Thursday, June 28, 2007


I just saw this little article in a newspaper and found it worth sharing:


To be Nepali, you need Nepalipan. But what constitutes nepalipan? What is this thing? Talking over with friends on evening we agreed that, in this age of globalization, cuisine, lifestyle and even dress code are becoming uniform, and so cannot hold the essence of nepalipan. We concluded the following: nepalipan is a set of unique characteristics that cannot be found in others. These are typical ways of being that do not change. These are some of the behaviours that we see as constituting nepalipanÆ

Hawking: Nepalis will noisily clear their throats at all times – while brushing, washing up, after a meal, and old time. No one can work their phlegm like a Nepali

Spitting: Everyone spits. But unlike all the rest, Nepalis do it in all places and at all times.

Smoking and riding: Lightning a cigarette and then zooming off on your motorcycle is definitely an indicator of nepalipan. But pedaling a bicycle and synchronously puffing away is an even more fundamental part of nepalipan.

Honking: Every vehicle has a horn that has to be used at times. But Nepali hand work a horn near-incessantly.

Queue-jumping: The English taught the world how to wait in line. But Nepal has never been colonized and we refuse to follow that English teach. To cut in line is not rudeness here, it´s a cunning move.

Overtaking: the free Nepali spirit does not care whether this is done from left or right

Hurrying: Who isn´t rushing about these days? But while others dash around with purpose, Nepalis, uniquely, do it with none. We shove other people while walking for example, and don´t even talk about motorbikes – ever seen on that can idle for a minute?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A year older...

...and also this year it was celebrated outside Denmark and far from family and old friends. But luckily, I have a bunch of new friends who were more than willing to celebrate just the way I like it.

Saturday I had a big party on my roof top:

Monday I got Tika, cake and presents on MS country office in Kathmandu:

Monday evening I had dinner with friends on a really nice restaurant in Kathmandu:

And now I am a year older……which was felt Tuesday morning!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Memory lane

This is not my first time in South Asia and my last two holidays were actually spent going down memory lane.

Annapurna Circuit
Now you cannot live in Nepal without a trip to the Himalayas. Last time I visited Nepal I went on the Annapurna Circuit – a 21 day trek crossing a mountain pass in 5.416 meters. This April I went on the Circuit once again. It was still a wonderful trip but a bit different this time partly because I was there late in the year and because road construction is taking place in many parts of the trek – yes, it is hard to stop that development. Still, an amazing trip that I really enjoyed – I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Dhaka round-trip
Due to an exceptionally cheap plane ticket and some friends left in town I went to Dhaka, Bangladesh for a few days of R & R. It was great to see the city and the friends again. People had gotten married – some willingly and others not – and babies had arrived. I also made it just in time for a going-away-party, so it seemed like last minute I came back. I will share only one (out of the three) pictures from my trip: one of a happy and long anticipated moment where I have some delicious sushi.

Monday, June 04, 2007

A week at DWO

Though I spent much time behind the desk still, some time is spent on different activities with our women groups. Some of which can be quite long –especially in this heat and everything being in Nepali – but mostly it is just great to get to spent time with the women I work for and try to support in their battle for a better future for them and their family.

This week has been particularly full of meetings and programmes so much that it deserves a spot in the blog:

Nepals first Dalit women co-operative

DWO Bankes women groups have just formed and registered the first Dalit women co-operative in Nepal. In this connection, a General Assembly was in order with the 70 members and special guest (including me) participating. There was election for the board and lots of speeches followed by some fun, joking and snacks. It all ended with the mandatory group photo in front of the office. PMC meeting
I most development organisations in Nepal a PMC – Programme Management Committee – exists and of course DWO is no exception. Every quarter there is a meeting where the different activities are being discussed. The PMC consists of different representatives from staff and board as well as 4 members from our women groups. It is a good forum for them to influence our and it is part of their responsibility to visit the many women groups to get their comments on our work especially the training we provide to them. During this weeks meeting there were several things to be discussed amongst these the newly signed 3-year partnership agreement between DWO and MS Nepal. The PMC needed to be informed of the details of the agreement and the next years (2064) activities and budget. The agreement was thoroughly studied by the group members (see pix) and we received several comments. Since we just started ten new groups the "old" groups were a bit unhappy with the huge amount of training given to "the new ones". On top of this we were told not to arrange any training during June and July, since these are the months were the women are most busy in the paddy field planting rice.

After this discussion it was no time to elect new members for the PMC. It is a sough after spot for these women, since it gives prestige and influence on the work of DWO. There were many discussions and deal made here and there; some would only support ones, if promised their support in next years election etc. I tried to mediate the process but the women were doing just fine.

Visit to a women's group
I very often go to visit our women groups and the visit mostly follow the same pattern, so here are the main features:
Welcome Tika and discussion in the group
(you can read about Tika elsewhere on this blog)

Informal talk with villagers (I am not exactly
able to "disappear in the crowd" and just
leave after a visit)

Moving things from the road so the car
can get through....
Having snacks with the colleagues discussing the group visit