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 Moving back to Nepal is a hard choice, and a very personal one

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Posted on 02-09-19 1:29 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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Feb 8, 2019-

My eight-year-old son often asks me, “Mom why do all our relatives live in Nepal while we are the only ones living here in America?” I try to console him with the narrative many migrant families relay to their children: We moved here from Nepal when he was a toddler ‘in search of new opportunities’.

During his ‘Curious George’ phase, he would ask multiple questions about family—and, in the process, would get jumbled up in details about his maternal and paternal sides. I had drawn up a large family tree and tangibly shown him our large family, one by one. When we grew up in Nepal, we never had to ask our parents these questions because we automatically knew who constituted family. As many of us know and have experienced, living in another country permanently alters you. You will never be the same and will never see things the same way again.

I have read many articles on going back to the home country after living many years abroad and my story is nothing different, but just one more point of view. Recently, an article by Rabindra Mishra of the Bibeksheel Sajha Party and his home coming story moved me. It made me ponder: what is the purpose of living here, struggling each day, when back home our family is missing us each day? We are missing out all the seemingly minute things we can do in our own country—where our slightest contributions can have gigantic impacts. As I’ve delved in conversation on this issue with many people, I’ve realised that I’m not alone.

“Eventually, it is really something only you can decide,” someone recently told me. Half a decade has passed in the blink of an eye and my husband and I often debate going back. As the only son in the family, I’ve sensed that he always wanted to return to ensure that his parents were taken care of. But to lay my truths bare, I wasn’t certain of returning, because the pressures of being a typical daughter-in-law in a joint family were taking a toll on me. But at the same time, I always felt that it was possible to extend support to our family from the outside.

When I moved here, I had it relatively easier than most, as my sister had also moved with me. In the beginning, it felt as simple as moving from one house to the other. The real struggle emerged when we had to survive on our own. Starting over from ground zero is not easy. Cutting a long story short: we managed, we survived, and we moved on. No matter what, we never lost connection with our families and friends back in Nepal and I have sought to ensure that my kids knew where our roots are and where we come from. Some of my good friends often ask me to come back. They point to my newly-gained skills and often tell me that they may be more valuable in Nepal.

When my mother lived with us here in America, she felt sorry for my husband who worked almost 18 hours a day at one time. Seeing us brave severely cold weather to scrape layers of snow from our cars and driving to work on slippery roads almost made her cry. She firmly requested us to move back. She’d often tell me, “You might be happier living a more humble life in your home country instead of a luxurious life in a strange land with different culture, different people and that lingering feeling of being an outsider,” she said.

Obviously, we can't demand or expect from Nepal the kind of infrastructure and facilities we have access to here in America. But Nepal is still the place we were born and raised. I have always wanted to go back--be it for my parents, who are all by themselves, for my kids, who won't even know our own family members if they stay here, and for our society, which needs people who can voice change.

So, in a nutshell: I am mentally preparing myself and my kids for what life in Nepal can be like. Rather than proscribing to the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ narrative, I always like to think that the ‘grass is greener where you water it’. I hear so many friends trying to muddle through the mess of deciding whether to go back or not. If they're going to have to take their watering can with them wherever they go, then why not take it to your own country?

This isn’t to say that you should stay where you are if you’re feeling unsatisfied with your work or realise that you want to have face-to-face interactions with your family on a more frequent basis, but it’s a healthy way to reframe the decision. So, gathering up all these clues, I have decided to move back to my own country where I belong and where (I hope I will) find my true calling. All these decisions should, in my opinion, be based on a number of aspects, including how easily you can make a living, how clearly you know the present realities of Nepal, how risk-averse or risk-taking you are and whether you have dependents or not. At the end of the day, only you can do a balance sheet of your life. Ultimately, the decision is only yours.

Published: 09-02-2019 07:00


Posted on 02-12-19 12:15 AM     [Snapshot: 1855]     Reply [Subscribe]
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There is no right or wrong decision, we are all about our own choices and our attitude towards life. Happiness comes from within no matter which part of the world you live in. But personally for me, being raised in middle class family (esp. in early childhood period as a lower middle class), I started learning about socio-economic status differences from that very young age in Nepal. My father, a very hardworking man,who worked 7 days/wk to leave no stone unturned to send us to good school for our quality education. Our relatives/neighbors were well off and I could sense my family always being ridiculed for not owning a house or any property AT ALL. We were constantly downgraded for our economic status. Mine & my sibling's self esteem were so low at one point, that we did not even wanted to bring any of our friends from school/high school at our rental substandard apartment because they all had a big beautiful houses, expensive decors and what nots (of course, I was very young and naive those days, a kid i.e embarrassed for not having a show-off economic status). All those things made me very rebellious and determined to do better in life on my own. I came to US after high school, worked very hard getting my bachelors and further advanced degrees (full scholarship) and after that working in a reputed company with high pay, I truly am living an American dream while supporting my family who is now living a comfortable life in Nepal. In future, I may go back and time will tell when it comes. Not being born into family with silver spoon can hit you really HARD in Nepal from every aspects. If your family is affluent, have successful family business then you should definitely and must go to continue/expand your business rather than settling here for 9-5 job. However, if you have huge family responsibilities and not enough money, my 2 cents suggestion would be to wait until you are financially stable/capable. At the end we are an adult with lots of bitter sweet experiences, stories and memories and we know whats better for us and we must do what we gotta do. For all hustlers no matter where you reside- I wish you nothing but the best!
Posted on 02-12-19 12:37 AM     [Snapshot: 1891]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Timi devil vaye ni timro kura angel ko jastai raicha. Timi malai mann paryo. Timilai pani all the best kanchi.
Posted on 02-12-19 6:44 AM     [Snapshot: 1978]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Chinese and Korean society is more f***ked up then neplease. They make you work like donkey. They don’t even get time to get laid. Japanese , Chinese and Koreans are so over worked, super expensive and super high real estate cost that no middle class wants to go back even though they can’t speak single English word. People in South Korea are dying due to over work.

Nepal is not difficult to get laid either anymore. Every other dude is going abroad leaving their married wife back home for years :) . Just need to find and hit right target and don’t get entangled with her :)

I do plenty of back and forth between Nepal and US. And some one the issue talked about are real pain. What ever you do, you can’t avoid pollution, traffic stuff like that.

Nepal specially if you have to live in Kathmandu it is really expensive now a days other then labor cost. Decent house in Ktm cost same as much as in many us cities. Society related things are only relates to the point, you care about it and how much you keep entangled with them. If you have small circle and don’t care much, I don’t think it should bother what others think and say. If you are going to do regular job , income I think will be relatively low compared to expense . If you have kids, school will be expensive but raising kids in Nepal is super easy compared to US. I personally find raising kids in US super demanding and expensive as well. Expensive both financially due to child care cost and expensive from the prospective of how much time you have to put on. In Nepal they grow-up easily, mainly because of closeness to extended family which most of us do have.

At the end most of the thing comes back to finance. Nepal is definitely not a place to be poor or even middle class. I personally think only folks with at least higher middle class should consider going back, everyone else keep busting your ass* here. If you have net worth of 1 million then you can think about going back, not that it will give you affluent life , you still need to work, but gives most needed foundation to start in decent way.

But at the same time busting your ass* in cubical for years, lack of some decent human connection and interaction in US kills your soul slowly. It really is difficult choice.

Now for women it more difficult because of the way neplease society treats women and they have to stay with in laws, they feel more free and empowered in US. But again all these can be overcome if money is there.
Last edited: 12-Feb-19 06:49 AM

Posted on 02-12-19 6:50 AM     [Snapshot: 1981]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Run back because you can’t forge meaningful relationships outside of Nepal because you can’t get out of the sheltered Nepali mentality, and then write an utterly confusing article about it. Oh, and don’t forget to mention you’re going back to be the voice of change. So hip among the returnees.
Posted on 02-12-19 10:14 PM     [Snapshot: 2236]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I lived abroad most of my life. Been 4 years since i returned to Nepal. For me, it was fear of dying abroad and my filial duties. Always felt i only belong to Nepal and always wanted to return. Life is much better in Nepal in many ways. You must have saved enough to buy a house here and extra cash as savings though. Don't think too much, life is never perfect anywhere.

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