Undoubtedly proud to be a Nepali
I was at my Uncle’s place when a little cousin of mine showed me a book named World of Facts. He seemed pretty excited about it since it was new and kept showing random stuffs. I was trying my best to pay attention until he turned a page with a picture of our flag on it. Wanting to know what was written about our country that could make me proud for a moment, i snatched the book away from him and looked into ‘the fact’ that disturbed me the whole day. It read- “Nepal is the poorest and one of the least developed countries in the world.”
Yes, I know. I reacted the same way. I knew my country was poor and underdeveloped but hey..poorest? and least developed? That was awful. I immediately checked the writer’s name and planned some violence against him. After a while, my adrenaline level came back to normal and I pondered- Are we that bad???
The first thing that came to my mind was Mount Everest. Yes, we have Mount Everest. The highest mountain in the world that proudly stands 8848 meters tall from the sea level in the border between China and Nepal. It is strikingly beautiful, dangerous yet intriguing.People from all over the world, mostly from the richest and the most developed countries travel thousands of miles to climb and hoist their respective flags in the summit of our mountain. People like me who think Gods live in the skies may even picture themselves standing in the summit and talking to them directly. I knew that was absurd but the idea made me feel better.
The thought of Gods led my mind to Gautam Buddha or Buddha or the Light of Asia or God of Nepal. The latter seems weird because that’s my instant invention. But I ask, what’s wrong in that? Whenever the world hears Pablo Picasso, the thought of France follows. Whenever someone hears Mahatma Gandhi, they think of India. So what’s wrong in connecting Gautam Buddha and Nepal when the entire world knows that it was our country where the God chose to be born in.That makes the whole country holy, doesn’t it?
With Buddha’s image still hovering in my head, and that halo which can usually be seen in his pictures, I thought of peace. Peace, tranquility and unity. The three words which could have been the synonyms of our country. Well, they don’t stay here anymore but I’ve spent my childhood in that Nepal where danger meant getting kidnapped by Sadhu Babas only if one doesn’t obey the elders. I spent my early years in that country where there was a King and his family, where the bad doers would be punished somehow and the politicians “did care” about the country. Keeping the chaotic image of the recent years and the present aside, I felt good.
Then came the most important feature- Beauty. Had the writer of the World of Facts been to our country once, he would’ve written- Nepal is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. And I’m definitely not exaggerating. Be it the Himalayas and their steep roads, or the Terai with green(eco-friendly) forests, Nepal is beautiful. The person who has climbed our mountains and tasted the local “tongba” knows how wonderful our country is. The person who has visited the Kathmandu City and seen a temple in whichever direction he turns to knows how divine this place is. The person who has trekked to Muktinath, been rafting in the Trishuli river and did bungee jumping facing the Bhote Koshi knows how to have fun. And the person who has stayed with a Nepalese family for some days will be happy knowing that humanity does exist. This too, is not an exaggeration. Be it a thief or a priest, hospitality flows in the Nepalese blood.
The respect for one’s tradition no matter how modern a family is, the urge of preserving one’s culture no matter how fashionable one is the, a warm welcome to a guest no matter what crisis a family is facing, that obeying of elders no matter how rude a child is, that excitement one feels in every festival, that head which lowers itself for receiving blessings from elders and that brave blood which flows in the veins of even the most weak ones is what defines us. These are the things that define a Nepali.
I know this is overdone but one should go beyond limits to feel good about their country. In conclusion, our country is small yet wonderful, dirty but beautiful, chaotic yet peaceful, totally holy, full of adventures and one of the most awesome places in the world. It is the best country in the world because money and development are not the ultimate basis of judgement. Call me proud, but who wouldn’t be proud to have Pashupatinath Temple in his country? Who wouldn’t be proud to live in that capital which is the number one hippie destination in the world? Who wouldn’t be proud to see a totally unique and cool flag waving standing amongst the rows of almost same looking ones and know that it belongs to them? Who wouldn’t be proud to have more than a hundred species of medicinal herbs in their country? Right now, I want to make that particular writer taste some Nepali mo:mos. Who knows, next time he might write Nepal is the most delicious country in the world.