Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gods, Artists, and Physics

by Nitya Poudel
20 December 2016, Tuesday

This is a special day. We are going on a new journey. It is in the form of a very fat book. How do we begin? We begin with what science is about. We make a chart. It was like this: we learn that science has many branches of which three form a base. First is physics, in physics we learn about mechanics, matter, and more. There are neutrons and electrons and waves and fields. Second is chemistry in which we learn about acids, chemicals, and other more. The third is biology which is the study of plants, animals, cells and other more. You may have seen the experiments that we have worked on dissections of fish, ducks, earthworms, chicken, dove, rabbits, mice and more. We plant things that grow and give us food and money. There is also the study of the sky and stars and moons and planets and galaxies. It is called astronomy. There is also the study of the ground and planets and more called geography.

Our new journey, however, will focus completely on physics. We started our studies with a chapter named “Scope of Physics”. This is what we were able to learn. Albert Einstein, who is one of the best scientists in the world, used to say when we do not understand something we try to learn that thing using art, religion and science. He said he too was religious for science is based on facts, religion is wider and deeper for we cannot explain everything, and art is used to express thoughts.

After that we read about Edwin Hubble who made the most powerful telescope in the world. “For as I can end as I began.” He said. From earth we look far into space was what he specially used to say.

Then we heard a story. In Greece, a great civilization with wonderful philosophy, when science was still very young, people believed that Helios, who is the Sun God in Greece, in the morning sat in his chariot and went around the whole Earth. His chariot was pulled by winged horses which breathed fire. Evening came when he reached a ship in the sea that was waiting for him. He would land his chariot in the ship and that ship would take him back to where he had started his journey.

The human being always finds a reason to explain things. Then we heard another story of Harati Mata. Swayambhunath lies on a hill of Kathmandu Valley. There is a small wonderful temple at the side of the Swayambhu stupa. This is the temple is the Harati Mata Mandir. The story of Harati Mata is: a long time ago, in Kathmandu Valley, Swayambhu hill was covered by dense dangerous jungles filled with wild scary animals. The children of the Kathmandu city would play near the New Road area. One day a boy went to play, he didn’t return, the next day another child went to play but she also didn’t return. This happened for many weeks.

The villagers found out that a woman would steal them and eat them. She lived on the hilltop of Swayambhu. The villagers became angry and went to their king for help and also to express their tensions. If he did not solve their problem, they would remove the king.

The king was worried, he ordered his courtiers to go and tell the wild woman to stop eating children. If she did that, he would give her food as she needed. The courtiers went to the hill and told the wild woman what the king had said. They were very afraid. The jungle was deep and scary. Thankfully the woman did not harm them and agreed and she got food delivered to her hut/shelter regularly though the people who went to deliver the food were very scared.

After many years the woman died but the villagers were scared that her spirit would kill them so the courtiers and the people still went to that hill with food and offered it to her empty home. After a hundred years and more, the villagers started to believe that if they did not go to the hill their children would be in danger and that if they went there, the spirit of the woman would take care of them so she became the god of children. And the practice continues today.

After listening to these wonderful stories of how people think, we learned about the sun. The sun is mostly made up of hydrogen and helium. Hydrogen converts into helium through nuclear fusion (which we will hear more about) and because of it heat and light form and that energy is transmitted across the universe through electromagnetic waves. Then our physics class was finished but I hope to learn more about physics. By the time we finish this book, we will be more knowledgeable. I love science.


About Rai People
by Abin Rai

In the beginning of the Rai community, Rai people lived like the early humans. They needed to go hunting for food. Some went to hunt animals early in the morning and returned late at night with food they got. The earliest settlers of the Kathmandu Valley are believed to be Kiratis, the Rai and the Limbus. If they did not find any food, they could go hungry. Rai people have an interesting religion. They worship their ancestors as their gods. If someone died in their community, they believed that the dead person would turn into a spirit and protect their families and their community.


About Tamang People
by Kusma Gongba

A long ago, Tamang people lived in the Tibet. They were brought to Nepal because Prithivi Narayan Shah needed troops for the battle and Tamangs were very good horse warriors. After Prithivi Narayan Shah won the battle, Tamang’s settled down in the middle mountains. It was very difficult for them to grow food in the mountains. They could grow millet and they could make many things but the people used it to make chyang and it was not uncommon for them not to have much kodo to eat. Kathmandu had really good soil, anything could grow and there was plenty of food. Tamangs who had farms worked hard to live off the land. Tamangs are a very important ethnic group of Nepal. They are usually Buddhist and some are Hindus. I hope that the Tamangs increase in Nepal and I see more Tamang people coming together.


About the Sun, Moon, Rain, and Fire Gods
by Pukar Gautam

According to Hindu Vedas, we learned that Surya is the sun god. He gives warmth and light. The other god is the moon who is called Chandra. When he rises, threats such as leopards, tigers, snakes can be seen. Water is needed to bathe and wash and to grow food. When farming started the rain god Indra became important. Agni the fire god was also very good as he gives heat and wild animals run away. Greeks, Romans, Vikings and many other people have such gods such as Helios who we read about in physics.

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