I don’t know why I love the Newari language so much. Somewhere deep down, there exists a Newar person inside me. Though I do not belong to the Newar community, I like its culture and way of life. I believe that it is one of the most beautiful races in our country. Their art, craft, culture, tradition and above all, entrepreneurial skills, are their main virtues. Each one of them is gifted in their chosen field because of which I personally rate them as ‘first class’ citizens. However, there is an even better class known as Jyapus. They are the agricultural experts of their community and the best organic vegetable producers of the Kathmandu Valley. The trend of growing organic vegetables is also being followed in the Western world. The Jyapus’ customers also include foreigners. But then let’s not forget who’s teaching the harmful use of chemical fertilisers in the fields?

However, this special class people’s profession is on the wane these days, as they tend to look for alternative jobs to keep pace with the so-called modern world. These Jyapus should be recognised and rewarded for their contribution to society. In fact, the correct pronunciation is Jyayaphus — the ‘can do’ people who are obsessed with their work. Over the years, the word Jyayaphu was distorted as Jyapu. But whatever the pronunciation, their main character trait remains the same. The Jyapus do not need the inputs from the outside world to do what they have been doing so successfully for centuries. After all, what can go wrong with a person for whom work is worship?

But why are there so many ‘can’t do’ people in Nepal? Shouldn’t our good-for-nothing fellows and job shirkers take a cue from them? For generations this community has been literally busy, from dawn to dusk, providing services to the society. We should remember that the best, healthiest and tastiest vegetables are a result of the sweat and toil of these very people. They continue to use their traditional organic farming methods. Isn’t it time we shunned our lethargic ways and emulated the workaholic characteristics of Jyapus for whom work is worship.