a classic Nepali moment


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Asia » Nepal » Kathmandu » Hadigaon
April 26th 2008
Published: April 26th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

My didi is coming over to watch The L Word with me tonight. She was looking at a DVD I have called, “The Best 2007 Bluck African Movies Seuson,” which is a collection of 16 movies about or staring black men. On the cover are some African men dressed only in loin clothes, so she was laughing about that. So I showed her the cover of the The L Word, which has all of the female characters naked but strategically hidden by the title.

I could see the mischief in her eyes. Turns out her and her husband have a tiny DVD player, so she wanted to borrow some DVDs. At first she was interested in the collection of black films, but once I showed her The L Word she wanted that one. I explained to her the best I could in Nepali that The L Word is about lesbians—just so she was prepared. At first she said she wouldn’t allow the children to watch, then she said after the electricity comes back on today she’s just going to come back to my house to watch it.

These are the moments I love in Nepal.

Last night her husband was talking to me about Haiti (they pronounce it Hi-Tee). At first I didn’t even know what “Hi-Tee” meant, but then I figured it out. I still didn’t understand what he was talking about—something about the food riots. Today Sita told me he is going to Haiti next month for a few weeks for work with the Colonel, I think. I think they are especially excited because it is close to the U.S., because they keep asking me how far away it is. Anyway, Sita was explaining to me that the people on the cover of the movie were the same color as people in Haiti, and that sometimes she sees these people on television. She told me the Nepali word for them (which I cannot remember), and asked me what the word is in English. I explained that a lot of people of that skin color live in Africa, Haiti, and even in the U.S.

You rarely see a dark-skinned person in Nepal, so Nepalis are often fascinated by them. And unfortunately, they know very little about them besides what they see on TV, which is often a negative portrayal. Who knows, maybe my interest in people of color and lesbians will show the few Nepalis I come into contact with that there is nothing abnormal about them.

In other news, I saw about 5 goats riding on top of a bus yesterday among other luggage. I don’t know how they ever managed to get them up there, but there were flying through the streets with an upstairs view. That’s got to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen during my time here—that and the couple carrying a live goat on a motorbike through rush hour traffic.


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24th July 2008

Black people
I laughed when reading the reactions Sita had about black people! I am african and I live in Kathmandu, and everyday people are staring at me!! It's sad because it seems that all they know about Africa is negative:war, hunger, misery, HIV, etc... It's even worse when I go to some places where people don't have TV, so they've never seen someone with a dark skin! But what I find funny is that some Nepali have very dark skin!Especially in the low lands, but still, they are always staring at me!! ke garne!

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