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?

1 comment:

chankhe said...

Hi there.
Very interesting comments.
As a Nepali visiting Denmark for work frequently, can I give you some observations on similarities between Nepalipan and Danishpan.
You may have not noticed it, but Danes (mostly the male of the species, but sometimes the females as well)have a habit of making a hiccup like sound when they speak. Unlike a usual hiccup, this hiccup tends to accompanied by a strange whistling inwards noise. The more serious the conversation gets, the deeper gets the hiccup, and longer is the whistle.
It is as irritating as the sound of a Nepali clearing his throat, believe me.
And by the way, on overtaking and jumping the queue, I'm not sure Danes are far behind us.
Why do I always get someone always cut ahead of me in Copenhagen airport immigration queue? And have you tried driving around in Denmark with foreign number plates. You will get honked at and overtaken - sometimes very dangerously. However, if you are driving a car with Danish numberplates, people driving around you suddenly become very polite and considerate.
And whatabout all those Danes puffing at their pipes, poisoning the air in the streets of Copenhagen with their pungent second hand smoke.
Bottomline - Nepalis are not so unique in the qualities you allude to. Danes may be richer, and their streets may be cleaner, and they may have bigger fines for not following the traffic rules, but when an opportunity arises, and no one is watching, Danes can be equally "free spirited" as the Nepalese.
Hope you enjoy your stay in Nepal.