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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.



Anonymous said...

hey Tara didi, it looks like you've written down my thoughts too :) esp the part, NN aren't in abroad attending some kinda biggest party which instantly come on my mind when somebody says 'timi ta bidesh ma chau ni, moj cha hai' !!! and it's pretty hard to make them convince the life in here until and unless they experienced it for themselves.

thanks a lot for givingvoice to your thoughts! It feels better to know somebody else's sharing similar vibe :)
Good luck for ur future venture!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tara didi,

Thanks for voicing down your thoughts, it feels better to know people sharing similar vibes :)

personally,the thought of NN are nt here to attend some kinda party instantly hits my mind when somebodys says 'timi ta bidesh ma chau, moj cha timilar' and it's pretty hard to convince them life out here until and unless they experience it for themselves.

anyways, gudluck for you ventures

Style Incognito said...

nicely said :)

Dr.YoungHovB said...

Namaste Tara didi,
I respect your opinion of course. but the bigger problem I see, is stereotyping and a natural tendency to lump people into buckets. For some reason, we do not do well with the idea, "give people benefit of doubt" and that "everybody is unique and different". Thats how I personally feel. I can see how a NN Ram might have a real outburst when they hear a NA Sam say, "Hya nepal ma kehi hundaina, the future is dark..etc". You know how..sometimes..somethings that are dear to your heart..and even if what said is THE truth, it is hard to accept it. And once you loose out on arguments and hardcore facts, you still do not want to admit that "Your something is somethingbad". Like Bush likes to say, "who cares about facts". But it is plausible that NN do not want to hear rampant of complaints about Nepal from a NA while staying aboard with hardly any connection or feedback for back home problems. I am not saying, I agree with them, I see their point of view. Like you said, "If you do not like something, change it, if you can't ..shut the hell up". That applies to NAs as well. So, though I see your logic, in my honest opinion, it is hard for me to believe, all NNs or majority of them even feel that way unless NAs "provoke" them.

So, I would like to highlight the fact, and may be even divert your attention towards the fact that "stereotyping" and "bucketing" may be the real issue here. What do you think, sis?


Lousy Nepali said...

Quite right, quite right. There are challenges everywhere on this planet, and it's not easy anywhere.

p.s. link this post on 'that' blog. : - )

Tara G said...

Dr. YoungHovB,
This will be an ongoing debate on who is right and who is wrong. I didn't say either. and i think your own line about this being an issue of stereotyping is the answer to your question.
i am by no means saying that NA are the best and they tackle problems by not being in Nepal. however, that doesn't mean they can't do anything. It is a matter of caring enough to do it. Ditto with NN. Just because they are in the country and dealing with the daily problems, doesn't mean they are necessarily helping the situation!

Again this post was not about whose side I'm taking. It was just to clarify some general ideas about how people STEREOTYPE and think the grass is greener on the other side.

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