Culture crisis

At a time when Nepalis do not seem to harbour much respect for their traditional values, culture and languages, the Newar non-resident Nepalis, during a function held to mark the 27th Nepal Bhasa Sahitya Ta Munjaya in Bhaktapur, have expressed their commitment to support the ongoing movement to protect and promote their language and tradition.It would be premature to predict the outcome of their sudden enthusiasm.The leaders of these communities have not shown interest in the implementation of such commitments in the past, which could have gone a long way in protecting their cultural identities. The Constitution of 1990, in order to protect the identities of the various cultural groups in Nepal, made new beginnings, including the provision to impart education up to the primary level in their respective mother tongues.

It is sad that this commitment was nowhere to be found among the practitioners of any language or culture, particularly among leaders of the cultural movements. As a result, though the citizens retained their right to protect and promote their languages little effort was made in that regard other than certain politicians making political capital out of these issues to further their narrow interests. Moreover, people preferred to send their children to English-medium schools as far as possible, where they learnt western culture instead of their own. Therefore, the current commitment of Newar NRNs should also be judged by whether it is put into practice or not.