2020-02-18 10:04 KST  
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
'Nepalese Dogs Speak English'
[Opinion] Updating a proverb
Santosh Salik Shah (salikshah)     Print Article 
Published 2006-11-29 09:31 (KST)   
Every Nepalese knows the proverb, "Nepalese dogs speak English." Once, it was a taboo to speak English in Nepal. Sure, the changing times have glorified English. Now it seems we're desperately after the Hindi language. The age-old proverb has changed. It's now "Nepalese dogs speak Indian." Pardon me, but I'd like to delve a little into this "recent" (ultra-)nationalist psychology.

OMNI's New Approach to Citizen Journalism
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Technology Can Save Money, Planet
[Opinion] Iran Defends Peaceful 'Right'
Couchsurfing in Gaza
Assassination in Dubai
UN Votes For Goldstone Report, Again
Italians Seek Kyrgyz President's Financial Advisor
The Biggest Billionaires
Israel, Gaza and International Law
Look into Wikipedia, and you'll find two such lines under Nepal: "Some Indians consider Nepal to be part of a greater pan-Indian state, an attitude that has caused Nepalese antagonism toward India. Moreover, there is a growing anti-Indian sentiment among Nepali youths." Perhaps this has to do with our inferiority complex.

It wouldn't be wrong if someone says that Bollywood (the Indian film industry) is also in our blood, especially since the majority of Nepalese know Hindi better than any other foreign language. I still don't understand why we shouldn't speak a language just because it's foreign.

In a letter published in The Kathmandu Post (a leading Nepalese English daily), titled "Language Power," a similar (ultra-)nationalist attitude hounded out other major or positive developments of Maoist leader Prachanda's India visit. I agree that "language is the major means to exercise power over others" but should it be only Nepali, or English, or maybe Chinese?

I don't think by speaking Nepali Prachanda would have had such a profound effect on Indian soil. However, Prachanda wasn't there to exercise power but to strengthen Indo-Nepalese ties.

However, it doesn't imply that we should start speaking in Hindi from now on. Here, I'd like to share a common experience about our Indian embassy officials. If you have talked with any Indian official in Nepal, you would probably know that they start speaking in Hindi even if you silently insist on speaking Nepali or English.

My friend shared once that when he was at the embassy to inquire about the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarship, the concerned officer didn't pay him any attention until he spoke in his broken Hindi.

"What do they think of themselves?" said my friend. "We are not in India, why are they trying to force their language onto us? We do have a sense of self-dignity. These Indians are always trying to prove that they are superior to us."

Every Nepalese knows why anti-Indian sentiment is growing among Nepalese youths. Many dismiss it, but the wounds of the Sugauli Treaty are still fresh in our hearts. "We lost two-thirds of our land to British India. Why does this independent India still occupy it?" is the old question. The Indian trespassing on Nepalese soil at Kalapani is only increasing this sentiment. India always tries to act as our big brother. Why do our politicians keep mum? Perhaps our diplomats are only "lions" within their own caves!

India shouldn't forget that we have also made many Indians "rich." On Nepalese soil, many Indians toil. At Newroad or in major shopping complexes in the valley we can easily find hundreds of Indian businessmen banking on the Nepalese economy (even during all these turbulent years). Big brother, why do you forget that Nepal was, and is, a sovereign state of her own? There are six Gurkha regiments in India ready to sacrifice their precious lives for a "foreign" country? Are they just mercenaries?

It's time India started revising and learning how to deal with a "new" emerging Nepal. If India decides to play the definitive role of a "good" and "loving" brother, we have to readily accept it. If not, Indians must not forget that the memories of Hritik Kanda (a riot in 2000) have yet to be relinquished. Besides, being just the "yam" between two giants and superpowers of Asia, Nepal will be playing a definitive role in South Asia.

While India is sure of the ISI presence in Nepal, we just wonder if such a relationship would be of any benefit to either Pakistan or us. India needs to stop acting like America, and running after American dreams.
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Santosh Salik Shah

Add to :  Add to Del.icio.usDel.icio.us |  Add to Digg this Digg  |  Add to reddit reddit |  Add to Y! MyWeb Y! MyWeb

Ronda Hauben
Netizens Question Cause of Cheonan Tragedy
Michael Werbowski
[Opinion] Democracy's Downfall
Michael Solis
Arizona's Immigration Bill and Korea
Yehonathan Tommer
Assassination in Dubai
[ESL/EFL Podcast] Saying No
Seventeenth in a series of English language lessons from Jennifer Lebedev...
  [ESL/EFL] Talking About Change
  [ESL/ EFL Podcast] Personal Finances
  [ESL/EFL] Buying and Selling
How worried are you about the H1N1 influenza virus?
  Very worried
  Somewhat worried
  Not yet
  Not at all
    * Vote to see the result.   
  copyright 1999 - 2020 ohmynews all rights reserved. internews@ohmynews.com Tel:+82-2-733-5505,5595(ext.125) Fax:+82-2-733-5011,5077