, the Economist, The New York Times, National Geographic, the Smithsonian, the Christian Science Monitor. The most fascinating thing about it was , you only had to be a member and you could take the precious books home. OMG! It was unbelievable for a Nepalese who came from a small town in the foothills of the Himalayas. Nobody bothered about what you were reading: stories, history, new and old ideas, inventions, theories, general and specific knowledge. The sky was the limit. I had a voracious appetite, and it was like the opening of a Bildungsroman. Historical novels tell us about how it was to live in former days, the forms of society involved that the writer evokes in his or her pages. In ‘A Year in Provence’ Peter Mayle makes you almost taste the excellent French food and wine, and the search for truffles with a swine in hilarious, as well as the game of bol. On the other hand, James Joyce evokes a life-changing experience with his protagonists Leopold Bloom and Stephan Daedalus in Dublin on June 16, 1904.

Ulysses is a modern interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, an inner monologue recalled as memories of places, people, smells, tastes and thoughts of the protagonist . The Bhagwad Gita is a luminous and priceless gem in the literary world, possesses world history character, and teaches us the unity in diversity. It is a dialogue between the hero Arjuna and Krishna, who is the chariot-driver. Krishna is an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu. The Mahabharata alone has 18 chapters and the epic has 18 books with legends, episodes and didactic pieces that are connected with the main story. It is a fascinating reading about the war between relatives, written in the 4th and 3rd centuries before the birth of Christ. He who reads knows better than to be indoctrinated, for he or she learns to think, opening new worlds and lines of thought.

In my school-days I read Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and it became alive when I went to the Bastille Museum in Paris with a fellow medical student. My memory of A Tale of Two Cities took shape there, as I peered at the old, historical exhibits and the guillotine. Later in the evening my friend Peter’s sister, who was married to a Parisian said, ‘Oh, Satish, there are so many things to see in Paris than a museum the entire afternoon.’

For me it was like time-travelling to the times of the French Revolution, because I’d soaked up the story in my school days. I could see Madame Defarge knitting the names of the noblemen and women to be executed. Dickens was a great master of fabulation. I was ripe for those stories and was as curious as a Siamese cat I had named Sirikit, reading, turning page for page, absolutely absorbed in the unfolding stories. Time and space and my personal demands were unimportant.

It was the story that had to be read, even with a midnight candle when the local hydroelectric power supply failed. That happened to me when I read ‘The Godfather’ (Der Pate) while visiting a friend from Iceland. I couldn’t put the book down. I felt sad when a 14 year old computer-crazy schoolkid said: ‘Who reads books these days? Everything’s in the internet.’ The question is: do kids read books on their laptops and eReaders? School websites, Facebook and You Tube and their apps have added new hobbies for children who’re growing up. Does the cyberspace-generation have only time for games? I tell them they should use: Google Scholar, Pubmed etc. to gather knowledge and learn to transfer it.

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Satis Shroff & MGV-Kappel sing: Blue Spanish Eyes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Y7qzckzfWw http://www.youtube.com/watch?

LEST WE FORGET (Satis Shroff, Freiburg)

LEST WE FORGET : Satis Shroff, Freiburg

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Medieval Freiburg

/After the RAF bombing in World War II (Operation Tigerfish of the RAF) on 26th of November 1944)

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Modern Freiburg: the city was razed to the ground by the Lancaster bombers in World War II by the Royal Air Force (RAF). This is the Historischen Kaufhaus near the cathedral (which survived the bombardment).

Lest We Forget: One of the heaviest air attacks on Freiburg im Breisgau  was carried out by the Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) with the military code-Operation Tigerfish on the evening of November 27, 1944. Around 2800 people died. The British Air Vice-Marshal Robert Saundby was fond of angling and used the  term ‘tigerfish’ for carpet bombings of German cities.

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Modern Freiburg has become an open city with lots of migrants and international students. Freiburg’s Old Synagogue was destroyed by antisemitists (nazis) during the Third Reich. The Freiburger city-fathers want to fill the place, where the olde Synagogue was, with life, even though it might sound cynical to some. The memories of the Shoa (Holocaust) is still painful. But we have to keep the flame of remembrance alive for this and future generations. We have to remember, lest we forget. We have to remind the people in Freiburg why this fountain exists where children love to play with the water of the fountain. Should this fountain opposite the university library be a solemn memorial like Auschwitz? People of all shades come and enjoy the lovely evenings in the university area and the Stadt theatre. It is filled with life when young people sing songs or dance nearby or when children gleefully laugh and run about. It is a sign of the liveliness of humanity.

Freiburg also remembers the its partner city  Matsuyama, which had to suffer due to the rain and the landslides that took their share three of human lives and 25 were killed in the vicinity of the Japanese town. Martin Horn, the new Oberbürgermeister of Freiburg, wrote in a letter to his colleague Katsuhito Noshi of Matsuyama in the name of the city-council and the citizens of Freiburg, expressing his condolence and sharing the pain. The city council stood up for a minute to think about the people of Matsuyama. The city-council of Freiburg will deciding about setting up a Documentation Centre.

The Freiburger think and remember the revolutionaries Maximilian Dortu, Friedrich Neff and Gebhard Kromer, who were hanged during the Badischen Revolution by the Prussian military. The ‘Initiative to Remember the Badische Revolution’ will stage the scenes of the revolution with Wigand Alpers, Peter Haug-Lamersorf and Burghard Wein playing the roles of the revolutionaries.

Tilman Moser, a Freiburger octogenarian, still remembers the effects of the war, Nazi-times and dictators have on the souls of people who have undergone these agonies, as well as the puzzled, pent-up feelings that emerge to the surface in the form of aggression or depression. In his ‘Clinical Noticebook’ published in 2014 he reports about experiences that have influenced his way of working, especially in the case histories that bear the title ‘Grandmother, Mother and Daughter’ (2015). In his book ‘Small Political Texts’ he deals with how terror, aggression and fanatical murders. He also throws light on emotional blockades that can only be solved at the physical level, and needs non-verbal pathways to reach the field of conflict within a person.

Lotte und Johanna Meyer in Goethestrasse 73 in FR-Wiehre am 10.10.2007

When you stroll in Freiburg’s cobbled streets you invariably come across brass cobbled stones which are called ‘Stolpersteine’ (stumbling stones) in German. The story behind these stones is the fate of the victims of the NS-times in Freiburg. Like in all other cities of Germany there were a lot of Nazis in this nest. The initiative Stolpersteine in Freiburg works together with schools  and youth groups and arranges lectures with the Volkshochschule, political parties, associations, religious communities and trade unions. It also carries out it work in the media and promotes publications. The stolperstein-initiative also organises Zeitgeugen (witnesses of time), holds exhibitions and memorials of the stumbling-stones. Some of the publications of the Freiburger Stolpersteine are: ‘Den Opfern ihre Namen zurückgeben’ ( Give the victims their names back) a book by Marlies Meckel, Rombach Verlag, Freiburg,2006. The other one is ‘Sainte Radegonde’ about family Abraham von Peter Künzel, Hertung Gorre Verlag, Konstanz, 2008.

As an example we have Renee Weinheim, who was born on the 6th of May 1936 in Leipzig. She lived with her adoptive parents in Freiburg in the Tal Street 34. In the year 1938   he father died after he was forced to become an ‘aryan’ and had to give up his textile business. In 1939 her mother Johanna Weinheim and daughter Renee wanted to flee to Chile and later to Switzerland but in both cases it failed. In 1940-42  thousands of people were being deported but Johanna Weinheim managed to remain in Freiburg.

However, Renee Weinheim and her mother Johanna Weinheim and her daughter Renee  were arrested on 29.9.1942. Both were deported to Darmstadt and further to the concentration camp Treblinka, where they were murdered shortly after their arrival on the 1st of October 1942. Renee Weinheim was 6 years old. Her mother Johanna Weinheim 46 years old.

REMEMBERING AUSCHWITZ
FREIBURG, this lovely Schwarzwald town, remembers the freedom from Auschwitz on the 27th of January every year with a ceremony at the Historical Kaufhaus located near the cathedral. This year’s guest speaker was the Berliner historian Wolfgang Benz, who spoke about ‘Auschwitz Today: Perspectives of Remembering’ and how 71 years after the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz (Poland) was freed by the US and Allied Forces on January 27,1945.

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FREIBURG, this lovely Schwarzwald town, remembers the freedom from Auschwitz on the 27th of January every year with a ceremony at the Historical Kaufhaus located near the cathedral. This year’s guest speaker was the Berliner historian Wolfgang Benz, who spoke about ‘Auschwitz Today: Perspectives of Remembering’ and how 71 years after the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz (Poland) was freed by the US and Allied Forces on January 27,1945.

Solschenizyn, Alexander: Der Archipel Gulag

It is heartening to note that Freiburg’s Israelite Community celebrated its 150th anniversary at the synagogue. The community has experienced changes in its 735 year history. Jews were citizens of this city, and they were driven away from Freiburg. Elie Botbol , the cantor of the Jewish community in Strassbourg (France) was glad ‘to celebrate such an anniversary which no one had dare to hope 75 years earlier.’ The anti-semetic thought has in those days also reached Freiburg and a peaceful coexistence between Germans and Jews was made impossible by the Nazis, and the hatred against Jews was widespread, even in neighbouring countries. Botbol preferred to quote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: ‘In order to destroy a folk it suffices to destroy its roots.’
Solzhenitsyn wrote in ‘The Gulag Archipelego:’ “There is nothing that so assists the awakening of omniscience within us as insistent thoughts about one’s own transgressions, errors, mistakes. After the difficult cycles of such ponderings over many years, whenever I mentioned the heartlessness of our highest-ranking bureaucrats, the cruelty of our executioners, I remember myself in my Captain’s shoulder boards and the forward march of my battery through East Prussia, enshrouded in fire, and I say: ‘So were we any better?'”
Even though the Jews were gassed with Zykon B in the many concentration camps—the roots remained intact. And from these roots the Jewish community began to grow thanks to democracy and freedom of speech, movement and religion, which have to be treasured and protected by the Federal State. Freiburg’s former Dieter Salomon (Green) said: ‘Jewish life is enriching for the city.’ Representatives of the church were of the opinion that Jews and Christians have to feel like siblings. Religion can enrich the urban-society and avoid barriers.
The historian Heinrich Schwendemann spoke about the Jews from the Middle Ages till today. A lot of documents pertaining to the Jews were collected and destroyed by the Nazis—and the roots almost eliminated.
Irina Katz, the chairman of the Jewish community expressed her joy for the support from the city fathers of Freiburg in times of growing anti-semitism.
Auschwitz lies in Poland today, but it was Hitler’s attack on Poland on September 1, 1939 that unleashed World War II. This war lasted five years and a half years, and devastated much of Europe. 55 million people died. The German armies defeated Poland, Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia and Greece. They advanced to Stalingrad and just sort of Moscow. They threatened even the Suez Canal. And the worst part of the war was the nazi regime’s commencement in 1942 of the ‘Final Solution of the Jewish Question.’ The Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps in occupied Poland and murdered—without exception.
In the past these very Jews were honourable citizens of Germany and Austria. They were systematically stripped of all human and civil rights. Thousands were maltreated and deported to concentration camps. Almost all the synagogues and countless Jewish houses and shops were plundered and destroyed and valuables confiscated. The Jewish refugees fled persecution by fleeing abroad.
And today we have refugees from Muslim countries who flee to Germany because Chancellor Merkel has shown that she has learned her lesson from Germany’s history. She has shown civil courage of a special sort and has spoken out for those in need, despite growing protests from pegida, AfD, rightists, and even her own CDU and the sister party CSU (Bavaria). She’s not a fanatic but a lady who upholds the torch of freedom and democracy.