Its been nearly a month since I have arrived in the US for my graduate study. The experience may be short to come to a concrete conclusion but it certainly has initiated some thoughts.
For a Nepali guy abroad , especially in the West, two difference strikes the most. One is the functioning system sustained through grids of massive infrastructure and utility services. The other is the individualism that pervades over everything from study classes to your apartment neighbourhood. We as Nepal, would lose our identity if we loose our community interdependence, and certainly would be a poor country if we leave our infrastructure as it is.
The West is not going to teach us ways to develop our infrastructure and promote community interdependence through it. Because they have never done it by themselves. By infrastructure, I don't mean simply big roads and big hydro power projects. Our infrastructure need to support our core values. An example is home stay services provided by some villages in Nepal. Though it requires a clean locality, a regular supply of fresh food and clean water, proper hygiene it is not just another hotel service.
However, careful implementation of Western sustainable technical advancements correlated with our values brings in success. The success of Manakamana Cable Car is directly derived from the religious values it is associated with. It may not succeed as a general means of transportation, though. It will still take years for apples in our mountains to get its price. However, a distillation centre or a collective enterprise promoted in form of jam and other similar dishes can make the product live longer and even find its price through airways. It will be easier to invest in rather than a mega hydropower project, but in essence shall preserve our values of community interdependence. Cheese factories have survived in remote areas, as it receives government care . A government owned distillary firm may have been a distant thought some decades ago, but with inclusiveness at its highest it might just be an enterprise to break the moral hegemony of Nepal.
And in another case, while states within US have started making revenue out of selling marijuana, we instead spend valuable revenue in curtailing it. As a majority of tourist hubs in Nepal tolerate its use by foreigners it can be at least legalised to foreigners (like casinos) with certain tax levied during the visa for foreigner intending to consume it. Unlike tobacco, marijuana thrives in diversity and community farming at discrete location shall always able to compete with highly budgeted pharmaceuticals producing it in controlled environment. The revenue thus garnered shall directly trickle to the community and tax is centrally collected through a small tick at immigration.
These are simply thoughts which are bound to have imperfection. However, our journey should begin. We will (have to) find our own way!