Nepal: a Nepalese perspective

Recently, I came across views of Nepal expressed by a nepalese man on the web, and most notably on Quora. Personally, I found the analysis and reflections that he made about his own country to be profound, objective and most informative. In my view, the value of this nepali analysis is that it provides you, me and the other foreigners and tourists alike, with a most valuable insight of Nepal, its people, the nepali mindset and some of the country's inherent problems.
Basically, all this knowledgeable person spells out in his much-to-the point remarks is: "This is what Nepalis are like"!  The name of the author is Dr. Bikalpa Paudel and here are the pointed remarks he makes:
1. We seldom work hard and we hardly work smart
The vast majority of nepalese were traditionally and by nature hard workers, toiling in the fields day in and out. That somehow did not translate into white-collar work. It seems we still haven't cultivated requisite ethics and discipline, that today's office work and intellectual economy requires. Look at the corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy and judge for yourself.
2. We want the quick and easy way to success
When we realize that there isn't one really, we cheat. We cheat for ourselves and we cheat for others. Look at the nepotism inherent in our culture.
3. Citizenry that rarely, if ever, feels responsible
For the state of our country. We think that because this whole country sucks, the damage we inflict by our actions won't hurt......The system is us. The government is a reflection of us. We need to really digest that.
4. Expecting too much from the State/Government
Some of us feel that our already incompetent government should provide for almost everything. .......It takes generations of consistent effort from all stakeholders to actually achieve anything tangible, and as a people, we have hardly started.
5.Everybody wants a cut, guarantee
Look at all our cherished minority groups now demanding exorbitant quotas in anything and everything, keen to bypass fair competitive practices - it seems our majority values have rubbed off on them too. We often don't want to work for ourselves. We want work to be ensured for us, regardless.
6. Expecting that our problems will somehow solve themselves
...Some of us might think that now..we are a Federal Democratic Republic, with a new Constitution, it's all downhill from here....It has just started...and the most challenging work is still ahead of us.  Starting a revolution is easy, Ending with fruitful consequences? Not so much.
7. Excessively politicized society
Now I agree a degree of political awareness is good for the country, but to the extent we follow politicians?
8. Easily manipulated by politicians' narratives and slogans
It has gone too far.....Do we still need to waste more time with radical romanticism? We direly need to move past regionalism and work for the nation as a whole, not just isolated sections of society.
9. Being very much reactionary
If someone in some part of the world expresses their independent opinion that they don't like some facet of Nepal, or joke about our way of life (in good humor), we riot as if it's an all-out war. We are too personal, our traditional values are occasionally blind to the modern world and lack adequate defenses. We forget to just mind our own effing business.
10. Scarcity of original ideas and creativity
Look at the many dozens of instant noodle brands we produce, you couldn't tell one from the other. Look at the music industry, predominated by repacked lyrics and the same old love songs, over and over again, Look at the movie industry, the best that we have is bad Bollywood mimicry. What do we provide to the world that we actually strived to make ourselves and is unique? Please do not give me Mr. Everest or the Buddha - we didn't have to work for it.
11. Education, or rather the lack of it
While I agree that people now have more certificates than ever and we definitely appear more literate, we still do not give the impression of being much aware of modern values. Even more appalling is the extent to which we focus on rote memorization of the "what" questions, at the expense of really understanding the "nitty-gritty" - the "why".
...yes, people now have more information at their disposal but still lack collective wisdom to put that information to good use.
...sure there are some of us who want to do better and who are honest, law-abiding citizens but that population is still disorganized and relatively powerless...
However I do believe that people can inspire and be an example for others and get more like themselves on board, becoming a critical mass of lasting change, unleashing a chain reaction/snowballing effects of sorts that helps us leapfrog into the modern global economy within this generation".
In my view, this knowledgeable nepali gentleman expresses his opinions forcefully and with great clarity. For others, to comment, agree or disagree with the view expressed by this nepali person.

This sounds right on for the most part. But you need to think about the history of Nepal to be able to appreciate this list.

Back in the day, say 1050 AD. everyone was on the same playing field. People were bringing caravans through Nepal and life on the planet looked pretty much the same from the tip of Africa to Denmark or Finland. Then a couple things happened. One thing was a small Ice Age that made Europeans stop and think about the future or die. They invented the chimney and many other things. People in Nepal didn't have to worry; things worked the same as they always did.

Then along came Magellan and everyone started sailing around the world and forgot about Nepal. People on one mountain have a completely different language as the ones on the next mountain. When rural Nepali go to Kathmandu they say they are going to Nepal. It's so fragmented because it's been so isolated. Then the king followed India into the caste system, which made it even more fragmented.

Now Nepal is poised at the brink of a new age. Nepal can ride on the back of India with its rupee going up, up, up. Better times are coming to Nepal.

I found this Nepalese Perspective particularly interesting and totally relevant to the job I do.  Personally, I agree and can find no cause for disagreement with the views expressed.
As any economist will confirm, the exchange rate of a currency - any currency - is determined by the state of a country's economic health. That's pretty basic. I'm no economist myself but I do read the Kathmandu Post every morning.
It's no secret that Nepal's big problem is that the average annual productivity growth has stayed at around zero in the last 45 years (Ktm Post 6/27/2017) - In their editorial entitled "Central Bank Blues", the paper says it right there below the headline that "unless we increase our productive capacity, an expansionary monetary policy will do us more harm".
So what if the nepalese rupee were to go up, to reach much higher levels, as some observers have hypothesized? All I know as a layman is that if Nepal's currency were to reach high levels, it would quite obviously make the country's exports that much more expensive for foreigners to buy, and thereby contribute even further to the already existing severe negative balance of trade, and to the total deficit.
Many observers have pointed out that Nepal doesn't have the apparatus to interfere on the currency market because of its massive trade deficit notably with India, its major trading partner. This trade deficit gap is now running at the rate of 37.5% (last 10 mos of this FY) and that's equal to 29% of Nepal's GDP.
Let's hope that Nepal can and will successfully surmount all these real challenges it faces in today's modern very competitive world and that the non-convertible nepalese rupee will fare well, to find its fair and just level.

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