Alan Mercel-Sanca

Alan graduated in History at the University of Kent. He is an artist who has exhibited in New York and is cited in Kennedy Publications Best of Worldwide Charcoal, Pastel & Pencil Artists. A frequent visitor to Nepal, Alan is the CEO of the UK Nepal Friendship Society, an organization that aims to protect and promote the various cultures that exist within Nepal through interrelated projects and activities in both countries. In 2015 he directed the UKNFS contribution to the Britain Nepal Bicentenary art exhibition. He has facilitated, through the English FA, a friendly international football match between the two countries, and led an initiative to boost the British Nepali community s participation in the UK s democratic processes by engaging the main UK Nepali community organizations with Parliament in Westminster and the Welsh Assembly.
Travel Tip

Learn some Nepali words – not only the salutations (‘Namaste’ and ‘Namaskar’: learning the application communication contexts for the two is invaluable in its own right) and international visitor Nepali language basics, but some culture-related nouns.  Food  (Khānā / khanaa / khana) is a particularly rich field for nouns/language study as Nepal and Kathmandu are a true South Asian cuisines connoisseurs paradise and as food, from restaurants to hawker stalls and most of all home cookery, perhaps even more than sport, brings all of humanity together in fellowship.   Nepali food in all its richness and diversity is Nepal’s unstated treasure, and knowledge of Nepali food terms key to accessing that treasure to the full.
Memorable Experience

Nepal spoils anyone where memorable travel experiences are concerned, and in my own case this has been exponentially true since my first travel to the land of birth of the Lord Buddha, and homeland of the heroic Gurkhas, in April 2013.  The peace and tranquillity of Tilaurakot (ancient Kapilvastu, the site in the Terai of the palace of the Sakyas where the Lord Buddha grew up) with its majestic trees and ancient architectural remains, and my visit to the Lalit Kala Arts Campus in 2013 (home of some of Nepal’s artistic geniuses) must be mentioned, and my visits to ‘Namuna Ghar’ (Model House) in Bhaktapur, a classical Newari house and UNESCO World Heritage Site – truly Tolkienesque and with stunning Newari woodwork -- lovingly restored by the world renowned conservationist architect, Mr Rabindra Puri, all compete for being my most memorable Nepal travel experience.


Culture Smart! guide(s):