Nepal should help Indians understand our society and people better

promoting nepal in india kathmandu post 8aug10

click to enlarge

Excerpts of an article published in the Kathmandu Post today:

Despite being so close and sharing a border there is an unimaginably high level of misunderstanding about Nepal among Indians. Some of those misunderstandings are based on rumours and hearsay (all Nepalis smoke pot) while others are created by the Indian mainstream media that is most of the times frighteningly immature and trivial when it comes to covering Nepal.

Tens of thousands of Nepali students study in India—right across the country. They are more likely to meet educated and influential Indians (some with misinformation about Nepal) all over the country. That is why these students, not the diplomats, are the real ambassadors of the Himalayan republic in the world’s largest democracy.

Sometime the arguments turn into unreasonable blabber. “When they have nothing to support their argument, they just try to bring in nationality and say ‘you Nepalon, keep quiet’,” said a student who studies in Delhi University. “In such cases when they just argue nothing but keep repeating about the size of their democracy, we also say: if you are the largest democracy, don’t forget, we are also the highest democracy,” said another student at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Lesser known or politically and economically less powerful countries try to promote their interests in important foreign societies and markets through various means. But Nepal hasn’t found ways to promote itself among the Indian public.

[Here’s the full version of the article. Or, click on the photo above.]

Related links:

1. Face Value: Being a Nepali in India

Only a person with a flat nose and, I hate to use the word here but I must, “chinky” eyes, passes as a Nepali for many Indians…..Going by their reactions and comments, I have come to the conclusion that only those with Mongolian features are considered Nepali in India.

When I hear the same from educated Indians like journalists, software professionals, bank employees and university students, I seriously try to explain to them the diverse nature of Nepali society that lives at different altitudes, eats varieties of foods, speaks many languages and sport different looks.

2. Chance Encounters (with Nepalis) In India

It was the lunch hour and the concrete shade, not very far from the showroom, was his favorite spot to eat. Not that they didn’t let him eat in a corner of the showroom itself; but, he said, he found peace here. “And some time to rest,” he added. Hundreds of thousands of uneducated, unskilled and unemployed men (and women) from Nepal come to several Indian cities to take up low-wage, laborious and sometimes humiliating jobs. One can find such Nepalis almost everywhere in India.

8 thoughts on “Nepal should help Indians understand our society and people better

  1. Tajim

    You said it right!. Indians hardly know anything about Nepal despite we being their closest neighbor.

    They think all Nepalese are Gurkhas and Bahadurs.


  2. nkm

    “Tens of thousands of Nepali students study aboard. They are more likely to meet educated and influential foreigners (some with misinformation about Nepal) all over the country. That is why these students, not the diplomats, are the real ambassadors of the Himalayan republic in the world’s largest democracy.”
    We are the face of the country, representing our motherland.


  3. अभिषेक

    Here in India when someone talk about Nepal the things that comes to ones mind are Watchman,Guys working at hotel,Mt. Everest and a nation where you can go without a foreign land.

    Here we don’t get to see many Nepali students that is why the Image of a Nepali person is not that of an educated one.

    But i don’t think there is any hatred for them here, despite some feel that Nepal is now tending towards China after the Maoist Govt. came there.
    All the Nepali citizens that i had met are all very good by nature.

    In Indian newspapers we get some news from Nepal also like now procedure for new Govt. is going there. But Prachanda is not very famous here.
    My parents were shocked when whole of the Nepal’s kings Family was executed whose onus was given to Kings Son but nobody believed that here.
    I guess amongst our neighbours Nepal is our best Friend.


  4. shantinagar

    Nepal needs to really look inside. My feeling is the current situation will last until collective awareness stops it.

    I witnessed this country go down so much in 18 years I cannot believe it. Education is important and they should get their act together to get foreign help again. The World Bank is working in Nepal, grass root level and so on. Indians laugh at the self destructiveness that is what I observed. Nobody understands why a nation kills its own men unwillingly or willingly?


  5. Prayash

    While it is ignorance in general, it is also our (Nepali) responsibility to promote our nation. In this light, I agree with the author’s view that Nepali students studying in India are good ambassadors to spread the word.


  6. worriedaboutnepal

    If you are a Nepali why are you so worried about Indian perception of Nepal. I am not. And frankly I don’t think anybody in Nepal is. Its always the Southerners in Nepal that want good relationship with India. Nobody from Hills like India. In fact, Nepalis hate India. And Indians don’t love Nepal either. You are making false claims. India imposed 18 months long economic blockade over Nepal. They also supported the mass killings and lootings of Nepalis in Assam, Manipur, Bhutan. . India till date has denied Nepal right of access to the port of Chittagong. India also didn’t back Nepals bid to become Zone of Peace at UN, rather provided asylum and weapons to launch a decade long insurgency in Nepal. Needless to talk about issues like Kalapani, Susta, Buddha, Kanchajunga etc etc etc etc. Rather than posting articles about what we should do to be nice in front of Indians, I think you better start posting about saving Nepal from Biharis and another Sikkimization. Nepalis have been peaceful and friendly towards India for too long and suffered at their hands deeply. I think its about time Nepalis through away their notion of India being a peaceful and friendly nation, but rather find out ways to hit India where it matters so that they start listening. Just like the Nepali saying, “Laatko Bhoot baatale mandaina!”



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