An Indian Nepalese: How hard is it to accept?


I was born Indian; in a beautiful small town called Darjeeling, sitting in the lap of the Himalayas, river Teesta caressing its lush green meadow as it barge in from the snowy cold mountain and descend down towards the hills. As i visit Darjeeling on my vacations, i know I’m home when the chilly cold wind starts fondling with my hair as we slowly climb up towards the hill. Most of the time i make it to these hills during evening, when the sun gently slides down and hides behind the clouds, covering the hills with a fleece orangish cloak and offering us the most bewitching view ever. Breathing fresh air (which is a myth in metropolitan cities) with some good classic rock playlist on my phone and the mesmerizing view, i certainly carry a pride of belonging to such a beautiful part of India; yet the sad truth is half of India fails to see that we are as much Indian as they are.

Roads that take me home Source: OMG Darj
Roads that take me home
Source: OMG Darj
Stairway to Heaven, Highway to
Stairway to Heaven, Highway to “hills”
Source: OMG Darj

I come from a place where i wake up to the sound of the birds chirping and the first thing i see is the view of the majestic Mt Kanchenjunga from my window. On a sunny morning, the Himalayas appear so close that as a child i often thought that its barely some hours walk and i can make it to the top of the mountains. Everyday, i woke up and looked at the mountains, sometimes so bright it made my naked eyes burn and sometimes playing hide and seek in between the clouds. I always adore how it crowns my town, making it one among the most beautiful place in my country. My hometown doesn’t fancy big roads. It mostly has those narrow lanes leading to the main road filled with children in their colorful uniform as they head towards school in the morning. The pace of life is also not as fast as in any cities, no rush hour though morning school hours maybe exceptional sometimes.

The Majestic Mountain view Source: Darj YesterYears
The Majestic Mountain view
Source: Darj YesterYears
Where so many love stories began Source: OMG Darj
Where so many love stories began
Source: OMG Darj

Now talking about what made me write this article is, I am an Indian Nepalese; an Indian as much as any other Indian in India could be but people fail to see that. Like in any other part of the nation, we were taught about India. My schooling was done in Darjeeling and from the day i was introduced to history, till i finished high school, i read about Indian history. I am well aware of the early, medieval and modern histories of India. I also know the national anthem by heart and make it a point to stand up and pay respect, whenever it is played. The stories of the Indian martyrs does give me goosebumps. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre displeased me as much as it would have done to any Indian. As a school student, from my fourth standard, uptill high school, i took part in events hosted for Independence day be it dance or drill or any other dramatic acts.

During the celebration of Dussehra  Source: OMG Darj
During the celebration of Dussehra
Source: OMG Darj
Independence Day Celebration
Independence Day Celebration in Darjeeling
Independence Day Celebration (Kalimpong) Darjeeling Source: OMG Darj
Independence Day Celebration (Kalimpong) Darjeeling
Source: OMG Darj

I am as Indian as any of you, yet you question my identity?

You question my integrity?

How could you?

I have come across many people who just disappoint me to such an extent that i even give up on explaining sometimes.

How hard is it to accept Indian Nepalese?

The word “Indian” in front of Nepalese is self explanatory of the fact that yes, we are Nepali but we belong to India. And yet you ask me when am i going back to Nepal?

Darling!! No, i’m not going back to Nepal. Maybe i will pay a visit for tourism purpose as it is a beautiful country but India is my home, not Nepal. If it’s that confusing for you, let me simplify it for you about my origin.

The history of my town does fall back and forth between Sikkim, which was a country then (now a state of India), Bhutan, Nepal and the then British India. During those days, Darjeeling was a part of the Sikkimese Kingdom of which part of it was conquered by Nepal with its constant warfare. But the British India was well aware of the facts and put a check on Nepal from extending its empire which led to the Anglo- Gurkha war. Defeated, the latter had to give Darjeeling to the former with the signing of the Sugauli Treaty in 1815. And by the signing of the Treaty of Titalia, British restored Darjeeling back to the Sikkimese kingdom until they adored the beauty of the place and saw the potential of the growth of tea plantation gardens in Darjeeling. They took the land on lease from the Sikkim Government. It all didn’t end here. The growth of Darjeeling made the Chogyal or the then Monarch of Sikkim jealous leading to a war between British India and Sikkim. Somewhere in between, the British India had already ceded certain parts of current Darjeeling which was then under Bhutan. So defeating the Sikkimese kingdom, British India seized the part of Darjeeling under Sikkim and Darjeeling was in a shape that it is in today. This all happened by 1866.

My Beautiful Home town Source:  Darj YesterYears
My Beautiful Home town
Source: Darj YesterYears

To cut short, I didn’t come from Nepal. Neither did i migrate or nor do i intend to go back. India has been my home since my birth and for my ancestors too. So what, if i look a little different? Honey, not all South-East Asians are Chinese!

I am a proud Indian and your doubts won’t change a thing.

However in this article, i’m not even bothered to make an effort to explain it to the people who think i’m from China, Japan and so on. Explaining them!! I would not know where to begin.

Please look below to enjoy more pictures of my beautiful home town Darjeeling, India.

The Toy train, a World Heritage Site and our pride Source: OMG Darj
The Toy train, a World Heritage Site and our pride
Source: OMG Darj
The music lovers come together for a cause Source: OMG Darj
The music lovers come together for a cause
Source: OMG Darj
Happy Faces Source: OMG Darj
Happy Faces
Source: OMG Darj
A walk to remember Source: OMG Darj
A walk to remember
Source: OMG Darj
Source: OMG Darj
Source: OMG Darj
Advertisements

98 thoughts on “An Indian Nepalese: How hard is it to accept?

  1. Very well written article! I totally get you when it comes to ignorant people who judge you solely upon your looks. Like you said, not all south-east Asian people look Chinese. I’m half thai and people often ask me why I don’t look more asian- and by that they mean Chinese.
    Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know the pain of being misjudged as someone, just because half of the South East Asia has similar features. It is definitely difficult to spot a Thai or a Chinese or Vietnamese among the crowd. What disappoints me is the ignorance; even after knowing the existence of other nationalities, or in my scenario (India is a diverse country) different cultural group, they ignore the minority and make us feel like an outsider. Not everyone has a good geography so i would even take some time to explain them but the plain blank expression at the end just haunts me.

      Like

  2. Namaste from Srikhola, (for those that don’t knowwhere it is) its somewhere in midst of singilila wildlife sanctuary. This crisis is similar to the plight of African-American in United states. Du Bois has done an incredible job in summing up this identity crisis in his theory of “double consciousness’. While there might be some similarities, Nepalese can solve this crisis through “Nepalese Exceptionalism”. In order to achieve that we shouldn’t be seeking validation from “Indo-Aryan or Dravidian”(brown) people. Stop treating them like they are better than us and next time some ignorant skinny calls our sisters ‘chinky’ or any epithet, let us not make a big issue and ask them to change their thought. It only shows them a way to pull our strings. We empower them with a defense mechanism. We make them feel that they are somehow better than us. Let us not be offended by their ignorance of geography or anthropology. Let every Gorkha be aware of “Nepalese Exceptionalism”. Stay Strong my brothers and sisters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes maybe the theory of “double consciousness” can be (to certain extent), applicable in this context as our traditional practices are similar to that of the Nepalese from Nepal . but then again African-Americans were earlier migrated from Africa with the sole purpose of slavery and somehow they were kept away from their own cultural practices as well as they were considered inferior to experience the culture same as the white people did. this is when the ‘double consciousness’ took place. But the scenario of the Gorkhas is completely different

      Like

  3. though we are olys disturbed by these people by questoning about our identiti….
    stil feels great to be part of dis society….(nepalies/gurkhas)

    Like

  4. i had this article saved in my bookmarks for going through it later but you know the problem of procrastination with most of us yet today i did read it and i am glad that i did……you wrote it so well and i can find the beauty in your work and after going through it, all i can say is i gotta read your other articles too…keep it up

    Like

  5. Just yesterday my hostel mate asked me if I have a foreign ID or something and I asked why an ID she said ID of Nepal well I had to explain that I am an Indian Nepali and I havn’t come Nepal nor my ancestors have come from Nepal to India I was born and brought up in Darjeeling which is a very much part of India which is mostly populated with Nepali community and nepali speaking people.

    Like

  6. Sorry but just a major correction for the title of this article… It’s Indian Nepali and not Indian Nepalese… Its impossible to be Indian Nepalese because Nepalese is the nationality of Nepal. You can’t hold two nationalities at a time. We are Indian Nepalis. Nepali people having Indian nationality. Please understand the difference between Nepalese and Nepalis. We are by birth, by heart and by blood Indians but Nepalis… Article is amazing though… All the best!

    Like

  7. Hi Nalani,
    I’m happy to see your spirit and your nationalistic feelings . To be honest you don’t need to explain your identity to anyone. You’re Indian and you always will be. It’s s sad to see how world divides each other through races in this era of globalisation. But you don’t need to be frustrated about it. I’m sure many people would be saying you Nepali, Chinese or Korean etc., go ahead and say to them that you’re Indian and that’s it. Be positive, its more like teaching them to realise someone from Asian races can also be Indian. No point of them making fun of your identity. Always have a smile and on the face tell them ‘Sorry’ you’re Indian. Do not ignore it because if you do so, you’re promoting racism.
    This is today’s story. India is a growing economy. There will be a time when the world will be globalised enough that you see whites getting born in India. Not sure what will be Indians reaction to this generation of White Indians if it really happens.
    BTW you don’t need to think about this so much. Be positive and happy about it. I feel proud to come from a nation which is not just brown but has other diversities too. You’re the part of those other diversities, feel special and positive about it.

    Like

  8. Thank you Nalini for this article. It is so well written and what I go through every now and then… you have put it in your words beautifully. Keep writing as you are meant to do so and be the voice of many other people.

    Like

  9. This is poetic. I always wanted to write something on these lines but I don’t see the need for it anymore. Your felicity of diction is immaculate and I am so proud that we have someone like you in our midst.

    Like

  10. accept? are u seriously asking this question?

    nepali is a recognized Indian language in the ICSE curricullum.

    nepali is the official language for Dooars & darjeeling district, in stat of West Bengal in India.

    now the folk from that area want separate governance and hence Gorkhaland.

    What else do you need to be accepted?

    If you have failed, stop sugarcoating your incapacities by finding excuses and playing victim. And now you have triggered and entire bandwagon of “a little knowledge is dangerous” over entitled lot of unachieving spineless wimps who will fill up your comments section in excited agreement

    Like

    1. Hey Avik, this is nothing personal against you, but you really come across as a douchebag who knows enough english to get into trouble. Correcting your sentences is not germane to me so I will skip the part. I do not know where you are from or what your ethnicity is but I will say this. What is written by the author is absolutely true. Now, you have every right to disagree with her or anyone else for that matter but do not resort to insults, at least not in english. It is abundantly clear that you can form legible sentences but please do not launch another assault on english language. Now, before you call me a spineless wimp and a loser, I have a Ph.D in Cell and Molecular Biology from the U.S and work here. I do not know what you do for a living but I don’t consider myself a loser. If you have any disagreement with what I say or what the author said, I welcome you to a healthy debate but not another slur from you sir.

      Like

      1. Hail the grammar Nazi. Good on u that you work in the US, I am sure we won’t find anyone else from India who got a job in the US, it’s the greatest achievement of mankind I am sure. I am sure you understood every bit of what he wrote. There are better ways of disagreeing to someone’s views than pulling them up on their grammar.

        Like

      2. Are we seriously doing this? I was just trying to have some sanity but it seems, its asking for too much. Did you also read what he had written calling us wimps and losers?

        Like

  11. I’m a Nepali girl , from Australia . I have couple of colleges one from Darjeeling & the other one from India. The Indian girl likes to call the other one more from Nepal than India….!! How strange?? I’m a new memeber there but she is already like a my family . So, your article looks weird n ridiculous to me. Its upto u how u’ld like to identify urself. Just say an Indian if u r a proud Indian!!

    Like

    1. Thanks Shuv Shrestha for clarifying of accepting one nationality. I am Nepali belongs to Nepal current resident of Dubai (with residency visa). I just wanted to give example of genuine nationality (no offense), I had friends from India who speaks Bengali and had Bengali culture, norms and values with their own customs they never says that they are Bengali Indian if it comes to identify their nationality, they straightly are proud to say “we are Indian”. And I had friends from my own country Nepal who belongs to part of plain region (Terai) with Hindi language Indian culture, customs, norms and values so on strongly identify themselves as Nepalese; proudly rather than saying Nepalese Indian. Why only the republican of Darjeeling, Sikkim, Gangtok, Deheradhun and many more place like these loves to say themselves as Indian Nepali? If you love your country don’t be shame of identifying your own nationality rather than combining our nationality with yours, simple! Again no offense its just my opinion and sorry for all these incorrect grammar if it’s mistaken. Sorry and Thanks again.

      Like

  12. No offence I would prefer to see it as independent Darjeeling, joint Sikkim or even part of Bhutan rather than it being part of India if not Nepal.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s