Opinion: Racism in Nepal

Nepal is a unique country in terms of diversity among people. According to the Nepal Profile - Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nepal MOFA there are 126 castes/ethnic groups in Nepal speaking 123 different languages. Nepal is a very small country with an area of One hundred forty-eight thousand square kilometers only and having such population diversity means different ethnic groups living in harmony. There is a dark side to this harmony. Racism in Nepal is tolerated in society in the name of culture and “our forefathers have done it this way”.

Brahmin and Chettri lie at the top of the caste hierarchy but each caste has its own hierarchy within the caste. For example, a brahmin can belong to a lower level among brahmins and so on.

The worst can be seen how Dalit, the lowest caste are treated by the upper castes. For example, you can be friend with a Dalit but you are not allowed to bring them home or bring them to kitche. People have been killed attempting to marry their loved ones simply because they belong to different caste.

We will be offended if we are the victims but don’t even know we are using similar terms in daily life which can be offensive. The main problem is that we don’t really respect other cultures, we say we do but we don’t. I recently heard some anchor using the term ‘kuire’ for white looking foreigner in a tv programme .What if someone white called ‘Browny’ to us in a TV programme.