“Kasto madhesiya dekhya kya!”
“I don’t care about caste. I am brahmin, I can marry at least chhetri.”
Someone wishing a friend: Happy Eid.
And response as “oh! I am not Muslim!!!”
Addressing a guy: “you are being emotional like a girl.”
If you don’t see superiority connotation, casteism, religious intolerance, and sexism, then this article might not make sense to you…just saying 😊
Terai-pahad-himal, eutai Nepal. The world is a global village! How amazing do these statements sound? But are we working towards it in the right way? I was on the flight from Kathmandu to Janakpur, well-dressed woman asked me to help her with check-in and boarding. We were having a conversation and then she immediately drops a remark, “nobody can tell that you are from Janakpur, you talk like us”.
Namrata: excuse me! I thought the same, that you sound so much like me, and nobody can tell that you are not from Nepal”.
Woman: no, I am Nepali. I am from Kathmandu. Namrata: oh, are you? I did not think so!
The look on her face was just epic! It’s not that I faced this for the first time. Be it in school where I did get remarks like, “are you Nepali“, “you are from terai, you must like spicy food“, “dhoti“, “bhaiya“, “marshiya-kha” etc etc. These were in Nepal. When I started my studies in the USA, the remarks kept coming. I still can’t forget when I visited my friend and her mom asked me, “are you from Nepal” and my friend started to explain “my mom doesn’t know much, she doesn’t know all the territory of Nepal”, rather than just saying, I am sorry, we will work on it. That SORRY is not for me but for working towards getting better.
Also, to prove yourself patriotic, you are bound to black lash on neighboring countries but guess what you do like to celebrate mehandi-haldi-jutta lukaune, rangoli, baby shower, or cake cutting for every ceremony that’s adapted mostly from the same neighboring country. I don’t recall people celebrating ratyauli much nowadays, but it is always mehandi-haldi at the wedding. I am in no capacity demeaning any celebration, just saying!
One phenomenal thing that happened recently was, ” madhesi are like that”, where it was supposed to be for addressing someone else. Again, rather than saying, “I am sorry, I will work on it” what came was, “I need to watch with whom I speak what“. So, in my head, I was, “Oh if I am not with you, you are going to keep passing those remarks!!”
to “do you celebrate Teej?”
I am so sorry to break your self-acclaimed territorial supremacy, we have a multi-generational Teej celebration along with Chaudchan 😊. These comments/remarks come from the folks who have PhDs/MBAs etc. If you want to know who works to safeguard the territory of Nepal, then please do visit, Jathahi, Vithamor, Jogbani, Gaddachauki, Gaurifanta, etc., only if you know where these places are?
It is not a personal attack or someone targeting me, it’s the way the mindset has developed while growing up.
We all get vocal and do not miss an opportunity to acclaim how progressive we are. But do we talk about caste? We always do. I am this and that!
I am not saying that I don’t have personal biased, I do, and I am working my best to address my biases and learn from them. For example, I recently was corrected by my friend on how I sounded awful with my caste comment. As soon as I dropped some caste name, he interrupted and said, you are wrong and then I realized how bad that sounded.
As a human, my first attempt was to defend myself and I was making all the legit points as per my understanding just to prove myself right. I was defending it to the best of my ability.
Then I realized, “oh wow! I am doing the same that I do not appreciate.”
I did apologize and promised myself not to make those comments ever. What will make me considerate will be not supremely talking about caste. Unless I incorporate respect in my attitude and empathy in my speech, I am not going to be the human that I want to be, no matter how much I advocate for it.
Just celebrating the festival together and being friends with all doesn’t matter till we have respect and a sense of gratitude for all human beings. Hopefully, I will be a better person in the coming days, and do not even bring caste into the conversation, finger-crossed!
Then comes the religion! Someone wished my friend “Merry Christmas”.
The reaction that blew my mind was “I am not Christian”!
What I think, is it won’t take much to accept the wishes with an open heart. Because IF YOU believe in supreme power/God/energy/probability/nature/discipline, that relationship is very personal. As soon as you start to explain how one is better than the other, then sorry, you lost my interest. At the core of any religion, you pick, as per your convenience in the name of family tradition, or respect has one thing in common and that’s the welfare of humanity.
And yeah, these reactions still come, I promise I am not cooking up stuff for my article as many who are in denial of all these existing discriminatory attributes might think 😉
Humanity includes respect, equality, opportunity, voice, care, affection, and love towards other human beings and animals, and planet earth.
Talking about sexism which will be an article by itself, I am using some statements from my previous article. From addressing the questions like “Are you a feminist?”, “You do not have a male child in your family?’, “So you hate men“, “celebrated FEMALE scientists” to facing microaggression and gender jokes have been the norm in the workplace.
The recent research by Forbes has highlighted that 64% of women face microaggression in the workforce in the USA where the situation is considered better than in other countries which is even higher for females of color. This is to bring some facts and figures to enlighten some well-educated ignorant people in our community 😉. Be it raw discrimination in developing countries or microaggression in the USA, both are unacceptable.
Being in the USA, one very important thing is belonging. The USA encompasses and helps flourish people from all around the globe but then sexism, colorism, racism, and ageism are equally prevalent. But then people are also working towards addressing and working on it. I am not saying we haven’t improved; we have! But an enormous amount of work needs to be done to have a better impact. I do appreciate that we have come far but subtle comments are as hurtful as the raw situation of facing any of the slurs. We all have our tribe or family or clan or people who have helped us to be better, so let’s work together to overcome this for our betterment. I sincerely appreciate my clan keeping me checked all the time! Also, if not these discriminations, we will find something else to feel superior……but just let’s work for now!
Can we just stop passing out prejudgments to someone and straight ask if there are any questions? I don’t think it’s too much to ask for. Probably then we will be in the global village.
My article is not a perfect one. This is also probably full of flaws for many, and moral policing has never been my tool. I am myself a work in progress! Being sarcastic is easy folks but working on yourself is a real task!
And I am aware that it is not going to change much but if it can put one soul to think, my purpose of writing is worth it.