Posted by: Rajendra Keshari Pandey

I do not know why I love this Newari Language so much. Somewhere, somehow deep inside me, maybe there exists a Newar. Fortunately or unfortunately, I do not belong to a Newari community, caste, creed or clan. But, I know I have never had any problems with the Newari community, its culture and their way of life. In truth, I believe that this is one of the most beautiful races in our country. Their art, craft, culture, tradition and enterprise skills are their main virtues. They are gifted people in their chosen fields and I would rate them as First Class citizens. However, there is an even better class than this, “The Jyapu”. They are the agricultural specialists of this community and we are forgetting the fact that they were once the best organic vegetable producers of Kathmandu Valley. There is now a trend towards organic vegetables in the western world and if you care to verify this, please go to some of the organic markets held in the valley. Most of the customers are Khaires not locals. Let us not forget then, who is teaching our farmers how to sprinkle chemical fertilizers and so spoil their fields in a few years time? Those same people opt for organic vegetables for their own tables! This is a paradox.

This special class called “Jyapu” has become rare these days, their profession is gradually vanishing and they are tending to look for alternative jobs to keep pace with the present, so-called modern world. These Jyapu should be revered, rewarded and recognized as “Jyayaphu”- “CAN DO PEOPLE”. Over time maybe Jyayaphu became pronounced as Jyapu but the reality and substance is still the same. “A CAN DO PERSON”. So let us not waste our time to establish which is correct, the word itself should be synonymous with hard working people who should be rewarded and recognized for their value to the community. They do not need the input of the outside world to do what they have been doing successfully for centuries.

What can go wrong with a “CAN DO” person? Why, are there are so many “CAN NOT DO” people in our society? I humbly request everyone to respect THE JYAPUS and be more like them. For generations this community has been busy from dawn to dusk serving the Nation. We should remember that the best, healthiest and tastiest vegetables are from the toil and sweat of these very people. Those still using their traditional organic farming methods are making a great contribution to mankind and our future generations. Now is the time Nepal needs to be like its traditional Jyapus “WHO CAN DO” and learn from them.

LEARNING FROM JYAPUS was last modified: August 1st, 2007 by Rajendra Keshari Pandey

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