NEPAL AND NEPALESE DIASPORA
In not so distant past, Nepal was synonymous with peace and natural beauty. That changed when lives were lost and livelihoods shattered during the people’s revolution, which has transformed to the country’s political landscape. We are currently enduring the most critical and crucial period with great historic significance. Republican movement has triumphed; the power of the people has prevailed as the sovereign of ‘New Nepal’. The elected constitution Assembly (CA) is in-charge of scripting the country’s constitution based on the mandate and consensus. The CA has a great challenge of justly addressing the differences and diversities in the newly slated federal democratic republic. Federalism is meant to be a mechanism to harness the advantages and reduce the disadvantages posed in the past based on ethnicity, language, culture, geography and natural resources etc.
Obviously, Nepalese Diaspora around the globe has interest in the sovereignty and development of the country. Being the first generation migrants, most of the Nepalese Diaspora is still adjusting to their new way of life, while still trying to find ways to contribute what it can for the homeland. Majority of Nepalese professionals who immigrated to their new country are unable to secure well-deserved jobs in their own area due to variances in education standards, culture, language and more importantly, due to the conservative Canadian employer’s risk-averse tendencies in hiring people from different parts of the world. To make the matter worse, skill and education upgrade is beyond the reach of the immigrants as they are hard pressed on time and finances when they work full time to earn their livelihood.
In the course of living a hectic lifestyle in an adopted country, we may be at a risk of facing cultural decline among ourselves and our children due to various situations. Our children may be unable to grasp the true meaning of our culture due to minimum interaction with us and the community at large. Most parents work long hours to make the ends meet while the children grow with less time with parents and more time with TV, Xbox and Wii. The children at the same time are influenced by many different cultures, which in itself may be in conflict with the values of their parents. The new generation seems to fall short on academic and career progress due to variety of factors coupled with the inability to maintain the social, economic and cultural heritage. We devote relatively less time and effort in social and community development activities especially in Canada. Most of us are faced with the challenges of the typical first generation migrants and should not be compared to other communities with a long history in this country.
Even though the current picture looks a bit gloomy, it does not have to remain so in the future. But the change should come by design. In order to build a better Nepalese community, we should focus on the long term goals first in education, economic prosperity, preserving our culture and heritage. This set off this process by capitalizing on our most abundant resource, the people of the community. We should work together to share knowledge as there is large disparity in the level of education and network among the members of our community. We should research and learn from the various successful communities such as the Jewish, Indian and Chinese communities.
It is appalling when our children are not able to speak our language and comprehend our culture. Every parent has a role to play here. This is not a unique challenge to us in Canada but is a common situation everywhere among the Diasporas. Preservation of social and cultural values is very important regardless of where we live to avoid problems associated with identity crisis. The task of the preservation may be an achievable on as others have been able to do. Perhaps we have much to learn from our Indian, Italian and Chinese counterparts or from the Nepalese of Sikkim and Darjeeling. Exploration and adoption of knowledge from such communities may be important for us to become an honorable society. We strongly believe that we can build a referable society by exploring and including all avenues of knowledge available. We should lead by example in our community. The need now is to unite and work