[NOTE: Before I begin to write on this context, let me make it clear to you all that this post is not motivated by ethnicity, country of origin, religious or whatsoever dogmas, perspective or orthodox. This is purely a personal experience I have encountered. And we often get into such amusing situations when we are travelling to a place other than our own country. And I feel happy to share this with you. In case if this might touch you and irks you somewhere somehow unintentionally, please pardon me.]
After my couple of trips to India which was literally for the first time in my life I had ever been to foreign land, I come to realize that the perspective of people in India (because that was only where I first travelled out of my home which was a foreign land for us where we are not required to present our visa-passport) towards Nepal is somewhat hazy. And this turned out to be even more pronounced when I came to Thailand. However, the way of taking things is different, which is quite normal. Even we Nepalese might have somewhat different perspective in taking culture, tradition, geography and people from different country. By the way, none of us are perfect and this doesn’t necessarily has to be perfect because this is where people from different countries differ which is fairly normal.
From the Indian perspective, Nepalese are the one having chinky eyes with flat nose and short stature in terms of physical appearance. While at the same time, people in Thailand think that Nepalese are something like Indian, however, there are time when people often get confused differentiating exactly and they can’t guess even near about the correct answer. Let me share some funny moments with you regarding our appearance and getting into these kind of situations.
One day I was having lunch with my Nepali friends in canteen in our college when an old women asked one of my friend, “Are you Indian?” She said, “No”. “Why?, Do I look like Indian?” The women was confused and was so pestering confident that she insisted that my friend is Indian. After she failed to argue with her, she turned towards me and insisted questioning my friend, “Then, he must be Indian!”. “No. He is Nepali too”. Then, she turned towards the rest and asked, “So, they are Nepalese too?” Finally she left, but unfortunately we were not sure whether she was convinced whether we are Nepalese or not. In similar incidence when I was in India during our India trip we were surprised to know that people there use to think that we were from North India – particularly from Himachal Pradesh and they were quite perplexed when we use to explain them.
I ever had one similar experience in Thailand: I was in taxi with some of my Thai friends, when taxi-driver asked to one of my friends, “Where is he from?” One of them then asked me, “He is asking, where are you from?” After that I asked them to ask him to guess, “What do I look like to him?” “Can he guess something?” He replied with a pause for a while when he looked at me through his rear mirror inside the car, “I think he is from Germany”. That was when I started to laugh my head off. But, this is not his problem and his is not anybody’s problem. The thing is we Asian are different little bit, but in over all most of us look alike. For example, we might not get confused recognizing a Nepali guy, but we are often confused when it comes to rightly identifying amoung Sri Lankan, Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and sometimes even Afghanistani, however, Afghanistani is mostly more pronounced from their appearance than the rest of the others mentioned in the list.
The gist of this issue is, God has not made us different in anyway, but we ourself tries to differentiate and analyze people based on their country of origin, religion, ethnicity, color and countenance. And, the big question is how fair is it? In another perspective, if we look back we realize that God is the creator and we are the destroyer – there is nothing like devil – devil is inside us – we divide, differentiate, demolish, fight, kill and whatever heinous crime is there we are always inclined to it. Its just the matter of chance when and where it will appear!!