Monthly Archives: April 2011

Mothers Day in Nepal – May 3, 2011

Mother and Child by Araleya
Mother and Child, a photo by Araleya on Flickr.

Just a reminder to all you folks out there who many not be thinking about this right now, but Mothers Day this year falls on Tuesday May 3, 2011. There is still time to send your mom something for this special day. I’d recommend (I get nothing out of making this recommendation).

At minimum don’t forget to call her.

Busy Bee But Not Complaining Anymore

This week has been crazy busy. Between hosting friends for Easter and going to an all day birthday party over the weekend to travelling for business during the week and the in-laws coming for quick two nigh stay with their European friends, it has been crazy. Oh and the kids. They demand attention too….

But one thing I’m leaning and trying to do is not complain. I seem to complain about my circumstance and daily events way too much. I don’t do it verbally and in conversation, but I find my internal conversations to be filled with a complaining mindset. I guess I have always done this, but when you’re trying to teach your kids to not complain then you start to check your own heart.

So, despite all that is going on and all that I have to deal with on a daily basis I am choosing to not complain any longer. I want to be thankful for everything. Even the traffic in this bustling metropolis I live in and that is saying a lot!

The World According to India

This is funny:

Deep Conversation at a Loud Gathering

This past Saturday afternoon we gathered the kids, piled into our car and went to the Nepali New Year celebration. We try to participate in these types of events as much as possible and we were all excited. We ended up having a good time. The girls loved the dancing, the deserts and the balloons.  My wife and I enjoyed reconnecting with some people we hadn’t seen in a while. We live in a pretty big metropolis and the Nepalese people are scattered all over. The ones we seem to get along with live the farthest (figure that one)!

I ended up having a pretty interesting discussion with one of the elders. This gentleman has been in the US for over 31 years. He helped found the local Nepali organization and is a very well-educated man. He has grown children in their thirties and of course all were raised in the United States. He made the observation that it’s hard to get his kids to think about marriage and getting married. Only his oldest (who is almost 40) is married he said. He said he has seen this issue with other families as well and is quite puzzled by it.

As we talked more about this phenomenon I felt like I had some insights. I think that the second generation grows up very confused about marriage.  Most in the first generation had arranged marriages and have very strong ties to that mindset. To the second generation  arranged marriage is basically an alien concept. As much as they may understand the system and the structure they never feel that it’s for them. (I could be wrong here, so jump in with your thoughts if you have a different view.)

Add to this their natural impulse (as Western people mind you) to seek out the “normal” love marriage and they grow up extremely confused.  As they age they have to balance the desire to please themselves vs. pleasing their parents. I think most just choose to forget about it and wait. After a point of waiting (past 30), they begin to become comfortable with a love marriage and slowly start to venture out and settle down with their partner of choosing. At this point the parents are way past worrying about this and just let it go.

I don’t know what this gentleman thought of my ideas but he certainly hadn’t thought of it that way.  It caused him to think a bit but it was loud and the music as pretty distracting so we didn’t dwell on these deep thoughts too long. We never talked afterwards, but hopefully I shed some light on why his kids are refusing to marry or even discuss marriage.

What do you think? Are you a second generation child of parents who had arranged marriages? Share your thoughts.

Once Upon a Time On a College Campus Far Far Away

I first saw her at the International Student orientation. She was there because she had heard some German students were coming. Having been born and raised near Germany to American missionary parents, she was curious and excited to meet others who spoke German. I happened to be the Nepali boy sitting next to one of these German students. She came with a group of Japanese students and it was clear she enjoyed hanging out with anybody from anyplace.

I would  not call this our first meeting though. We exchanged greetings and that was about it. She was most certainly beautiful and attractive. Her eyes drew me and she certainly gained my attention. A few days later I saw her running across campus. She waved and screamed “aren’t the guy from Nepaaaaaaaal”. I yelled back but she was long gone. And from there it was mostly bumping into each other here and there. Nothing really interactive.  We were at a  small college and so there was plenty of opportunity to have mutual friends and acquaintances.

Our fist conversation occurred in  the library. I was doing my math homework in one of the rooms next to the computer lab. I was the only person in this relatively large study room. She knocked, poked her head in and asked if she could do her homework at the other end of the large desk. I was glad to have company.

I was focused on getting my work done but soon we started talking. She asked me about my background and my family. I was happy to share. I then asked her about her background and listened. We talked about our majors, our families, our faith and everything else. I can’t remember if I got my work done that night, but I really enjoyed the conversation and interaction. Being an international student can be a lonely experience, especially coming from Nepal. While there were other international students there were only two others from Nepal. In many ways this conversation in the library meant a lot to me.

Not much happened in the ensuing weeks and months. Over next few semesters we started to have mutual friends and so we often bumped into each other at different social settings. However, during the second semester of our sophomore year we hung out quite a bit on the dorm floor of a mutual friend. We ate together, watched movies together and stayed up really late talking about all sorts of stuff. That is when I first felt a really strong connection with this beautiful American woman.

Then our junior year she become involved with the International Club as the President and I served as Vice-President (this arragement still exists to this day by the way.) As a result we spent a lot of time together and became very familar friends. I started to feel an inner attraction towards this beautiful person. I enjoyed our club meetings, our phone calls (all business of course), and all the interactions in between. I was sad to see the year end.

Then lo and behold as if God had moved heaven earth to bring us to gether she moved next door for our senior year. I was sitting in my apartment drinking a beer with my roommates when she came up the stairs, walk by our apartment with a bunch of boxes and announce that she was in apartment 7 (I was in 6). I couldn’t believe my luck! I was really excited.

I didn’t tell anyone I had feelings for the girl next door. But my roommates and friends tell me it was pretty obvious. So, all senior year we played this game of denial. Everyone around us knew we liked each other and wanted to try the relationship – but we pretended like it would never happen.  There were too many barriers to overcome. Without saying it we told each other that this would never be, so just enjoy the final year of college and get on with our lives.

And that is exactly where thing were headed until the week after graduation. We were both emptying our places out and many of our friends had already said their goodbyes and left. I bumped into her at the mail room and walked back to the apartment together. I told her I had some extra food if she wanted to join for a quick bite. She accepted the invitation. Then as the food was warming up she asked me who my first love was. And without missing a beat I broke down and poured out my heart.

We cried, we hugged, we talked all afternoon and all night. The freedom of being able to love and to be loved was exhilarating. I was in love and love said she was in love too. We set aside all the barriers we would have to overcome and plunged in head first without giving a second thought. We have been inseparable ever since!