Facebook Trucks, Songs and Smartphones: A different view of post-quake Nepal
Like most things in Nepal, the mountainous country’s transport is colourful. All along the highway that runs between Kathmandu and Rasawa (close to the border with China), elaborately-painted trucks make daily delivery routes feel like parades. Alongside pictures of flowers, landscapes or movie stars, most trucks are adorned with written quotes about love and loss.
As I travelled this road, one passing truck pronounced, ‘I spit on you, life’ in Nepali. Another mused over a lover’s betrayal: ‘She took my heart and stomped it into the ground’. Some, though, were more upbeat: ‘My heart for you always’ and ‘Forever yours’ and… ‘Facebook’.
As well as trucks sporting painted tributes to the social media giant, I also spotted a taxi whose entire back window was taken up by an artistic interpretation of the ‘Viber’ logo.
There is little wonder why. Everyone I spoke with in Nepal mentioned the role of social media in the response and recovery to the April 25 2015 earthquake which took the lives of more than 8,000 people.
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