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10th November - Newsletter

10th November - Newsletter

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Published by Eric Fairman
Newsletter of Papa`s Home for children in need. Kathmandu, Nepal
Newsletter of Papa`s Home for children in need. Kathmandu, Nepal

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Published by: Eric Fairman on Nov 10, 2013
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11/15/2013

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 10
th
 November, 2013
 
Migrations
October is the beginning of the biggest Hindu festival of the year - Dashain, followed closely by Tihar in early November. The excitement that the Dashain festival engenders is palpable at all levels of society, comparable to the western Thanksgiving or Christmas preparations. It is a time for families to meet. Unlike most of the western world, meeting family entails travelling for hours, if not days, back to one’s village of birth to celebrate with relatives still living in the village. This annual migration of the Nepali population back to their birth-village is astonishing to behold! Laden down with bags and bundles (few have western style baggage), folk pile into and onto any and every means of conveyance available. And by the first day of Dashain, Kathmandu a city with a population of 2.5 million, is all but deserted. No taxis, micro-buses or any other means of public transport are available. If you missed the last buses, then you are stuck! But no worries! Those who have chosen to remain in the city with their families will also celebrate in style. Whilst thousands have left the city for the village, there has been a reverse migration from the villages to the city…an unwilling migration of thousands of cattle, goats and sheep all heading to the numerous Hindu temples scattered in and around the city. Their destiny is to become a bloody decapitated sacrifice to the gods before being taken home and consumed as a family meal. The main temple in Durbar Square in the centre of Kathmandu is more than ankle deep in the blood of these poor creatures, killed in the name of religion. Westerners turn our eyes away in horror. The sounds of the animals, the audible ‘swish’ of the downward slicing stroke of the sacrificial sword, together with the sight and smell of blood, is just too much for our delicate senses. We prefer our slaughter to take place behind closed doors, after which we cheerily make our guilt-free trip to the supermarket to collect our Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey, or goose, or venison, or swine, or whatever.
 
2, Papa’s Home too had its own goat, despatched discreetly by Lalit in the back yard. Our children did not witness the ritual killing, but were aware of it. The reality is that they live in a Hindu society and all have a Hindu background, although generally speaking, they do not participate in any religious practice, Papa’s Home being multi-religious/cultural. Our children looked forward eagerly to others aspects of the festival, in particular the acquisition of a complete new set of clothing especially for Dashain. This is an expensive exercise for us! But this is where ‘angels’ fly in!!
Anna and Inés
Papa’s Home is always delighted to play host to volunteers and so it was earlier in October with the arrival of Anna Jonker (Netherland) and Inés Alves (Portugal). Having met a ‘couch surfers’, they decided to join forces and seriously plan for a visit to Nepal and a month’s volunteering at Papa’s Home. Their direct preparation involved raising funds so as to be in a position to give tangible help to Papa’s Home. As a result of their efforts, Inés and Anna arrived in Nepal with the grand sum of €1,400. Converted into Nepali rupees at the current rate realised an enormous Nrs1,42,000!!
 
3. To see exactly how this money was utilized, it is best to visit the ‘blog’ kept by the two young ladies. However, in short they bought paint and decorated several rooms in the house, bought clothes for the children, bought a goat for Dashain, a ‘fridge, fire extinguisher, books, etc, etc,. Full details:
http://www.aroundthehimalayas.org/  
Inés and Anna involved themselves in all aspects of the life of Papa’s Home and our outreach programme for the Street Children, financially supported by a UK charity
‘C.H.A.N.C.E. for Nepal’
. Here follows a short extract from Inés and Anna’s ‘blog’:-
 
‘....Lalit and I went to the other side of the city to feed a group of street children. This was again a motor trip of almost an hour. And after sunset, imagine what will happen with the traffic… We made small plastic bags filled with rice and vegetables to give to the children. This was really special, and the children were so grateful! Lalit is doing this every evening. The children are waiting for him at the same place at a corner of the street every night. Unbelievable that there are so many children living on the streets of Kathmandu. Some of the children are so young.. And their main goal of the day is to arrange food to survive. It really hit me in the face to see this in real life. I also noticed that some of the children were sniffing glue while they were waiting for the food. Wow!! What a different world is this. It’s really amazing to be here and to help, it makes you think about everything twice and realising how happy we all can be with our lives in Europe. ….’

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