National festival dedicated to Sir Hillary and to Mount Everest
by Kalpit Parajuli
The government will proclaim the holiday on May 29, the date on which Hillary and Tenzing climbed Everest. An airport will also be dedicated to them. Celebrations continue in commemoration not only of the climbing feat, but also and above all of Hillary's work on behalf of the local people.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - May 29, the date on which Sir Edmund Hillary and Norgay Tenzing conquered the highest peak in the world for the first time, will be International Everest Day. Prithivi Subba Gurung, Nepal's minister of culture, tourism, and civil aviation, will propose to the cabinet ministers the introduction of the new national holiday and the changing of the name of the airport in Lukla - the only approach to Everest in the region - to Tenzing-Hillary Airport.

New Zealand's Sir Hillary, who died last January 11 at the age of 88, also contributed to the social development of the Sherpa people of Khumbu, who are mourning his loss. New Zealand's prime minister, Helen Clark, says that Hillary's work will continue.

Elizabeth Hawley, New Zealand's consular in Nepal and also the head of the Himalayan Trust, tells AsiaNews, "We are happy with the Nepal government's decision to commemorate Hillary".

The Himalayan Trust was founded by Hilary and is supported by groups in many countries, especially the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Germany. It carries out many programmes for health, culture, education, the environment, and in other areas.

The Nepal Tourism Board and the Travel Agents` Association of Nepal (TAAN) are also commemorating Hillary in various ways. Jyoi Adhkari, president of the TAAN, is asking the government to create a Hillary-Tenzing prize, which would be awarded to those who work to preserve and spread awareness of the mountains of Nepal.

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