2,000 Nepalese tree-huggers claim world record

June 5, 2014
Nepalese school children hug trees in a bid as they celebrate World Environment Day in the forest of Gokarna village, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on June 5, 2014

More than two thousand people including lawmakers and students hugged trees in a park outside Nepal's capital Kathmandu on Thursday to claim a new record on World Environment Day.

After organisers sounded a horn, eager students, many wearing their school uniforms, clasped and held tight for two minutes as Nepalese musicians beat traditional drums.

"We had a very high turnout. In the end, 2,001 people hugged together... to claim a new world record," said Thaneswar Guragai, one of the event's organisers.

Among the tree huggers was 24-year-old student Tripti Prajapti who told AFP: "When you hug a tree you feel connected... even as an individual you can contribute to protect and conserve trees."

Twenty Nepalese also turned up to support the campaigners.

"We came here to encourage the kids. Just hugging a tree may not make a difference but... it raises awareness," said lawmaker Krishna Bahadur Chhantel Thapa.

Organisers will now submit their claim for a new record to Guinness World Records, which is expected to rule on it within two months.

Nepalese school children hug trees as they celebrate World Environment Day in the forest of Gokarna village, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on June 5, 2014

The current world record for the world's largest tree-hugging event was set in July 2013, when 936 people gathered in the US state of Oregon.

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