GNOME Asia Nepal 2023
4 min read | Sun Feb 04 2024
Hi everyone, so it has been a while since the successful completion of GNOME Asia Summit 2023, but well, when you have back-to-back exams, it becomes hard to write up.
Last year GNOME Asia happened in Kathmandu Nepal from December 1 - 3. Like GNOME Asia 2022, it was an amazing experience, to say the least.
Nepal and India having really close cultural ties made it feel like we are at home without being there, the friendly people, scenic beauty, the superpower to use Hindi in situations where English wasn't recognised, or visiting our holiest sites, Nepal offered us every bit of amazingness we could have asked for.
If I get to talk about Nepal, it can be a really big separate blog post, but this is about GNOME Asia, so let's proceed in that regard.
Before departing from India, I used my trimmer, you know, to look good, unfortunately, while hearing music I got so lost in it that I didn't secure the adjustable comb properly and trimmed with 0.5mm :D Lost my beard just before the trip, yipeeee.
We landed in Nepal on 29th December, and after having some struggle with getting a cab and taking lots of photos, we went on to our hotel. The hotel was really nice, so thanks GNOME for that :D
We freshened up a bit and went sightseeing, exploring Thamel, and ate momos (Still like Uttar Pradesh (North Indian state) ones more ;)) We also bought some really needed and mandatory fridge magnets, because if you can't flex it, did it really happen?
Where do I even start lol, it was probably the most jam-packed day. Waking up in the morning was hard, to say the least, but I conquered it. After freshening up I went for breakfast and had the pleasure of meeting - Rosanna, Kristi, Anisa, Fenris, Jipmang, Matthias and others I met at the previous two conferences.
It was nice catching up again.
We briefly discussed about next GNOME Asia and UbuCon Asia with stuffed mouths, because that is important as well. Fun fact, we won the bid to host UbuCon Asia 2024 in India and are hoping to have a joint event with GNOME Asia as well.
After being the last to finish up (Eating slowly and enjoying fully:P) we proceeded to the venue of the conference. There I met Aaditya Singh (Local team lead). We conversed a few times online and it was great to meet in person. After looting some swags, we went to the conference rooms.
Holly (New GNOME ED) started the conference and then we proceeded to the Keynote by Justin, It was just awesome!!!! Probably something I'll recommend my peers to watch. Then we had a talk by Federico and Rosanna, again awesome and then we had the best talk of the conference, mine!!
After draining myself with the presentation and the brief Q&A (If the talk felt a bit small and fast-paced, time was the issue) I proceeded to resume my role as an attendee and judging others ;)
After attending many more awesome talks, we got to witness the Fedora release party, and even when we were literally on power saving mode, with a 5% charge, the party acted like a charger (Yeah.... not the best at having metaphors)
Due to the cake delay, we had a nice intro section, it acted like an icebreaker and made everyone know each other well. After the party I don't know what we did tbh, most probably crashed at the hotel hehe. Phew that was a lot for one day. Fedora and GNOME you are cool ;)
We had to miss the Keynote on the second day to visit Pashupatinath temple in the morning when it is quiet and peaceful. It is one of our holiest sites and if you visit Kathmandu and don't go there (for Hindus) then you are missing out on the most peaceful place. Those memories still give me chills.
But, I did watch the Keynote in Enitrety later on, and I have to say, the only time I watched a video this long it was of Linus Torvalds haha. It was next-level and full of insights. I just wish I could have attended it. I had the pleasure of talking with Hempal sir multiple times, and he was one of the best personalities.
Then had the pleasure to listen to amazing talks including by Federico, Nasah, Khairul, and others. Ps from my experience of GUADEC and GNOME Asia, Anisa's would have been great as well. I presented a talk on accessibility at GUADEC, but the one by Federico made me learn so much, which also makes the point that we need better documentation in this area, as it was painful to find those.
We then visited Thamel again, because why not, bought some Pashmina shawls from the hotel, and called it a day!
Day 3 was a social visit, which means the day when you become poor after buying too much stuff, tired after walking too much, and amazed after exploring the beauty of a place like Nepal.
The best part was explaining about our god Shiva and about Shivling to curious Rosanna and Fenris. It was a moment where we shared our cultures and did knowledge exchange. Have to say, I became this spiritual after quite a long time, but it was a nice change.
We also ate Newari traditional lunch, where I also tried Tongba, a native alcoholic drink made from fermented millet, boiled milk and herbs, it was the second time I touched Alcohol in my life, and only after getting assurance that the Alcoholic content was too little :)
It was some really nice food, and the Tongba was also surprisingly good. There me and Asmit also did some mischief with fire, which was well... childish and fun :)
Don't know what happened to me there, but it was probably the most I have ever networked, maybe because after two conferences I became more comfortable and familiar with the community at large.
Day 3 was more of an experience so I don't think there is much more to be said for that.
Visited Monastries and Boudhnath Stupa, and then departed back home.
To end with I want to thank GNOME Foundation for sponsoring my visit and giving me the opportunity to witness the awesome talks in person and bond with the community.
Btw, looking forward to meeting many of them again at UbuCon Asia 2024 India and also hopefully GNOME Asia 2024 :D