I knew that my life here in Nepal would be different than in the U.S. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of learning for me. The biggest thing that has happened here in Nepal is they passed their first Democratic constitution. The king of Nepal was disposed in 2008 as Maoist rebels had been slowly closing in on the capital. For years there was fighting and unrest. After the king left, the Maoists became a political party and an interim Constituent Assembly was formed to write what would become the constitution of the country. Seven years and many squabbles later a constitution has been passed. It was a day of celebrating in our colony as many have wanted a law so the country could move forward. The street to our colony was lined with lights and some women cooked Gulaab Jaamun for the community.
In the midst of the constitution being passed there has still be people unhappy with it. People in certain ethnic groups feel underrepresented and feel they may be treated poorly. There is a long history of unfair treatment at the heart of this issue. This is at least my understanding as an outsider trying to figure out the going-ons of its host country.
As with many countries, the regions of Nepal are divided and have a strong history of animosity towards different ethnic people. People, this a mountainous country and it is just a lot of hard work to get from one place to another. There are 110 distinct language spoken in Nepal! They have tried to fairly create some district boundaries in the midst of this.
As an American our constitution has been around for many years and it is held up as the law of the land. Living here has made me wonder, how did the people of the new America feel about their constitution? Did they feel it was fair? How did they deal with dissent? What was considered the majority? What were the major issues of their day? I'm sure some of these questions could be answered, but some may be harder to find. These are the stories less told, but may hold some wisdom for today.
In the midst of all this the border to India has had unrest. The Nepali side is trying to talk to the dissenting parties about how to come to a reasonable conclusion. From all the news I am reading there is an unofficial embargo of fuel and other products from India. In the past 5 days only about 50 petrol tankers have been allowed into the country. You can google the news, but the reality is it affects us. We are going on our 6th day of fuel rationing. Private vehicles are no longer allowed to get petrol and our area is out of cooking gas. Any airplane that comes to the valley has to have enough fuel to return to their country as there is no aviation fuel left.
I have been able to have good conversations with my kids about trade embargos, why you diversify your trade partners and why seaports are so important. Real life learning, heh? As the city slowly comes to a standstill waiting for petrol to come, we have tried to walk around our area and find places to enjoy. For a country who lives day to day this only further increases their burden. Here are some pictures from our area and a bit of the life here.
Bless this guys heart. I blew out my sewing machine, dang 220, so he graciously finished my coasters.
Until next time!