Nepali Banda

Nepali Banda

Banda is Nepalese for ‘Strike’. This one took hold of the entire city, shutting everything down and making it dangerous for locals to drive. There are currently bandas in other regions of Nepal and soon there will be country-wide strike. This photo essay explores its effects on the locals of Pokhara. In featured photo above, a young worker contemplates how the banda will effect his work. So far there has been a noticeable lull in business for shops in Pokhara.


School is cancelled and these boys hit the streets for some early morning football.


Woman, children, and buffalo stroll down the street. Theres no need for sidewalks when cars aren’t around.


A row of tourist buses sit and collect dust for the duration of the Banda. Although one school group admitted to driving overnight, which is apparently safer.


A local woman opens her shutters half way. She lives in the back of the shop so she is not technically open; until someone wants something, that is.


These cows would probably be here anyways, but at least with the Banda they don’t have to deal with the traffic whizzing past and throwing up dust.



The only safe way to drive. The few instances of attacks have involved journalists and press vehicles.


Young men who would have normally been at work play Chungi khal in the streets. Its like hacky sack but played with a knot of sliced rubber from an inner tube.


Two men contemplate the Banda in front of a row of closed shops.



  1. Nelson K · January 28, 2015

    great shots, definitely gives a feel for the lack of hustle and bustle. can you say more about the strike itself? who’s striking and why, how are they so widespread and having such a strong effect? and why the incidences of violence? maybe its not that clear; google search turned up stuff about constitutional politics that seem like longstanding issues. are you negatively affected? keep killin it btw

    • VinnyMo · February 28, 2015

      Hey Nelson =)

      The strike itself was called for by the Maoist party who have convinced other minority groups to join their struggle for states separated by ethnicity. Thats my understanding of it, but the funny part is for all of the people around here I have asked no one is able to give a clear answer about what was going on, and why. It seems to be so widespread because the Maoist party, who I no longer believe are a minority, have joined forces with so many other groups that they have support spread throughout the country. Its enforced by groups of guy standing in streets hassling anyone who tries to drive or work on the days which a strike has been called for. My friend who owns a bakery had a brick thrown through his window one day when he decided to ignore the strike and drive to work -he makes really good gluten free rolls with millet flour. This is all in relation to the constitution which was being drafted and finalized in January. Thankfully, the place where I stay is not so much effected. For all intensive purposes we can call it a backpackers ghetto, its a small quiet street by the lake with a few family run restaurants and bakeries where the families live above or behind the restaurant so they did not have to drive to get to work and open up shop.

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