We in Nepal believe that horns and the caste system are God’s gift to us!
That’s why we have given “tooting ones horn” a whole new meaning. That’s why we have created a million and one use of the accessory to keep the ears of people on the roads of Nepal on their toes!
Wholeheartedly adopting fatalism, an attitude endorsed and engendered by the caste system, is it any wonder then that we have developed our very own carefree attitude of you-only-live-once-so-live-free-and-die-doing-so towards road safety?!
The caste system, our hallowed social system, has a long and enduring history going all the way back to 1854 when it was made into the law of the land.
Obviating the need for people to waste their precious time figuring out who they are and what they are supposed to do with their lives; obviating the need to expend time and energy into that wasteful endeavor of making life meaningful — the caste system gave that to all of us Nepalese on a silver platter, figuratively speaking, of course — freeing us to concentrate on doing just that which keeps and maintains our God-given, and when necessary, God-maintained, grand social order. (Should it crumble, God Vishnu, the Sustainer of Life and Social Order, will return as an Avataar to restore it!)
While, in the southern plains, there might still be some ongoing protests against the constitution promulgated on September 20….
While those protests may have already claimed about 45 lives according to a Human Rights Watch report….
While the unofficial economic blockade of the country by India may be testing the resilience of the rest of the population of the country….
We should never forget the trump card of our nation: unity in diversity. The foundation and basis for that diversity and therefore unity, the amazing glue that holds our nation together, is of course no other than — you guessed it! — our caste system!
We must do everything we can to keep that unique cultural heritage of ours alive. In so doing, we shall not only keep up the unity in the people of our one and only big, diverse and proud country of Nepal; in so doing, we shall not only be maintaining our God-given grand social order — in so doing, we shall also rail against people and systems opposing it.
Here’s the meme, which has been circulating a lot in Social Media, and which beautifully encapsulates that sentiment.
It reads thus:
A Brahmin’s son struggles, slogs, studies real hard, passes the public service exam, makes it into an administrative leadership position…..now can we be resentful just because he leads the nation…..Shakyas from the Newar community are into gold and silver business…..makes millions…..now should we go and ask him for his wealth…..
Sons of Gurungs, Magars, Rais and Limbus join the British army…..put their lives at stake and make a lot of money by working in Kabul, Baghdad…..should we rob them…..A Chhetri’s son enlists in the army…..should we be offended because he has become a General…..Solu’s Sherpa and Rasuwa’s Tamangs are sponsored by khairey [derogatory term for a white foreigner] and taken to foreign countries…..should the people from Dadeldhura and Ilam be jealous….Kathmandu has become the capital city…..land is valued as much as gold…..should the rest of the country be envious…..Just because Sindhupalchok and Birgunj are trade centers, should the people from other areas be avaricious…..All areas and all people have their own specialty and uniqueness…..national unity in its cultural, linguistic, and social diversity is what is beautiful about Nepal….. in Madhesh [“Southern Plains”] is our bread basket…..in the Himal [“Mountain region”] is our high mountains….the hills hold valleys…..the Mountains, the Hills and the Tarai [Southern Plains] are the three pillars of Nepal’s foundation. When you alone share more than 100 will see.
Please share as much as possible for national unity.
(Incidentally, the translator wishes to remain anonymous. I made some changes to it and as such any mistake is probably mine!)
But I felt it a travesty that it excluded the specialty of dalits! So that there was no doubt as to its message, I took the liberty of adding the missing bit.
Here’s the missing bit:
Dalits make clothes, leather shoes, metal utensils etc. Their families teach them skills no others in Nepal are taught. They put clothes on everyone’s back, shoes on everyone’s feet, and utensils in everyone’s kitchen etc.!
At social functions, while everyone else is expected to mingle together, they get to sit and eat by themselves, in private, without others intruding in their space.
Just because you can’t do any of that, should you be jealous?! Should you steal their sewing machines etc. out of envy for their skills?! Should you force the Dalits to inter-migle with everyone else at every function?! Should you demand that the country create an environment where everyone from a Bahun to a Gurung is also able to do everything Dalits are able to do?! That’s ridiculous!
Every place and every group of people in our country is unique and have their own specialty. In this diversity lies the beauty of our national unity.
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- President promulgates Constitution of Nepal, 2072.
- “Like We Are Not Nepali”. Human Rights Report about the protest and police Crackdown in the Terai Region of Nepal.
- Nepal earthquake: Six months on from the country’s double cataclysm, the survivors tell their stories.