Paying Tribute To Nepal With Prayer Flags

by Kate Ward

Following a tragic earthquake that struck 50 miles outside of Katmandu, killing over 800 people and counting as search efforts continue, those who are watching the disaster unfold miles upon miles away are standing strong with the nation. And many are looking to their prayer flags, which are hung to bless and protect areas throughout the Himalayas, particularly near the country's nations. (Update: The death toll has now risen to over 3,800, and more than 6,000 people are thought to be injured.)

Hours after the news hit regarding the deadly earthquake — which also led to an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed at least 18 climbers — some took to social media to pay tribute to the stricken country and the fallen by posting their own pictures of prayer flags, a familiar sight for anyone who has ever traveled in the region.

It may seem a small sign of solidarity, but it's a strong one, particularly for those who are hundreds of miles away, unable to assist in the search and recovery efforts near Katmandu. (Though, for those who are grounded far away, the Red Cross and other donation services are available for those hoping to contribute to the cause.) And based on the support, it's likely that many will others will follow suit as the city, which has a population of 1 million people, builds itself back up.

Though Nepal will no doubt need time to heal, here's hoping the prayer flags, and help from those around the world, can help bless the mountains once again. Unlike the photos hitting news today, here are the pictures we hope to paint when thinking about Nepal.