Ever since I was a child, I was told that I was very lucky to be citizen of my country. I was told that my pride for my country should be the greatest and that I should hold my patriotism close to my heart. It was like they wanted to inject patriotism in our blood even before we would be able to fathom what patriotism was really about. While growing up, every conversation I had would put up questions about what my country was to me. With every “Be proud that our country was never ruled by a foreign country”; every “Be proud that Buddha was born in Nepal”; every “We have the highest peak. We’re a great country”; every “We’re the second richest country in water resources”; every “We have one of the richest cultures in the world”; every “be proud of your country” brought up a sense of doubt in me.
I know I suffered through shortsightedness for most of my life but I’ve seen my country in a way most people haven’t. With whatever I see happening right now, I don’t see the point of patriotism we’ve been injected with all our lives. Every conversation I have about my country makes the point of patriotism fainter and fainter.
“We have a theoritical hydroelectricity capacity of 83000 Megawatts but we don’t use it” – I don’t see the point.
“We need to preserve our superstitions because that’s our identity” – I don’t see the point.
“We need 601 people to write a fucking constitution which 10 of my friends could have written for free” – I don’t see the point.
“One of the oldest library gets burned down and fades away as a news article” – I don’t see the point.
“Someone slaughters the royal family and THAT fades away as a news article” – I don’t see the point.
“Let’s make the world’s largest flag to show our patriotism” – I don’t see the point.
“We need to spend money to SHOW other countries that we’re developing instead of actually developing” – I don’t see the point.
“They say that our country’s youth is our strength but there are no opportunities” – I don’t see the point.
“The ministers in this country are a sneeze away from dying from old age” – I don’t see the point.
“My friends are applying for VISA just to get out of the country they are proud of” – I don’t see the point.
“We have the highest peak in the world and we should be proud of it” – I don’t see the point.
“Our ancestors united this country. Let’s bask in their glory” – I don’t see the point.
“Let’s take out a rally to show how much we’re proud of our country” – I don’t see the point.
“I wish tomorrow was a strike so that I wouldn’t have to go to school” – I don’t see the pont
My grade seven Social Studies teacher used to make us mug up a list of things that would fit most answers in exams.
1. Lack of clean drinking water
2. Lack of transportation
3. Lack of a stable government
4. Lack of electricity
5. Lack of education
6. Lack of health services
7. Lack of proper communication
8. Lack of skilled manpower
“Nepal lacks everything we need to develop this country” -he would say. “Just mug it up and you will get good marks in exams”. The same teacher would come back the next day to teach history and make us mug up all the great things Nepal has achieved and how we should be proud of ourselves for it. And I’m caught between telling that my country is shit and saying that I’m proud for our achievements. I’m caught between seeing my friends waiting in line to fill in the abroad citizenship form and still saying that the youth is the power of our country. I’m caught between people saying that we should be proud that Buddha was born in Nepal and never seeing them follow his teachings. I’m caught between seeing people respect the Leaders of other countries while never wanting to become one for their own country.
And I go in shock; being unable to find a way out; looking for a solution to a population brainwashed from early childhood. And all you think I’m doing is complaining. Well, it’s the only thing I’ve been taught to do.