On Saturday, June 8, people gathered to hear a talk by Brecknock Society and Museum Friends at y Gaer. The talk was titled ‘Nepal-Brecon-50 years’, and looked at the bond formed by Gurkha’s and their families since they arrived in Brecon in 1974.

The talk was given by Major Khusiman Gurung MVO, who became a Gurkha in 1981 at the age of 18. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and during his 35 years of service he has been stationed in Brunei, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and the UK.

Major Gurung talked about the geography of Nepal, as well as its history, telling the audience the old name for Nepal was Gorkha Kingdom, from where the Gurkha name originated. Gurkha soldiers are world-renowned for their bravery, professionalism, humility and bravery, and the audience was delighted that the Army had permitted for a young Gurkha to come to the talk in full uniform. The history of the Gurkhas began in 1814 when war was declared in Nepal. They fought in WW1, and WW2 and in 1947 with the partition in India the Nepalese Gurkhas were recruited into the British Army and mainly based in the UK, Brunei, Nepal and Hong Kong.

Five Nepalese women were at the talk and wore local costumes, as well as a man in a traditional outfit, all representing types of regional clothing from the Nepal states.

Major Gurung was a key figure along with members of Brecon Town Council in the establishment of the UK’s first official town twinning with Nepal, that of Dhampus and Brecon five years ago. He is also the Director of a major project, setting up the first Nepali village in the UK near Talybont, to establish a recreational and educational centre to promote cultural awareness.

Nepal has recently seen an exciting three-month project at Y Gaer funded through a Welsh Government Museum initiative, and Mrs Leliza Pakhrin gathered information and objects for two display cabinets that celebrate the lives and culture of the Nepalese people in Brecon and their special relationship with the town.