LETTERS: Nepali travellers
Apropos of the news “Outbound Nepalis spend more than foreign visitors to Nepal” (THT, December 26, Page 1), this perhaps explains why foreign airlines are adding new services and increasing their frequencies to and from Kathmandu.
Twenty-five years ago you would see only a few Nepali faces at the Tribhuvan International Airport, but today Nepalese swamp the foreigners. This also explains why many inbound travel agencies are downsizing or shifting to manpower and consultancies and shutting down their shops completely. Most inbound travel companies complain that it is difficult to make ends meet by handling cheap foreign tourists. Some of them have gone into outbound or domestic inbound. It also perhaps explains the change in heart of countries that stamp visa liberally to students and certain travellers without insisting too much on home ties.
Then there are instances of Nepalese paying bribe of Rs. 6,000 per head for entry into a powerful European country. So all these make Nepali travellers a good bargain and keep them in demand. Scores of restaurants at Thamel and millions of bottles of premium foreign liquors are all supported and drunk by Nepalese. It is one of the mysteries of the 21st century where and how Nepalese have stumbled upon riches to spend so freely.
Then there are pilot aspirants who are willing to foot huge bills, as much as a karod, which endear them to the flying clubs in countries like the Philippines. Poor Nepalese are indeed going places and spending too!
Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu
I am writing this to underscore the fact that Christmas has become the global dominant festival so its influence in Nepal is greatly felt. I am not opposing this trend but feel sad when Nepalese Christians remain aloof from being cohesive to other religious denominations mainly to Hinduism in Nepal’s context. I have friends who have converted into Christianity who have very dogmatic principles of life. They do not want to assimilate with our festival such as Dipawali and Dashain.
They think this is the breach of their religious tenets. I am very flabbergasted for what makes people to turn their back on others. Religion should not be the wall to divide the society. Equally, what is also important to note is that many converted Christians now feel free to observe their religion in a predominantly Hindu society after the country was declared secular where every religion or faith has a place with equal respect. Before the country was declared a secular State, the Christians did not use to get public holidays and head of state and the government did not use to extend public greetings on the occasion of Merry Christmas.
Beauty of the new constitution is that it has given due respect to all religions and faiths from the State, political parties and even the civil society. It shows that people of different faiths can live peacefully and harmoniously.
Shiva Neupane, Mebourne