Nepal and some Misconceptions

Posted by: amar

I am a patriot; on the other hand, I wanted to bring to the attention some of the misconceptions my school text books have implanted in my brain during my childhood. I would like to alert or rather provoke some national prides we cherish. Meanwhile, I would like to get corrected, if I’m wrong.

These are upshots of several events where I felt embarrassed or even humiliated because of my poor knowledge, which was imparted to me during my school days from several school books from venerable teachers in Nepal. Moreover, I have witnessed that lots of my friends were also have fallen victim to these situations.

Nepal is a small country

I was talking to a guy from Belgium. After some introductory warm up, I said you know Nepal is a small country. This, I was taught in the school so many times, I did not have to think and it came spontaneously. 

He sternly refuted and told me that Nepal is at least 4 times bigger than Belgium. I was speechless. I should have studied more.

Later, I checked in the wikipedia and found that out of 232 countries Nepal Stood in 93rd position which means there are 139 more countries below us in terms of territory.

In school, we used to write essay on “Nepal is a small Country”. We are so much overpowered by India and China that we cannot get out of this parochial view, at least for me it took half of my life to realize this. Ok, later is better than never.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_outlying_territories_by_area

Nepal is very popular and known worldwide

It was yet another big lie.

Contrary to Nepali text books, a very few people seem to know Nepal. At least that was my experience. For some reason they mixed up Tibet with Nepal.

Nevertheless, nowadays Nepal has become infamous and people tend to show familiarity when you refer to royal massacre and maoist insurgency.

Nepal was never colonized

As stated above, since people are not well informed regarding Nepal, it is unreasonable to assume that they would know whether we were colonized or not. As a result, in many occasions, I could get away with this statement. Until one day, a knowledgeable guy pointed out that my country was protectorate of British Government. He further expounded that most of the crucial decisions were made by British Government. Some argue that protectorate is even worse than colony; however, I would refrain from any judgment. Besides, unlike Thailand for some reason in many international books, Nepal is not listed in the list of countries that were not colonized.

At least in my times, this was never well explained in the history and geography books.

Nepal is second in water resources after Brazil

I tried to look into the internet; but I could not match this fact. According to official data, in terms of producing hydropower, Nepal can draw 43,000 MW out of total 83000 MW, whereas even India and China have 150,000 MW and 378,000 MW of feasible hydropower respectively. In terms of sheer water resources, Brazil of course is in the first, but Nepal is nowhere in the top list. If you talk about overall water resource then China and Myanmar have more than us. Please refer to UN published chart.  Maybe I am totally ignorant or oblivious in this case but I simply cannot find Nepal being the second.

Top water resource (Source FAO)

Everest is in Nepal

This one is partially true. In many books, it says Everest is located on the border between Tibet and Nepal. Does it mean we share part of the Everest with China? In the wikepedia ,it says that Everest is located in China and Nepal, how and when it was divided, who owns the peaks it’s clearly not written. As it stands, at least we should bear in mind that Everest is not only in Nepal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Everest

Google Map 1 (Shows Everest outside, please refer to my comment)

Google Map (Zoomed Google Map1)

Nepalese Forest and Agriculture

The impression I got when I was in school was only Nepal has beautiful “CHAR KOSHE JHAADI”, and no one else has got this. How wrong I was.  Same thing goes for agriculture.

Richest in Biodiversity

It is rich but not the richest. See the attached document. Nepal is ranked 4th in terms of importance, however so are other countries.

Bio Diversity (Source: UNEP) Acrobat reader required.

In conclusion, with these experiences, I have started examining each of the statements I have learned in the school. It is regretful how poorly we were prepared for the external world. Or, it may be the case that due to our culture, we never cross examined or challenged the teachers and the books.

Nepal and some Misconceptions was last modified: January 30th, 2008 by amar
 

Blog Comments

  1. Garkhaule

    Teachers are to be blamed ’cause they don’t research before teaching to students. They stick only with what is written in the textbooks.

  2. tamu gurung

    On the subject of Nepal being colonized you say that most international books say Thailand was never colonized but dose not list Nepal under that category. I want more info which books? which authors? what are their sources? also Thailand is considered an SE Asian country while Nepal is considered S Asian county hence it may not be included on the same category. As for the politics of Nepal what proof do you have that the British made the political decisions?. Also Thailand is more known world wide hence it gets more books about it then Nepal, have you considered this being another reason Nepal is not mentioned on those books?. Lastly on the some arguing that a protectorate is worst then a colony i only hear the word some and not most its akin to the global warming thing some argue it is not happening but most agree it is happening so that to me is invalid.

  3. Sarbesh Dangol

    Everest peak belongs to Nepal….refer to Mao-Tse-Tung treaty with Nepal…Though Everest as a mountain is the border between nepal-china, highest Peak is in Nepal…

  4. Jimmy

    Haha baccha jasto mukh na chod . Ani facts are not available in Wikipedia. N I knw y u r callin me with these names cuz crow always calls its name saathi grow up Kalo kaag le kaan lera gayo bhanera kaag paachadi na bhag Afno kaan samate ra check gar. Teso bhaye Tah jasto manchele le ta aafno AMA lai ni budi bhayechi cindainas hola. U suck man tahlai kehi bhanu bhalu lai puraan sunaunu ho. U r not Nepali u r fucking refugee. K pauchas affnai desh ko Beajjat garerA ki hits bata paisa kamauchas. Gedu ka chamcha ma pani rakhe ra dubera maar.

  5. jimmy

    nepal was never a protectorate because protectorate state cannot maintain its own army. Well when british were in india nepal had its own army and fought a war with tibet and china plus the british.. Man get your knowledge straight . we might not be second largest hydro power. but on this issue i can bet million dollars.

    Second thing dont blame nepal for not getting job nachna na aaune aangan tedho. neta harulai galli gara..
    Well we were never colonized and will never be mind it.

  6. Malesh Shah

    1. Nepal is a small country … This is a relative statement you can’t state it’s false if you have to separate the countries of world in braces of big and small Nepal can’t compare to big nations brace as they have countries like China and India and USa and Russia who have more than or around 100 times our land so u have wrong perception.
    2. Nepal is very popular and known worldwide… I believe you have got an incomplete statement in here if you can find a person with average geography knowledge rather then a non scholar high school fail .. you will always find he/she atleast 80% know what is mount everest and thats why they must know where it is so.. u are in wrong company to prove this statistics
    3. Nepal was never colonized… The statement you are giving has no proof to contradict our history books as Nepal can be only considered a nation after PN Shah after that Nepal was alwayz ruled my a Nepali Government rather then wat actually happens in COLONIZATION , if change he defination of Colonization according to your will you can state NEPAL IS COLONIZED RYT NOW as must higher level decisions are more or less influenzed my INDIA.. Nepal rather has a record of avoiding two serious situation of colonization first through Amshu Verma and Bhrikuti (if u go through the same history books again) and next during anglo-nepal war via Sugaulii sandii (which u would very well know about)
    4. Nepal is second in water resource after Brazil… This statement was never the ryt statement if you can get your source correctly it’s written Nepal has the second highest hydro power potential.. Water resources is counted or amounted in cubic meter rather then Mega Watt and Giga watt and the fact that china or other country can produce more from the resources has nothing to do with the actual potential rather being a technical background man I can tell you these data you listed comes from a PH.D research paper done thruu Mapping so it’s accurate till you do catchment and use the same river in many different parts as in UPPER MARSHANGDI MIDDLE MARSHAnGDI
    5. eVEREST IS IN Nepal .. As true as Sun Rises from East. If it lies in border between Tibet and Nepal it doesn’t mean we share the landmass. Your statement implies ans coincides with statement like since biratnagar lies in the border of Nepal and India it is shared my both .. I think you get it and moreover the highest number of reliable geographic database agree to the fact that “EVEREST IS IN NEPAL”

    other twoo statement I have never heard in my life tym its your typographical misreading it was never stated at Supelative Degree it was always amongst the Best type st atement i.e. The biodiversity the agricultue and the Forest is one of the Richest not the Richest the statement is somehow written my a premature analysis by YOU my dear brother…

    ONE MORE THING IF YOU WERE A TRUE PATRIOT YOU WOULD RATHER CONFIRM THE FACTS FROM RELIABLE SOURCES THAN TO POST IS AS A FALSE PUBLICITY STUNT OF OUR NATION so please proof your claims b4 bringing false accusation on your mother land

  7. Ashutosh

    The resources that you are talking about doesn’t only include hydropower, it includes other economic profits it could bring. Small things, even rafting works. Because the rivers are really fast flowing with a huge change in elevation over a small area. Everest in Nepal is true because it is what separates Nepal from Tibet. Think of it as a line of control before the No Man’s land. So, when people say it is in China, it is indeed kind of ambigous because it isn’t actually. There are some “pass” to go to China after the Mountain Range.
    Also, talking about colonization, we were not colonized by the British but we were under the fear of being attacked by the strongest courty back then. United states and even the middle-east was under British rule back then. I dont deny that it was a horror for us when they tried to colonize us but that was why the Sugauli Treaty took place. We did loose some land; so could say that they had a bit of control on us because we could say nothing when they took humungous amount of our land but they never could interfare on our matter. I mean if you think about it, dont you think they would have taken our land for granted to trade with China when they couldn’t.
    I love the way you have written the article though. A+ on your thoughts. I agree with your article to some extent because every picture does have a different story from every angle but then as Walter Ong said,
    “We have all heard it said that one picture is worth a thousand words. Yet, if this statement is true, why does it have to be a saying? Because a picture is worth a thousand words only under special conditions – which commonly include a context of words in which the picture is set.”

  8. ananta

    One more thing: I read that Nepal’s mineral resources are something to envy about. Our school once dared to take us to “Khani Bibhag” located at Lazimpat to show us crude oil that they could extract in Nepal. Also read that in certain portion down the earth, Nepal is full of natural gases, only to find out in latter life that all this is not true, as non of the mineral is of commercial significance.

    Some controversial thought. Nepalese Gorkha had own gallantary medals for Bravery. Is it Bravery or Foolishness. Something to argue about!!

    Buddha was born in Nepal. Was he actually born in Nepal? Perhaps it would be more correct if it is stated that Buddha was born in Kapilvastu which presently is in Nepal. My question is what if Nepal (and Kapilvastu) is taken over by China and then can Chinese say Buddha was born in China?

    “Saga ra Sisnu Khanu Nai Besh Ananda Mana Le”, enforces us our National pride and ego, and in reality this is killing our work ethics and dignity of labour. so, people are complacent on doing less and earning less but not facing challanges in work.

    There can be many and many misconception we have been put through throughout our childhood life.

  9. Amar

    Thanks your inputs and comments.

    Everest in Nepal
    ——————–

    Concerning unreliability of wikepedia, in fact, as its soruce, it refers to the official map of Nepal. Additionally, Here is the sentence from Britannica.
    http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9033358/Mount-Everest
    mountain on the crest of the Great Himalayas of southern Asia that lies on the border between Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, at 27°59 N, 86°56 E. I don’t agree with the Asim’s reasoning regarding Everest.
    Furthermore, I have attached map from Google Maps(in the article). Although it says Sagaramatha is in Nepal, however in the Map it is outside Nepal. I presume that it might be a mistake. Perhaps, only some official guy from Nepal Ministry can shed light on this.

    Nepal Second in water resource:
    ———————————–

    If Nepal is second per square Kilometer as pointed out by Prakash, which country is the first one ? If it is Bhutan then he may be right. However, we read in the books that Nepal comes after Brazil. My calculation shows that Bhutan has more hydropower(Area 47,000 Square Kilometer, hydropower theorectical 30,000 and feasible 16280) per sq kilometer than Nepal.

  10. Asim

    Nicely Written. But, lets go back and re-think about a few things.. 1) Nepal is a small country: Yea, it is true. Nestled in between two gigantic countries (Ind and China) will definitely make a country like Nepal look smaller than it really is. And on the other hand, we never learned in school that Nepal is the smallest country in the world. I do not see any harm in calling Nepal as a small country, but, we must not be surprised by the fact that there are a lot of countries smaller than Nepal. 2) Nepal is very popular and known worldwide: This is one of those statements that a lot of people will make you feel abashed. Indeed, Nepal should be famous worldwide, but it lacks publicity, as far as anything is concerned. I do not want to argue too much on this. 3) Nepal was never colonized: This is true. It was never colonized. Yes, they had to sign a treaty with the British Government who protectorate some territory, but not the whole country. Overall, Nepal can still retain its appellation of being a colonized COUNTRY. 4) Nepal is second in water resources over Brazil: This is also true. I totally agree what Prakash says: \” Nepal is second in water resources refers to total area covered by the country with respect to total power it can draw from it. Total power that India and China can generate, is far less when we compare to area they cover \”. This was not clarified to us in our textbooks (when we were in school). But, this statement holds good. 5) Everest is in Nepal: Everyone knows the answer, definitely it is in Nepal. Now, Wikipedia can say that it is in between Nepal and China because China appears to be right besides it. We do not share Everest with China. Everest is in the highest region (altitude) in Nepal that defines the country\’s boundary. It is just one of those things that depends perspectively in how you view it. If you feel Ok by saying that Nepal is in between India and China, then it should be fine saying that Everest is in between Nepal and China. 6) Nepal being rich in biodiversity and Forest in Nepal: I disagree with this one! I will stick with what the writer (amar) says.

    Overall, this document is nicely written. I enjoyed reading it!! (5 out of 5)

  11. sangesh

    There are still many misconception, Prithinaryan shah did not unite nepal, he just wanted to increase his contry GORKHA’s area. We need to request our education ministry to re write this part of histroy and say that prithinaryan shah invaded many small country to make it big and called it nepal. :P

  12. Pramit

    Nice piece of writing and compilation of facts. Its an eye opener. But I agree with Gagan, wikipedia in not the best source of information.

  13. what?obsession abt nepal

    Soil, water, Mountain,PEACEFUL(Years BACK),Forest,agriculture, birds, animals,Friendly smiling People do not make Nepal rich. It does not give jobs and good career. It does not let you live and let others live. Why do not you talk of Investments, Capital, Revenues. Mere Patriotism will make you suffer and die. This age is for computers software hardware, and MONEY, not physical resources.

  14. Gagan

    Nicely written. I thought Nepal was the ONLY country in the world that was never colonized. Damn!

    One thing though… please don’t base your articles on wikipedia too much. I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that anyone can change the facts in wiki. I’m referring to the Everest not in Nepal article.

  15. Prakash

    In one of article, I read “Nepal is second in water resources” refers to total area covered by the country with respect to total power it can draw from it. Total power that India and China can generate, is far less when we compare to area they cover.
    The article is well written with good facts to ponder upon.

  16. nepal ko name

    अर्को misconception भनेको ‘ने’ भन्ने मुनि ले टुडिखेलमा पाल हालेर तपस्या गरेको अनि नेपाल नाम राखेको हो

  17. Nischal

    reflection of bitter truth….though nasty Amar what you have pointed the TRUTH..
    As you said, i also often encounter who have just heard of turmoil of Nepal, and few of managed to ask which side of conflict i am in :shock: Nepal is not famous at this point of time, rather it’s infamous, a friend of mine from Cameroon went to a deep thought when i said i am Nepali then he came up with the deeds of Paras, i was shocked…. there are many reasons for “ill-famed” Nepal…

  18. heretic

    Excellent article. Looking forward to more of these dismantlings of vain and empty patriotism. Careful, though, a few mindless sheep might just start a riot again….and kill a bunch of themselves in the process!!

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