The Nepal Digest - Jan 14, 2000 (29 Poush 2056 BkSm)

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    The Nepal Digest Fri Jan 14, 2000: Poush 29 2056BS: Year9 Volume94 Issue441

    Today's Topics (partial list):

           Gayatri Mantra and its meaning
           "Maiti" Needed in Every Neighborhood in the West
           Wealth and Responsibility
           Commemorating Suji
           Workshop in Boston
           Budhanilkantha graduates
           AFVs News

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    ****************************************************************** Forwarded by: Rajpal J.P. Singh <a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu> To: The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Gayatri Mantra and its meaning Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 11:18:38 -0500

    GAYATRI MANTRA -ITS MEANING:
    ----------------------------

    AUM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA, TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM BHARGO DEVASAYA DHEEMAHI DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT.

    Summary of the Mantra
    ---------------------- Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life, Remover of pain and sorrow, The Bestower of happiness, Oh! Creator of the Universe, May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light, May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

    Word for Word Meaning of the Mantra
    ----------------------------------- Aum = Brahma ; bhoor = embodiment of vital spiritual energy(pran) ; bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings ; swaha = embodiment of happiness ; tat = that ; savitur = bright like sun ; varenyam = best choicest ; bhargo = destroyer of sins ; devasya = divine ; dheemahi = may imbibe ; dhiyo = intellect ; yo = who ; naha = our ; prachodayat = may inspire ;

    Meaning of Gayatri Mantra
    ------------------------- Rishis selected the words of various Mantras and arranged them so that they not only convey meaning but also create specific power through their utterance. Gayatri Mantra inspires wisdom. Its meaning is that "May the Almighty God illuminate our intellect to lead us along the righteous path". All the problems of a person are solved if he/she is endowed with the gift of righteous wisdom. Once endowed with far-sighted wisdom, a man is neither entangled in calamity nor does he tread the wrong path. A wise man finds solution to all outstanding problems. Only those persons who do not think correctly find difficulty and take wrong steps due to foolishness. Chanting of Gayatri Mantra removes this deficiency. The teachings and powers incorporated in the Gayatri Mantra fulfill this purpose. Righteous wisdom starts emerging soon after Jap(recitation) of this Mantra is performed.

    ****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 21:58:38 -0500 (EST) From: "Pramod K. Mishra" <pkm@duke.edu> To: The Nepal digest Editor <nepal-request@cs.niu.edu> Subject: "Maiti" Needed in Every Neighborhood in the West

    In quick succession, we have received the news of two murders of Nepalis in the US--One in Alabama of a Nepali student by a white man and another of a Nepali young woman, Suji, by her own husband. Both these cases are unique and not so unique. Unique because a Nepali was killed in the South, where violence has traditionally revolved around Black-White issues. The Minnesota case was unique because this case of a Nepali woman was not a case of working class violence but one of urban, middle or upper-middle class Nepali's, possibly English-educated, Westernized
    "love marriage" turning sour under the pressure of immigration in the land of opportunity. Yet, both these cases were not unique, because interethnic and spousal violence are everyday occurrences everywhere, but particularly in the United States. In this piece, however, I'd like to focus on the spousal violence.

    I have no specific information available about Suji and her husband, but from what I know from an e-mail sent by Mr. Padam Sharma, President of Info-Nepal, the couple were high school sweethearts; they loved each other. Even after her death, the husband said, "I love her; that's why I did this to her." These words raise a number of questions and speculations--and I leave these to the police detectives to figure out. What I'm going to focus in this piece is the reality of potential violence existing in a Nepali family in a heigtened form once displaced from the accustomed cultural moorings. For all one knows about Nepal, this violence might have occurred even in Nepal, even in Kathmandu, but not probably in its present intensity, resulting in death. Suji would have gone to her friends, to her parents' house, to her relatives; given the presence of various cultural support systems, symbols, and ideological apparatuses, she would have used them to alleviate her condition. If nothing worked after a while, she could have asked for divorce after a period of separation.

            The first problem a Nepali woman faces in the US when she follows her spouse is loneliness. This loneliness doesn't necessarily stem from the absence of her husband alone. In fact, it can be said that if her husband were to be present all the time, it's more likely that another kind of problem would arise, namely, lack of interest in each other because of boredom or conflict of a different kind induced by excessive proximity. For we have to admit that spousal dynamics do not work in Nepal or India for the most part on the basis of one-on-one relationship; each spouse's social and psychic energies are distributed at various nodes of the social and kinship network. Kathmandu's case is unique in this sense that in social and kinship terms, it is just the opposite of the impersonality of metropolitan cities; it is well known in Kathamandu that very often generations live there in close proximity. (In the big cities of India, such as Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, and Delhi, impersonality has come about to a great extent, but these cities are still marked by their clearly identifiable provincial cultural, linguistic, caste boundaries and identities.) And the visit of daughters and sons-in-laws is a routine, ritualized affair in Kathmandu. So, a spouse, be it male or female, does not plumb the emotional, intellectual, and psychic depths of the partner as a condition for marriage and develop emergency routes and byways for critical situations. I'm talking here about the so-called love marriages, let alone the arranged marriages.

            A woman faces more loneliness because in her Nepali upbringing independent ways of finding her identity and voice are not emphasized. She is made to rely on marriage as the most important outlet for the expression of her personality and discovery of her self and identity. That happens in most families even in the cosmopolitan, English-educated families of Kathmandu, let alone those of rural areas. As a result, a woman who follows her husband as an appendage to his and his family's ambitions and can't say NO to an unknown life in the US because of expectations built around living in the West finds herself in a peculiar situation.

            Language barrier hits first, even for those who know English. But the more difficult barrier is one of culture--and by culture, I don't just mean festivals and rites, but the culture of capitalism, in which human life revolves around work, production, and consumption. Consumption becomes a substitute for social relations, and it becomes difficult even for Third World participant in consumerism to substitute commodities for social and cultural relations. And this difficulty is made worse by the struggling financial situation of a student life.

            Certainly, there are support systems in the US, particularly in the universities and colleges, such as the various free English language classes and church groups. But they are not the same as the cultural structures that exist back home. Back home, an individual, by virtue of a traditionally assigned position, easily recognizes oneself and accepts the assigned place; there is the weight of a whole tradition and its ideology to make that assignation work smoothly. But these support groups, no matter how egalitarian and multicultural in their orientation
    (and one must recognize the conscious effort they make to be compassionate, friendly, and helpful), they remain hierarchical in a different sense without the traditional ideological support of the culture back home. A socially-oriented individual from a non-Christian Third World country, when inducted in the group of a language class or a church group, even though socially treated equal is in fact made to be an object of the lessons to be learnt or a target of a new set of religious ideologies to know. Reciprocity seldom occurs. In other words, the person's language and religion do not find equal footing with the language and religion to which one exposed. As a result, alienation occurs because a person from another cultural setting does not recognize himself or herself in the hierarchy, even though he or she goes along with it.

            In the case of secular social gatherings, the problem of gender difference and their assigned roles once again pops up as a problem. The big shock one receives, as I did at first, is one of freedom of association between men and women. There are no doubt unstated expectations and structures of demarcations that implicitly guide norms of associations between men and women in the US, but at the surface this openness appears outrageous. For a man from South Asia, it is liberating; he has a bigger pond to fish from, even though the fish may prove to be more slippery and accustomed to different lures. For a South Asian man has more freedom to express his desires and fulfill them. In the case of a South Asian female, this whole idiom of fishing doesn't even arise--for there is no equality there in this matter. This freedom may be tempting for the man but for the woman it is nothing short of traumatic. For one thing, she is not trained to paddle her own canoe, but even when she does, it is completely against the conventional expectations. More often than not, therefore, she lives in fear that her man would get caught in the spectacle of freedom and so lose him. She panics, feels further alienated, and makes both her own and her family life a nightmarish experience.

            Now, the question is, What can be done about this situation given the reality that many Nepali women would follow their husbands to the West for economic and professional reasons? We also know that the condition of women in Nepal, even in the cities, can't be changed because the attitudes of the majority of fathers, brothers, sons--legislators, lawyers, the professional class, and even many women--can't be changed overnight. There is a long struggle for this overhaul. So immigrant women will always face isolation, loneliness, and alienation, caused by cultural displacement.

            There are some things that can be done about it. First of all, it is important for the husbands to know that this problem exists, and it can take bad, at times dangerous turn. It can create discord in the family, affect work and productivity, and ruin careers. But under no circumstances would he participate in the patriarchal logic of violence, the usual method of dealing with spousal problems in Nepal. One must make a commitment to non-violence in this regard. No body contact in anger has to be the norm. If one can't stay at home because of trouble, just leave. Separation and divorce are much better both for men and women than living in violence. The Nepali communities both in Nepal and abroad need to get out of their tendency to stigmatize divorce and begin to recognize it as a difficult but respectable way out of a marriage gone sour. If Suji and her husband were separated and divorced, their lives wouldn't have been ruined. Now one is dead; the other would have to spend his life in prison. Even after he survives the brutality of an American prison and comes out, he will be deported. In any case, his life is ruined, no matter.

    Then, of course, come the support systems that exist within the cultural framework of the West. Various counseling mechanisms come under this rubric. Each college and university in the US has some sort of Counseling and Psychological Services, which are manned or womanned by marriage counselers or therapists. Although it is difficult for an American-trained counseler to understand the complications of a Third World marriage, this nonetheless offers an opening for conversation about marital problems. Many ways can be found from here.

            Finally, and most importantly, the role of the cultural organizations. There are many Nepali organizations in the US, both broader and local. If the broader umbrella organizations fulfill the need for immigrants to connect once a year at a national or North American basis, the role of the local organizations can't be emphasized more. The responsibility is upon them to form women's social activities group, women's caucuses, and while eating "daal-bhaat" frankly talk about the issues affecting their lives and ways to improve them. Usually, what happens is when Nepalis get together, they get together with their spouses and children, eat daal-bhaat, talk about their careers, politics, exchange news and get back to their working lives. This is good. But there has to be women-only gatherings, where women could talk about their own specific problems and struggles once every month or two months. The same applies to men.

    I'm here not talking about just the motivated activists, running various women's organizations; they have their roles. But the problem I see there is that many activists get a kick out of ego massage, an easy way to feel good because one develops this incredibly simplistic approach to the problems and develops an attitude of condescension toward both the women they serve and the men who find themselves in this bind. Such feel-good activism hasn't accomplished much; it's good only for the c.v. and chat with other activists--and frowns and giggles. But if such activists help organize women's groups based on equality of exchange of narratives and friendship rather than on the relationship of analyst and analysand, they can really help immigrant lives. It is also important for such local Nepli organizations and their women's groups to help foster friendship among women and develop closer relationship depending on age, interests, etc. In other words, such groups can play the role of
    "maiti" and fill the vacuum caused by cultural displacement.

            I'm sure others would have other angles. And I think it is important that we discuss this issue thoroughly.
         

    ****************************************************************** Date: Jan 11, 2000 To: The Nepal Digest <nepal@cs.niu.edu> Forwarded by: RJ Singh <a10rjs1@cs.niu.edu> Subject: Wealth and Responsibility

    Source: Reuters New-rich in US seek to avoid raising spoilt brats By Jessica Hall

    NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - The newly minted multi- millionaires of the Internet gold rush want more from their financial advisors than just estate planning -- they want help in preventing wealth from corrupting their children's values.

    In the past two years, Merrill Lynch and Co. Inc. (NYSE:MER - news) has seen growing demand for ``financial parenting'' services that help with the problems some families face in dealing with sudden wealth.

    ``Some clients may be concerned that their children won't grow up with the sensitivities or values they had,'' said Susan Thomson, a spokeswoman for Merrill Lynch's Private Client Group that serves families whose assets total at least $100 million.

    Merrill Lynch's family office helps these clients with everything from paying bills, to finding the best private schools or the best doctors for their children, to planning vacations.

    So far, about 10 of its 50 elite clients have used the financial parenting services, but demand has been increasing as more and more families find themselves suddenly enriched by the boom in dot.com shares.

    ``With the growth of the Silicon Valley gold rush and the long-term bull market, we're doing it more often,'' Thomson said.

    ``Wealth can be an enhancement and a peril,'' said Scott Cooper, who heads Merrill's family office.

    Clients want their wealth to give their children opportunities they did not have themselves when they were young.

    But they also fear their children will turn into ``trust-slugs,'' who are dependent on family money and have no incentive to follow a career, Cooper said.

    ``They want to know 'what's the appropriate amount of wealth to leave my children?'' he said.

    Merrill may work with families directly or may send clients to outside psychologists and other experts as needed. The firm also provides information on volunteering, summer jobs and other ``constructive opportunities'' for children.

    Children of newly-wealthy parents will grow up in a vastly different socioeconomic environments than their parents and may not share the same perspective on wealth and work, he said.

    Instilling strong work ethics and values in children must start at an early age and must be reinforced with a consistent message, child development experts said.

    Without that effort, parents are going to be disappointed in children they see as self-indulgent, said Dr. Lawrence Balter, a professor of applied psychology at New York University and author of several books on parenting.

    Balter's advice to newly wealthy parents: ``avoid living vicariously through your children. If you are suddenly wealthy ... you shouldn't give your children everything you didn't have.''

    Parents also should make a point to show children that many people are not as privileged.

    ``Go to a food drive. Even if your Range Rover drives you to the shelter, at least they can help dole out food and see people in need,'' Balter said.

    Cooper said wealthy families today are less inclined to leave large chunks of wealth to their children than in the past.

    ``Families continue to lower the bar on what is appropriate (to leave children) ... we see these families having heightened interest in philanthropy,'' Cooper said.

    ****************************************************************** Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 23:59:48 -0600 From: Padam Sharma <psharma@outtech.com> To: psharma@outtech.com Subject: Commemorating Suji

    In early October 1999, a 20+ years, young and beautiful, Suji Suwal left Kathmandu to be with her childhood boyfriend and husband Rakesh Rimal in the USA. The couple took a one-bedroom apartment in the City of Richfield, a southern Minneapolis suburb. Rakesh, a senior at St. Cloud State University was about to finish his classes and enter into an IT career opportunity in the Twin Cities. The couple were beginning a new life full of love, hope, and dreams. In their parent’s words,
    “Rakesh and Suji were made for each other.” After a decade of love, they were finally going to start their conjugal life in the USA and live happily ever after.

    Suji’s first call from the US to her parents and Rakesh’s mother in Nepal was one of excitement and satisfaction of being in a distant lighted and beautiful metropolis with her love Rakesh. Suji’s second call was of continuing happiness of being together with Rakesh and
    ‘don’t worry about us’ words to her loved ones in Nepal. A few weeks later, Suji’s third call was one of loneliness of apartment life as Rakesh was too busy attending to his commitment of finishing his remaining classes and starting a new job. Rakesh had little time for Suji. Suji was bored and wanted to go back to Nepal.

    The next call never came. The Nepali community in Minnesota was in shock and disbelief watching news of Suji’s death reported on local TV and newspapers on December 21-22. On December 20, the police and paramedics found Suji lying on the floor with signs of head trauma and blood. Her husband Rakesh was sitting in a corner, reportedly hysteric and suicidal. The news accounts tell Rakesh uttering, “I did this to her because I love her”. Rakesh is in jail charged with second degree murder of his beloved Suji.

    What transpired between the two in the two months following their much awaited joyful reunion will perhaps remain a mystery. However, one call by Suji or Rakesh before the tragedy could have saved Suji’s life and Rakesh’s misery throughout the rest of his life.

    With permission from both Suji and Rakesh’s families in Nepal, the Nepali community in Minnesota is organizing a cremation ceremony for Suji on Saturday, January 8, 2000 at Forest Cemetery in St. Paul, Minnesota. The ceremony is expected to cost about $2000 and we have asked all individuals and families (both professionals and mostly students) in Minnesota to make a generous contribution to cover the cost.

    I am sending this letter to you, to ask for your help in contributing to Suji’s dignified cremation service in this distant land. Any money collected in excess of the cost of cremation will be used to initiate a
    “Suji’s First Call for Help” crisis intervention program for Nepali students and young families trying to survive the stressful study, work, immigration, cultural shock, and abusive environments in the US.

    A "Suji Rimal Benefit Account' is now open at Western Bank, 4700 W. 77th St., Suite 160, Edina, MN 55435. You can mail your donations directly to the bank or you can send your checks written for “Suji Rimal Benefit Account” to: Empower Nepal Foundation, 2000 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108.

    Let us all come together to pray for Suji’s soul to rest in peace.

    Padam P. Sharma 2000 Como Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108 Phone:(651) 644-3733 (Home)
          (612) 832-2703 (Work) Email: psharma@outtech.com

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

    *********************************************************************************************** To: nepal@cs.niu.edu Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 17:14:25 -0500 Subject: Re: Fwd: The Nepal Digest - Jan 4, 2000 (19 Poush 2056 Bk From: AikoAnne Joshi <aiko7@juno.com>

    Hello, TND members:

    I am relocating to the Washington, D.C. area and was wondering if any Nepalis living there could suggest safe areas to live in? I have found a few places located right in the city of D.C., studio apts. at very inexpensive prices but don't know how the neighborhoods are. I would prefer to rent a small, one bedroom house in Maryland suburbs conveninet to the Metro. I won't have a car.

    any infor would be greatly appreciated. thanks! hopefully, the next TND edition will come out before I move. I move end of January.

    Aiko Joshi

    "Those who do not try to create the future they want, must _endure_the future they get."

    ********************************************************** From: JSMARTWKS@aol.com Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 17:49:11 EST Subject: libraries To: nepal@cs.niu.edu

    Hello

    I am the student at NYU who just wrote in request of a subscription. But, I have a second request. I am creating an online web installation for a professor of mine (she us a Professor of Interdisciplinary Arts) which juxtaposes the burning of libraries with the burning of species in the Rainforest. It is an artwork which seeks to highlight the integral loss of information as a result of both of these activities. It will be connected to the Museum of Modern Art on-line sites etc. When I was reading a 1995 e-mail, someone mentioned the burned libraries in Nepal. Do you have any further information on this? Also, another part of the digest discussed the downloading of the fonts for languages spoken in Nepal. I am interested in finding how to say burned or destroyed by fire in Nepali. This is for one aspect of this project which says "burned" or "consumed by fire," in the language of the nation the library was in. But, of course I have a problem typing it into my computer. Do you know a site in which I can download the font or can you yourself tell me how to say "burned" or "destroyed by fire" in Nepali? Even if we do the latter, (so I can scan in the word) the scanner most likely will not recognize the characters. If nothing else, do you have any advice on how to write in Nepali "burned" or "destroyed by fire" in Nepali for a web site?

    Thanks. I apologize if this e-mail sounds convoluted. Any questions please e-mail me.

    Starr

    ****************************************************************** Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2000 06:13:35 -0800 From: gopal dongol <dongolg@cuug.ab.ca> To: NEPAL@cs.niu.edu Subject: greetings

    Greetings:

    The warm blazing wind flowed from the west That is the "Chinook Arch" in decades at its best With the curls of cloud pumped from the warm pacific Which pushed the jet stream far north to the Arctic (line separating warm and cold front)

    Calgary has brown Christmas in temperatures of double digits (+19 degrees C) Remembering the past years which were in its low frigids (-15 degrees C)

    Could it be weather-wise at its premium? The heaven must have blessed for the new millennium

    Over a year ago, my father passed away so suddenly I was also rubbed in Bolivia, as an act of foolery My brother broke his arm which brought me some fear When I left for Nepal in the haze of tears

    Last year a bolt of horror flashed through me Remembering the vivid pictures that came to me I made myself felt that I shouldn’t cry Even though the seeping tears burnt my eyes

    Let me forget what had happened in the past It’s hard to tell how long the effects would last I liked it when the Bolivians say "Que bueno!"(How nice!) It sounded like the Nepali word "ke.Bhayana?(What is not right?)

    Himalayas, has Lamas that beat the drum Andes has Llamas that lurk along musical strum We understand when we say Que ?(or Ke?) for what? Both has energy to produce millions of watts.

    In the Andes they said to me "Que pasa?" in a friendly trend (What’s going on?) In Nepali it (ke.Pasa) means "what’s the matter friend?" We both say "Que tal?" but has different meanings (spanish=how are things? Nepali=what type?) This has brought me very close feelings

    With best wishes, Gopal Dongol

    ***************************************************************** From: "Bal K Sharma" <bsharma@uhc.com> To: tnd@nepal.org Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 15:39:08 -0600 Subject: Empower Nepal Foundation (ENF) Collects Donations to Fund
             Projects in Nepal

    Dear TND subscribers:
         Recently I read in TND that some Nepal-loving people were trying to identify charitable organizations so that they could make some donations to help Nepal. This encouraged me to write this email to introduce Empower Nepal Foundation (ENF) to TND Subscribers.
         Many of you might be aware that ENF has a mission of pooling resources from abroad and directing them to help Nepalese people in Nepal. If you are not aware and would like to know more about ENF please visit ENF Web site located at
    <empowernepal.hypmermart.net> or <welcome.to/enf>. The web site explains the organization, projects, and ENF activities. You will see how your monetary contributions are being used to invest into the future of Nepal. Also, ENF board would like to hear your feed back.
         After visiting ENF web site, may be, you would like to make tax-deductible
    (in the US only) donations for the current ENF projects or you could come up with a new project to help your local community in Nepal through ENF. Please remember that your one day's salary in the developed countries can make a difference in the villages we all came from. Thank you for your attention. Sincerely, Bal Krishna Sharma, Ph.D.

    ****************************************************************** From: "Shailesh Gongal" <shaileshgongal@hotmail.com> To: A10RJS1@cs.niu.edu Subject: Workshop in Boston Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 22:57:01 EST

    Pharkera ke Painchha?

    A Workshop on Evolving Opportunities in Nepal Kanak Mani Dixit and Shanta Dixit, discussants Cambridge, 15 January 2000 (Saturday/Sanibaar)
    (Greater Boston Nepali Community and Himal Khabarpatrika, organisers) We welcome participants from beyond the Boston area (see below).

    With more than 22 million people, even on a global scale, Nepal is hardly a small country. Neither does it have to be poor. In fact, the hills and plains hold the possibility of delivering a fine quality of life for the population. All we need are the people to make it happen. Given Nepal&rsquo;s history of poor (or absent) education, the importance of good overseas education thus looms large. The many Nepali students presently at colleges and universities in North America are a substantial pool of talent that could be catalytic in changing socio-economic conditions back home.

    Most discussions on "returning to Nepal" have tended to center on simplistic notions of nationalism that are unconvincing at the practical level. For too long, the arguments have been based on the emotional "pharka he pharka" formula, failing to address the complex nature of the choice confronting students at the stage of planning careers. This complexity refers to financial considerations, family expectations, academic qualifications and professional objectives, as well as the societal roadblocks that dampen the returnee&rsquo;s spirit.

    It is also true, however, that students overseas tend to be insufficiently informed about changing conditions and new opportunities back home in Nepal. For example, after ten years of democratic exercise, the polity and social sectors beckon to idealistic individuals with interest in activism, law, public health, journalism or environment. At the same time, the evolving marketplace is creating space for the adventurous in service industries, trade, manufacturing and transport.

    Because of the dearth of self-confident and well-trained professionals, the return of even a few can make a big difference to Nepal. The returning individuals, meanwhile, can look forward to pioneering careers that are personally fulfilling in comparison to many kinds of work available in adopted societies. This is not to deny that there will be situations where it is clearly advantageous for a Nepali to seek a working life outside Nepal. In the end,
    "to return or not to return" is a decision to be taken in the light of specific personal situations. As long as the choice is made after thorough reflection on career goals, host country conditions and home country realities, there will be less to regret later on.

    Workshop Details

    10:00 a.m. - Meet at TBA, MIT, Cambridge

    10:15-11:30 - Presentations

    "Trends in the Nepali Polity" by Kanak Mani Dixit

                        "Choices in the Social Sector" by Shanta Dixit

                                  (Participants will receive a folder with contributions
                                  from Nepali professionals in diverse disciplines,
                                  sharing their views on the workshop topic.)

    11:30-11:45 - Coffee break

    11:45-1:00 pm - Discussion

    1:00 p.m. - Lunch (please make reservation)

                        (Informal discussions can continue after lunch.)

    (Kanak Mani Dixit is editor of the Himal (South Asian) and Himal Khabarpatrika. Shanta Dixit is an educator and public health specialist. Both lived in New York City from 1980 to 1990. The former studied International Affairs and Journalism at Columbia University and then worked at the UN Secretariat. The latter studied Public Health at Columbia University and turned to education upon returning to Nepal. She is Director of Rato Bangala, which runs a Grade 1-12 school, trains teachers, and publishes literature for the young.)

    Signing In, Hospitality

    The GBNC welcomes participants from beyond the Boston area. Please let us know if you need accommodation for the night of Friday, 14 January. Attendance at the workshop is free, but we ask you to register by phone or email. There will be a small charge for those who want to stay for lunch.

    To sign in (and for further information), please contact Sandeep Lama at 617-623-9459
    (slama@bu.edu)or Sachit Rajbanshi at 617.868.8232 (Srajbanshi@aol.com)

    The discussants can be contacted directly at dixitkanak@yahoo.com and shantaji@yahoo.com. More information on the workshop will be available at the Himal Khabarpatrika website at http://www.himalmag.com/pharka.htm

    ******************************************************** From: JSMARTWKS@aol.com Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2000 17:28:48 EST Subject: subscription To: NEPAL-REQUEST@cs.niu.edu

    Hello!

    I am a student at New York University who is very interested in getting a subscription to your magazine. Can you let me know the procedure I need to go through. In addition, I would love to visit Nepal to teach English, do you have any tips?

    Much thanks. Starr

    ************************************************************** Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 17:21:06 -0500 From: Wei Wang <xiaomei@rci.rutgers.edu> To: tnd@nepal.org Subject: (no subject)

    Hi.
          I live in the U.S. and am trying to gather information about thunderstorms in Nepal, and about trains. If you could send some information(that is if you do that) it would be much appreciated.

    Sincerely, Kermie Meng

    ************************************************************* To: tnd@nepal.org Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 15:04:40 -0800 From: "Suren Shakya" <suren.shakya@mailcity.com> Subject: Budhanilkantha graduates

    Hi, I am trying to locate/contact graduates of Budhanilkantha School, especiall the first six batches. The effort is to solicit advise and support to revive SEBS. As a first order of business, locating all graduates would be a good step forward. BNKS alumni are urged to register themselves in the SEBS website at http://www.rajan.com/sebs/index.htm . We are looking forward to having a online meeting and discussion at the end of January. Please spread the word. Thanks.

    ****************************************************************** Date: 13 Jan 2000 12:55:48 -0000 To: List Member <NEPAL@cs.niu.edu> From: "Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal" <AFVsNepal-owner@listbot.com> Subject: AFVs News

    Alternative Fuel Vehicles Nepal

    1. Meeting of Citizens Monitoring Group (CMG)
        Martin Chautari, 13 January 2000
      The Citizens Monitoring Group (CMG) which is conceptualized as one of the components to assist Environmental Sector Program Support program of DANIDA/HMG-Nepal is still in fluid stage. In a meeting organized at the Ministry of Environment and Population (MoPE), representatives of core group of CMG, MoPE's joint secretary, Danish technical advisor of ESPS discussed the activities carried out by the proposed CMG towards the legalization of CMG as a truly representative association of all NGOs involved in environmental sector in Kathmandu. Mr. Amod Pokhrel, co-ordinator of core group highlighted activities taken so far which included rapport building with core group members and outlining of activities of the CMG. Most of the members of core group were in favor of having a loose kind of network whereby the co-ordinator of core group coordinates with MOPE, ESPS and CMG. MoPE's officials however were skeptical about the loose network and insisted that CMG should come as a legal entity in the form of NGO of NGOs. Members of core group expressed that building an NGO of NGOs entails several legal complications and it slows down the progress of work. After a long debate, it was decided that the core group may organize an action plan workshop where various NGOs working in the field of environment will participate. In this workshop, the institutional arrangement of CMG will be discussed and its legal status will be determined.

    2. Legal suit filed against MOPE
     Martin Chautari, 13 January 2000

    In response to the inconsistent notice issued by Ministry of Population and Environment (MOPE) regarding Nepal Vehicle Mass Emission Standard, advocate Krishna Shrestha filed a legal suit in the supreme court of Nepal. The legal suits states that various points of the notice are contradictory and illegal. "Some portions of the notice are also against the spirit of Environmental Protection Act," said Krishna Shrestha.

    3. Workshop by LEADERS Nepal
       Martin Chautari, 13 January 2000

    Come 22 February, Earth day 2000, there will be a global mapping of Nitrous Oxide (NOx) in ambient air. There will be 10,000 samples of NOx concentration collected form Asia alone through Environment NGOs Network of the region. This was announced in a day long workshop on People's Participation in Environment Quality Monitoring Using Easy Method and Tools. The workshop was organized by LEADERS Nepal, an NGO working in air quality, with the help of Japan Environment Corporation.

    N2O is responsible for the global warming. The NOx concentration mapping will serve as a rough indicator of global consumption of fossil fuel. This global mapping will be done by passive sampling method developed by Dr. Kazuo Amaya of Japan. In this method, a simple one in nature, a sampler is exposed in ambient air for an hour. The chemical present in the sample reacts with the NOx present in the ambient air and gives color. Higher the concentration of NOx greater will be the intensity of the color developed in the sampler.

    Welcoming all the participants and guests from Japan Mr. Amod Pokhrel, general secretary of Leaders Nepal stated the grave situation of air pollution in Katmandu. He presented a paper on Presence of Particulate Matter in Kathmandu. He earlier brought attention of Dr. Govinda Bhatta, Secretary of Mope and chief guest of the program towards a news carried the same day by a weekly news paper . The news was about hanky panky believed to be happened during the decision to allow the import of Micro buses, a substitute for ousted Vikram tempo. Mr, Bhatta cleverly declined to answer the question though he earlier promised to clarify the situation.

    As many as nine issue papers were presented in the workshop, mostly by Japanese Scholars. Mr. Sumit Pokhrel of Leaders Nepal highlighted Leaders' involvement in awareness raising campaign initiated at different Colleges.

    The chief guest Mr. Bhatta earlier released Citizen's Report '99 on Air Pollution in the Face of Urbanization. The report was prepared by Leaders Nepal. The report is the outcome of regular air quality monitoring carried out by the NGO. The report also includes report on presence of lead in ambient air in two stations of Kathmandu, namely Jorpati and Putalisadak.

    ****************************************************************** Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 23:01:33 -0600 From: Padam Sharma <psharma@outtech.com> To: Friends and Supporters <ppsharma@yahoo.com> Subject: Adieu Suji..

    About 75 Nepalese and friends of Nepal from the Twin Cities, St. Cloud, Mankato, Moorhead and other communities in Minnesota bid a very dignified and emotional farewell to Suji Suwal Rimal on Saturday, January 8, 2000. Suji’s cremation service was held at Forest Lawn Crematory in St. Paul from 1 to 4 PM. The service included Geeta reading and Pinda-dan ritual by a Hindu priest, chanting of Buddhist hymns, and reading of condolence message from the Royal Nepalese Ambassador, Mr. Damodar Gautam.

    The emotional highlight of the ceremony was readings of letters and poem from Suji’s grieving parents, father Surya Suwal and mother Shreemila Suwal.

    I am writing this letter to thank each one of you who supported the effort of Minnesota Nepali community to organize a dignified memorial service for Suji. I specially recognize the efforts of volunteers who participated in fund raising and other arrangements for Suji’s cremation service. This crisis has touched all our hearts and it brought together Nepali individuals and communities from Minnesota and elsewhere in the United States.

    Many questions remain about this tragic event that has devastated two loving families in Nepal. Evidence to be presented in the court during Rakesh’s upcoming trial, and Rakesh’s own recount (if any) of the event will perhaps shed some more light on what happened between the two and why Suji had to give her life.

    This tragedy awakens us to the dangers of battering and abuse Nepali women suffer from their own male partners and relatives. As I said before, funds in excess of the cremation cost will be utilized to initiate ‘Suji’s First Call for Help’ crisis intervention and peer support program for Nepali individuals and families settling in different communities in the Americas. We are also open to alternative suggestions to best memorialize Suji’s life.

    Till today, your contributions to Suji Rimal Benefit Account have reached about $2500 which is $500 in excess of the cost of cremation. We, along with Suji’s parents in Nepal, would greatly appreciate if you continue to donate to the Suji Rimal Benefit Account, Empower Nepal Foundation, 2000 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108.

    We could not save Suji while she was alive. Let her sacrifice and spirit help us develop a community support network so others get a chance to live, and help each other live, a longer and fulfilling life.

    Learn to give and share not to ask and tear The more you do unselfishly The more you live abundantly Love all, then you'll find Life good and friends of best kind.
                        ..... a poem from Suji’s notes

    Thank you for your overwhelming support. Minnesota Nepali Community January 13, 2000.

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