Why celebrities leave Nepal? Tenzing Sherpa to Prabal Gurung to Teriya Magar

These days it is quite common – successful Nepali people readily leave Nepal to live in foreign countries. When asked, they tell that, there is better opportunities in other countries. They tell that they ‘represent Nepal’ in whatever they do (like Teriya Magar). They claim that they are a Nepali ‘in heart’ and artistes have no borders (Udit Narayan). Is that true?

It is not only celebrities that are leaving Nepal, virtually everybody, capable of working or studying, is leaving in the name of work or education respectively. The effect is evident – I have heard about multiple instances in Nepal – about offices not receiving enought applications to fill vacancies in some specialized jobs. One of my friends had complained about how difficult it is to find a specialized employee. He added, “If found one, retaining that guy for long is a nightmare.”

I have a few unanswered questions:

  • Is brain drain good or bad ?
    If it is good – it should be promoted. If bad, government should be doing something about that
  • It it easy for the celebrities in foreign country?
    I think, it is always easier for them to live in their own countries. Something bigger is forcing them to take the risk and challenge. Many well known celebrities at home seem to be happy with odd jobs in foreign countries.
  • Who is causing this?
    I think somebody/some system is pushing unwilling talents out of Nepal. Who is that? Why is that?

I have compiled the list of Nepali talents who have left Nepal:

The first person to climb M.t. Everest, Tenzing Norgey Sherpa, born in Nepal had died in Darjeeling, India in 1986. (The Wikipedia article mentions that he had moved to India when he was 19 years old, before he became famous)

Prabal Gurung – Prabal became US Citizen in September of 2013.

Teriya Magar – Originally from Rupendehi, Nepal, Teriya has moved to Mumbai and is doing schooling there.

Udit Narayan Jha – One of the most successful playback singers in Bollywood, Udit Narayan was born in Bhardah, in Saptari district. Some Indian media reported that he was born in Baisi village in Bihar’s Supaul district. But, talking to a Nepali daily in 2009 he told that he was born in Nepal. But, his mother was from Bihar.

Manjushree Thapa – A daughter of noted politician and a well known writer of English literature, Manjushree Thapa, has accepted the Canadian Citizenship in 2016.

A lot of other Nepali talents have relocated to other countries; USA being the biggest destination for Nepali talents. Many film artists, sports person, politicians, business person, journalists and virtually every field are living in the USA and Canada. Many more are living in Australia, New Zealand and various countries in Europe. A lot of unskilled and some skilled Nepali workers are working in the middle eastern countries, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.


Prabal Gurung after accepting US Citizenship:

Why Teriya left Nepal? (video report)

Manjushree announcement of citizenship:


Tenzing Norgey – living in Darjeeling – Wikipedia

Prabal Gurung becoming US Citizen – WWD

A 2009 report in Times of India – Udit Narayan birthplace

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