Bridging Cultures Through Romance
[Opinion] I believe in the globalization of love
Email Article  Print Article Bhuwan Thapaliya (Bhuwan)    
In my college days, I once told a friend that I was keen on learning an Italian language. What was the best way to master it, I asked him.

I thought he would recommend me to join Bishwa Bhasa Campus, an International language campus in Kathmandu or suggest a book or some records which I could listen to at home and simultaneously pick up a bit of Italian flavor.

Instead, to my amazement, he replied: "The best and quickest way is to get yourself an Italian girlfriend. You'd be amazed at how much can be achieved in a brief course of time, in between the borders of the privacy."

"What's more," he continued, "the probability of her learning Nepali or at least improving it is also high. So, you'll really be helping each other."

He was stating a simple fact; based on personal experience (he spoke several languages with ease), and I was left breathless by his candid remarks. He couldn't have given me a better advice and I followed it faithfully though I couldn't make friendship with an Italian girl -- in the course of time I met an Italian poet, and he became my great friend and teacher: He learned some Nepali too.

We still keep in touch. He sends me email in Nepali and I respond to him in Italian.

Ever since, I have been a great advocate and believer in inter-national, inter-religion, inter-communal and inter-caste union.

I think the world would be a safer, beautiful, happier and more integrated place, if more men and women of different faiths, speaking different languages and with different cultural backgrounds get together for romance, marriage and friendship.

And what better way to learn about those traditions and lifestyles through personal contact. Mark my word and give it a try.

The frequent communal, casteist, religious, geographic, linguistic trouble that is affecting the world and keeping us perpetually in a state of violent tension with each other would be solved if more and more people were to marry outside their caste, religion, community, history, geography and language.

The point is simple: You appreciate another culture, religion and nation and are much tolerant toward it, when you are married to someone from that culture. From the sociological point of view this also is commendable. You share a common bond and understating which could mitigate the misunderstandings that have been polarizing the world. Tolerant societies would then overlap the fanatical ones and would inflate peace, greater human understanding and love.

That is the simplest way to break down our ethnical prejudice and our so called religious and race superiority. Ignorance, after all, is the main root of prejudice. Ignorance prompts us to hate another nation or another culture. And it is ignorance that sprouts war between the nations. It's time to break the tapered ignorance with the hammer of humanitarian consensus and knowledge. For those who doubt, don't shrug your shoulders. It can be achieved. OK, at least give it a try.

I once made a list of my close friends and to my surprise found that most of them came from different castes, religions, and cultural backgrounds. We met each other, by sheer chance or luck, formed a closed bond of solidarity and got hooked for a lifelong friendship. We appreciate different cultures, religion, languages and we celebrate our respective cultures together.

And with the emergence of Internet, I have made wonderful friends from different parts of the world.

Some are American, some are British, some are Korean, some are Brazilian, some are Italian, some are Bolivian, some are Iranians, some are Israelis, some are Palestinian, some are Indian, some are Pakistani, some are Chinese, some are Iraqis etc. Yes, they are from different nations with diverse cultures, religion and all, but still we share a common bond -- a bond of friendship and love. And together we love the world. We don't discriminate the world. We don't chop it into different pieces but rather use adhesives to add it together and enlarge it further for the benefit of the human race. Our motto is the globalization of love.

One thing, however, is sure; my life is wonderful because of these people from all over the world. They are my greatest assets. They have made me more secular and I am beginning to love the world more and more because this is not only my world, this is the world of my friends too -- this is our world. In me there is a part of every nation, every religion, every culture and every language -- I am the world.

I do not want to sound dogmatic or sound like a sour grape licentious libertarian, but I think that all of us who want the world to be happier, more peaceful and more integrated place, should make a conscious decision to make more and more friends, get romantically involved or marry somebody from another nation or another community. If that is not possible, then definitely from another caste or religion. And the institution of ethnicity based racism must be allowed to die a natural death.

We have so many non- government organizations in the world doing all kinds of laudable work. Here is an area that has been neglected. Any takers?

Bhuwan Thapaliya is a Nepali poet and the author of, "Our Nepal, Our Pride."

2009/04/12 오후 12:22
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