My experience with 9 canadian women trekkers

women\'s trek for peace and development

उकाली ओराली गर्दै

खोला नदी सागर तर्दै

दुख पीडा बिसर्ँदै म आँए

आफ्नै गाँउ फर्कि आँए



स्थायी घर म्याग्दी जिल्ला नभए पनि त्याहाँको डाँडा पाखा हिडँ्दा सोनु निगमको यो गीत म खुब गुन्गुनाउथेँ । सँगसँगै हिडेका क्यानाडियन महिलाहरु गीतको धुन मन परेको भन्दै रचना अनुवाद गर्न अनुरोध गर्दथे । टुटेफुटेको अङ्ग्रेजी मिलाउदैँ अनुवाद गरेर सुनाउँथे । मैले गीत गुन्गुनाएको सुनेर उनीहरुलाई पनि गीत गाउनुपर् यो रे । गाउ न त भन्दा उनीहरुले आफ्नै ठाँउको पारा ल्याईहाले । म्याग्दीका बासिन्दाको कष्टकर जीवन देखेका उनीहरुले आफ्नै मुलुककी गायिका अभि्रल लभिग्नीको ुलाईफ ईज सो कमप्लिकेटेटु गाएर ।

ुशान्ति र विकासका लागि महिला पदयात्राु कार्यक्रम मार्फत जाने विभिन्न उमेरका महिला बेग्ला बेग्लै क्षेत्र संग आबद्व थिए । ९ क्यानाडियन महिला संग गरिएको दश दिने म्याग्दी भ्रमणमा थुप्रै कुरा सिक्ने र थाहा भएका केही कुरा सिकाउने मौका मिलेको थियो । मेरो लागि पहिलोपटक थियो विदेशी महिला संग यति लामो समय संगै बिताएको । पहिला पहिला उनीहरुको कति कुरा नोैलो लागे पनि पदयात्रामा संगै

हिड्न थालेपछि सबै स्वभाविक लाग्न थाल्यो ।

एक वर्ष अघि रोल्पामा गरेको १५ दिने पदयात्रा कार्यक्रममा मलाई खासै नौलो कुरा महसुस भएको थिएन । तर अहिले परिस्थिति पनि त्यस्तै पर्न आयो कि एकातिर घरधन्दामा व्यस्त भई पिठ्युमा बच्चा च्यापदै गरेका विकासोन्मुख देशका नेपाली महिला थिए भने अर्कोतिर विकसित देशका सक्षम महिलाहरु ।

क्यानेडियनमा आएको नेपालीपन

पहिला पहिला चिसो पानी छोए पनि बिरामी होइएला भन्ने उनीहरु पछि भने थकाई मार्दा खोलाको किनारामा गएर जुक्ता खोली खुट्टा पानीमा डुबाएर बस्थे । धारा आउने बित्तिकै पुरै टाउको चुर्लुम्म भिजाँउथे । नेपाली पदयात्रीमा पोर्टरहरु बाहेक थ्री सिस्टस्र की डिक्कि दिदी फेकोफनकी जेनी दिदी र म मात्र थियौँ । हामीहरुको साझा भाषा अङ्ग्रेजी थियो । चिसो पानी माथि उनीहरुले पारेको नखरालाई हामी तीन नेपाली भाषामा कुरा गथ्योै्र । सायद उनीहरु पनि हामी संग चित्त नबुझेको कुरा फे्रन्चमा नै भन्थे हालान् ।

चौरखानीका आमासमुह स्थानीय खाना बनाउदैँ

क्यानेडियनहरु पहिला पहिला खाना तयार भए पछि कुनबेला खाएर सुत्न जाँउ भन्ने गर्थे । चौरखानीमा आमा समुहले हामीलाई सिस्नुको साग मकैको च्याँखला फापरको रोटी कोदोको ढिडो खुवाएका थिए । साथै गरिबीमा पि_िल्सएका उनीहरुले हामीलाई नुन घ्यू र सिल्टिमुर हालेर बनाएको चिया खुवाएका थिए । यो चियालाई विदेशीहरुले हर्बल टि भन्दै स्वाद लिई लिई पिए । त्यसैबेला देखि अरुलाई खुवाउन पाँउदाको खुसी गाँउलेमा देखेका विदेशीहरुले हामी नेपाली पदयात्री नै छक्क पार्ने गरी कहिले को त कहिले को आज मेरो खाना सर्भ गर्ने पालो भन्थे । एकदिन राति खाना खादाँ पहिला चाहिँ आफैँ मात्रै खाना खाँउ भन्ने अहिले चाहिँ किन नी यस्तो भन्ने प्रश्नमा उनीहरुले एक मुख भएर उत्तर दिएका थिए ुहामीमा पनि अरुलाई ख्वाएर मात्रै आफु खाँउ भन्ने नेपालीपन ल्याउन खोजेको नि ।ु साच्चै नै दश दिनमा उनीहरुले थुप्रै नेपाली शब्द र दुई वटा नेपाली गीत पनि जसोतसो गाउन सक्ने भएका थिए । रेशम फिरिरिको साथै कुईने गाँउमा स्वागत गर्दा स्थानीय महिलाले गाएको

घर कहाँ हो मायाको

त्यही पर खोला मािथ

जीवन हाम्रो गाह्रो यहाँको

रमाईलो पानी मायाले

पनि जेनतेन गाउन सक्ने भएका थिए । यो गीतको लय साह्रै मनपराएकी क्यामेरा वमनडेबारा भ्यान्सलेटले स्थानीय महिला जम्मा पारी गीत रेकर्ड गरेर लगिन् । अग्ली डेबोराले क्यामेरा काँधमा भिरेर बाहिर निस्किदाँ बच्चाहरु वरिपरि झुम्म हुन्थे । एक दिन टेन्टबाट उनी संगै बाहिर निस्किदाँ बच्चाहरु वरिपरि बसेका थिए । मैले उनीहरुलाई के हेरेको बाबु भनेर सोधेँ उनीहरुले मै माथि प्रतिप्रश्न गरे ुदिदी यो गाडी जस्तै छ यहाँ कसरी गुड्छु मैले झट्ट विजय कुमार पाण्डेले जुम्लामा पहिलोपटक गाडी देखेका बच्चाहरुलाई गाडी कस्तो हुदाँेरहेछ भनेर सोधेको प्रश्न सम्झिएँ । टेन्टलाई देखाएर त्यहाँका बच्चाहरुले सोधेको प्रश्नले म अवाक् भएको थिएँ । यी सबै कुराहरुलाई उताबाट डेबोराले आफ्नो क्यामरामा कैद गरिरहेकी थिईन् ।


स्थानीय महिला संग नाच्दै रोजे

रोजे नेपालीमा उनको नाउको अर्थ शित हुनेरहेछ गएकै दिनदेखि स्थानिय लोक सङ्गितबाट मोहित भएकी थिईन् । समाज सेवामा स्नातत्तोतर गर्दै गरेकी उनलाई नेपाली लोक गीत सङ्गीतले निकै लोभ्याएको थियो । म्याग्दी जिल्लामा भ्रमण गरेको विभिन्न दश गाउँमा नै हामीलाई रातो अबिरको टिका फुलमाला खादा विभिन्न स्थानीय गीत सङ्गीतले गाँउलेहरुले स्वागत गरेका थिए । यात्राको तेस्रो दिन हामी चिमखोला गा।बि।समा बास बस्न गएका थियौं । हामी आउने थाहा पाएका उनीहरु हाम्रो स्वागतको लागि स्थानीय बाजा सहित एक कोष टाढा पुगेका थिए । हामी पुगेको साँझ उनीहरुले ३ घण्टे साँस्कुतिक कार्यक्रमको साथै घरेलु सामानको प्रदर्शनि पनि देखाएका थिए । चिमखोलाको विशेषता रहेको थाली नाँच देखाए पछिको अन्तिम गीतमा उनीहरु आफू मात्र नाचेनन् विदेशि महिलालाई पनि नचाएका थिए । नाँच गानमा ठुलो सौखिन रोजेले पदयात्रा सकेर हामी फर्किए पछि भनेकी थिईन् नेपालमा बिस्रन नसकिने कुरा भनेकै स्थानीय गाँउले संगै नाचे र गाएको क्षण हो ।


चिम खोलामा देखाईएको साँस्कृतिक कार्यक्रम

दग्नाममा स्थानीय महिलाहरुले आफैँले बुनेको झोला उपहार स्वरुप हामी सबै पदयात्रीलाई दिदाँ रोजे निकै बेर रोएकी थिईन् । त्यही क्षण उनले भनेकी थिईन् ुगरिबीमा पनि सधैँ मुस्कुराउने अनुहार अन्य कुनै देशमा पाउन सकिदैँन ।

ब्वाईप्रुेन्डको झट्का

पदयात्रा कार्यक्रमकी प्रवक्ताको साथै पच्चिस वर्ष देखि पत्रकारीता क्षेत्रमा रहेकी जोजेले एकदिन कुईने गाँउमा म संग नेपाल र नेपालीका ’boutमा थुप्रै कुरा सोधेकी थिईन् । नेपाली महिलाको जीबन शैली देखेर साँस्कृतिक रुपमा झट्का पाएको महसुस गरेकी उनले मैले पनि कतै आफुहरुबाट त्यसतो केही पाएकी छु कि भनेर सोधेकी थिईन् । म उनीहरुको दुईवटा कुराले साच्चैको कल्चुरल सकमा परेको थिएँ । एउटा त पन्ध्र÷सोह्र वर्ष कै उमेरमा परिवार संग अलगिएर बस्ने एक्लो स्वतन्त्र जिवन थियो भने अर्को उनीहरुले छोटो समय मै परिवर्तन गरिरहने ब्वाईफे्रन्ड । नौ क्यानाडियन मध्य पनि जोजे ब्वाईफे्रन्ड बदलिरहने प्रतिस्पर्धामा सबैभन्दा अगाडी थिइन् । पन्ध्र वर्षे उमेरमा ४५ वर्षे आफ्नो फिलोसोफी शिक्षकलाई ब्वाईफ्रेन्ड बनाएकी उनलाई त्यो बेला शिक्षकले ब्लादीमीर नाबोकोवद्धारा लेखिएको विश्व विख्यात उपन्यास ुलोलिताु पढ्नको लागि सल्लाह दिएका थिए रे । त्यसपछि उनलाई अहिले सम्म कतिवटा ब्वाईफे्रन्ड भए भन्ने कुरा नै याद छैन रे । उनले कुराको प्रसङ्गमा भनेकी थिईन् ुओ माई गड आई कान्ट काउन्ट माई ब्वाईप्रुेन्ड मे बी ट्वान्टी÷थर्टी ।ु। जोजेले ब्वाईप्रुेन्डको ’boutमा सबै कुरा बताउदाँ निकै लामो समय लगाएर बुझे पछि म तीन छक्क पर्थेँ ।

दग्नामबासीले गरेको स्वागतले आशु झार्दै पत्रकार जोजे


जे भए पनि अन्य क्यानाडियन महिला संगै ढुङ्गे युगमा नै नेपाल देख्ने पत्रकार जोजे पनि म्याग्देलिले गरेको स्वागतले भक्कानो फुटाएर रोएकी थिईन् । उनी रोएको फोटो मैले खिज्दा उनले भनेकी थिईन् ु अहिले सम्म थुप्रै गरिब र बिकट ठाँउ घुमे पनि उद्धार भावना लिएर मुस्कुराउन सक्ने नेपालीपन अन्यत्र भेट्टाउन सकेकी थिईन ।ु यो लेख लेखिसकेर क्यामेरा वोमन डेबोराले पठाएको ईमेल पढ्दा लेखिएको छ ु माई एक्सपिरियन्स ईन नेपाल ईज डिप इन्साईड मी द्याट ईज फर स्योरु ।

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Tilled Earth

Manju Shree Thapa got international fame from the book “Forget Kathmandu” and “The Tutor of History”. With this fame she again gave continuity in her literary writing. Her latest book “Tilled Earth” contains twenty stories. Among them some are of just half page and some contains up to twelve pages. Service holder, Novelist, NGO worker, men who are eligible to go to foreign country, youth returned from foreign countries are some of the character whom writer choose in her story. She focused on the subject matter like domination of men towards women in Nepali society, difference between life in remote and urban areas, problem faced by Diaspora women, problem created in human relation and the pessimistic nature of job holder.

Thapa’s story shows how the political situation affects general people’s life does. She pick character from day to day life and give fictious image to them. The story ‘Solitaire’ explains how man’s interest lost in playing computer game when he is going to be retired. This man has helped many people to reach their success in way of meeting minister in his earlier days.Her short stories are more interesting than long stories. ‘Friends’ is more focused on explaining the tourist area Thamel. Rishikesh who returned from America to Nepal to find out his self identity met computer engineer Kamal who becomes pessimistic due to his unemployed life. Writer end up the story by leaving their friendship as it is. This shows writer have post modernist nature.
Thapa’s short stories can be compared with the stories of English writer Sandra Cisneros. Mainly, the story ‘I don’t like Shanta Khanal’ gave the feeling about the story ‘A house On Mango Street’ by Cisneros. Both the story focuses on Childish nature and curiosity. ‘Love Marriage’ shows how women are taken as a market product in Nepali society. Similarly “Tilled Earth” describes the problem faced by Nepali women Student in American modern society. She lives a diversified life between American modern society and Nepali conservative society. She was in doubt when her boyfriends want to come to America. The last sentence says “the warm vapour of tilled earth, her loves breath”.

Some stories are boring also. Like ‘In this world as hard as Beatle Nut’. The secretary is a lyricist whose internal conflict interpret the psychological aspect from pop singer to unemployed youth. But, the story is not successful in touching the sensational matter. “The Buddha in the Earth Touching Posture’ just seems to be like a explanation. The story ‘Three Hundred Rupees’ has described the bitter experience of village people entering to city life. This story explains the same old concept about the difference between the lifestyle of village and city. But, the story is successful in showing the internal conflict between two brothers in the same family. Manju Shree Thapa is greatly influence by writer Jhumpa Lahiri. Lahiri in her book ‘Interpreter of Maladies’ writes about loosing her identity.

Manju Shree Thapa is very good in choosing the character in the story but she is not capable to maintain the characters prestige up to the last paragraph. ‘The European feeling’, describe the relationship between the American man and Nepali Feminist women in Europe. After having one physical relation in Paris, anxiety creates in both of them. Meanwhile, the story like ‘Sounds that the tongues learns to make’ and ‘The girl of No Age’ are just boring.
The starting part of the entire story is very strong but the concluding part is always weak. Now, Nepali writer are able to bring their English writing up to the international market. With two stories book and one Nobel, Samrat Upadhya is successful in making his identity in Western countries. Likewise, Manju Shree Thapa also placed her name safely in successful writer’s category. She finished the book ‘Tilled Earth’ in ten years of time in America and Kathmandu. Besides this book, she had already published book named, “Forget Kathmandu”, “Tutor of History’ and ‘Mustang Vote in Fragments’. Among these book ‘Tutor of history’ is the most popular one.

New Nepal, New Women

women making local products

In the middle of March, CECI organized Women’s Trek for Peace and Development with the coordination of activities of local stakeholders; partner NGOs, Adventures Sister Company and the 3 Sisters Adventures Company in three different rural parts of Nepal. The main theme of the trek held in the Myagdi region was to observe how local women from different caste groups are taking on leadership roles in their community through the organizing Mother’s Groups.

Myagdi, located in the central development region of Nepal has been directly affected by the 10 years long conflict period. The conflict especially affected poor families, mostly those belonging to the lower middle class and working class in the remote areas of Nepal. Most of the youths from this district had been working in the British Army, Indian Army and many Middle Eastern countries to earn money. Due to that, women have to bear all the everyday work of taking care of their children and household activities. During the community visits, the local women shared their leadership experiences, challenges they face in beginning phase of their group formation, the cooperative activities they are currently leading, and success stories of their groups, with the Canadian women trekkers.

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Women from this region have traditional skills like making shawl and mattress made by sheep wool, traditional umbrellas, wallet and bamboo baskets. Some women had also taken training to make juice from oranges, rhododendron flowers, lemon, etc. However, due to the lack of transportation facilities and marketing strategies, they use these products only for household purposes.

Most of villages in the Myagdi region have created mother’s group. Every of these groups collect money from each member on a monthly basis. They also collect money during festivals by showing different cultural programmes. The economies are used to provide loans to members and for development works in the villages. They raise funds by showing cultural activities in different festivals and occasions.

The ten day long trek became a good platform to the local villagers to demonstrate that women can have many roles in society besides their traditional feminine role in the household activities. The trek was also very effective to create awareness among grass roots women about the constitutive assembly election (held April 10th in Nepal). This interaction will become a platform for us to empower women’s voice in developmental work, said Yam Maya Pun, young teacher at the primary school. Women whether rich or poor, high caste or low caste, are now able to raise their voice and lobby against discrimination against women added, Binu Thapa, secretary of the Himalayan Mothers in Chimkhola. She also shared her bitter experiences of how local women in the period of the “State of Emergency” during the conflict were deprived from going to the forests to collect grass and woods for their household needs.

Historic Poll for a New Nepal

Though the general unsatisfaction of the political campaign work done by different political parties, Nepali people cast their votes for a New Nepal on April 10th. At this time, Nepal astounded the world by successfully holding the Constituent Assembly poll with the strong participation by the people, as well as with a low incidence of violence. Precisely, two years after the April Uprising that forced the king to return power to the people, the citizens of Nepal voted at these historic elections. The armed rebels, who fought against the establishment for a decade, have turned their minds from bullet to ballets.

Like all the women from different regions of Nepal, women of the Myagdi region were also very optimistic that their voice will be heard, and women’s issues will be raised after the election. Their hopes are unanimous; they want an inclusive so-called “New Nepal” that will be encompassing the voices of the women and other marginalized people.

By Binita Dahal
Nepali journalism student, Kathmandu

Photos: Myriam Fehmiu