When I tweeted this picture, I thought it was one of those images that had the capacity to go viral in Nepali domain. To my utter dismay, it didn’t even receive any kind of acknowledgement much less the prospect of going viral. Nonetheless, I must thank a couple of people who at least ‘liked’ it on instagram.
It was inspired by female olympians flaunting their patriotic nail art at the recent 2012 Olympics. It took me quite a while to replicate the flag. Considering the amount of effort I put in, this image at least deserved a post on my blog. Hence the reason I am writing this.
I genuinely believe this is a great time to be alive especially if you are a woman and also a Nepali citizen. I take immense pride in saying this because the world is finally beginning to recognize the power of women and their penetrating influence across the board. Women have always emerged as leaders in times of crisis. During this recession, for the first time women became the majority of the American workforce. According to Hanna Rosin’s article published in the Atlantic; in America, young, childless, single women now earn more than men do. Women today hold the purchasing power and significantly influence market dynamics. It has really taken this long for the world to acknowledge that women are in fact an untapped resource and ignoring women-power means ignoring development.
This statement may sound a little arrogant or absurd at a time when Nepali government recently banned women under 30 from working in the Middle East. First of all, Nepali government is a whole another topic that I shall discuss in a separate post including the socio-political consequences of Nepali women working abroad as a laborer. Secondly, yes, the majority of the Nepalese society is still a victim of conventional dogma that limits the role of women. Despite this narrow-mindedness I am utterly optimistic. In today’s technologically driven world there is no other way to go but to move forward. The exponential growth of technology is rapidly changing the way we interact with one another. With the free flow of information, the power now lies in the hands of ordinary people like us. Due to the influence of emerging technologies, open communications the speed of development is accelerating. Thus, in order to survive in today’s world – we must adapt to these changes. As Darwin once famously described as ‘survival of the fittest’. Those who choose to persist changing with time despite the challenges; will continue to exist. Where as those who choose not to; will be deemed irrelevant and ousted.
It is equally an awesome time to be a Nepali citizen because young Nepalese are truly walking the walk as opposed to their predecessors. The young generation is in tuned with the nuances of local needs at the same time very well-acquainted with the effects of globalization. Every day you get to read about the young Nepalese making a difference in their society. Whether it is about Kathmandu Cycle City 2020, where they have come together to work with the government to make Kathmandu a cycle friendly city or even something as poignant as initiating the graffiti art work on the political-slogan-filled walls of Kathmandu. This is a proof that the young Nepalese are ready to write their own stories. Willing to sing their own songs and march to the beat of their own drum. These young people are dreamers, risk takers. They are the true movers and shakers of this nation.
We belong to a generation who has come to terms with the reality that key to development lies in women empowerment and gender equality. Not every generation gets to be a part of the movement that defines the future. I believe we are that awakened generation of women and men and together we are shaping the future of our country heralding a new era of development.
The olympics are a great opportunity to witness a myriad of human emotions. One moment athletes are displaying their super-human side and another moment they are on the podium teary eyed exposing their vulnerabilities; making them so relate-able to the ordinary kind. They are after all just another 20 year olds, athletes in their 30s or 40s or just another teenagers. People who spent their entire childhood and adulthood training with dedication. And you see it in their eyes as they stand proud and tall representing their respective nations. When all is said and done the olympic games are as much about those who experience the thrill of victory as it is about those who accept defeat with grace and dignity.
The olympics if I can remember always have moments to celebrate. Not just the high points, even the lowest of the lows. Besides someone like Michael Phelps who became the most decorated olympian of all time; this one will also be remembered for the undying spirit of the South African double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius. It will be remembered for the moment when Grenadian sprinter Kirani James exchanged bibs with Pistorius out of respect on James’ first ever win for his country. It will be remembered for being the very first in the history of olympics to have represented women from all nations. 2012 London Olympics also belonged to Wojdan Shaherkani a female Saudi Arabian judo competitor who competed sans hijab. For Saudi Arabian women – that was a watershed moment.
It’s these human stories that we will remember 2012 olympic games for. I personally will reminisce this olympics for the simple reason that I was able to cheer for the Nepalese team during the opening ceremony. I am so proud of our home team. Yes, it is a very big deal to qualify for olympics; to push your strengths, believe in yourself and give your best. Whether we win or lose; Nepalese across the globe will continue to cheer for the Nepalese athletes and we will always be so proud of our home team.