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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Divided we stand, United we fall?

A thing that i've observed time and again is how bitter Nepalese in Nepal are towards Nepalese abroad. This doesn't apply to every single person but i've encountered it more often than not so i think it is safe to assume this is the outlook amongst a majority of Nepalese. Nepalese in Nepal (NN), like any normal folk, feel the grass is greener on the other side. It is easy to build a rosy picture and assume Nepalese abroad (NA) are having the time of their life. Since this is only natural (because everyone feels everyone else is having a better time), it is ok to digest.

What i just cannot digest is how this raises the topic of nationalism. NN go on bragging about how they are there for their country while NA are just spoiled people who don't give a dime about Nepal. Ok! Excuse me?

i think there are a few issues that need to be cleared here, no matter how much i feel there isn't the need for me to justify the fact that i and other NA are not in Nepal.

1. the most basic thing comes down to it being a free choice. NA are not robbing banks in the country to go abroad. No one is even forcing them to go. The situation at home and in the nation, one's own dreams, and their capacity to follow such dreams take NA abroad. Before an NN starts raising a finger, i think it is important to ask oneself if he/she has lent a hand for that NA in getting closer towards the dream. Either ways, no one has the right to judge a person who has made use of his free choice.

2. Just because an NN lives in the country does not mean he/she is actively contributing towards its development. i've seen this tendency of people claiming that they are "there" for Nepal and they blame NA for being selfish and "betrayers" even. If we care so much about the country, why don't we just shut up and do it. This constant need to point fingers at people and shirk responsibilities to others is quite childish, and it goes on to show that one does not care about the development in its own right, but measuring who contributed how much.!!
However, this is not to say that just because an NA is abroad does not mean he/she is not contributing towards Nepal. i think a good example is Raju Lama. Ok! i know you're thinking "he makes money for himself". But come on! isn't that a basic survival instinct? If one looks beyond that, it would be easy to see that him performing those songs attracts people and that helps to make people aware about Nepal. Even if it is in the smallest of ways. And thanks to all the intelligent NA, people don't just think that a Nepalese is a Sherpa who lives on Mt. Everest.

3. Just because an NA lives abroad doesn't mean he/she is not working his/her butt off. When one lives in an under developed country, it is easy to imagine the hardships people face in the country. The lack of electricity, the bureaucracy, the undone infrastructure, the raging population etc etc. But it's like science. You finally prove a theory and then you land up with another to discover all over again. One goes abroad and he/she realizes there is work to be done. No one hands over a platter full of services and fulfilled dreams to us. However, most NN see just the pretty side of it. "Wah America, moj hune bhayo!". They feel NA have "escaped" the ugly things in Nepal and now they see the big cities, chicks in skimpy clothes, supersized shopping malls etc etc. But what about the implicit feeling of unacceptance? What about the feeling of homesickness? How about things that get lost in translation (and i just don't mean your voice but your title and status (?)) and not to mention the loss of your year(s) of studies.

The only sadder thing is that it is not only NN who sometimes misunderstand the situation. Even NA talk crap about other NA. i'm sure we know at least one family where the father or mother or both had had to leave their children with their grandparents in Nepal. And people only see how the parents are the cruel ones. "Dhukka cha ni uni haru lai, baccha paayo ani chodyo. arka le herdi halcha ni". No parents are ever so crazy about material things that they would leave their children like that (at least that's what i would like to believe in). In any case, i don't think they are going abroad to attend the biggest party of their lives. They are going to work!!!

This post is however, i beg to highlight, not to say that NA are angels and NN are evil people. i guess all i'm trying to say is how i wish we stopped criticizing each other, breaking down the country into groups like that, and for once believing in each other.

Now please go listen to this cos i know you love it.

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