There are many ways of defining a nation, and Nepal's had a harder time than most in recent times. The sheer diversity of Nepali identities, with the suffocating aura of the Shah crown now dissipated, looks to burst the country at the seams. Still, it's nice to know there are certain things that unite us still, high and low. It's a list, and by its very nature will be incomplete and debatable. Which is why Nepali Kukur is inviting its readers to dig deep into their collective memories and ask, "What do Nepali people like?" Momos to mountains, hating India, loving India, speechifying, singing and spitting, let the series begin.
Hawking and spitting
"Khaaaak-thook!" How many times do you hear this a day? Perhaps the most disgusting of our physical tics, hawking and spitting may have been tolerable in the open spaces of our hills and valleys and plains but in the city streets, it should go the same way as blowing-nose-into-fingers-and-wiping-on-lamp-post seems to be going out of fashion. Sometimes it seems we hawk and spit as a sort of a segue between activities, in much the same way Americans say 'like' to link sentences. The argument that it's more hygienic to let it all out rather than use a piece of tissue and carry it around doesn't really hold as far as those around you are concerned.
Telling folks they've gained/lost weight
Forcing you to eat
It doesn't matter if you've just had lunch. Your aunt will still force two rasbaris, a bowl of yoghurt and a cup of tea on you. If you try to resist, she'll pull out some reference in the scriptures to the sin that will visit her if you leave empty-stomached. In the meantime, if you're not otherwise engaged, everyone present will
Exhort you to get married
Apparently there is a season in life for everyone, vegetable-stylee, to be picked off the shelves. Woe befall those who do not heed the call of Father Time. For anyone who knows one of The Unheeding, however distantly, it is a duty most solemn to impress, ad nauseam, how important it is that you yoke yourself to another, bullock-stylee, to plough the merry fields of life.
Hating India, loving India
Calling white people racist
It's probably in the same vein that we like to blame white people for all the rest that's wrong in the world. They're arrogant, self-centred and racist, confirm the more hemmed-in Nepali diaspora, even as they aspire to be just like their hosts. What could be more racist?
Stuff Nepali People Like will be an ongoing series. Comment is free at www.nepalitimes.com/blogs/nepalikukur/