For years, Nepal has played friendly host to tourist, trekkers and mountaineers without shying away from opening new trails and routes to scenic destinations for the world! Many come back to re-visit the country and some stay back for personal and social reasons.
It’s the people of Nepal. I’ve heard many say, “Nepalese are the friendliest people I’ve known,” “their hospitality is genuine,” “they’re very generous and warm hearted”… these phrases say a lot about the inhabitants of this tiny nation.
Nepal’s population of 27 million, and counting, is made up of ethnicities that are diverse in culture, language, tradition and religion but each of them wears Nepal’s signature expressions of humility, helpfulness and hospitality. It’s like a badge of honor that one can recognize from the time they enter the country. A cheerful lot that is ever eager to play the perfect host, Nepalese always place the comfort of their guests before themselves. If you’ve made a friend in Nepal, you’ve made one for life.
The people of Nepal have had their share of political turmoil in their recent history but that hasn’t stopped them from hoping for better days. Even during the darkest times, you will still hear the temple bells ring, the shops open shutters and the hawkers shout out to sell their wares. The country has taken a beating on the political front but that hasn’t stopped the common man from spreading his positive energy through patience and optimism. What Nepal goes through has never once interfered in the rendering of a kind smile to a foreign visitor or offering to give directions to a lost stranger.
April 25, 2015 changed the contours of this little Himalayan kingdom. It shook the nation and broke down walls. It stole many precious lives and robbed the country of its heritage monuments. A loss so great, it was hard to keep up the smiles and keep down the sobs. Struck twice, the people mourned the departed and united to start all over again. The grieving survivors wiped their tears and got down to working tirelessly around the clock. There was no time to waste or wait around for machinery. They leaned on each other as they pulled out survivors from the rubble and performed the last rites for the victims. Volunteers grouped to collect and distribute food in places that were hard to reach. They overcame hurdles with the bureaucracy and went ahead to do what humanity can do at its best. Help from the international community came in various sizes, packages and professions. While casualties rose with each passing day, the volunteers and the Nepalese broke their backs to ensure that no stone was left unturned in the hope of saving one more life.
Century- old structures have been brought down. The mountains have moved. Many have lost their loved ones. Tears have been shed, sorrows shared. The nation and its people have withstood the worst natural calamity it has seen in decades. Yet the shops have opened their shutters, the hawker calls out his wares, the temple bells ring most fervently. The people of Nepal are moving on for they need to put those bricks back together, re-cement their hopes and believe that a stronger nation will emerge from this traumatizing experience.
They are ready to build a stronger Nepal. They are ready to welcome visitors and play gracious host again. Are you ready to visit Nepal? Visit Nepal for there is no country like this one!
**Name of the author is Kesang Kansakar, who currently lives in Bangalore.**