Durga Bhandari

While visiting the plains of Eastern Nepal, with its holy river Sapta Koshi, I was awed by the open mindedness and friendliness of the plain’s people. I discovered that they are very hard-working people, always ready to help others in need. It was my first visit to Eastern Nepal and also my first outreach experience with IofC Nepal. In the course of our one-month journey I had the privilege to meet students, teachers, youth leaders, activists, government officials and politicians.Nepal is a diverse country with different communities having different ways of living. Coming from the Pahadi region this was my first time experiencing a Madhesi wedding and their hospitality. Early marriage, dowry and illiteracy are prevalent in the Madhesi community, which often, especially for girls, denies privileges.

It is very hard for village women to do work outside of their home, as in Nepal women are expected to look after the household chores. Our friend Pooja, whose wedding we attended, is fortunate to have a supportive parent who knows the importance of education. Staying at a Madhesi home has broken a barrier and my perception of how I looked at the Madhesi people. I felt the warmth and care, realizing that, though we come from different regions, we are all Nepalese, and each individual is important for building a just and caring society.

During this trip, I realized the importance of youth development and capacity building. Through the sharing of ideas and experiences by the people I have met, I have become inspired to give more to our society. During one of my reflections during quiet time, I discovered that I needed to let go my anger and blaming of others. There are laws in Nepal, but they are often not followed by the citizens. I was one of them. From now on I have decided to follow the rules. Also, I often procrastinate. This journey has made me realize that in order to achieve my goals, I need to be more proactive. To have more patience with myself and to think before I speak.

I am very grateful for the rich encounters that I was able to experience during this journey and the lessons it has taught me.    

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