Month: November 2015

WHEN NEPALESE VOTE FOR A NEPALI FOR AN INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Two days ago, CNN named Maggie Doyne as the CNN Hero of the Year. She was the third winner affiliated to Nepal, after Anuradha Koirala and Pushpa Basnet, in the last eight years who was awarded for making huge impacts in the lives of Nepali. As a Nepali myself, it surely made me proud. Honestly, sometimes I think that whenever there is someone who is nominated for an international award, Nepali community will do whatever it can to make sure he/she gets the award. It is no coincidence that the pattern has repeated in the last couple of years.

In October, when Maggie Doyne was listed in the top ten, Nepalese knew that she was the founder and CEO of BlinkNow, a nonprofit organization that is helping over 400 children from poor communities to educate and prepare them up to post-graduate level with the establishment of Kopila Valley Children’s Home and School. Then, it was time for Nepalese to spread the word like a wildfire in the internet. Many urged to vote for Maggie and then thousands joined in. Their dedication finally paid off two days ago.

Nepalese feel a great sense of responsibility to show their gratefulness for someone who is involved in benevolent work and who gets recognized by the international community. It is something we closely connect to with the person. Even if they are foreigners, their contributions to the Nepali community stands out. We automatically categorize them as Nepali. They become our family and their happiness is our happiness. So, we become desperate to vote them. Most of the time, we will have become victorious.

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Next time you see a Nepali nominated for an international award, there is high chance he/she will eventually win it.

 

Sometimes, I feel strange that a country with a small population has a bigger influence in an international award. Sometimes, I wonder why countries with wide internet access and with large population do not commit enough to win their countrymen. Perhaps I think that maybe they do not have to, as they continuously win other prestigious prizes. But for Nepal, just to see someone who represents/kind-of-represents the country is a great achievement. We have very little that we can symbolize ourselves proudly in the international arena besides being home to Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) and Lord Gautam Buddha to name a few. It is why Nepalese do not want to leave these chances that will help in cementing their country’s name in the world.

It was no wonder that Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa from Nepal were named as People’s Choice for Adventurers of the Year 2012 organized by National Geographic Society. They had amassed the majority of the 72000 votes. Even in this case, Nepalese made sure that they took the title. In another instance, in 2007, Nepalese collected enough money to go to India and vote for Prashant Tamang, an Indian from a Nepali-speaking community in Darjeeling. They made sure that he won the title of Indian Idol. And, they were successful.  

The vast circulation of voting guidelines over the internet followed by a sense of responsibility from Nepali is more than enough to make sure that a Nepali or someone affiliated to Nepal shines throughout the world. The probability for this is so high that the next time you see a Nepali or someone who has contributed greatly to it nominated for an award, you will notice that he/she will have eventually won it. Just watch to deduce if I was wrong or not.

 

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WHY DHOTI IS NO LONGER IN MY DICTIONARY

There was a time when I was taught to call my south Nepalese compatriot with bhaiya or with a derogatory remark, dhotis. Whenever I saw someone relatively black and closely resembling from an Indian descent (as was the stereotype in the Pahadis), my brain automatically used bhaiyas and dhotis to address them. I never realized the negative influence that my Pahadi stereotype had on my life.

My perspective drastically changed when I joined Budhanilkantha school that brought a diverse group of students from all the 75 districts of Nepal every year. Never before had I been exposed to such a diverse culture for I was reared in an area dominated by Gurungs, Brahmins and Chhetris. I had only read about the diverse ethnicity and culture that Nepal boasted of from my social studies book, but I had not experienced it directly Now, I had the chance to refine my stereotyped views in this Mini-Nepal.

I had a daily interaction with almost 60-70 different ethic groups. That was a lot to take in. Why did I need to look them in terms of which areas they come from? Why did it matter to categorize them as Southerners, Northerners, Westerners,  HimaliPahadi, Madhesi,  and Sherpali? Why did my brain have to process their Nepali accents and come up with different permutations to determine their place of origin? Why did I never think that a common term would free me from all these subclasses? That is when I discovered that all these terms were just a bunch of electrons circling a nucleus, Nepali. Yes, it was that easy. These affiliations were nothing but sub groups of being a Nepali.

I rejoiced at the beauty of my interpretation. It was simple yet enormously powerful. I no longer had to gaze at my friends and unconsciously  invite my brain to categorize them before I communicated. I started to call my brothers dais and stopped using dhotis. Calling someone from southern origins dhotis was a shame to the diverse education  I was exposed to and a sign that echoed my narrow-mindedness. I analyzed the society I was brought up in and noticed that it had not embraced a cosmopolitan view of the world. I was surprised that it could still focus its energy on such trivial things instead of diverting its attention to much more important matters.

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There are more than 40 different ethnic groups but unless I told you, you didn’t know about it. All you saw was a group of students who smiled and laughed together.That is what it all matters.

People have come up with various reasons over what has been happening in Nepal right now. However, what I would like to emphasize is the subtle cause of these problems. Interestingly, the reasons trace back to our narrow mindset when our society taught us to follow the stereotypes. What we did was oppress the feelings of our southern brothers. We never treated them as Nepali. The cumulative effects are being felt right now. Even today, the Pahadis view Himalis as Nepali and their definition even extends to the Nepali-speaking people of Darjeeling, India, but they categorize Madhesis as an extension of Indian diaspora. Does language play an important role to defining who we are? If so, then why don’t we provide citizenship to an American who speaks fluent Nepali instead of making him wait to fulfil the conditions stated in the constitution? Most of us disagree with what I just said. Why? Because it’s nonsense? If we follow the stereotypical view, does not it make sense to legally grant the American a Nepali status?

The above scenario is where our ideology fails and gets highly criticized. Our moral stances have placed a greater emphasis on the dialect that one can converse in than the decades of life spent in the territory. It discriminates a native who narrowly fails the criteria to become a citizen just because he does not speak proper Nepali. It is outrageous to categorize that way. But, like I said earlier, the stereotypes of the pahadi CDOs (people who look after the administration of the district) drive their unconscious brain to not provide a citizenship to a Madhesi who has lived in Nepal for more than thirty/forty years. He is driven by the fear that someday, Madhesis would meekly accept to India’s sovereignty and it would lead to the division of Nepal.

This narrow perspective is what needs to be changed. Unless we care to teach our kids to call and treat their southern friends as Nepali, no amendment in the constitution will ever make a difference. I am not limiting to the kids only. I am focusing on them because their innocent minds are fooled by what we direct them to believe in. The vicious cycle has to end right now and what greater way than to show our solidarity to our southern Nepalese in the current humanitarian crisis. Moreover, every one of us must refine our thoughts and call everyone Nepali. Treat everyone Nepali. Make sure that everyone is treated Nepali. Slap someone who does not treat the southerners Nepali. Leave a discussion that treats Nepali as Indians. Only then, Nepal will steer towards an era of development and peace. Only then will all the blood-sheds that occurred in Nepal prove worthy.

It is with these very reasons that I no longer care if I am a Brahmin or a Pokhreli and I no longer call my people Dhotis or Madhesis. Why? Because we are, above all our classifications, NEPALI!

 

 

GUFFGAAF EPISODE 1: PLAGIARISM IN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAL

I have teamed up with Bikash Gupta, author of the blog “By the Sidewalk,” to create GuffGaaf. It is a platform where we talk about various subtle issues and share our thoughts. We are hopeful that you will listen to our podcast and enjoy our presentation. We have done our best to share insights in the concerned issues. To be effective in our next episode, we strongly urge you to comment various aspects of the podcast so that we can deliver more terrific ones in the future.

Right now, we are in a starting phase and since we wanted to check how the response would be, we decided to use Nepali language as the medium of communication. For those who are not familiar with Nepali language, downloading the podcast would not make any sense and we are sorry for the inconvenience that this will cause you. However, you can be hopeful that we will be able to deliver future episodes in English.

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

The two presenters: Bikash Gupta (left) and Manasbi Parajuli (me).

For those familiar with Nepali language, you need to download the file in order to listen to our first podcast. I will only be able to link the file since embedding such files are not allowed in the free version of WordPress. Maybe someday I will be able to upgrade to a premium plan and then you can easily listen to the podcasts. I hope that you will appreciate our efforts by downloading the file. We apologize for this issue.

In the first podcast, we discuss about our experiences plagiarizing our projects, essays, poems when we were assigned these works in our school. We also talk about some flaws in our education system that does not penalize the students but appreciate the time they took to google pertinent information. At the end of the podcast, we share some ways that plagiarism can be controlled in the context of Nepal.

Please listen to our talk and provide your valuable feedback.

Link to the podcast: Guffgaaf Episode 1

Please click in the link to download and enjoy!

GIBBERISH TALK: READ AT YOUR OWN RISK, HONESTLY

wE havE bean dairected 2 write ina dIfFeReNt weigh. for example, why do I need 2 begin these sentences with a CAPITAL later & why can’t I end this sentence with ? . rulessssssssssssss$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$…………..

Eye have learned that English is a crazy l                                                                                                                                                                                                      a n                                                                                                                                                                                                 g u a                                                                                                                                                                                                 g  e.

seluremos# gniwollof ton ma I yhw si taht ebyaM. I did not no-tis but are you feeling difficult 2 rEaDD > Or

am

I

at fault to disrupt the pace

of your reading!

What I wanted to say was that we don’t need to follow some rules. Rules surely play an significant role in shaping our writing. We are able to convey our thoughts easily that way.

You probably experienced some sort of difficulty in understanding what I wrote above. That is because I went out the conventional way of writing methods. I ignored the punctuation rules and even jumbled the capital/small letters. But, some of you really enjoyed it! I would have enjoyed it if I saw someone writing this way. That is because it was creative.

For those of you who try something, write something from a different perspective. something in wwitch others will question your writing but appreciate your methods. yeah^^^^ I have to bee careful eef my english language tea-cher finds the above introduction to directly contradict the rules of the English language….but i feel free when i wtire tihsway.

Making sense

  Making sense

there r no limitations to the way i present my writing…………it is unusual()()() do I really need to have a title in my post above???????? what about a conclusion?? and the contents………… you seemed to have come this far

even

if

                        all                                                                                                                                               I

         talked

about

                  was

                                                    gibberish…

                                                                             but

                                                                                                the

                                                                          reason

                                                       you

                                         managed

               to do

that is becau se

you aa-

re habituated

to readingg

a short work

to

find eats purpose…

u fill that sth big iz coming up but nothing comes.

and I understand that….

haha..

sims like….

                 i

                 have

                 snatched

                your precious

                    (Yeah, LOTR’s precio-

                   sssssssssssssssssssssssss)!

                    ——————————————-

                                  the

only big

difference is

that I don;t ha’v a

magicalllllllll riinggggg

rt now!

Hah,

that’s it for now……………..

I did not have any topic to write abt…. i tried to come up with one

but

ended

                         up

                                                           with none! sry abt that..

  but,

it is interesting to do some crazy stuff sometiems, is not it//

i wil-

l

come

htiw

na

gnitseretni

dna

th’t-provoking

topic nxt time…

QUORA, QUORAER, QUORAEST AND WHY IT MATTERS

Quora is a question and answer platform founded by Adam D. Angelo and Charlie Cheever. It was founded in…All right, you can check its full story by searchin… Nah, not by searching in Google but by asking it in Quora. Yes, not by searching in your search engine but by asking Adam D. Angelo in Quora. It really is possible to ask a company’s founder in Quora. You cannot do that elsewhere. Besides, have you ever got a chance to ask the founder of Wikipedia? If not, then Quora is there. Sign in and ask Jimmy Wales any question that you have. Or are you wondering whether he is a Wikipedia user? No, he is the real founder. The point I am trying to make is that Quora has much more to offer than just asking real questions from the very exact people you want to ask.

Most of us have embraced the social media culture and used them in a daily basis. We tend to scroll down our page to check if there are any new Facebook status that we can like or make a silly comment on, search for sentences that are less than 140 characters or venture into the world of selfies. In my case, I have limited myself to only messaging on Facebook as I cannot avoid the fact that every single human connection I ever formed are in Facebook. I have forgotten what my Twitter account looks like. I do not have any Instagram account since I do not have a flair for taking selfie photos with all the silly poses. Something made me realize that it was a complete waste of time waiting for your friend to post something new and getting ready to ‘like’ it. That something was Quora.

I was introduced to Quora by my friend Rajnish who noticed how I had spent my time reading 140 character tweets and sometimes, articles from Arseblog. Then, he forced me to signup in Quora. I hesitated. I had thought that all social media served the same purpose. I was wrong. The next day, I signed up. Days passed and I removed all my social media apps in my smartphone because I spent the entire day enjoying the beauty of Quora. I thanked Rajnish for introducing me to this world of authentic encyclopedia.

My Reading list in Quora.

My Reading list in Quora.

Quora is a platform where you learn new things. The community comprises of users who have real experiences to the topic you are following. You can ask any question that you want to and get authentic and interesting answer to quench your thirst. Follow the topics and the people you always hear about in the newspaper and get inspired when they answer questions. Or you can share your expertise in any field and become a top writer in that topic (currently, I am a top writer in “One Piece.” Just bragging.). Contribute more so that you can brag when you eventually become a Quora Top Writer ’16. Unlike other social media accounts where the celebrity asks his company to look after his account and post on his behalf, users in Quora manage their own account and answer professionally.

If you are someone who wants to learn new things and cannot wait for others to post something, then Quora is the place you need to be. The answers enlighten you and, sometimes the success stories of popular figures such as Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, make you feel that there is still something you are missing in your life. Basically, the knowledge you gather up-voting answers in Quora or adding your favorite answers to your reading list boosts your spirit and commends the time that you wisely spend. The vast topics that you try to devour propels you to understand more about your surrounding. Is not that interesting? Absolutely. For me, I can talk an entire day about its impact in my life.

If you already have a Quora account, I thank you for being a part of a community of curious individuals. For those of you who do not have one and are not aware of its addictive (in a positive sense, of course!) characteristics, I strongly urge you to sign up and spend more time learning new things than logging into Facebook every five minutes to see the number of likes in your profile picture. Please, please, please, join Quora and spread the word about its benefits. I hope to follow you in Quora and vice versa! Share your stories about how joining Quora has transformed you ever since. I promise you that it will influence your life and career. Enjoy Quora!

FACEBOOK AND NATIONALISM IN THE CONTEXT OF NEPAL

फेसबुक र राष्ट्रियता

फेसबुक नेपालीहरुको जीवनमा एउटा अभिन्न अंग हो। सायद त्यसैले होला मैले कसैलाई केहि सोध्नुपरेमा यसैबाट सोध्नेगर्छु। कहिलेकाहिँ कसैको फोटाहरुलाई लाइक गर्दिन्छु त कहिले तिनीहरुमा केहि शब्द थपिदिन्छु। तर आजकल फेसबुकमा नयाँ चलन आएको छ। यसबाट हामीहरु आफ्नो राष्ट्रियता झल्काउन प्रयोग गर्छौ। यसमा पनि मेरो कुनै आपत्ति छैन। छ त केमा भने राष्ट्रियता कुन तरिकाले झल्काइएको छ। हो, हामीमा देशप्रतिको भावना यस्तो तरिकाले बढेको छ कि हामी बिर्सिन्छौ कि त्यो तरिकाले खासै केहि असर गर्दैन भनेर। हामी बिर्सिन्छौ कि त्यसरी गर्दा हाम्रो संकुचित सोचाई झल्किरहेको हुन्छ। हामी बिर्सिन्छौ कि त्यसो गर्दा कसैको मनमा ठेस पुगिरहेको हुन्छ।

संसारभर ख्याति कमाएका वीर गोर्खालीहरुको उत्पत्ति नेपालमा भएको हो र नेपाल तिनीहरुको घर हो। नेपाल गौतम बुद्धको घर पनि हो। संस्कृत यहिँबाट अरु ठाउँमा फैलिएको हो। यी सबैप्रति हामी नेपाली एकदमै गर्व गर्छौ। म नि गर्छु तपाई नि गर्नुहुन्छ। यसमा म केहि भन्दिन। तर आजकल फेसबुक हेर्नुभयो भने एउटा कुरा छर्लङ्ग देख्नुहुन्छ। मानिसहरु यहाँ नेपाल बेचिराखेका छन्। हो, नेपाललाई अझै नयाँ तरिकाले चिनाउनुको सट्टा “नेपाल वीर गोर्खाली वा गौतम बुद्धको देश हो, त्यसैले बढी बोल्ने हैन” भनेर फेसबुकमा अरुहरुलाई तर्साउँछन्। यसो गर्नु मुर्खता मात्रै हो। सक्छौ भने बरु देशको निम्ति केहि गरेर संसारभर चिनाउनुपर्छ। अरु देशहरु हेरियो भने यो कुरा स्पष्ट देखिन्छ। जस्तै बेलायत कुनै जमानामा विश्व आफ्नै बनाएको थियो। उसको औपनिवेशिक नीतिले धेरै देशहरुमा बजार बिस्तार गरेको थियो। तर आजकल हामीले तिनीहरुबाट हामी संसार राज गरेका हौ अब झुक भनेर सुन्दैनौ। अहिले तिनीहरु आविष्कार र नयाँ विचारले आफुलाई चिनाएका छन्। हामी नेपाली भने बुद्ध र गोर्खाली बाहेक केहि थप्न सकेका छैनौ। हामी आफ्नो राष्ट्रियता नकारात्मक तरिकाले प्रस्तुत गरेका छौ।

को हिमाली, को पहाडी, को तराई, को मधेसी, को थारु, को बाहुन, को शेर्पा, को पश्चिमेली, को पूर्वेली, को साम्यवादी, को समाजवादी। जहिल्यै हामी सबै नेपाली। कि कसो?

को हिमाली, को पहाडी, को तराई, को मधेसी, को थारु, को बाहुन, को शेर्पा, को पश्चिमेली, को पूर्वेली, को साम्यवादी, को समाजवादी। जहिल्यै हामी सबै नेपाली। कि कसो?

हामी नेपाली त्यस्तो मुर्ख छैनौ। तर कसैले राष्ट्रियताको कुरा निकाल्यो भने आँखा चिम्लेर उसको प्रस्तावलाई स्वीकार्छौ। एउटा उदाहरण दिन्छु। कसैले तपाइँलाई फेसबुकमा एउटा यस्तो फोटो राख्ने भन्यो कि जसले मधेसी र पहाडीबीचको आत्मीयता झल्काउँछ। तपाइँहरु के गर्नुहुन्छ? तपाइँहरुको कुरा छाडौँ। मेरै साथीभाईहरुले यस प्रस्तावलाई अँगालेका थिए। अब यहाँ म कता असन्तुष्ट भएँ भने उनीहरुले पहाडी, मधेसी र हिमाली जस्ता सानासाना कुरालाई नेपाली  भावनाभन्दा बढी  ठानेँ। ठिक छ अहिलेको परिस्थिति हेर्ने हो भने नेपालमा मधेसी र पहाडी भन्ने दुईओटा भावना छुटिएको देखिएको छ। म यसमा पुरा सहमत छु। तर हामी यति पढेलेखेका र बुद्धि पुर्याउने (आखिर फेसबुक चलाउनेहरु पढेलेखेका बढी हुन्छन्) नेपाली भएर फोटोको तल यो भन्न सकेनौ कि पहाडी र मधेसी भावनाभन्दा अहिले देशलाई नेपाली भावना बढी चाहिरहेको छ। हामी यो भन्न सकेनौ कि हामी नेपालीहरु एकअर्कालाई भित्रैबाट बुझेका छौ। यो भन्न आँट गर्नसकेनौ कि दक्षिण नेपालको समस्या भनेको देशभरिको समस्या हो र सबैजना मिलेर सुल्झाउन प्रयत्न गरिराखेका छौ। यो विश्वास फैलाउन सकेनौ कि उत्तर नेपालीहरुले दक्षिण नेपालीहरुलाई दाजुभाइ मान्छन्। यो बुझ्न सकेनौ कि नाकाबन्दीले हामीलाई नयाँ अवसर प्रस्तुत गर्न खोजेको छ। हामीले देशभित्रै उत्पादन बढाउने अवसर गुमाउदै छौ। देशलाई आत्मनिर्भरको महत्त्व बुझाउन हिच्हिकाइरहेका छौ। मलाई हामीमा देशभित्रै संसार हल्लाउने बुद्धि छ जस्तो लाग्छ र अहिलेको समय हेर्दा जति डरलाग्दो देखिन्छ त्यति नै केहि ठोस गर्न सक्ने अवसर लाग्छ। यो परिस्थितिमा देशको रुप फेर्न अवसर थियो। तर हामी त्यस्तो गाह्रो बाटो रोज्दैनौ। हामीलाई जे चिज पनि सजिलो जो चाहिएको छ। यतिबेला विदेशमा ज्ञान र शीप जानेकाहरुले केहि तहल्का मचाउने काम गर्न सक्थे जस्तो लाग्छ। आखिर हामीले जस्तो सुकै परिस्थितिलाई पनि आफ्नो फाइदाको लागि प्रयोग गर्नुपर्छ भन्ने पाठ पहिल्यैदेखि सिकिराखेका छौ। त्यसलाई अपनाउने बेला आएको छ।

फेरि फेसबुककै प्रसङ्ग ल्याउछु। हामी राम्रोसँग सोचौ। के नेपाली भावना बढी ठुलो कुरा होइन ? ल ठिक छ, यदि फेसबुकमा ट्रेन्डिङ्ग नै पार्ने हो भने #हामीसबैनेपाली अनि फोटोको तल “को हिमाली, को पहाडी, को तराई, को मधेसी, को थारु, को बाहुन, को शेर्पा, को पश्चिमेली, को पूर्वेली, को साम्यवादी, को समाजवादी। जहिल्यै हामी सबै नेपाली।” भनेर लेख्न पनि त सक्थ्यौं। तर गरेनौ। यसमा के बुझ्नुपर्यो भने राष्ट्रियता देखाउने नै हो भने सोचेर देखाऔ। हामी भित्रका संकुचित भावना ठ्याम्मै नदेखाऔ। म हजुरहरु सामु यहि मात्रै बिन्ती गर्छु।

(PS: यहाँ भनेका कुराहरु सबै यस ब्लगका लेखकका आफ्नै विचार हुन्। केहि असन्तुष्टि छ भने अवश्य टिप्पणी गरिदिनुहोला।)