Due to some recent events in Nepal, I really wanted to write something about the political situation in the country. As part of my blogging prep I wanted to interview my “political” friend N for a quick overview of the (unfortunately) ongoing conflicts. Instead a giant momo party was organized (literally… there were between 40-50 people there… we made and ate at least 550 momo… if not more!) and our friends R and S came for the weekend to attend the party. I know–excuses excuses–but my plan is to write about Nepal’s conflicts a bit later in the week.
One reason I want to write about the situation in Nepal is because most people don’t realize there has been (essentially) a civil war going on there for nearly a decade. Around April of 2006 the king of Nepal was overthrown, and more recently the Maoists were elected into power. Since then, several things have happened which have caused high-ranking Maoists leaders to quit the government, and within the past two weeks large demonstrations have taken place, and the Maoists guerrillas are starting to train again.
As I’ve noted before, many people don’t even really know where Nepal is, let alone that there is so much strife in the region. To give a silly example, I remember in the Disney/Pixar movie “Monster’s, Inc.” the two main character monsters were banished to the Himalayas to live with the Yeti (who in the movie was portrayed as a jolly white hairy snow-cone making beast). At one point one monster was giving a pep talk to another monster who said, “I picked out an easy door for you in nice… quiet Nepal…” as if nothing ever happens there (earlier there was mention of “wait until you see the village… its just the cutest little village… and I haven’t even started telling you about the free yak’s milk!”) Not that Disney and Pixar are known for astute political representations of things, but I remember at the time I thought it was a bit ironic.
Anyway, my goal this week is to write more in depth on this subject, but in the meantime a friend recently posted a link on facebook that was pretty interesting. In 2008 an American teenager from California was awarded a grant from the Asia Society and the Goldman Sachs Foundation to make a mini film about her experiences in Nepal. Her project is called, “Namaste: One Teen’s Look at Nepal.” It is only 6 minutes long and definitely worth a view. She did a wonderful job juxtaposing life in the US to life in Nepal, as well as giving a brief insight into some of the issues large portions of the Nepali population face everyday.