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10 Things Nepalese Youths Learned From Life Abroad



“While communicating, people here always put other people in top. They don’t try to impose that he/she is the boss. It eases the conversation. Quite contrary to us. We always like to be dominant. We all like to be dai.” From Japan

“There is a proper system for everything, each and every process is transparent. Affable, helpful behavior in public service offices and overall great customer service. Few days ago, I saw a poster from Bhat bhateni supermarket, posted on Facebook which said “you can touch the plates but if it falls and breaks, you must buy it “. This doesn’t happen here.”  — Rishav Aryal, Canada

“ I am currently at New Delhi things that made me amazed was about manageable roads with greenery everywhere no any pollution neat and clean environment etc.” — Santosh Shah Thakuri

“Two things: People mind their own business, and are responsible enough about what they do. It’s not only about freedom, but also how you use that freedom. Government is efficient, but only because the people are helping.” — Swaraj Rimal, USA

“This is not to say that UAE is the safest place on earth, or that crimes don’t happen in here. But if you are familiar with cosmopolitans, you will notice the difference in UAE. Whether a male or a female, you will notice that you can walk almost anywhere in the city at three o’clock in the morning without fear of being attacked or hassled. You can leave your car running, apartment open, laptop bag on a chair in a coffee shop and you are sure that they will be untouched by the time you come back. This is in large due to the fact that UAE has a strict policy of deportation of criminals, as well as the fact that most residents are professionals who are benefiting from their presence in the city and they don’t want to jeopardize that fact.” — Aashim Ghimire, UAE

“Honest and dedicated to their work. In traffic jam their vehicles stays in que which means they follow the rule with patience. A society where boys don’t stare to girls even if girls looks too sexy. Women have given more priority by law and society. Rational and reasonable thinking in every aspect of life” –– Phurpa H Thongso, Israel

“encourages in every good things, guides

very well, doesn’t judge if you are a girl and have lots of guys as friends or you are a boy who only get along with girls, respects every individuals believing each person is different, strong consciousness of everyone’s rights, and most of the people of here are really touched with NEPAL AND NEPALESE PEOPLE AND their GENEROSITY.” — Dôlmà DôNg, France

“Not being judged by others for being a “KT Manche” like in Nepal. I have got freedom to wear that I like, I can do the job that I like without hesitation, I can come and go out of home whenever I want, I can drink, I can smoke, I can study, I can think about my career, I can dance, I can sing and so on so on…..and all without being judged. Mostly I love the opportunity that Australia has to offer. To be succeed u need to be rich but in Australia most of the time you need skill and experience. I hated to be born as a girl back in Nepal due to so called society. I love Nepal but I am proud to say that Australia is my second home country.” — Mohini Gurung, Australia

“Respect to every professions, great work ethics, discipline, hardworking and down to earth people. “ — Sadikshya Neupane, Norway

“Danish welfare system; subsidized by the state and Denmark has one of the highest taxation level in the world .Therefore, citizens have free access to education and hospital. – Trust and belief to the state – simple, clean design and architecture. – No matter whether you are boss or a general staff they love bike to go office and home. – law and order.” — Rajesh KC

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An Open Letter to World Leaders on COP22



Dear World Leaders
Warm Greetings

Hope you are doing great there and maybe quite busy as biggest environment and climate change conference is at the door. For me, what do I say. I am fine and I am not.

I probably understand you have been flooded with tons of request and expectation. But hey you ought to be as well for You are World Leader, and your every minute action have butterfly effect at every nook and corner of the world.

Yesterday, I happened to read an article where it wrote “We will loose one fourth of all plants and animals within 100 years if global temperature keeps rising this level.” Tears rolled automatically while reading this. Do you want to know why? Because I have memories with one horned Rhino, elephants. I want same memory with my children, grandchildren and many generation to come. I want to see my great grand children cherish Rhododendron on Himalaya, enjoy the blossoms of Bottle Brush, see the dancing of Peacock and still be scared when they see crocodile and hear roar of Lions and Tigers. However, latest scientific claims frighten me if my such nostalgic wish will even last for few more years.

Dear world leaders, while you are enjoying your quality hamburger and freshly grown organic foods, cattle of my region is severely suffering from low yield and heat stress. My family at rural part of South Asia buy packaged milk while still rearing cows. My own pocket got empty when I went to shop for organic spinach. My North American and Australian friends also  keep complaining how unhealthy their food system has become.Every thing is wrapped up in plastic. Why is this healthy food so expensive? Is my health a luxury? I am afraid my life will soon become not so affordable.

Few weeks back, I read about Obituary of The Great Barrier Reef. I was horrified. All those marine life who depend on coral reef and beautiful art of nature dying by our selfish greed and considering of ocean as sink of all our sins. The pain is really unendurable. It got me thinking while we are having trouble managing political refugees, how on earth are we planning to manage and accommodate millions of Climate Refugee? Oh wait! How selfish I became, we are obliged to manage all those species whose habitat we have ceased forcefully.

Recent Flood hit at Madi while I was on my survey related to Climate Change Adptation
Flood affected area at bank of Rewa River, Madi Chitwan, Nepal. Life of those living near the bank and with low income are left in ashtray when diaster like flood becomes a common part of their life.

One friend from South East Asia messaged me describing her nightmare about coastal flooding and land loss near her home. I cried with her, because I cannot imagine pain of loosing home where we have all our memories encrypted. I have seen a beautiful lake dried permanently. The lake where we had beautiful bio diversity and was an arsenal of all my childhood memories and fun.  Dear World Leader, if you understand what its like to taste sometime defeat, I would like to remind you that such pain is nothing, not even a tip of ice berg of what its really like to loose our home, our neighbor all at once and forever.

While you are ‘busy’ and ‘occupied’ intellectually debating on carbon trade and its harmful impact on world economy, giving grandiose speech for the people of world, my fellow South Asian friends are wrestling with floods and erratic rainfall. Meanwhile you are enjoying your early morning coffee on the lawn, my African friends are getting scare of desertification that has already knocked their home and my Costa Rica and Ethiopia friends getting worried about rapidly declining coffee yield. My fellow Latin American friends called me and said about his probable experience of increased evapotrasnpiration and erratic precipitation which will severely effect his livestock business. My European friends are expressing their concern how climate change is affecting vine phenology and grape composition which are hitting wine industry hard.  For a while, you can still enjoy your sip of  early morning coffee or afternoon wine with beef though. Ouch! Those Amazing and vast carbon-sink Amazon Rainforest. Do I even have to yield a word?

To be very frank, I am naive. I am gullible to science facts and have fervent belief on those scientific claims than on media or political propaganda. I know it sometime makes me vulnerable, I am aware I will be coined ‘irrational human being’  speaking economically, but it doesn’t bother me. What trouble me is all those failed International Conventions and Treaties and Promises made in front of whole world. I am not used to  of all the existing Climate/Environment rules, rational lies on adapting such treaties, but I am well aware of how much you have been enjoying the loopholes your created yourself, your trick to divert from following what is right and fooling us for all these years and disobeying simple scientific facts supported and claimed by millions of research and 97 percent of Scientist.

Dear World Leader, there are many things to complain about. But I do not want to waste your time. All that I am saying is to manage just an ounce of your time for our tiny planet. Its not that I am pushing you to send me to Mars with million dollars. I am not requesting you to provide me personal privileges . I am demanding you to listen us. Listen closely to voice of ours, listen to us who have head the outcry of our mother nature. I am just encouraging you to save the planet you rule.

This time in COP while you enjoy beautiful city of Morocco and work out on intense negotiation, I hope you will keep up the promises made in Paris, France. Ease adaptation of all those treaties, influence all other friends to ratify it and stop making COP a ‘mocking’ object. We have seen Montreal Protocol, cherished and danced on its success. I believe history will be repeated. I do hope you will keep us our faith alive in you.

Hoping to getting to see promises made as promises kept.

Yours Global Citizen
Rahul Acharya
On the Behalf of whole world
“Revolution blooms in extreme crisis”

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Learning to unlearn: How our education system has failed us (and how do we bounce back)



Being a seemingly unemployed graduate, this Dashain showered me with a range of strange blessings from my family and relatives. ‘May you be granted Visa’, ‘May you earn a lot in the days to come’, ‘May you get a name and fame’ were the ones that topped the list. My cousins, some of who are still school-goers, received blessings of being doctors and engineers and standing first in their classes. No one cared about what we’d love to do with our lives. We were offered lengthy hymns of blessings, but what we wanted to become later in life was never cared for.

This is my personal experience, but I bet thousands of others can relate to this.

This led me into a brief contemplation and I couldn’t resist myself searching for a connection between our social and cultural upbringing and our education system. A question evolved in my head, ‘isn’t this why our (education) system has failed us?’

Inside the pages of our bulky books that we carried reluctantly to schools, there’s a fine-tuned version of our best selves in making, fabricated in utopian silk. It’s something to ponder upon. During the six long hours in schools, our kids are taught, sometimes with batons and ‘sit-ups’, to be disciplined, to behave in a civilized way. These kids yawn their jaws out for the rest of the day, and on their way back home they buy noodles, savor the MSG adulterated snack and throw the plastic wrappers away on the roadside. They rush home; they’ve got an assignment to do: the teacher had told them to write an essay on ‘Earth and Environment.’

Chapters in the schoolbooks tell our kids not to litter, but these lessons are lost in translation.  The way we tend to make people understand things involves a lot of mugging and dictating and memorizing at the expense of understanding and applying. Instead of being a productive and inspirational guardian angel for our students to sharpen their creative processes, our curricula rather narrow the choices of our pursuits. It was meant to plant seeds of progression, humanity and beautiful changes, but on its way it guided us to be even hungrier for power and money.

Far from their genuine purpose of delivering wisdom, classrooms are dull and boring bubbles where indifferent teachers come for money and uninterested students listen to them out of fear. Schools, instead of helping students to unleash their productive capacity, tend to normalize each and every child to a standardized line of measurement. Amidst chalks and talks, a child who recruited in pre-school swiftly turns into a high school graduate, but he himself doesn’t realize what he’s going to do with his life. This is how strangely our education has failed us, repeatedly. It’s not hard to comprehend the development of this social paradigm if we care enough to think a bit about the political inclination, degree of unionization and politicization of our school systems, teachers and institution operators.

Children are trained, not taught. They are trained to memorize formulae and count words and score high on tests. Their curiosity is clawed by the fear of under-performance, their uniqueness is paralyzed by the compulsion of conformity that our system dictates. Their differences in opinion are barely celebrated, their creative endeavors seldom admired. A kid is expected to believe that a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, but how? He’s barely shown. Showing them takes pragmatism, and our schooling system is tragically poor in it.

We have been so inured to a corrupt system that we have constructed a social concept of ‘you’re doing great as long as you’re making money’. Ethics and morality, dignity and righteousness have been left behind far away in our journey to this point in the history. We tell our children to study hard so that they can earn money later in life, but we never tell them that wealth is not the answer to everything. Every time, generations by generations, a large mass of tender youths are brainwashed by our education system to fit into places, to compete, to outrun their fellow mates.. We have sadly been convinced that money can buy respect. We then fight with each other, we pull strings to get better off than the ones around us. Mutualism and co-operative spirit die a brutal death. In this competition of achieving more and earning a good fortune, the real joy of living is often compromised. The end result: a person, who as a kid, sang songs brilliantly ends up working as a salesperson, a kid who dreamt of pursuing career in robotics gives up his passion and settles for a 9-5 job that he has been persuaded to believe is lucrative. The pursuit of creativity fades away in an irreversible way and the whole nation bleeds in agony. We talk of brain drain, but we never seek out solutions.

In this ever changing world where technological triumphs have been advancing each day, we’re still stuck in a conundrum of setting up a reliable system. Though we’re lagging, it is never too late to make amends. The conservative methodology of our education system needs to be overhauled with new measures. We need motivated teachers who understand child psychology; mentors who love value-based teaching that can incite imagination and curiosity inside classrooms. We need newer techniques of making kids understand the primary phenomena of the world, earth and human relationships. More than notes and chalks and dusters, our kids need to be habituated for learning with multimedia and similar interactive approaches. We may give lengthy residential trainings to teachers, we may change the grading system for a hundred times, but our kids won’t grow up to be wise citizens unless we celebrate their creativity and encourage rather than suppress their differences in opinion.

We, the ‘grown-ups’, the parents, the teachers, administrators and policy makers are yet to unlearn the beliefs that are engraved deep into our psyche. Before we can make our children learn, there’s a lot in reserve for us to unlearn. We were fed stereotypes, and we were subjected to confirmation. First, we need to wretch that out. We need to mold ourselves into more pragmatic, more reasonable and logical beings before we set up any standards for our kids to live by. We must question everything. Our kids will learn by our examples, not by our dictation. Only when we show them by throwing garbage on the dust-bins can we make them rational enough not to litter. There is no other way.

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The Birth of ‘Ganthan’



So, let’s talk!

When Lakshya dai (the creator of this magazine) shared to me his new idea about doing a talk show, I outright loved the concept. I came to know that like me, he was also too bored with the clichéd way of lately trending motivational seminars and interviews that had in many ways failed to serve their purpose. We needed something different from that, and we decided at least to try.

A lively, inspiring and logical conversation between wide range of persona like researchers, bankers, entrepreneurs, professors, students and public speakers was what we felt like we really wanted to create. It needed to be something intellectual, fun yet authentic; where we could learn from their experiences and stories.  We brainstormed together for a few days, and came up with a tentative plan of carrying out a real-time, semi-formal, spontaneous talk mediated by Kmag associates, along with few other intellectuals and experts on diverse issues. Hence, ‘Ganthan’ was conceived!

From human rights to agriculture to pop culture to economics to popular comics, Ganthan can be about anything. In Ganthan, as much as we say, we listen. We listen to experts and professionals from the related topics, we listen to logical, philosophical, creative and scientific things that would help us to expand the horizons of our imaginations; and ultimately solve real life problems. Being a part of this show means that you truly have something to give, ideas to share, and in return a lot to receive and learn.

Since we are still incubating, we decided to make the best of the network we already had under The Messenger’s Club (for those of you who are unaware TMC is a group of most active Kmag followers and friends). We chose the issue of contemporary trends of Internet usage, especially in Nepal as the topic of discussion, and gathered ourselves last Saturday afternoon at our start-up office.

Under the bright sky of Kathmandu, we started the talk by contemplating on how has been internet used in Nepal. Since there can be no hard and fast rules for the use of internet, people, especially youths are subject to a lot of catchy and distracting contents in the virtual space. The rapid boost of Information systems has made it easier for all of us to find information that we seek, and it has a downside of its own. Mr Kashyap Shakya, a Lecturer and marketing manager reckoned that we all are susceptible to both positive and negative influences over the internet. Mr Shaurab Lohani, a communication skills mentor, agreed that when it comes about how we use internet, it’s entirely upto a person’s choice, the way s/he has been raised, his/her knowledge, level of understanding and curiosity. Age factor plays its own role in this, added Rastra Bimochan Timilsina, a Lawyer and an avid Youtuber. Younger people are more willing to exploit the internet for their interests. Messengers, viber, whatsapp, reddit,snapchat, there are too many to name. We have thousands of ways to communicate. When we were kids, watching porn required a great deal of homework- like collecting DVDs and making sure no one’s home- but nowadays everything is on our fingertips. At the hormonal insurgency of teen-age, it’s so difficult to sort out what things on the internet might be productive and what not. He believed that people will be more wise and selective on what they choose to see, read or watch in the internet with maturity. There are things that we learn only from experience.

Surplus stuffs can be found on internet which if we learn to choose wisely can in fact be a tool for sharpening ourselves and solving real life problems. Being a marketing manager, Kashyap dai shared how advertising and marketing via the social networks like Facebook and Instagram has helped him to grow his business. Not only for news and international updates, he uses Facebook to connect and interact with his customers, even take orders and feedbacks of his products. He connects his own experiences and shares them to his students in classroom, motivating and inspiring them to be wise enough to select things of proper value and personal preferences in the social media.

Shaurab dai and Rastra both have found internet, especially Youtube as an outlet for their professional as well as creative works. Shaurab dai, being a mentor of communication skills, shares video lectures which has helped thousands of people seeking improvement in their verbal expression capacity. Rastra, the Random Nepali, wouldn’t be the Rastra we know today without Youtube; and he admits that. He creates really creative and interesting stuffs and shares them on his Youtube channel, which has been widely popular among youths in a short period of time. He finds a lot of ideas over the internet, and social media has been the first thing he thinks of when he needs new concepts for his videos. Internet is the secret to his ability of balancing a day-job of a lawyer and a teacher, and night life of a popular Youtuber.

The audience in Ganthan listened to all of this first hand while they at times raised questions and participated in the talk. The talk lasted almost about an hour and a half, and at the end of it we all felt that indeed we had learnt a lot. We received some suggestions about the topic selection and the panel advised that we write up a summary after each talk. As this was a prototype of what could be a stage show someday, we need to be more specific about the issues we’re to talk about, that we learned before the wrap up.

This is just a beginning of something beautiful. There’s a lot to talk about, discuss, think, research and share. All of the episodes of Ganthan will be summarized in our website, and hopefully in near future, we will also be able to share videos of this program. To be true, roads ahead are unknown, but we already have a positive vibe that says the journey will be wonderful. The first week’s Ganthan meet-up really has boosted our spirits and instilled a real motivation in us. We’re thankful to each and every one who showed up for the show. We look forward to hundreds and thousands of such constructive gatherings. Much love.
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