The Nepal Digest - Jan 27, 1995 (13 Magh 2051 BkSm)

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The Nepal Digest Friday 27 Jan 95: Magh 13 2051 BkSm Volume 35 Issue 16

  Today's Topics:

        1. TAJA_KHABAR - News From Nepal
        2. KATHA_KABITA
                 Muktak - Ankha 1 & 2
        3. KURA_KANI
                 Social - Nepali Embassies
                 Education - Re: BudanilKantha
              Foreign Policy - Indo Nepal
                 Religion - Misinterpertation of Religion
                                Plain Human Being
                                Budhha Question
        4. JAN_KARI
                 Book Review - Building Bridges to the Third World
                 Foster Parent Plan in Nepal
                 Nepali Language taught in Boston Area
        5. KHOJ_KHABAR - Looking for my bhauju
                              - Anthropology Paper
        6. CHOOT_KILA
                 Sattaire - Top Ten Things
       
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********************************************************************** Date: 26 Jan 95 10:00:04 EST From: Rajendra.P.Shrestha@Dartmouth.EDU (Rajendra P. Shrestha) Subject: News1/23-25 To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

January 23 Government Criticized for Silence on Accident
--------------------------------------------- Excerpts from AFP report

    The Nepalese government has come under criticism for its silence over an investigation into the country's worst mountaineering accident that killed one Sherpa guide and 10 members of the German Alpine Club in an avalanche on the 6,091-metre Mt. Pisang in November 14, local press reports said. The Alpine Club has accused the Nepali government of being too busy with electioneering for the November 15 mid-term polls to deal adequately with mounting search and rescue operations.

   But a Ministry of Tourism closed inquiry into the incident has concluded that the mountaineers were "ill-equipped" and too
"inexperienced" to climb the peak, a mountaineering source said.

   The English-language Kathmandu Post on Monday lambasted the government for not openly revealing the results of the investigation and failing to announce measures to avoid further climbing disasters.

   Observers here have said the German team must have taken climbing Mount Pisang, classified as a "trekking peak" too lightly. Trekking peaks are lower summits where climbing is generally considered less rigorous than on the higher "expedition peaks."

Nepal's new Stock Market starts to harness savings
-------------------------------------------------- Excerpts from a Reuters report by Gopal Sharma in Kathmandu

    Nepal's fledgling stock exchange has begun to tap the Himalayan kingdom's savings, but experts say share trade could be restrained by a dire shortage of electricity which is strapping industrial development.

   Share trade totaled 700.3 million rupees ($14 million) in the first year of the Nepal Stock Exchange Ltd (NSEL), created by the government on January 13, 1994.

   That was almost twice as much traded during the previous decade under a government-controlled monopoly system, stock exchange officials said.

   Before the NSEL was created, shares were traded by the government-run Securities Exchange Centre, which established all fees and carried out transactions behind closed doors.

   The NSEL is also run by the government but offers an open outcry system under which traders buy and sell shares on an exchange floor.

   A total of 72 companies are listed on the exchange, of which 46 are traded. About 20 of those are actively traded, NSEL officials said.

    Nepal -Arab Bank, a joint venture between Nepali investors and Dubai-based Arab Bank, was the most active, accounting for 96 million rupees ($1.9 million) worth of trade.

   Prices fluctuated wildly during the exchange's first year, NSEL officials said.

   Shares in Gorakhkali Rubber Industries rose from 90 rupees ($1.80) to 500 rupees ($19.20), before falling back to 115 rupees ($2.30).

   The absence of reliable information about company's earnings and finances, not required under Nepali law, and the newness of the exchange contribute to uncertainty and price swings, businessmen said.

   "People have no idea yet in Nepal how to invest in shares," said Padma Jyoti of the Jyoti industrial group.

   "Companies should provide regular and complete information to the market," Bajracharya said. "The system of stock brokers should be institutionalised and they should be made accountable so they do not mislead the investors."

   Bajracharya said growth in share trade would encourage greater industrial investment in Nepal, one of the world's 10 poorest nations.

   But he said a severe lack of electricity could hamstring industrial development.

   Only one in 10 Nepali homes has electricity, and there are regular power cuts in Kathmandu and other urban centres where energy demand far exceeds the supply.

************************************************************* From: Shailesh R. Bhandari <sbhandar@garnet.acns.fsu.edu> Subject: Muktak To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 10:49:22 -0500 (EST)
                                
                                     AANKHA-1

                      Aankhaa maa bokekaa timraa ti
                                        Tasbir haru herdaa
                      Kahile kaahi, aafaimaa haraaunchhu ma
                      Man ko pida timi samma pugos vani
                            Sapanaa maa pani karaaun chhuma.
                    
                                 AANKHA-2
                      Hijo aaja ee aankhaa haru maatieka chhan
                      Tyasaile
                      Sundar bastu haru laai
                                        Anggaaloma berna khojchha
                      Ma ta najar maatra lagaaos vanchhu
                      Tara, sundar angga haru ko ta
                      Xray nai garera herna khojchha.

******************************************************************* From: ponta@sas.upenn.edu (Pratyoush R. Onta) Subject: book review To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu (tnd) Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 14:26:25 -0500 (EST)

Book Review (Published in The Independent of 6 April 1994)

Building Bridges to the Third World: Memories of Nepal 1950 - 1992 by Toni Hagen Translated from the German by Philip Pierce 1994, Delhi: Book Faith India, Price: Rs 2400

By Pratyoush R. Onta

How do you do full justice to an about 400-page book written by an
"eminent authority on Nepal" in the limited space allotted to this write-up? So I will not even try to mention all the interesting stories and information that readers might find in this memoir by Toni Hagen devoted to his development efforts in Nepal.

Althought this English edition is essentially a translation of an earlier German edition, Hagen tells us in the foreword that he has rewritten Part Four and added some new chapters to the book to express his "personal views on the impact of forty years of development aid in Nepal." In Part I we learn that after being trained as a geologist in Zurich, Hagen got the opportunity to first come to Nepal in October 1950 as a member of the Swiss-Nepal Forward Team. The aerial surveys and field geological research that he conducted in the initial months made him conclude that in contrast to the wishes of the late Rana rulers of Nepal who wanted him to find gold mines, the "country's chief assets appeared to lie in the huge potential of water power and in agriculture." Although the Team was dissolved in mid-December, Hagen's stay in Nepal was extended to April 1951. When Switzerland withdrew from the Nepal project, he was hired by the Nepali government from 1 Jan 1952. Hagen accepted this offer before returning home in early April 1951 without consulting with his wife Gertrud (the book is dedicated to her).

In Part II, among other things, we learn about Hagen's preparation for, execution (which included banning spitting in his camps) and results of many field surveys in various parts of Nepal, the parties held in legendary Boris' Royal Hotel, and his avatars as the first UN expert in Nepal in 1953 and later, the director of the Basic Survey Department. Hagen reports that as a consequence of his close contact with the people of Nepal during the eight years of expeditions (1950-58), he found them
"to be more important than the rocks." He recalls an incidence where while explaining how administrative districts should be redivided, he began to say "Why can't you give a large district to a good governor and a small district to a..." Instead of adding "to a bad governor" he ended up by saying "...and you give a small district to an also good governor" which soon became the joke of the town. King Mahendra's 1960 move put Hagen in an uncomfortable position as he had praised B. P. Koirala in the preface to his book Nepal which was then in the late stages of its printing. Neverthelesss, he praises King Mahendra for his "adroit posturing between his large neightbours."

In Part III, we learn about Hagen's efforts toward the integration of Tibetan refugees in Nepal. He describes the activities carried out by him in this context under the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to which he was seconded from the UN, the beginnings of the carpet weaving centre in Jawalakhel as an income-generating project, and his meeting with the Dalai Lama. Hagen defends the carpet industry's 30-year old record against recent criticisms of it pegged on themes like child labour and air
& water pollution, saying that although these are real problems, this industry is not solely responsible for them and thus those problems need to be seen in their "proper perspective." Hagen left Nepal in July 1962.

In the concluding part of the book, Hagen criticizes, among other things, food-for-work programmes because they are expensive, do not produce
"purchase power at the base and are therefore no stimulation of the local or regional economy," and make the "receiver dependent." Cash-for-work, Hagen's recomendation, it seems to me, does not necessarily remove these
"evils." The achievements of the GTZ-run food-for-work programme in the Saptari district during last year's drought and in Saptari and Siraha during this dry season seem to suggest that such programmes, if suitably designed and executed, can contribute toward the long-term productivity of agriculture.

Using phrases which have become almost commonplace in criticisms of developent aid anywhere, Hagen says that the Lords of Poverty preside over vicious circles of programmed failures, and concern themselves with politics of self-preservation than the alleviation of poverty. He takes up the Integrated Hill Development Project in eastern Nepal as a case study of a vicious circle.

With respect to global ecological threat, Hagen says that he feels "less and less at ease in giving advice to the government of Nepal" because the people living in the industrialized countries are much bigger culprits when it comes to damage to the global environment. He adds that irreversible "cultural erosion" in Nepal is more of a concern for him. He writes: "In the 1950s, the Nepalese were still living in full harmony with their enviroment and with their culture and religion." Tourism and development aid "are well on the way to bringing materialistic society to Nepal." Hagen is wrong here on more than one count. To see the pre-1950s Nepal in some idyllic environmental balance - "time had obviously ceased to flow for the Nepalese rural population" is to engage in mistaken nostalgia that is useless in trying to cope with today's environmental stresses. Also our society has always had collective and individual materialistic shades to it (temples, buildings and artisan specialization can be taken as examples). To make the clear separation implied in his comments - Western individualism versus Nepali religiousity and culture - is to fall prey to the Orientalist tendency to think about the world in essences that do not assist a comparative understanding. Tourism and wealth, as James Fisher has shown for the case of Sherpas, can also contribute to the reinvigoration of one's culture.

About Bhutanese refugees, he feels that the chances are slim that they will return to Bhutan (despite their high hopes) and therefore, their resettlement in Nepal "should start as soon as possible." Hagen might be right in the long-run but it is too premature to begin to do just that now.

One final point regarding memoir as a genre of writing. Hagen's memoir reads like the personal essay one writes as part of one's application to an American college. It gives the impression that without the concerned writer the world would be worse off today. It is perhaps because of this, we are left in doubt about how Hagen's views on development, aid, big projects, etc. have evolved over the past forty plus years. Perhaps focussing on the "I" is not so inevitable as in Hagen's book. Nevertheless, when a historian will sit down to write a social history of this period with particular emphasis on the ideas, practices and politics related to development in Nepal, Hagen's book will be a useful guide.

END

Note to TND readers: The review section was added to the TND earlier this month. I would like to invite readers to contribute reviews to this section. If your review has been previously published elsewhere, please provide a full reference. Thanks. Pratyoush

********************************************************************** Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 22:56:04 -0500 From: rshresth@black.clarku.edu (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Foster Parent PLAN in Nepal

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

Shirley Cheung (cheung@CAM.ORG) wrote:

: Dear netters:

: I know there is a foster parent plan program in Nepal where a Nepali
: child is sponsored by a person from the developed world. I wonder if the
: whole program works there. Does it actually make some significant impact
: on the lives of the children there?

: any comment is welcome.

: shirley
: cheung@ocean.cam.org

The name of the plan is "Plan International", formerly Childreach. My wife and I sponsor a child through the organization. The money goes toward his schooling and school supplies, as well as development activities in the village where he and his family live. I'm not sure what else the funds are used for that may impact his family more directly. We receive letters written by the Kathmandu office periodically on his status (he's too young to write himself) along with photos once a year.

As for how effective the program is, we intend to do some in-depth investiga- tion when we visit my wife's family in Nepal in December. The amount of money isn't a lot, just $25 a month, but that translates to quite a bit in Nepali currency and we'd like to make sure it is being used wisely.

Ken and Sirjana Pumford

************************************************************************ Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 00:39:50 -0600 (CST) From: RKP6723@UTARLG.UTA.EDU Subject: Plain Human Being To: Nepal@cs.niu.edu

Hello Everybody!

In Buddhism there is no caste system. Everybody is a plain human being. Gautama Buddha said that Buddhahood alredy exist within us and it is up to us to find it. There is no exact numbers, but Gautama Buddha said that there were Buddha before him and will be after him. Perhaps, there is a Buddha living in our time.

Caste system comes from Hindu society. Whoever made those centuries ago was practical and briliant for their Time, but for our Time it is not practical and it is stupid because to be a Brahmin by a born status is horse do. To get a Brahmin status one has to work for it. A person's father might be a Shudra, but he/she can earn a Brahmin being. A person can earn a Brahmin being and lose it but not put it in everyday practice. Simpler way to see it is like earning a degree. So whatever Gautama Buddha's father King Suddhodhana caste maybe Gautama Buddha is a Brahmin because he earned it.

Hinduism is the root of Buddhism. People have made Hinduism complicated over the years. Simple truth is that we are one: the soul. Brahama's "Shristi" or God's creation or Bing bang theory that was our (soul) birth. We may exit from our body, the ego, but we (soul) still be here in the universe. Hatred, selfishness, anger, dullness, unmindfullness are nothing but our suicidal behavior. If it cannot kill us physically, it will kill us in our mind. To get salvation is to realize our ultimate being the soul everything else comes naturally. We do not have to turn ourselves into monk to get there.

                  O M S H A N T H I

Robin "Swayumbhu" Pandey Arlington, TX

******************************************************************* Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 09:36:07 +0000 (GMT) From: A Thapa <en3at@bath.ac.uk> To: The Nepal Digest <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Looking for someone in AIT.

Hi,
   Anyone in AIT, Bangkok know Mrs. Sushma Thapa. She is my "bhauju" and right now doing masters in Engineering at AIT. Anyone who knows her; can you please forward to her my e-mail. Thanks.

Amir Thapa Bath University. e-mail: en3at@bath.ac.uk

***********************************************************************************************

*********************************************************************************************** Date: Wed, 25 JAN 95 13:43:56 GMT From: WAGLE@VAX.LSE.AC.UK To: nepal <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Our "Royal Nepalese Embassies"

This is to share some of G Pokharel's concerns on jobs less than well done by most of our Embassies most of the time. I have met scores of new arrivals who have been apalled bythe way they were received when they excitedly visited or wrote to their respective Embassies the first time. It's not only rudeness and apathy - Many legitimate querries and assignments are needlessly delayed in a fashion to which we must all have been familiar at some stage while being "served" by king Birendra's civil servants back home. It's sad to see the same bureaucratic "import" blatantly at work in embassies based in countries from whom we should actually be learning so much. A bewildered friend recently couldn't work out whether the fiver a senior clerk at one of the embassies this side of the Atlantic demanded was a legitimate fee for the Ambassador's signature that he required or yet another "forced tip" in exchange for the friendly gesture! These people earn 20 times or more the amount their boss earns back in Shital Niwas. And we have the right to question whether they are really worth the inflation-indexed salaries and lucrative perks because the bill ultimately has to be paid in taxes by either our parents or somebody else's in a donor country.To justify these expenses there are many things that the embassies should be doing in addition to stamping visas and being a diplomatic link (Incase a politician wishes to make a "goodwill visit". The last time Bharat Mohan Adhikari came to London on a similar mission, he spent half the time enquiring how one of his relatives could win an LSE Scholarship) Even the comrades back home are desperate for some foreign investment. Why can'tsome enthusiastic entrepreneurs be mustered and some canvassing done over glasses of New Year champagne? All I see in London's underground tube stations these days are massive posters with pretty Indian lasses in front of lofty forts with "India...hhh" written alongside. Isn't it time to follow suit and attract some higher earning, enviro nmentally friendly, less partying, appreciative, non Thamel tourists? We only have residential embassies in countries with whom we have Geographic
(China, India etc), Economic (Germany, Japan, USA etc) and historic (Britain) ties and don't really care (Can't afford to care) about other countries (the whole of Latin America and Africa except Egypt, for example). The point I am making is we should actually be optimizing our "milking" efforts from the limited contacts available and thus doing our taxpaying countrywo/men some justice. On the otherside, An equally important obligation for them would be to be a friendly home-like place for all Nepalese to go to at times of trouble. In other words, How about being a bit more welcoming without being paternal? The one and only conspicuous event that embassies everywhere seem to organize is this series of parties to celebrate His or Her Majesty's birthdays and some other silly occassions. Why not just have a modest solo during Dashain (Or the New Year to be fair to non Hindu Nepalese) and some Dollars? Money that'd otherwise have gone to a vineyard in Southern France can now be used to build a suspension bridge in say Northern Gorkha (Nobody can cross the bloody river in my village during monsoons) Having said this, I wish they be more competent while organizing the singular gathering. With full of pathological inepts holding most of the positions,a friend, even having had his address registered, was not invited for a recent gathering. He very rightly remarked, "They knew that if I were there, they would not have been able to take home the unemptied barrels of booze that we paid for." If God is saving the English Queen, who is saving our sorry Embassies?

S Wagle London School of Economics.

******************************************************************* From: lkarki@casbah.acns.nwu.edu Subject: Re:Budhanilkantha School To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 12:23:41 -0600 (CST)

Dear Editor,

        When I read the article "Budhanilkantha" I could not help but feel outraged at the crap. Apparently the author presents a somewhat distorted and tarnished picture of the Budhanilkantha School that I cherish so much, where I shared my hopes and dreams with the children of mother Nepal. By the way, I am also an alumnus of St. Xavier's Godavari School and have taught there before enrolling college in the States. I feel sorry for the author because he really does not know what he is talking about. Moreover, the aritcle is clearly one sided and I think it is fair to say that we need a second opinion. Please allow me to drop a few lines on this subject so that the readers can get is straight.
        
        First, I am not sure why the author thinks that Budhanilkantha School is an example of "misguided education policy". If anything Budhanilkantha School is an example of excellence. Period. Contrary to what the author believes, Budhanilkantha School is not a "waste of money", not a "misallocation of scarce resources" and certainly not a "sorry state". These are cliches that have no meaning at all. Does the author support his criticisms with any solid evidence or facts? To me his trite remarks just don't ring true.Moreover, the author rambles on and on, makes further generalizations and carps about the educatio policy in Nepal without any strong reasons but lame excuses. Yes, we need to account for the lavish spending and this and that. Let me elaborate further if you are still with me.

        Budhanilkantha School was a generous gift by the British governmentmeant to provide "first class" education to young boys from all parts of Nepal. For this reason it was meant to be a national school of excellence with a diverse and smart student body no less in calibre than say students at Davidson or Stanford or Tokyo University or National Taiwan University. Incidentally, there is another sister schoolof Budhanilkantha in Pokhara called "Gandaki Madhyamik Vidhyalaya". Intelligent students from all over Nepal could recieve a sound education so that one day they would take a leading role in their community. Is there anything wrong with this? If the success of an educational institution is measured by the quality of the students it produces then Budhanilkantha is a damn good example of a success story.
        Budhanilkantha was established in 1972, only a mere 23 years old. Yet, the students have delivered in many ways. Look at the number of students who have gone back to their area and have become headmasters, teachers and public servants. For example, Pappu Chhetri, Purna Chaudhari, Sher Bahadur Thapa, all of whom are my classmates are now "productive" citizens of Nepal teaching at their local villages. I was in the first batch to take the Cambridge "A-Levels". In this batch 50 % went to England, 20 % to the States and 30% to India and Bangladesh for higher stufdies. Except for the students in America who are still continuing their further higher studies, the others are now back in Nepal and delivering the goods. In subsequent years Budhanilkantha students have made it to "Oxbridge", Harvard, Caltech, MIT, Northwestern and the like. Some of them are already back there! Of course they need time to shine.

        The argument that "You do not help the poor by bringing half a dozen kids from Sanjya to Kathmandu... Betteruse of the sate money could be to spend it on schools in Sangja..." is like saying American colleges and government should give money to Kathmandu and other villages to build schools rather than giving it to students to directly come to the States. Just like a rich Kathmandu boy would cry with happiness or (delusion) on getting a scholorship from say Harvrd, so would a "poor boy" from Dhoti or Namche Bazaar, or Dhangadi beam with delight to get scholorship to come to Budhanilkantha.

        Finally, I think Budhanilkantha is not a perfect school. There is no such as thing as perfect. Period. Yes I agree that the education policy in Nepal is screwed up. But are we out there to turn the wheel around?

Sicerely,

Laba Karki

***************************************************************** Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 15:25:57 EST To: a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu From: Bhanu Niraula <popbhanu@lexis.pop.upenn.edu>

Dear RajpalJee:

Following editorial (Indo-Nepal Relations: Role of the Left) in the December 31 issue of the Economic and Political Weekly might be of interest to TND/SCN readers. Thank you.

Bhanu Niraula Upenn, Philadelphia

Text of the Editorial Indo-Nepal Relations: Role of the Left

Indo-Nepal relations, in the wake of the installation of a communist government in Kathmandu, pose a challenge to the Indian left- which in general, ranging from the CPI-CPI(M) to the various CPI(ML) factions, has welcomed the change in the Himalyan Kingdom.

The swearing in of a ministry(consisting of hard core Marxist-Leninists) under a monarchy, and that also a traditionally Hindu theocratic one, may look bizarre to communists of an older generation. But all sorts of things can happen in this last decade of the departing century -from the collapse of a seven decades old communist party run political system in Russia and Eastern Europe to the emergence of a communist government in the Himalayas.

But, to come down to brass tacks, the future of the communist government in Kathmandu-- constrained as it is by its minority status in the Nepal Pratinidhi Sabha (the lower house of parliament) --depends in a large measure on the policies likely to be adopted in New Delhi. It is in this context that the Indian left can play an important role in influencing New Delhi's policies and pressurizing the Indian government to give up its attitude of overlordship towards its neighbours, including Nepal.

Although the new government in Kathmandu is hardly a month old, New Delhi has already started its tricks to queer the pitch for it. Two significant gestures by the ruling Congress Party at the centre indicate its determination to continue to bully Nepal. First, the Indian government has began to nag the new regime in Nepal with allegations about its allowing Pakistan to use its territory as a conduit for smuggling Pak-trained Kashmiri militants into India- a charge which still remains to be substantiated by both the home ministry and ministry of foreign affairs. But such allegations, earlier made against the Bangladesh government about supposed ISI activities there, are meant to legitimise India's extra-territorial interventions. The unauthorised entry of Indian policemen into Nepali territory a few months ago is only one among many such impositions.

Secondly, a Congress MP, Inderjit, in a recent speech in Parliament made the extremely imprtinent demand that the new Nepalese prime minister, Manmohan Adhikary, must tender a public apology for having blamed the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu for interfering in the elections there. However innocent India might be, it is an open secret both in Nepal and in India that Indian politicians like Chandrashekhar and Congress leaders had been actively involved in Nepalese politics and in aiding the Nepali Congress, a pliable New Delhi ally. India's conceited politicians have not yet been able to reconcile themselves to the emergence of a self-respecting and self-assertive regime in Kathmandu.

If India refuses to recognise Nepla's independent stand on the controversial Tanakpur dam and its perfectly legitimate demand for the revision of old Indo-Nepalese treaties (which have often proved to be disadvantageous for Nepal), relations between the two countries would unnecessarily get sour. Both the politicians and the bureacrats in India should recognise that although a small, landlocked country, Nepal cannot be expected to be permanently dependent on India.

It would be intersting to watch the future role of the Indian left in Indo-Nepalese relations. Both the CPI and the CPI(M) usually spring to the defence of the central government whenever the latter is embroiled in squabbles with either Islamabad or Dhaka, irrespective of the merits of the issues. Will they behave in the same chauvinistic manner towards the communist regime in Nepal, if the latter decides to assert its independence against India's hegemonistic pressures?

The End

********************************************************************** Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 18:04:40 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: Nepali Teaching In Boston To: The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu>

        This week will mark the start of an interesting and inspiring social service work in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

        Under the leadership of Sunil Shakya, a student at Northeastern University and the treasurer of the Greater Boston Nepali Community (GBNC), a group of Nepali students and professionals in the Boston area have come together to embark on this social service activity:

        Teaching spoken and written Nepali language to ten America-grown Nepali kids in Boston.

        Bibek Chapagain, another Northeastern student, had conceived of the idea, and it was subsequently taken up by Sunil as "something I would love to do in my spare time". To that end, on his visit back from Nepal, three weeks ago, Sunil brought some "barna-mala" books that he hopes to use in the classes. All in Boston also hope that these tutorials would help the kids to learn Nepali language, and get more out of their Nepali (broadly construed) heritage and identity while growing up in America.

        So far, Boston's Nepali families (about seven of them) have responded to this "project" with great enthusiasm, and ten kids (the oldest among them is 16, I think!) have already signed up for their weekly Nepali lessons. Classes will be held once a week either in a classroom at Harvard or at Northeastern -- depending on whichever is convenient for the parents to drop off their kids.

        Sunil has also recruited Nepali friends in the area to help him out. So far, eight Nepalis (with full-time studies or full-time jobs elsewhere) have already signed up to be the week-end Nepali tutors.

        The GBNC salutes Bibek Chapagain (for this idea), Sunil Shakya
(for co-ordinating this) and the Boston families and volunteer tutors for their support and enthusiasm.

        If Boston Nepali parents are reading this, and you would like to have your kids in the program too, please call Sunil at 617-868-2128.

        Knowing how hard Sunil works, I have every reason to believe that this program would be a great success and a great service to the Nepali community in Boston.

namaste ashu

****************************************************************** Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 16:27:05 -0700 (PDT) From: SONNTAGS@axe.humboldt.edu Subject: khoj khabar To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

Does anyone know the address of Arjun Guneratne? I came across an abstract of a paper he presented at the American Anthropological Association in 1992, and I am very interested in obtaining a copy of his paper. Thank you, Selma K. Sonntag

************************************************************** Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 20:25:34 -0500 From: rshresth@black.clarku.edu (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Past Buddhas/Shakyas: Questions

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

Sridhar(guest@PROBLEM_WITH_INEWS_GATEWAY_FILE) wrote:
    What is the point of this posting? Are you trying to hint that
    the Brahmin caste has some in-built characteristics due to which
    Buddha is born as a Brahmin? Or are you trying to hint that though
    Buddhism is purportedly against Brahmins, the Buddha does not have
    problems with Brahmins?

txs89378@bonsai.egr.uh.edu (Tariq Siddiqui) asked:
   
   Will any of the Buddhas be born a Shudra?

sarangan@mecca.pilgrim.umass.edu (Luke SkyWalkerIII) wrote:

    I read some where that Buddha said, Buddha's will be born in the
    highest family of the highest caste at the time of his birth. So,
    if Shudra's are the highest caste at the time of his birth...why not?
    NO, I am not a Buddhist...just that I had time to read
    some of 'em Buddhist books...

an172784@anon.penet.fi (Jaundice D'Mello) wrote:

   That Gautam Buddha was the "25th" Buddha, that there's going to be
   "another" Buddha ... all these seem to be afterthoughts. Who's
   afterthoughts? Well, that's mighty clear.
   The Shakyas were Sycthians and Lord Rama's dynasty was Aryan. In fact, I
   find it really surprising that the Buddha is often referred to as a
   Kshatriya.

1. Buddhism has a different definition of Brahmin etc. The varnas are by quality.

2. The road to Buddhahood takes many, many generations. The bodhisatva may be born as a person or an animal. In the final birth, the stage is set for the Buddha to proclaim Dharma. It is thus destined (according to Buddhist texts) that he will be born as a Brahmin or a Kshatriya
(and in Jambudvipa) whoever is dominant.

3. My purpose is to point out that many well known "facts" regarding the
"Hinduism"-Buddhism relationship are actually incorrect.

4. Shakyas were definitely not Sycthians ("Shaka").

5. Monuments to past Buddhas once existed. A piller erected by Ashoka near a stupa to Konakamana exists (stupa has not been located since the piller was removed from the original site.) There is considerable evidense to show that Gautam Buddha and Mahavira (24th Jina) were part of an existing tradition.

************************************************************* Date: Wed, 25 Jan 1995 20:27:50 -0500 From: rshresth@black.clarku.edu (RaJesh B. Shrestha) To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Subject: Mis-interpretation of religions

Cross-posted from SCN:
---------------------

If I understand the remarks of Warren Climenhaga, the part of Anil's story of the Christian coming to the well should go something like this:

Then a Christian, walking by the well, heard the unfortunate creature crying for help. He looked upon the poor soul and enquired as to whether he accepted and acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord, and the love of this Christian went out to the poor wretch, clinging miserably to the wall. "It is through the grace of God that you will be saved", he exclaimed, "so that even if I were to save you, if you have not faith, you are doomed anyway."
 But the man only said, "Oh, good Christian, have pity on me, help me out of here and then I will attend to your words." But the Christian looked down solemnly and said "Better you should learn faith from the situation you are in and attain eternal life than that I should save you, for Salvation does not come from any good work but from faith alone." And with a knowing nod, the Christian left peacefully.

Is this another "Mis-Interpretation of Religion"?

Ed

****************************************************** From: "Bhesh Bandari" <BB@burger.uqg.uq.oz.au> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 11:36:31 EST Subject: Re: The Nepal Digest - Jan 26, 1995 (12 Magh 2051 BkSm)

Dear Rajpal ji,

Would it be possible to send to me a copy of TND members list and their email addresses?

Thank you for your help. Bhesh

%%%%%Editor's Note: TND members have requested *not* to have their %%%%%
%%%%% email address publicly available without a reason. %%%%%
%%%%% If you would like to convey an idea you are welcome %%%%%
%%%%% to share here. If you are looking for a long lost %%%%%
%%%%% friend or relative, please let us know. We will %%%%%
%%%%% try to help you locate them on the cyberspace. Let %%%%%
%%%%% us know either way. Our apologies for your trouble.%%%%%
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************************************************************************ Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 01:28:20 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: Top Ten Posting To: Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu>,

Following Shailendra Shukla's example, first, the disclaimer: (Yes, one wishes there would be no need for this, but given how fragile some of our egos are, well, nothing should be left to the chance!): What follows is NOT based on the activities of any person, real or alive, but represents an attempt at (fictional) SATIRE.

The first person pronoun 'I' used here is the general I -- it does NOT mean me personally.

                                                                
                 Top Ten Things That A TND Snob Says
                        But Actually Means

10. TND is so boring. [Translation: My life itself is no better. But, ke
    garne, it's the only E-mail I get every other day]

09. TND is full of personal fights and attacks. [Translation: Outwardly,
    I may denounce them on grounds of higher principles, but inwardly
    I enjoy reading petty spats and squabbles, because they really spice
    up TND]

08. TND helps us to do Nepal ko bikas. [Translation: By "sitting" in
    America, that is. Or, even though we'll all end up being parts of this
    Great Melting Pot, anyway!]

07. TND articles are getting longer and longer. [Translation: How do these
    gooks find time to type in such LONG articles while I have so little
    time to catch up with my school work and sleep?]

06. TND articles are poorly edited [Translation: With that many people on
    the masthead, can't they get their act together? Hey, I can do a better
    editing job, (even though I have hardly ever contributed anything)!]

05. The ideas discussed on TND should be sent to the planners in Nepal.
    [Translation: What do those dumb Nepalis in Nepal know anyway? From
    America, we know what's best for the country. For every problem in
    Nepal, we've got a ten-point solution!]

04. TND is only for the students and professionals in America, not for me
    out here outside of America. [Translation: I have nothing interesting
    to say. I would rather read and listen than contribute. Well, maybe
    I should apply to this Diversity Visa Lottery. If I snag a Green Card,
    then maybe I'll start contributing.]

03. Only insecure people with personal grudges to settle write articles
    on TND [Translation: That's what I was taught in Psychiatry 101,
    and being a smooth operator, I love showing off my hard-won
    knowledge to psycho-analyze the id, the ego and the superego of TND
    contributors]

02. Let free speech prevail on TND [Translation: That is to say, as long
    as I like what I am reading. Else, to hell with free speech;
    it wreaks havoc on my self-esteem, you know!]

01. TND is better than sex. [Translation: TND's the only thing I
    get regularly when I need some, to quote Mick Jagger, "satisfaction".]

Let satire NOT be mistaken for personal attacks! Otherwise, all the jokes in the world would be as serious as encyclopedias!

namaste ashu

******************************************************************* Date: Thu, 26 Jan 1995 04:47:04 -0500 (EST) From: Ashutosh Tiwari <tiwari@husc.harvard.edu> Subject: Re: Nepali victims in Korea To: Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu>

        This is an extract from soc.culture.nepal
                *******************
                
        My heart-felt thanks to all who have responded to the call to write letters condemning the mistreatment of Nepali workers in South Korea.

Not only Anil, Shaligram and GP have posted their support for the idea here, but also others have e-mailed in their concerns to Rajendra and to me. Thank you all for your support and willingness to help!

        I had also sent in a copy of that long post to TND. But I guess it got lost or something, for I have not seen it in the last three TND issues. Did anyone save it from here? If so, could anyone please send it to TND? Rajesh, please?

        The idea now is to do the following:

1) Amrit Pant (a student at MIT) and other Nepalis in the Boston area have
   agreed to help me out to write this letter. We should have a draft
   ready by the end of this week. We would post a copy of that letter
   here and on TND.

2) We would also put the mailing addresses and fax numbers/ and e-mail
   addresess (if available) of the Korean authorities. Please, everybody
   take a moment to download it, print it out and mail/fax it to the
   Korean authorities. The more letters we can mail from ALL OVER THE WORLD,
   the stronger message our efforts would send to the Korean authorities!
   Given the reach of this Internet to over 100 countries, I would think that
   letters from Nepalis and friends of Nepal all over the world would
   definitely send a signal to the Korean authorities.

3) From Boston, we would send out the letters on behalf of the
   Greater Boston Nepali Community (GBNC), perhaps the Nepal Digest
   (let's see how people respond to this there) and perhaps the SCN.

4) Letters would be send out to:

        a) South Korean Prime Minister
        b) South Korean Labor Minister
        c) South Korean Ambassador in DC.
        d) Nepali Prime Minister
        e) Nepali Labor Minister
        f) Nepali Ambassador to Japan (and South Korea)
        g) South Korean Ambassador in Nepal
        i) AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.

        Writing and sending the letters is the LEAST we, the students and professionals, can do. But do, we must.
           
        Please feel free to comment on this here. Don't just read this. Respond with your ideas!

namaste ashu

%%%%%Editor's Note: TND whole-heartedly supports this effort. Please %%%%%
%%%%% send your support to nepal-request@mp.cs.niu.edu %%%%%
%%%%% Include all your pertinent information and few %%%%%
%%%%% lines condemning the atrocities. I will compile %%%%%
%%%%% them and send it to Ashutosh on behalf of TND %%%%%
%%%%% (The Nepal Digest) members. Our grateful thanks %%%%%
%%%%% to all the Nepalis and Friends of Nepal for %%%%%
%%%%% supporting this effort. Our thanks to Ashu for %%%%%
%%%%% coordinating the efforts. Thanks again. %%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

 
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