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 Return To Nepal

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Posted on 12-21-12 7:42 PM     Reply [Subscribe]
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I am having this urge to return back for good. But of course i wonder if i will regret my decision. Has anyone returned back from foreign country for good? I don't mean those who are citizens abroad and can return back but those who have left for good giving up their GC or citizenship abroad. Does anyone else have this urge?. I also think about the problems in Nepal which i suppose will only get worse. So anyone out there who made this decision to return?
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Posted on 12-26-12 1:16 PM     [Snapshot: 2146]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@Java Beans,

I had started answering your questions only to realize my post was turning into a lengthy autobiography that was getting too personal and voluminous for a public discussion forum. I'll try and share more details later, perhaps as a separate thread, time permitting. My apologies for the short answers but I had a green card, chose not to become a US citizen, worked as a consultant for a Fortune 500 company  that  often popped up on the list of 10 best places to work in the US (the sound of blowing my own trumpet hurts my ears but I only mention it to make a point). I would say I had a decent life in the US but after a certain point I did not find it fulfilling enough for the reasons outlined earlier. My family was a big reason to move back too.

I think multi-culturalism is a noble pursuit but it operates within the prevailing power dynamics that  tend to favor the dominant culture. There is plenty to do in America for those who's priorities align with what the country offers and I hope they find an abundance of happiness there. There are many things I like about America - the best thing I like is as Noam Chomsky put it - in America a janitor and a professor (or a President) can talk as equals. Of course, they might not have much in common to talk about about but that's another story. Interestingly enough,  now in Nepal a PM and a cobbler can eat as equals - Baburam ji has been helicoptering around the country inviting himself into the homes of the marginalized and breaking bread with them. It's more symbolism than substance in my opinion but at least we have something to compare against President Obama's famous fist-bump  with the White House janitor :)

I am not a evangelist preaching a return to the motherland. Far from it, I think people should do whatever makes them happy wherever they live. Nepal needs all kinds of minds and there are many ways to contribute to the country as you alluded to. And there are some who don't care about contributing, at least not right away, and  that's fine too, to each their own. When the time comes, we will all be confronted by questions of identity, belonging, family, happiness, life and death at least once in our lives and we must each  find our own answers.

Jai Nepal!
(And to all those staying back, I am tempted to say God Bless America  - although as an ardently secular atheist I want to petition the White House to remove God from the phrase. Bill O'Reilly, eat your heart out!)

Last edited: 26-Dec-12 03:14 PM

Posted on 12-26-12 6:28 PM     [Snapshot: 2524]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@ junkyfunky Look at the algorithmn once again. You don't reach the loser alert node easily...If you have been in US for more than 5 years, you have finished school long ago and u r above 35, you are not making decent living(Not for ppl who r earning comfortably) and lingering here in US without purpose. And you intent to go back thinking about salvaging what is left...then only u reach Loser Alert note.

Posted on 12-26-12 7:34 PM     [Snapshot: 2590]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Mero bichar ma kagaj banaera or in other word Gc banaera jada Huncha just in case ull wanna return why because deep inside your heart u know u will regret anyways
Posted on 12-26-12 10:32 PM     [Snapshot: 2719]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@Sidster.....if you think these people are losers with "Gorkhey Insecurity", what are you doing in the US in the first place? Stupid schmuck !!

Posted on 12-27-12 2:32 AM     [Snapshot: 2824]     Reply [Subscribe]
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after 8 yrs in the US, i had the same urge some 9-10 yrs back..i returned and i'm glad i made the decision to return then
Posted on 01-22-13 4:49 PM     [Snapshot: 3206]     Reply [Subscribe]
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It is easier for guys in Nepal. But girls have many restrictions.  I know a Nepali couple who went back  because the hubbie likes Nepal  but the wife wants to return to the US because she has more freedom here.    
No offense to anyone hai. 
Posted on 01-22-13 5:04 PM     [Snapshot: 3220]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Nepali2013, that's really not saying much, though. Some might disagree but Nepal really is a shit-hole for women. Very few women would relish the idea of returning back home for good after spending 4-5 yrs in the US or Australia (the UK is a different matter). 

Gender inequality, biasness, eve-teasing, injustice - you could just go on and on about the problems and issues that women continue to face even this day. There are some who're willing to take what it takes after returning back but for most, it's not worth the hassle. 

And on top of that, imagine being married (arranged) to someone who comes from a conservative family. 

Posted on 01-22-13 5:14 PM     [Snapshot: 3235]     Reply [Subscribe]
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i dont feel anyone will return to nepal except u have something big in nepal , i mean bussiness

everyone is looking for oportunity in this free country where there is a rule of law, proper investigation, opportunities if you are talented and you dont need a fooking political connections or rely on any political parties to succeed in life here.
Posted on 01-24-13 12:26 AM     [Snapshot: 3640]     Reply [Subscribe]
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"It is easier for guys in Nepal"

Maybe -  but it depends. When it comes to certain things, say affordable childcare and family support, you could make the argument that  mothers (and fathers) with young children have it easier in Nepal than the US. Plus I suppose, as with men, every women's experience living in Nepal (or America) is different depending on where you are with your  career, family,  finances and your emotional and intellectual make-up. I can't speak to  personal freedom for all women in Nepal, but I will say this : boundaries between men and women are being re-drawn everyday. Economic and social necessity, more than activism or ideology, will dictate the pace and direction of that change, but rest assured change is coming.  If you want to be part of that change, this is a great time to be in Nepal and shape that history. If you are a women's activist, there is no better place on earth  to have an impact right now than South Asia.


"Some might disagree but Nepal really is a shit-hole for women."

Au contraire, I know plenty of women who are very happy with their lives in Nepal and would not live anywhere else in the world even if they were paid to do so. It's one thing to stand-up against inequality - perceived or real - and quite another to go about it by trashing your culture and society to make your point. The wise would never belittle their own to feel bigger :)

Last edited: 24-Jan-13 01:20 AM

Posted on 01-24-13 11:50 AM     [Snapshot: 3841]     Reply [Subscribe]
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haha. Feeling bigger by belittling our own culture was the least of my own experience. I was merely stressing on how inequality and sexism hurt women's causes back home, that's all. Would I be incorrect to assume that the ladies who are happy with their lives in Nepal are financially well-off and don't lead an average Nepali life? Picture a young, average Nepali girl trying to board a microbus from Ratnapark during rush hour. 

You're in denial if you think average Nepali women would cherish the thoughts of returning back to Nepal where their daily lives are crippled by sexism every single day.  

Posted on 01-24-13 12:24 PM     [Snapshot: 3885]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 Riddle- are u girl or what ? Why are u so concerned about sexism. No country in this world is perfect. There will be some discrimination based on gender, race, body size. Some places are worse than others. However I dont think Nepal is so bad for women. 

If Nepal was a muslim country and strict like Iran, Iraq, afganisthan, middle east, then only i woud agree with u. In some of those countries they cannot even drive or go out alone. 

In conclusion riddle, i think you are just a Neprican. You been too americanized.

Posted on 01-24-13 12:40 PM     [Snapshot: 3904]     Reply [Subscribe]
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@ NAGAN,  you don't have to be a girl to be concerned about sexism. You can advocate for women's rights and their well-being regardless of your gender. ( Do I really have to explain this to you?)

And Im tired of the statement "We aren't like the Muslim countries, so we treat our women well." While it is true that it could be worse, why is that the yardstick we use? Why do we settle at that rather than trying to create a safe enviroment for all women? Our women can drive, they can vote, they dont have to cover themselves in burqas, so we are clearly doing great, right?

Posted on 01-24-13 12:42 PM     [Snapshot: 3933]     Reply [Subscribe]
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There is nothing Americanized about not wanting to be molested in public transportation. I will never go back because my family is not rich enough to afford a car. We dont have any property either. Life for middle class lady like me is best in USA. Feel free to disagree.
Posted on 01-24-13 12:58 PM     [Snapshot: 3953]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Nagan, when you start leading a 'better' life and once you make advancements, you don't wish to go back to where you came back from, do you? I mean, imagine you were bullied in your previous and after transferring to a different school, you being told that you were doing just fine in your previous school as some other kid in some different school was bullied more harshly! 

I was talking in general points. Nobody would cherish the thoughts of being bombarded by a bunch of dumbasses during holi, against their will. 

In any case, I'll go on to say that given a choice, 90% of Nepali women would prefer living in the US as opposed to Nepal. Whilst some might disagree with the notion that Nepal is 'hell' for average women, I was doing it in comparison to the life they could lead in the US. 

Think of it this way, a villager in some rural district might be enjoying his life but once he gets employed by someone in a 'sahar' nearby, do you really think he'd cherish the thoughts of returning back? You're having a laugh if you think otherwise. Case in point, a majority of people who migrate to cities from villages choose to stay in cities because as human beings, we tend to strive for growth, progress and advancements, not to regress and take backward steps! 

Last edited: 24-Jan-13 12:59 PM

Posted on 01-24-13 1:18 PM     [Snapshot: 4007]     Reply [Subscribe]
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An unaccompanied woman may face hurdles when  riding a micro-bus in Nepal - especially late at night -  but I have noticed the majority of riders these days on micro-buses  are often women which I think is a reflection of changing attitudes in Nepal. There are plenty of  streets in America where women get mugged or raped late at night. I don't know how long you have been away but the commuting culture has changed quite a lot. Women ride micro-buses and safa tempos all the time and it is not uncommon to see men giving up their seats for pregnant women on those buses and tempos. We still have a long way to go but things have changed - and visibly so -  maybe just not at the pace some people want.

Yes, some of the women I talk about may be financially well-off. But that's besides the point. The more important thing is they are well-established in their careers if they are working outside the home or lead fulfilling lives with their families if they stay at home.  That grounding, rather than their finances, is what keeps them content in my opinion.

People struggle everywhere in the world. Rape and sexual abuse are rampant in America by the standards of a western industrialized democracy. Some might argue there is more depravity in the America than anywhere else in the world. Case in point the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church. Or the shootings in Sandy Hook and Aurora. Racism and sexism exist in their own forms in America too. Americans are just better at disguising it in nuance, because their social norms call for subtlety - but the end result is the same - the perpetuation of the power of the ruling elites. Those on the receiving end of that must be in quite a hole too I imagine :)

Last edited: 24-Jan-13 01:25 PM

Posted on 01-24-13 1:29 PM     [Snapshot: 4009]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Vivant, like I'd suspected, the women you're talking about come from financially well-off families who would very rarely go through what average Nepali women would have to go through (dare I say, endure?). I didn't imply that women wishing to go back home would have nothing to cherish upon. Of course spending quality time w/ family and friends, getting to visit places and doing things that average Nepalese do are things they'd cherish but the bigger picture isn't remotely close to what you're trying to portray it to be. 

I suppose you're talking in terms of Nepali women who're already living there. I'm looking making a comment based on comparison. 

I remain adamant that over 90% of Nepali women who already live in the US wouldn't cherish the prospect of returning back home. 

Posted on 01-24-13 2:59 PM     [Snapshot: 4050]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Yes, our perspectives about Nepal may be influenced by where we currently live. It feels  you are more informed by the perspectives of women who are already outside the country. That's perfectly acceptable - after all  there are two sides to this issue and people have reasons to feel the way they do. Some of those fears and doubts you state are understandable but in order to get a real and accurate perspective we also need to talk about what is changing . I admit all is not rosy in Nepal - both for women and men. Far from it, we have a lot of problems that need fixing. However, the ground reality of Nepal is that inequities are being addressed and there are plenty of people - not  rich people - but mostly middle class and lower middle class - who are serving society in their own ways and fixing it's short-comings. These are people who did not run-away from the problems around them but chose to confront them head-on.  You could argue their voices carry more weight than the voices of those who fled to escape their problems in the material comforts of other places.

As for the rich, there aren't too many of them in Nepal. It feels as if they have all left for the shores of America. And bless their hearts they demand rights for Nepal's poor from the comfort of their arm-chairs and think anyone who is content in Nepal must be rich. If there is such a thing as a distorted picture, it is that picture that tends to look at everything about Nepal in caricature,  uses poverty, inequity and lack of opportunity as excuses to justify one's absence from the country,  and essentially lays the blame for Nepal's problems on everyone but themselves. For every politician who is blamed for mismanaging the country, there are a thousand Nepalese who either voted for him or fled the country and allowed him to run around with impunity.

As I said earlier, Nepal is not for everyone and I don't advocate a return for those who don't want to. Better to stay put where you are happy. My whole objective has been to challenge what I think are inaccurate, unfair and misinformed pictures of Nepal so that those seeking to return can make informed decisions. 

Good day and Jai Nepal!

Last edited: 24-Jan-13 03:11 PM

Posted on 01-25-13 3:16 PM     [Snapshot: 4507]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Nepal will benefit from educated people working there. I just hope they dont stick to their family and friends only and get out and help others. I am  going back in a few years after finishing my studies. Women have their own struggles  but the point about change is well taken.

Good luck!!!!
Posted on 01-25-13 3:37 PM     [Snapshot: 4523]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I am waiting for political stability to return. For me as long as there is peace in Nepal. i have no issues with anything else. I don't even have any issues with the big earthquake that they say is long overdue in Nepal. Give me the good old peaceful Nepal and i will return within a month.  
Posted on 01-26-13 4:50 AM     [Snapshot: 4704]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I think the thought of justifying where one lives and being critical of others who don't has no place in this day and age Vivant - those who do are really playing with a double-edged sword. Everyone has a different set of circumstances. Everyone's goals may be different. Not everyone wants to return to Nepal and not everyone wants to stay in Nepal. Everyone is free to move as they please - humans, after all, are selfish - they are guided by their own self-interest. We just hope that moral and integrity, in the end, outshine their prejudices. There is no need for us to be judgemental about people's choice of domicle, whether one lives in Nepal or outside of it. 

Just as you have returned there are plenty of others who have made a decistion to migrate. But there is no need to criticize you or others. The move, in either direction, is a fair game. There are *many* benefits to this sort of activity than those who never travel outside of Nepal. History tells us that a citizen of a developing nation is better off spending time in a fully developed country, sometimes for a month and maybe even for a decade - the choice is up to the citizen. Those who return have far more chances to bring their country (or sometimes leapfrog in the case of Singapore, South Korea - aka Tiger countries, etc.) to better standards. This sort of trend is prevalent all over the world, from the current leaders of India, China to Singapore and beyond. Take for example, India's IITs were created in the 1960's by the help of Indian professors who worked in US universities for years - they won friendships with American professors at Stanford, Berkeley, UPenn, etc and asked them to help build a top notch university system. If we try and track the success of Indians in the US and thus in India a lot of credit is due to the IIT graduates. And there is also absolutely nothing wrong with choosing to live outside Nepal if that choice is made - as this also brings advantages to citizens inside Nepal. Can you imagine the economic consequences of current remittance dollars falling significantly? The situation would be quite chaotic. 

I think the level of comfort is a matter of interpretation. A materially comfortable ex-pat may not be so comfy if they are home-sick and miss their family. You, on the other hand, being close to your family and within your comfort zone may be quite comfy although you are perfectly content with not wanting any material comfort. The connotations of how you define comfort has many meanings - so your statement above isn't entirely true. The ex-pats also have to earn a living (just as you did when you were outside Nepal) - which means learning the ropes for the first few years and trying to fit in to the new culture (not so easy as you've discovered yourself).  

I do not think that people in the thread are pitying Nepal. We are sorry if that's the way you see it. But your misunderstanding could be a result of being misinformed. In order to assist in the (hopefully upcoming)  transformation of Nepal - not all of us - need to be physically there. We regard people like you and others to be the fortunate ones who are able to return - and most of us ex-pats would feel more comfortable sharing our ideas with you than the old timers - as they haven't grown up with the times. And as we get more and more returnees with your set of motivations and is able to upskill others, we are hopeful that things will turn for the better.

With that in mind, I think most of us try honestly to pinpoint issues (without nitpicking) what we think could serve Nepal better - sort of weeding out the bad stuff. One of them discussed earlier is that Nepal is an overtly paternal society - which I think was Riddle's point. But let me try and qualify that a bit. The general environment of women traveling is not the main concern - there is a bigger fish to fry when it comes to gender equality. And that fish is the government. Take for example, if I need to prove my identity I will be asked who my father is - in absense of that who my grandfather is. If a proof for property is required the first question is who is the huband, father or grandfather. And the treatment of obtaining a nepali citizenship for a foreign wife is more lenient that it is for a foreign husband. Most govt positions are held by men. There are, I'm sure, more examples. So, let's not go to the general environment without changing the foundational underpinning of our government to re-write the rules on gender equality.

I think we all agree that burning bridges can only languish the upcoming progress - so let's not point fingers and try to collaborate on how we think our own contribution can make a difference.


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