Arjun Karki ‘Seema’
When I was a kid, my father used to take me to see his farm. During the winter, there were enough chunks of tree in the field. He had asked Samal Dai and Kumar Pradhan uncle to splinter these chunks. We had carried water in a steel kettle. Two of them were vigorously wielding the axe from two sides. But that log showed no sign of splitting.
Father was teaching them to turn the log around and swing the axe accordingly. After drinking water, they started to swing the axe as told by father. Soon after the log split into small pieces of firewood. Now I remember my father’s words- Boys, you should wield the axe to chop the firewood only after looking at its condition.
In reality, the story and saying of that day are still echoing in my mind today. Taking the right approach is not only important while chopping firewood but it is a prerequisite element in every part of our life.
Every aspect of our society needs to be dealt in a right manner. The manner of doing things in this country seems to be at fault today, but if we want to utilize our potential in the right manner, I request and call everyone to unite.
This sector too suffers from the lack of right approach. So, I want to share my experiences and suggest that tourism is the combination of nature and culture.
On 24th July, 1977, Yasoda Biswokarma of Tiriun, ward no. 9 of Bahundangi village panchayat was brutally killed by a wild elephant. There have been 27 casualties of wild elephant in this area. 13 wild elephants have been killed, and there is no record of injuries and property damage caused by the wild elephants.
Prosperity is in our backyard but we have not changed our attitude. We did not try to understand the splendor of nature. We could not change our beliefs and culture and understand that problem is necessity. We could not accept the eternal fact that solution is life. Due to our failure to take the right approach, the society has not changed for better. The group of 200 animals arriving from the Kolabari jungle of India enter the Nepali border through the wide plains of Mechi. They come to feed on the crops and they require neither any visa nor any passport. Things like border, ethnicity, gender, religion, party and country mean nothing to them. They only know about feeding themselves. But we never tried to understand their problem. We were only focused on our damage of life and property.
As a result, our problems and life standard remain the same even after 50 years. Is it not the lack of right approach that my brother Samal and Kumar uncle could not chop the firewood and we have not been able to utilize the potential of our nature and culture?
So, it is inevitable that we slowly lead the elephant and nature towards our culture and customs. The use of drums, stick, mallet, spear and electricity to frighten, wound and kill the wild animals has only created conflict between human beings and animals. Some of us did not want to change our way of thinking, while others have been forced not to.
Our Nepali society and tradition and culture is connected to nature. The indigenous groups worship trees and bamboos. Similarly, other ethnic groups too worship trees like holy fig, wood apple and golden fig. Religious tourists also visit these sites. Tourists mostly prefer natural sceneries. Sagarmatha, Rara lake, Fewa lake, mountain ranges, hills, Terai, forests, flowers, butterflies, birds and animals are some of the major attractions.
Similarly, we also worship water springs, large trees, unique places and structures formed naturally and turn them into tourist spots. We enthusiastically celebrate our every cultural festival. Different businesses are supported when we travel from one place to another during Dashain. Thus, our cultural festivals also contribute the tourism industry.
Therefore, we must keep the water springs and rivers around our village clean and we must also protect them. We should safely direct the wild animals entering our village towards their habitat without unnecessarily frightening them. We should preserve butterflies and birds. Similarly, our every action should unite and preserve our culture. If we can achieve this then our future generations should not have to be enslaved to work in 50-degree Celsius heat in a foreign country.
The tourism I see is in nature and culture. Let us be united in its promotion and protection. Prosperity does not come by itself. We humans achieve prosperity through the strength of our actions. At last, best wishes for the upcoming festivals to everyone.