Why I Spotlight Nepal And Conduct A Comparative Analysis With The U.S.


nepal photo
Photo by jafsegal (Thanks for the 2,5 million views) cc

First of all, Nepal is a great point of departure for motivating students to become engaged with Climate Change issues. For some age levels the World Resources Report on “Impacts and Adaptive Strategies” is ideal for getting down with the environmental concerns, making use of Mathematics and Science, its old publishing date notwithstanding. I have contact with more than one of the experts who are responsible for the report, and any one of them can interact with my students to provide updates where necessary.

A glance at the Conclusion section of a Wikipedia entry for Climate Change adaptation in Nepal clarifies the importance of bottom-up movement in solidarity for citizens in that country, and no concept could be more important for U.S. concerned citizens to embrace than that. That’s a point which youngsters of any grade level can understand.

Okay, let’s call the above Reason #1. Let’s now look — in telegraphic form — the other reasons (in no special order):

#2 = The undeniably singular natural beauty of the country enables any teacher to inspire youngsters.

#3 = Economic development in Nepal has been complicated and affected by the constant change in political scenarios which has changed from Monarchy to the Communist party. There is much to explore in all this, especially since it was an isolated agrarian society until the mid-20th century. Many of my friends and I entered the country at a time when it only began to have schools, hospitals, roads, telecommunications, electric power, industry and civil service. I have a lot of personal stories to share which can make all that come alive.

 # 4 = Nepal is landlocked by India on three sides and China’s Tibet to the north. West Bengal’s narrow Siliguri Corridor (or Chicken’s Neck) separate Nepal and Bangladesh. To the east are India and Bhutan. As a buffer of sorts between the two most populous countries on earth, both highly influential (with nuclear capability), Nepal affords many points for instruction in Geography. And little-discussed nations such as Bhutan and Bangladesh can be given spotlights they rarely receive. There is a great opportunity with Nepal to delve into the singular challenges of Third World countries.



5 = Its proximity to Jammu and Kashmir (less than 1000km away) enables one to address what’s the most highly militarized zone in the world. Opening the door for discussion of counterparts worldwide, such as what’s been set up on the Korean peninsula. A focus on that would, of course, be particularly timely at this juncture in history. To say nothing about how the Muslim population that is centered in that realm plants seeds for an eye-opening discussion about matters related to Islam which are rarely discussed.

6 = The gastronomy of the region offers exciting prospects for instruction in nutrition and taste

7 = The Art and Architecture of Nepal inevitably open the door for an in-depth exploration of Buddhism and Hinduism.

8 = Let’s not forget the wildlife of Nepal.

9 = No one ever seems to talk about Nepali literature or dramatic art.

10 = There is only one country’s flag that is neither a square (like Switzerland’s) nor a rectangle (like Great Britain’s). The flag of Nepal, adopted in 1962 when the new constitutional government was formed, is a double triangle pennant. Its history and the aesthetics of it beg for in-depth discussion and analysis, and can lead students down many interesting paths. For one, it’s the only flag in the world that demands some geometrical understanding… to understand why it’s, arguably, even more singular than the Himalayas.

11 = Let’s do a shout out for that Nepali Music, yes? And not just the Folk Music.

12 = Nepal provides a great basis for doing a comparative analysis with the U.S., and generates lots of fascinating material on an ongoing basis under the umbrella of Current Events.

Richard Martin Oxman has been an educator and activist for over half-a-century. He would be honored to speak gratis at any educational institution which makes a request at [email protected].


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