By: Prem K. Amatya
When I introduced myself to a Canadian friend, she asked the most dreaded question, again:
"Where is Nepal?"
It wasn’t the first time I had faced the question. It’s not only asked by Canadians, my Chinese and Indian friends had also asked me the same question before. The question in itself is simple but, the answer isn’t that simple. I have tried various version of answers and no single answer had satisfied my friends. They would ask more questions until I could show them the map. Here are some of the answers:
- Nepal is in Asia.
- Nepal is located North of India.
- Nepal is located South of China.
- Nepal is located in between India and China.
- Nepal is the country of Mt. Everest.
- Nepal is the country of Buddha.
None of these answers are self-sufficient to answer the ‘where is Nepal’ question. Nepal is in Asia and so do 48 other nations. It is in between China and India, on the North of India and South of China. But there are other countries situated in that place like Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Some even think Mt. Everest is in China and they believe I was lying if I tell them about it’s exact location. Now, India is also trying it’s best to take away the Buddha’s birthplace.
Since childhood, we were told that were free forever and no foreign country had ever ruled us. But, that doesn’t change anything. I can’t define my identity on that basis.
People are still asking me, "Where is Nepal?" And, maps aren’t always available. So, can you please suggest a better answer?