More than 35,000 Nepalese made a bid Saturday to form the world's largest "human national flag" as they sought to set a new international record.
As the country's anthem played, participants held up crimson, blue and white coloured cardboard for 10 minutes on an open ground in Kathmandu's city centre to form the national flag. Cries of "Nepal!" rang out as participants threw the cardboard pieces in the air to celebrate after the attempt.
An aerial view of the Nepalese national flag, formed by over 35,000 people, is seen at the Tudikhel open ground in central Kathmandu. The current world record for the world's largest human national flag was set in February 2014, when 28,957 people gathered in Lahore, Pakistan. AFP photo
Nepal's flag is the world's only one which is not a quadrilateral. Instead it is comprised of two triangles.
"We conceived this idea to spread the message that all our countrymen are united under one flag," said Bhawesh Khanal, president of Human Values for Peace and Prosperity, the group that spearheaded the event.
Nepal is in the process of drafting a new constitution, a key step in a stalled peace process begun after the end of a ten-year civil war in 2006. Leaders have promised an inclusive constitution and federalism, ending gender and caste-based discrimination.
Numbered tickets were handed out to participants to keep a count of how many took part in the flag event. "Our vision came true. Thousands of people came together to form our country's flag and claim a new world record," Khanal told AFP.
Nepalese hold cut-outs on their heads as they participate in an attempt to break the record for the largest human national flag, in Katmandu. (AFP photo)
He said the group will now submit its claim with photographic and video evidence for a new record to the headquarters of Guinness World Records in London. They expect Guinness World Records to give a ruling on their submission within two months.
Among the participants was 15-year-old student Anita Gautam. "It was an amazing experience," she told AFP. "There is a patriotic vibe here... a sense that we have to work together to build our country."
Anil Shah, a prominent banker, was one of three official witnesses at the event. "Watching it brought tears to my eyes. I felt proud to be a Nepali. I believe we've set a new record," he said.
Nepalese girls wait to enter a field where an attempt to break the record for the largest human national flag was organized, in Katmandu. (AFP photo)
The current record for the world's largest human national flag was set in February 2014 when 28,957 people gathered in Lahore, Pakistan, to create a Pakistani flag, according to Guinness World Records.