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Germany Diary: Hitler, Nazis and Germans

A diary of a Nepali student during her stay in Germany.

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What comes in your mind when you imagine the country “Germany”? Is it Audi, Mercedes, Volks Wagen, Green Energy, World War, World Cup or Nazis? If I am guessing correct, you must have pictured Hitler somewhere in your mind. Germany, which is so infamous for grooming Hitler to the power resulting genocide of 6 million Jews in Holocaust, still hasn’t been able to wash off the dirt out of its name till date.

I can’t recall my memories on what I thought about Germany and if Nazism still prevailed in Germany before arriving in Germany.  Well, even when I used to think about it, I never gave special attention to, what disgusting fate that Jews must have faced because of Nazis; how one man’s blind ambition to take over the power lead the whole humanity to WWII.  Never thought that too much of nationalism could be poisonous. I remember how as a child I used to hear here and there on how Adolf Hitler contributed to German economy and why Nepal needed a Hitler for Nepal to be developed (I still hear this logic). I was once like my nephew, who after reading Anne Frank’s diary given as assignment from his school gave his views on Germany. I was once like my friend, who commented as I couldn’t open YouTube link because of GEMA, “It is so because it’s Hitler’s country”. And I was once like people from my part of world, who easily would say “we need Hitler”.

It was obvious for me to think that the country which nurtured this man to power must have his memorial statue just like that of Prithvi Narayan Shah in front of Singha Durbar. They must have public holiday on ‘Hitler Jayanti’. In their text books, there must be stories about his bravery and strategies in WWII and how he contributed in recovering German economy after WWI.  Just like after autocratic Rana regime in Nepal, how Ranas walked out with dignity but not shame and how still many brag about belonging to Rana JI’s family , it was all natural for me to imagine Germans being proud of what they or their ancestors did.  

But then, after coming here, I was surprised to learn that it’s somewhat like a taboo even to take Hitler’s name, or to question about what stance they have on Nazism.

If Germans have inferiority complex, I would say its Nazism that feed on their country. Even Germans who were born much later after fall of Hitler have this complex or should I call it a self reflection? There is zero tolerance for Nazism in Germany (though in very small number, there are people who follow Neo-Nazism), whom I have never encountered anyway.  Or, maybe some people who said ‘scheisse Ausländer’ (shit foreigners) are the ones.  However, racism is strongly condemned in Germany like most of the European countries.

You can barely see Germans who say they are proud of their country.  It might be in their hearts but again this is another outcome of Nazism that generations later they don’t openly say, “I am proud to be German”. Only in times of Euro cup and World cup, one can see Germans waving their flags.  One friend jokingly had said, “this is the only time I can wave my flag and say Germany, Germany!!” Quite uncanny for us when we are always looking for a chance to say, “proud to be Nepali”.

While the world picture Germans equivalent to Nazis, I guess there is no other country in world which goes so much against Nazism. There might barely be some other country except Germany which has raised so much awareness against Nazism.  It’s said in most of the history and literature lessons they are taught mostly of Nazism and its adverse effects. Almost all teenagers have watched some kind of movie based on Nazi oppression, while they are at school.  Right from their school, they are taught on what their ancestors did as Nazis and they are never allowed to forget or deny the holocaust.  And it’s kinda sad to see the sins from past being reflected on present Germans for something they never did.  Yet the mindset of many outside Germany never ceases to amaze me when they very lightly take Nazis to be synonym for German and vice versa.  Even for us foreigners, it won’t take much time to realize how talking about Hitler or Nazism, concentration camps make them upset, so we avoid talking in this topic.  While speaking with friends in public if somehow we have to take Hitler’s name, most of us simply say ‘Junge Buda.’  I remember how I had to instruct 2 or 3 Nepalese friends who came to visit Germany on not to take his name in public when they took Hitler’s name. Any symbol, greeting symbolizing Nazism is not allowed in Germany (same in most European countries) or you will end up in jail.

In this scenario Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’ (My Fight) is republished in Germany, however this will be commented version. Original book for the same was banned in Germany after fall of Nazi rule. With this much of precautions Germany been taking, its hard to say if ‘Mein Kampf’ will garner new followers.

Just so you know.

Hey KMAG Readers,

Glad to see you here. Since you are here, don’t forget to drop your email address. We want to surprise you.

Much love and regards,
KMAG

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Knowledge & Infos

Top Ten Tourism Destinations Around The World

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The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

SAINT AUGUSTINE

For those hodophiles who are willing to explore the world and perplexed to predetermine their destinations in their wish lists, here are top ten most popular tourist destinations based on the data and statistics of the number of tourism arrivals in 2018.

As per the 47 Tourism Statistics: 2020/2021 Market Share & Data Analysis | CompareCamp.com, the following the are top 10 most visited countries.

France (89.4 million visitors)

France is one of the most popular and first tourist destination because it has become the hotspot location of 89.4 million international tourists according to 2018 statistics. Mass tourism can clearly be noticed in the most renowned places of France such as the Eiffel tower, louver museum, the palace of Versailles, Provence, Chamonix mont blanc, Carcassonne, etc. Until 2019, the overall spending of visitors is 60.4 billion euros contributing 9.6 percent of GDP share only by the tourism sector. This is why France is one of the leading destinations in the world. 

Spain (82.72 million visitors)

Spain is one the most beloved destination of mass tourism making the position the second most visited destination. As per the 2018 data,82.72 million tourists explored Spain contributing 11.8 percent of GDP share. The most visited place in Spain is Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Palma de Mallorca, Gradana and so on. It is UNESCO’s third-largest heritage country. Tourists around the globe spend their precious time observing and understanding the architecture, culture, and history of  Espana. 

United States (79.62 million visitors)

Among the flourishing tourism destination, the tourism of the US is also one of them encountering 79.62 million international visitors from around the world in 2018. The major attractive places of the US are the Grand Canyon, Niagara falls, the statue of liberty, white house, Walt Disney World resort, etc where every year a great number of tourists arrive.in 2018, the domestic tourists singly expended $972 billion while $155 billion was spent by international tourists contributing 7.9% in GDP.So we can say that the US is a famous tourist destination both domestically and internationally 

China(62.9 million visitors)

China is the fourth most visited country in the world. The intriguing destination in China is The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City & the Imperial Palace, Beijing, The Summer Palace, Beijing, Cruising the Li River, Guilin many more. The number of tourists arriving in 2018 is 62.9 million from various countries. and the spending of tourists is USD 277.27 billion maintaining its GDP contribution of 11% successfully in successive years 2016,2017 and 2018. Despite being the origin country of coronavirus, China still as a tourist destination offers limitless scope for exploration 

Italy(62.15 million visitors)

Italy is also considered as the top 5 desirable counties in the world where 62.15 million international tourists visited this country in 2018. The most popular places which are desired by tourists around the world in Italy are Rome, Florence, Tuscany, Siena, Milan, Venice and so on. The tourism inbound spending in 2018 is 25.48 billion million euros accounting for 228 billion euros in GDP contribution. Italy is also known to be a popular vacation destination. 

Turkey(41.45 million visitors)

Turkey became the sixth most popular destination accounting for 41.45 million international travelers in 2018 gaining $29.5 billion . The top-rated tourism attraction in turkey is Aya Sofia, Ephesus, Cappadocia, Pamukkale mount nemrut, etc. which reflects the ancient culture, monuments history, and overall the beauty of turkey. The GDP contribution of tourism in turkey was 12.7% in 2019 increasing $34.5 billion in revenues and setting the new record. 

Mexico( 41.45 million visitors)

Mexico is counted to be the seventh top world’s popular tourist destination for a vacation with 41.45 million international visitors arrivals in 2018. Mexico possessing about 100 islands is a beautiful country with attractions such as Cancun, Yucatan peninsula, Acapulco, riviera Maya, etc which are the ultimate destinations of tourists. According to 2018 data tourism in Mexico contributed 8.7% of GDP directly employing 2.3 million people residing in Mexico. 

Germany(38.88 million visitors)

Germany is increasingly being the most popular destination securing its rank in the eighth position. The major purpose of Germany to travel are for its culture, outdoor activities, sightseeing and so on and the best places where it can be experienced are Berlin, Munich, the romantic road, the Mosel valley and so forth. The total number of international tourists who visited Germany in 2018 is 38.88 million in numbers and contributed 8.6% in GDP share. 

Thailand(38.28 million visitors)

Thailand is the ultimate destination for tourists who is culturally, naturally, and historically captivated by the place.in 2018, Thailand has been successful to attract 38.28 million international tourists in the country spending over 20 billion US dollars. the popular tourist attraction in Bangkok is Thai massage, street food, water fight during Songkran, stunning beaches, temples and so on. 

United Kingdom(36.32 million visitors)

The UK belongs to the tenth position in popular tourists destination in the world as per the tourism significance. Statistically, in 2018, 36.32 million foreign visitors travels along with the UK popular destination such as Stonehenge, Tower of London, the British Museum, Eden project, etc. The spending amount of foreigners in ul in 2018 was $26.9 billion, similarly, the value of 76.7 billion contributions was in GDP of UK economy. 

The bottom line is if so many people are visiting these destinations, it surely is a worthwhile place to travel. What are you waiting for?!

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Travel & Fun

Mobile Documentary: Tattoo tradition in Tharu community

A mobile documentary on Tharu Woman and their tattoo culture from Sarlahi District

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This village of Pachgachhiya, Sarlahi is home to the indigenous Tharu community of Nepal.
The women of this community are the center point of their traditional values and the flag bearers of cultural identities.

As women are the ones who have carried their cultures in the past and now some of these cultures will die with them just like this one.

Tattooing their bodies was an integral part of the culture for Tharu women.
Inspired by nature, these tattoos are craved in their arms, legs, and chests.
These tattoos are called godna in their native language. The tattoos were traditionally compulsory for married women and young girls were free to decide if they want it.

The tattoos were looked at as the permanent jewelry of these women for their beautification, but another reason why many Tharu women got these tattoos was to avoid the attention of Royal Nepali wen who would abduct Tharu women and keep them as sex slaves as tattoos were considered as unappealing.

Saraswati Devi says as the needle pierced her body with the homemade ink it was excruciatingly painful. She got these tattoos on her forearms when she was very young but later she covered her upper arms when she was a bit older.

The Tikarnis of the Indian nomadic Nat community would come to their village to give tattoos to young girls age 12 to 25. Saraswati Devi willingly got the tattoos as she admired her aunties for having them.

Pahuniya Devi Chaudhary is 63 years old and has a very interesting story of the time when she first got her tattoos. Pahuniya Devi was 10 years old when she first got her tattoos. It was so painful that she kicked the Tikarni who was giving her the tattoos. The Tikarni who was pregnant at that time come with bigger force and didn’t stop giving her the tattoos.
Her mother also tried to stop the godna process but they kept continuing it.
She wanted to get the tattoos initially with her friends as they wanted to look beautiful together but later tried to remove the tattoos on her own.

I believe that our generation is educated and the traditions of the past will be limited to our grandmothers. Even our mothers didn’t follow the practice of godna that’s why we also didn’t want it.

Tharu women for generations have carried the cultures and traditions of their community. Now practices like godna and Tharu music and songs are on the verge of being history as Tharu women of the newer generation take bigger leaps in society and expand their horizons beyond their villages.

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Travel & Fun

What is desi Indian

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India is a very diverse country with more than 2000 ethnic groups, 122 major languages and 1599 other languages, with each ethnic group having their own culture and tradition.

However, media representation of India doesn’t reflect India as it is in reality (understandably not possible), just like how media representation of every other countries fail in that regard.

To give a perspective, people from outside Nepal may think all Nepalis wear such cap, Topi, because that’s what they see in news. But reality is far different.

Just like that, people outside India have built their perspectives about India and Indians based on media they follow.

Likewise, perspectives are also based on types of people you deal with. For example, most Indians think Nepalese means mongoloid face, whereas the reality is non-mongoloid people are in majority. That’s because Nepalese as they know are from Gurkha battalion in Indian army that constitutes mostly the people from mongoloid community.

Coming to Desi Indians

Deshi literally means “country people”. To put it loosely in Nepali, “Gaule.” In US, country people means something like this, a cowboy looks.

Country people have their own styles and personalities per their own cultural and historical background. Unlike urban people, they are less influenced by globalization or other beliefs and values, giving them more home-grown organic looks and feels.

Every country has their own country people, so does the India. But then, the term Deshi is quite tricky when it comes to India.

These people from Nagaland, India, are as much country people as any other from other states, but they are not called Deshi.

Same goes to country people from Kerela or Karnataka.

So when they say Deshi Indian, what does it really mean is predominantly hindi-speaking North Indians. Deshi fashion means, predominantly north Indian apparels and accessories. Deshi foods means, predominantly North Indian cuisines.

India as we know or world knows is actually North India. Deshi thus means looks and feels that carries values and beliefs of country people from Northern India.

Why the news headline didn’t call it “Indian look” instead of deshi? Because India does not only mean North India and calling it an Indian look, it’s an insult to people from Naga, people from Karnataka, people from Kashmir.

To put in a perspective, a foreigner may call the following dress, Nepali dress, but we from Nepal specify it as Sherpa dress.

When deshi used in conjunction with products, it means country-made: Deshi Ghee, deshi cycle, deshi shoes, etc.

Is deshi an insult

Well it depends on context. Deshi, a country person, figuratively means less educated, quite traditional, conservative, limited knowledge, less exposed, which loosely means pakhe in Nepali or Red Neck in US. Indians don’t mind to be called contextually deshi, and if it is said in conjunction with country, they take it as a cultural identity and feel proud about. But in everyday life, urban Indians don’t like to be recognized as Deshi. Also, many south Indians or other ethnic groups from India don’t like to be called Deshi, as they believe “Deshi” does not represent or reflect their culture and stuffs. Likewise, India has non-hindu religious groups (muslim, christian, and others) who don’t share hindu values and beliefs and traditions, thus don’t like to be associated with Deshi term.

India is so so so complex world, that to understand, you must visit the country and spend significant amount of your life roaming there, but until then, hope this article gives you a certain hint.

How complex? As complex and confusing as this video.

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