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Nepali Women of the Now: 3 More Women Who Inspire

By Kanchan Gautam

Somehow we have already made it into the second quarter of 2018, yet to me, 2017 still seems
like a few weeks ago. I am still reflecting back on 2017 and hoping 2018 is just as great of a year
for women as 2017 was. It seems like even though the Nepali Government banned Chaupadi, we
kept reading of the tragic deaths of young women’s death in these archaic menstrual huts. Nepal
also has yet to make amends to the constitution which discriminates women from conferring
citizenship to their children in the same capacity as men. Nepal still has a long way to go in
creating an equal footing for its female citizens to their male counterpart. This year I want to
focus on the positive and with that let’s turn this to someone women who made us proud to be
Nepalese Women. There were many Nepalese women who made headlines in various industries
nationally and globally last year. I hope this trend continues. Here are three women who have
made headlines in the recent years and continue to amaze us all with their positivity and
resilience. Continue reading “Nepali Women of the Now: 3 More Women Who Inspire”

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Postponed Another Moment

By Bandana Upadhya

Artist credit: Shiloh Sophia

“Oh no, oh no, oh no,” my frontal lobe repeated, the panic starting to travel from my brain to my throat, heart, and stomach. I escaped to the obvious place, the bathroom. A bathroom holds many secrets for a woman; its four walls can tolerate any truth, any amount of frustration and endless tear-laden and fear-driven moments. My husband shouted from the bed, “are you alright?” I don’t think I said the ‘Oh no’ out loud, or maybe I did. I think he was worried because I ran off, and even the least attentive man would notice their wife run away in the circumstances in which I ran. ‘No I am not alright,’ I wanted to scream. It usually takes me some time to reveal my vulnerabilities, so I pretended not to hear. He asked again. ‘Just leave me alone!’ I wanted to shout this time round. Instead I said, “I am fine”. The “fine” was unhelpful but it gave me a little more time with the mess in my head.   Continue reading “Postponed Another Moment”

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Nepal’s First Transgender Model

By Isha Shresta

Photo credit: Anjali Lama’s facebook

 

The fashion industry has long been dominated by tall, skinny women – often with European features. In fact, more than 70% of models cast for the 2017 Spring fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan were white, per the diversity report by The Fashion Spot. So, when I heard about an up-and-coming Nepali transgender model, I was intrigued.
Continue reading “Nepal’s First Transgender Model”

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Diaries of a British-Nepalese bride: ‘If you like it, then you gotta put a bangle on it…’

By Bandana Upadhya

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Photo credit: Rhijuta Dahal

I was in Nepal recently during a festival called Teej, popularly termed a ‘women-only’ festival. Teej appears to go on for weeks in Nepal though it is primarily a fasting festival that lasts 24 hours, during which women –rightly or wrongly – make a 24 hour sacrifice of hunger and thirst in return for a specific blessing from Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The unmarried asks to be blessed with a “good” husband; while the married woman selflessly wishes that her husband is granted a long and healthy life. There might be other reasons for Teej, but these are the most commonly shared ones. Continue reading “Diaries of a British-Nepalese bride: ‘If you like it, then you gotta put a bangle on it…’”

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Devi, Diva, or the Devil

By Anuja KC/@Anzkc

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Photo credit: WSSCC

I recall the days when I was in school, probably in 6th grade doodling images of houses, cars, trees and everything that filled my imagination while my teacher would lecture to his heart’s content about things that never mattered to me. I was delusional yet very creative at heart. What seemed to my teachers as a diligent note taking was actually my secret escapade to the world of imaginations and possibilities. Sketching was my form of self expression for things that I feared verbalizing in front of the whole class. If I had to summarize my young self in one word, it would be “Devi”. For those who are familiar with Hindu mythology, Devi is a gendered specific term for a female deity, a goddess. In colloquial Nepali language, “Devi” is synonymous to a female who is decent, diligent, disciplined and full of good qualities that society expects a woman should have.

Continue reading “Devi, Diva, or the Devil”

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Diaries of a British-Nepalese Bride: One Year

By Bandana Upadhya

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Photo Credit: Navin Mistry

My husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary recently. It was a celebration of not only love and commitment, but also endurance and perseverance. Yes I know it was only a year! But even a year of staying married is a big deal these days; we are living at a time where if you master the art of flicking your thumb to the right, you will be sorted! My apology for offending those who enjoy the right-flicking scene and have miraculously found true love through it. Of course at the other extreme there are marriages that face unavoidable tragedies and circumstances which are hard to resolve, so no offence there either (by the way, here is a glimpse at my incessant and annoying need to apologise for having an opinion). Continue reading “Diaries of a British-Nepalese Bride: One Year”

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Morality and Victim Blaming in South Asian Societies

By Kanchan Gautam

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Photo credit: salidalliance.org

Recently while browsing through a selection of movies on Netflix, I happened upon a Bollywood movie. Usually, I stay away from Bollywood cinema, as they tend to lack depth and are riddled with gender role stereotypes. However, when I saw the description for Pink, I was intrigued. It seemed to veer from the typical Bollywood story of romance and thrills.  Additionally, with 136 minutes run time, it seemed to be reasonably short for Bollywood standards, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and watch it. I have to say besides the melodramatic portrayal of a retired lawyer played by Amitabh Bachan and some unrealistic court scenes, the movie’s depiction of how assault victims are treated in South Asian culture is very accurate. We have seen this many times, not just in Asian cultures, but here in Western society as well. People tend to blame the victim for their assault rather than the perpetrator for their actions. Continue reading “Morality and Victim Blaming in South Asian Societies”