The recipe, or say secret recipe, for a healthy family, and for a successful community is to trust, empower, and enhance the skills of women/housewives. This is not just an assumption, but the fact, and one of the references (example) I am attaching hereby is from two distinct communities, where housewives (now successful entrepreneurs of their own) proved that if equal opportunities were given to the women/housewives they could handle the family, and at the same time they will operate a ‘successful’ business.
A few years ago, a revolutionary wave broke out in the Panauti city, where housewives took an initiative of establishing Homestay Project, operating the homestay business from their very own houses. However, then they were not mentally and financially stable and, most importantly, they did not have any training or ideas about operating any businesses. Husband of Shila Amatya (Mrs. Amatya is now the president of Panauti Community Homestay) paid his visit to Royal Mountain Travel (RMT) with the concept of the homestay project in Panauti, which is to be led by women and housewives. RMT promised to help such motivated women from Panauti, and why not? RMT did recommend and sent guests (tourists) to visit women-led Homestays for authentic Nepalese hospitality, but converting any guest into a happy guest would, totally, depend upon their authentic hospitality. From the very first customers to till this date, there’s only one complaint being heard, “Wish we could stay longer.” Guests loved everything about the Homestay in Panauti. They loved the family, hospitality, participation of women, Newari food (of course), and mostly they loved cooking with the host family.
On April 2015, when the earthquake was drowning the entire Nepal in a pool of sadness, especially Bhaktapur and surroundings, a few alike groups of women from Barauli paid their visit to Panauti Community Homestay. These women were all dressed up in their beautiful authentic Tharu dress, and they were, likewise, housewives/entrepreneurs of Barauli Community Homestay from Chitwan. Chitwan didn’t get as affected by April’s earthquake. But, the only reason for women from Barauli Community Homestay to pay their visit in Panauti is because they were inspired, and motivated by the initiation of women from Panauti, for establishing (their) similar kind of community (Tharu) homestay in their “very own” houses. Barauli Community Homestay is driven by the same clockwork as of Panauti Community Homestay. Guests love to accommodate within the essence of Tharu culture; they also love the Tharu dance, humble and local hospitality, the participation of women/housewives (mostly), and cooking with the host family. As a token of friendship and sympathy – a visit from Barauli, reciprocally, also influenced and encouraged the women from Panauti. During their stay, they shared their experiences, ideas, and sorrows with each other. Here I remember a quote from Karen Blixen, “All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.”
After the 6 months of the event, that is to say, the visit from women of Barauli to Panauti; now as a payback, women from Panauti is travelling to Barauli. There wasn’t any big festival or event, or any other major reasons to travel miles, but simply to express their symbol gratitude for the previous visit. There were laughs, stories, foods, and many laughs. To witness such a cultural exchange between two distinct communities, not only as being two individual organisations, but more as of friends, more as of confidence to each other, which is – indeed – a golden opportunity, and a vacant platform for minimizing the distance between multiple communities of Nepal, which is just allocated by kilometers.
Once only limited to households, these women are now enjoying the success of entrepreneurship and independence. Such movement and activities lights only one conclusion, Nepal is changing and changing for good.