Indigenous Culture and Traditions of Nepal

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Nepal is the pious country in the lapse of the Himalayas, which is beautiful, quiet, the birth place of Buddha and origin of Hinduism. Besides being the country of Everest it is equally popular with its diverse cultural values. This is the land where civilization began and is also known as the country of ‘SANGRILA.’ Nepal is as holy place to Hindus & Buddhists, as Mecca for Muslims and Jerusalem to Jews and Christians.

Nepal is a country sandwiched between China and India. Because of its geo-political situation, Nepal’s sovereignty has always been very sensitive. Nepal is rich culturally and naturally. Our successful foreign policy would be to maintain our culture, traditions and indigenous identities to balance between China and India. Actually, Nepal is a paradise which provides calmness and rejuvenation to the mind. This lovely place is also said as the potpourri of ethnicity and has many cultural landscapes. This land of bio-diversity has so many cultural and religious landmarks that give a soothing experience to everyone.

Prithvi Narayan Shah, the unifier of Nepal is the pride of Nepal. It was almost 100 years before unification of Germany (1868), Italy (1868), and the restoration of the Meiji (Japan, 1868) in which America was also under British dependency, that Prithvi Narayan Shah had already unified (1768) 54 small fiefdoms to build a large, expanded and greater Nepal. But after the movement of April 2006 and the party leaders came to power they smashed the statue of the great King, contempt and insulted him and called off the birth anniversary of the late king as a day of national unity.

Why? A country’s existence and prestige can gradually be eroded by finishing off its faith and belief tradition and culture and the creator of nation. If anyone wants the assurance of integrity and lasting peace in this country, one must not be confused about the country’s century’s old customs and religion traditions as well as the builder of nationality and unity.

Nepal was worthy to be bowed down by Hindus all over the world. This is the highest honor Nepal could receive from the international community. Nepal’s prestige and honor would elevate further if this country is declared as “Hindu and Buddhist” country, instead of a secular state. But, at present why the peaceful country where Lord Buddha was born has become the venue of confrontations?

The main causes of the crisis is the abolishing our culture and traditions. Some are going to abolish the creations of Prithbinarayan Shah and to destroy his statute. Similarly, some are active to minimize Hinduism and dismiss the existence of Buddha. One of the communist old-leader Mohan Bikram Sing has written that Buddha was burn in Orissa (India) but not in Nepal. (See: Kantipur B.S.2059 Bhadra 19) What is that means? Such antagonistic so-called politicians, some against of Christian are habituated to exploit our national culture, religions and identities. This is the matter of grief for all the nationalists.

Everybody knows, among all religions of the world Hindu religion is considered as the most liberal. According to renowned philosopher Voltaire, Hinduism is the best gift of the East to the West. Similarly, George Bernard Shaw, Irish litterateur also said ‘Hindu religion is the most important and the most liberal religion in the world. According to Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics, signs of Hindu religion are even found in the present Islamic country like Iran. A stone scripture of 486 BC found in Iran contains the words Hindu and Hindus.

Even an ancient Parsi scripture ‘Shatir’ has lifted a word of Ved Vyas ‘I am a true Hindu born in a Hindu country’. Another Hindu philosopher Manu has taken the area between Bindhya in south India and the Himalayas in the north as Aryabrata, the land of Aryans. Even outside travelers like Megasthaniz and Fai Han have written in their travel memoirs after their visit of the Kingdom of Chandra Gupta Maurya that Hindus have tall figure, long life, healthy, who avoid narcotics, simple, intelligent, truthful, who do not keep witness in transactions, do not lock their houses and there is no theft.

So, in the evolutionary process of the world’s civilization, Hindu philosophy is taken as liberal, simple and tolerant. A Nepali Scholar Mr. Dinbandhu Aryal expains -‘Hinduism is the sum and substance of the traditional humane cordiality. The African leader Nelson Mandella was impressed from Vedas, legends and Upanishads. He wanted to be converted Hindu for that purpose he wanted to perform penance or provide donation if necessary. He would be gratified and feel fortunate’

Hinduism is the most liberal and tolerant of religions. How can the oldest and most liberal of religions be thrown away just like that? No religion (and certainly not Hinduism & Buddhism) should be made a political issue. Why the culprit leaders of (Congress,UML & Maoists) party didn’t try to understand the sentiments of the people?

It is the main duty for all the leaders to care the basic norms and values of the nation. But, by declaring Nepal a secular state, the visionless party leaders have done just that: tried to put together the unmixable, which could be dangerous for the stabilized Nepali society. No one has right to trample believe and conviction of the people rights.

Is a matter of grief that our cultural assets are thieving by the some Nepalese culprits and the foreigners since 30 years? Being not the national honesty to our political leaders and administrators, Nepal is becoming poorer & poorer day-by-day in our culture and national existence & spirit.

One of the cultural historians G.C.Alpen has written remarkably before 24 years ago in The Rising Nepal – ‘To see well this organized art theft going on daily apparently unhanded, is a painful experience for those of us who do not look at all upon Nepal as an ‘under-developed’, but a highly civilized country, unique in the world as a fascinating focus of culture and religion, a treasure-house of spiritual knowledge and traditions that have survived here, as if a miracle-amidst a spreading world of our and aggressive materialism.’

People in the developed country appreciate the physical beauty of the stolen ancient images from the temple of Nepal at their respective country while the Nepalese old mothers are desperate and breaking out into tears. The images which were meticulously carved with precious stone and jewels taking two thousand years were destroyed within the period of recent thirty years. Let there be no such destruction anymore.

More than that the Hindus have the freedom to pursue their own way of observing the religion. If Nepal is to be declared a secular country, all countries, which call themselves as Christian or Muslim countries should also be declared secular countries.

If they want Nepal to become a secular country, then they should also be willing to shun their ‘Cross’ of the Christians, ‘sign of David of the Jews and ‘Kava’ of Muslims. However, it needs to be pondered that even if Nepal was a Hindu Kingdom, its nature was like a secular country as Hindus have never done anything that would harass or trouble other religions. The Hindus and the Buddhists are more than three billions.

It is a scared land for more than a billion Hindus and Buddhists. So, it is our request not to exercise in ineffectiveness. In the name of transforming the country into ‘New Nepal’ this is not the way to destroy our culture and traditions. We should have to think independently and have to come to our own conclusion. This will be the solution to keep intact our indigenous cultural assets and our monarchy & sovereignty.