Nepal: An insightful outsider’s perspective

Northeim My Nepali Podcast

Often times I still feel weird and presumptuous to be writing about Nepal and the language as if I was a better expert on the subjects than any Nepali. Often my inner censor awakens and shouts at me: “Who do you think you are, talking about this? You better shut up!” But then I remind myself that I actually believe that such a insightful outsider’s perspective can be of value to both sides: The outsiders (foreigners) who seek to gain further insight and the insiders (nepali) who seek to gain a clearer or new perspective on themselves.

A positive catalyst for both sides

I therefore hope that my perspective might work as a positive catalyst for both sides: Foreigners might encounter Nepal with greater understanding and curiosity – from which only good can come. And Nepali might discover impulses and visions within themselves that could lead to a positive progress within the society.

Of course this blog only is a tiny contribution to that. But no matter how tiny anything is, as long as it is for a positive purpose it is worth it.

Someone in a position like mine has a powerful tool at hand if they know how to use it: We can facilitate communication. I have an idea how a foreigner would relate to Nepal, but by now I also have quite a good idea how a Nepali relates to their own country.

A typical misunderstanding between Nepalis and foreigners

Take for example this one time I was asked in all sincerity by a group of man from Accham: “Bahini, when you get married, for how long will you get married?” Not understanding where those men were coming from, probably would have led to me being offended and saying something like: “Listen, you people might get married only temporarily, but in my country we treat marriage with sincerity and plan to stay together forever.”

In reality though for many Nepali the high divorce rate and the fact that divorce is not a taboo topic in our Western society, made them assume that concept of marriage as such must be completely different from what it is like in Nepal. They assumed that since marriage is something sacred and not to be broken, the fact that people divorce as much in the west and openly talk about it, must mean that people plan a marriage only for a certain amount of time. And I have to admit, that writing it down like this – their logic is quite convincing.

Still in that situation I (tried to) explained to them that even though divorce is something common in Germany, still people get married with the sincere belief that they will stay together forever. And that from my understanding really the major difference is that when problems arise people chose their individual happiness over the marriage obligation. That in general there is less willingness to compromise themselves for what they believe is expected of them. I am not sure that my intermediate level was capable to communicate these ideas into their local Acchami dialect, but at least they nodded their heads – and maybe now the next time they meet a foreigner they will at least ask: “So why are people in the West so selfish and do not take their marriage vows seriously?”

Even tough that is not a particular nice thing to hear for a Westerner, but at least it opens up the chance for a little more understanding between the two sides. Maybe there will be a chance to communicate more about the positive qualities the Western individualism actually brings to individuals and the community as a whole. And maybe there will also a chance to contemplate our own relation to commitments and what it takes to make a marriage actually work.

3 thoughts on “Nepal: An insightful outsider’s perspective”

  1. Tapaaile lekhnubhaeko kuraa biha garna ko baarema ma saat pratisat maanchhu. Ma mero shrimatisanga biha garnu agaadi dherai maanchhele mero shrimatilaai timi gora maanchhesanga biha garna hudaina bhanera bhanyo. Goragoriharuko biha ek-chin garepachhi divorce garne baani chha re.

    Tapaai nepali nabhaepani nepali raamrosanga sikaauna saknuhunchha bhanera ma tyo pani maanchhu. Tapaai aru bidesiharu bhanda ekdam raamro nepali bolna ra lekhna saknuhunchha. KatiwaTaa bhaashaa bolna aauchha tapaailaai?

    1. Bolna ta tinwaTa matrai auncha hola. Tara alikati Hindi pani auncha ni. University ma Indo-European languages na padheko the. Ani yo padhai ko silsilama Latin, Old Persian ra Sanskrit pani padheko the.

      Basha haru malai dherai man parcha ni. Yas ma dherai chaakh nai laagne huncha malai.

      Biha sambandhi mero bicaar: Nepali keTaa le bideshi keTi lai biha gare bhane kohi pani kehi naramro bhandaina – keTa laai swagatam bhandincha hola pani. Keta ko matlab keti ko matlab bhanda thulo samjhekole. Tara stithi ulTo bhae ta Nepali harule tapaiko anubhaw ko anusar ko gunaso nai garchan … hamro choriharulaai hamro parampara ko manche sita matrai biha garne huncha. Yo yastai huncha mero bicarle kinaki Nepal ko samaj ma aja samma pani stri log haru lai alikati sampatti (property) ko ruple hercha. Bahira ko sampatti lie bhane ta tyati pharak pardaina, tara aaphno sampatti bahira ko laai beche bhane ta sarai naramro lagyo. Aaphno chori aaphno bhanda Thulo manche sanga biha milaunu parcha. Parampara yasto huncha.

      Yo kura ko barema ta tapai aaphno srimati lai pani sodhnus hola – wahako bicar nai ke huncha bhanera bujhne malai caakh lagyo.

  2. The lawyers and Judges are two sides of the same coin. I had one case in the Supreme Court about eight years ago. During that peorid, they gave me a lot of problems. The lawyer takes for one pleading about Rs. 5000. Everytime the case is presented at the Court (Peshi), if he pleads he takes Rs. 5000.On the otherside, the Jusges of the Supreme Court they think themselves as Kings. If they have a minor headache, they do not come to the Court. And your Peshi goes to 2 to 3 months later. That way like one Sapkota, he spent 50 years in one case. Look at your justice system.Judges belong to King or Political parties. For example, Laxman Prasad Aryal is pro NC, like wise Biswanath is Pro NC and was with KP Bhattarai. Pawan Kumar Ojha is King’s bootlicker. In lawyers side also, Sindhu Nath , Basudev Dhungana and Tuladhar are for communists. Daman Dhungana, Shabhu Thapa, Prakash Basti, Radhe Shyam etc are for NC and Bal krishna and Sushil panta are Mandales. Now my question is how one can give justice to the people when they are politically divided.Some lawyers and justices have give and take .Anup Raj Sharma is the son of Keshav Raj Pindali who was the secreatry to BP Koirala. I came to know that he was nominated to SC after Asoj 18. He was nominated from the palace. Now I hear that palace asked him to decide on the dissolution of RCCC because it wanted to save face under tremendous American pressure and to release Deuba.What i wanted to explain here is that justice cannot be like mausam Anusar ko tunik . The justice should not change according to the weather.It should be always the same and interpreted in true faith according to the spirit of the law of the land primarily on the basis of the Constitution. In Nepal, justice changes as per the weather. So there is no faith of Nepalese people in the SC. It is like an organization of Dahi Chiure justice. Take for example Justice given by the present CJ. Anybody can laugh at him and his decision.

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