Erenlai - 按日期過濾項目: 週一, 19 十一月 2007
週一, 19 十一月 2007 18:42

Youth's power can build Asian unity

1. In which circumstances, do you have a strong feeling of being Asian?
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Up to now, I did not get a chance to travel to other Asian countries, so I have a deep Nepalese identity. However, through the associations I am participating in, I often meet Westerners and Asians in Nepal. I feel more comfortable among Asian groups, because we share many distinctive cultural values: a strong tie with the family, a societal bond, the same festival celebrations, and a similar way of thinking... We are often quite surprised by Non-Asians’ behaviors who easily kiss and hug. I got used to these particular social interactions, and accept them, but I can understand Asian people do not approve of it. In this sense, I identify myself to Asians and I feel Asian.

2. What does ‘being Asian’ mean to you? What does it involve?
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In Nepal, during primary school teachers tell us we are Asians. Although I could define the geographic borders of Asia, at that time I had no idea about the signification of being Asian. Growing up, I learned that it means to be part of a bigger Nation with diversities among unity. I am sure this sense will keep growing as much as I will work with people from other Asian countries.
An Asian Union means Asians are ‘together’. It is a sweet word in itself. I can imagine the charm of the situation when all Asian countries unite for a single purpose of fighting global crisis. But, ‘being together’ also expresses difficulties. In the middle of such diversity among Asian nations (for example Japan and Nepal), solidarity and unity with equal responsibility and involvement is realistically difficult to achieve. However, I always believe it is never impossible to make things possible! Young Asians joining NGOs are a good example of Asians working together.

3. What do you think are the major challenges Asians should face together?
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Sustainable development should be a major concern in most Asian countries. It is hardly achievable by a single undeveloped country like Nepal. Where there is no security of food and a place to live for the next few days, how can you not exploit natural resources? With no other option to hold the national income up, people as well as the government depend on the marginal benefit provided by its excessive exploitation. Hence, I think regional cooperation is undoubtedly needed! Support and technical enhancement from the regional unity during hard times are needed to achieve sustainable development. There are lots of cooperation programs being run in Nepal, especially with Japan. I have a good experience in working with young Japanese Oversees Volunteers. Similarly, India and China also provide help in sharing their resources and expertise with Nepal. I learned to know about environmental degradation and I started to feel my part of responsibility. So, now I am contributing in environmental protection organizations in Nepal.

4. You are working along with Taiwanese in an association providing education to 45 children who were deprived of education. Do you think better education can help Nepalese to be further integrated in Asian cooperation programs?
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The community children’s school is situated in the remote part of West Nepal. As I am living in Katmandu, I cannot look after it all the time. My responsibility in this project is to raise funds to regulate the school, try to find ways to improve the infrastructure and the education pattern. For the development of a healthy Asian union, education for all Asians is undoubtedly needed. Hence, educating children has been one of my priorities. Nepalese have shown on many occasions that, with education, they can compete at the international level. Better education opportunities for Nepalese would make it easier for us to get integrated in cooperation programs.

5. You are very active in joining organizations helping to develop Nepal. Is it important for you to play a role in your country?
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Nepal is going through a transitional phase after a twelve years long war, and is in a critical situation. New generations of Nepalese are rushing towards the United States and Europe to find better work opportunities. Consequently, brains and energies are draining out of the country. In the current situation, I feel the Nation needs me. So, along with my friends, I am doing what I can to help Nepal to develop further. It is important for me to play a role and at the same time encourage the youths to do the same.

6. The construction of an Asian Union is often seen as an economic trade agreement. How do you think diversities between Asian countries in economic growth can be overcome?
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It is a challenge, but allocation of a definite role for each partner country and the sense of unity at the cooperation level among the countries can overcome the heterogeneity. I have always been convinced of the impact conveyed by one entity, but I believe a group has more power. Cooperation between associations should work with the intention to become mutually stronger. India’s help to Nepal is very important for our country, but it feels like there is a deep sense of domination from the Indian side. I do not like to focus on the economic development of a country while ruining all the other beautiful aspects, like moral and cultural values, brotherhood, cooperation and love. Cultural blending needs to be present, not enhancing only the economy, but all the other important aspects that are still missing up to now.

7. Does Nepal encounter difficulties from the Chinese side?
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For the solidarity or unity among the Asian countries, for the sake of achievement of sustainable development, China’s way of dealing with this issue is certainly harmful. The hunger for the economic boost has made China forget about all other aspects of a sound development mechanism and of its components. But here, in Nepal, the government is not concerned with all of the wrongdoings that are going on. The excessively complicated national bureaucratic system has become a great challenge in introducing new concepts and carrying out our actions in Nepal.

8. What is the next step your country should take to be more integrated in an Asian Union?
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Nepalese youths should create more networks in other Asian countries; work together and fight against common problems, share ideas and experiences, volunteer in associations… It is hard to involve or start things from the top level. So, what I see possible is youths from all over Asia working together and building a base for a cooperation program which will carry on growing thanks to the efforts of the people.

9. How do you envision Asia in twenty years from now?
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I want to see a more homogeneous Asia in terms of development status, but diversified in its cultures and traditions as it is now. I want people to have a better sense of Asian Unity. I wish to see youths being regional citizens rather than local citizens and I would like to see them participating in new regional forums. It requires continuous efforts over twenty-five years at least, but it will modify today’s youths to be more responsible individuals. They will have more and more opportunities to take part in this process. Finally, I think it would provide a chance for all Nepalese to make a contribution to make their country a better place to live.

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