18 responses

  1. Claudia Ochsner
    August 20, 2013

    Good and important article! Congratulation …. it needs guts to publish it. I can understand the frustration all too well.

    By myself living in South Africa I do agree. By us is it even worse because of the hatred and violence against Whites. This includes those who are living here since the very beginning and who has build the country as it is today.

    Tourism is a double-edged sword. One is certain for me, tourists are not longer coming when the racism becomes too visible. When chaos and crime takes over. We had a lot of discussion in my country of origin ( Switzerland ) about an incident with a climber ( Swiss ) and Sherpas ( Nepalese ). It will cost dearly. People don’t like to be looked at as cash cows. Same here with the Safari industry.

    What is frustrating me most that it is taken for granted that the “West” is looked at as guaranteed aid money giver for all times. Not that the “West” would expect thankfulness, but at least the “West” want to see progress. And not an overwhelming corruption. The British and Dutch East India companies has brought not only colonialisation, but a heck of developments as well. Every coin has two sides. And everything is coming with a price.

    Today other large global companies take over the role of the former conqueror from Europe. China is playing in the upper league. I can see it in Africa. Thousands of mine workers are now illegally mineworkers. They do not even give bad jobs to the natives anymore. Why ? Because they don’t like the way the Africans are working and living.

    Racism is a taboo in the Western World to talk about. But we have to ….. or all our nicely and not so nicely meant ideas of fighting poverty, avoid wars and so on will going down the river. Human mankind is separated by race. Like it or not. And every race has its own self concept and its own abilities. Respect would be the key and acceptance. But we are far away from it.

    By myself I decided to become a fast traveler again. Long enough on a place to understand this world, fast enough on another place to live in peace. And at least for min. 3 months per year on my own home soil. Until I have enough of the incredible naivety there as well.

    We only find our home in the within. We have to look for peace in the within. And we gain all the knowledge needed to survive into ourselves.

    “Faith is a knowledge within the heart, beyond the reach of proof.”
    Khalil Gibran

    Keep on going and keep on moving …. and thank you for your insights.

    Safe travels and be safe ….

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      August 22, 2013

      Thanks for the insightful comment. Like you said every coin has two sides. There’s pluses and negatives for a lot of what is going on. And again, it’s plain to see China making huge gains around the world, Africa in particular, with fairly high human rights issues. Only the financial rewards China offers silences many in the short term. I wouldn’t surprise me to see China getting the blame for a lot of what they are doing now in 100 years. Too little too late.

  2. Malcom
    August 20, 2013

    Another great article Dave, quite a read. If I’d be panning for a more I’d say this is a problem in many countries and not just Nepal. But this is probably the most I’ve ever seen on this little country. Congrats.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      August 22, 2013

      Indeed it is a problem in many countries. However as Claudia wrote above many people simply don’t like to talk about it.

  3. Craig
    August 20, 2013

    Really quite an eye opener here. I’ve traveled to many parts of the world. We have a hard, but fair immigration, system whereby people can live as citizens after a number of years. Own property and have a family. I don’t see this in many developing countries that we support with our tax money. Two tier pricing and inflated entrance prices are things I’m a little sick of. Let alone this you can’t be a citizen or own land here.

    I think we are on the cusp of a new age of development. One in which the countries we’ve been supporting turn their backs on us. It’s already happening I think. China is handing out billions for mining rights. Russia for gas. Then we in the west tie ourselves up in knots looking to “do the right thing” and then end up getting charged and treated like we are barely welcome. It’s time to look after our own first, or else do as China is and just whitewash everything over with short term money.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      August 22, 2013

      Valid points Craig. The “west” does tie itself up in knots it seems, while China etc power on without the same amount of regard. I’m not sure if this will even change. But as I wrote above history will probably see a rejection of China etc’s type of “influence” that’s ongoing today.

      • altai
        September 4, 2013

        Again, absolutely misguided comments based on the Western mainstream media propaganda about China. If you just limit your self (for the reason of scope) to Africa and make a good research on this topic, you would see that much of the so-called Western governmental aid to Africa is nothing but a subsidy to Western corporations and a continuation of exploitative colonialist policy, which by the way never ended. China is just a young inexperienced student comparing to the West in this area. And make no mistake. The western corporations are still by far the major players in Africa. Just research, for example, the co-called Democratic Republic of Congo and what’s happening in those jungles rich with bauxite and all kinds of minerals. Who is looting those minerals in the lawless environment far from any governmental control protected by the highly trained mercenary armies armed with the latest weapons having helicopters and armored vehicles at their disposal? Are they Chinese? Are they black African? Sure those minerals often get shipped to China, but the companies who loot those resources and sell them, who terrorize the locals are all Euro-Australian-USA based corporations. And the mercenaries are as well Western. And if you think that Latin America or Asia are very different, do your research and you will be surprised to see that colonialism hasn’t gone anywhere, in fact it’s alive as never before.

      • Dave from The Longest Way Home
        September 5, 2013

        I’ve lived in West Africa for a number of years. I’ve seen Chinese “investment” first hand. Is it the only guilty party? No. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more Chinese international aid / education / health / human rights etc organisations over there … but hey!

        Speaking of research … here’s some for you … http://www.bdlive.co.za/world/africa/2013/03/13/africa-warned-of-china-exploitation http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7086777.stm Is the China alone? Not by a long shot, but they sure are doing it in a “special way”

  4. Karen
    August 21, 2013

    Hi Dave, Some serious writing here. It’s why I really enjoy your blog it goes far beyond just travel to the point of raising interesting topics like this.

    I think what we are seeing is “western” politics influence day to day travelers much like politics influence are day to day lives back home. Governments support developing nations for many reasons. Developing nations have easy visa procedures and we avail of them. Then we are charged more once we arrive. It’s a circular thing. But it is very interesting to read about it hear as I’ve seen little written about this anywhere else. The subject is so Taboo. Yet in sub-Saharan Africa a black man calls a white man all kinds of derogatory terms. And indeed the same can be said back. But do that in the west and there are arrests made. I think Asia is in the halfway zone. Perhaps.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      August 22, 2013

      “Asia is in the halfway zone” Yes, that’s a really good point. It is a cross between Africa and the West in terms of racial issues, two tier pricing etc. Worth noting.

  5. PeterH
    August 31, 2013

    I can empathize with the comments here, being white and having lived most of my life in Africa and Asia. The attitude towards whites in this corner of the world is that we owe them a living. In part this is due to post independence propaganda about how badly ‘we’ treated ‘them’. The truth is that ‘we’ didn’t do anything to ‘them’, as none of us had been born yet. But feelings of self righteous injustice provide an excellent cover to excuse unethical behavior towards fellow human beings that could never be tolerated in an open and fair society. Of course whilst dispossessed whites are being treated in such a fashion, the torch bearers of our post colonial world i.e. multinational companies, continue to reap rich rewards despite having been the real culprits in the mercantilist expansion from which colonialism was born. And yes, the irony is that whilst the West has adopted multiculturalism, its former colonies have set their doors to ‘exit’ only.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      September 2, 2013

      It’s one of those “rare” things this. Most people who have not lived in these parts of the world don’t see it. The average tourist certainly doesn’t. And if they do, they don’t want it to spoil their holiday. Meanwhile the world moves on …

      I’m not sure how that exit door scenario will work out in the end. There’s an “enter here” door in the west and no exit. Sooner or later somethings gonna give. It usually starts with economy.

  6. altai
    September 4, 2013

    the inherent bigotry of this confused and misguided post in the otherwise interesting and thoughtful blog is only mitigated by the apparent sincerity of the author.

    Without going in too much details about the post itself, I can only say that as far as I understood you feel discriminated in Nepal due to your being white (anglo-saxon?) male expat. If you just expressed your personal feelings about this in clear terms and gave some evidence supporting it, I’d be OK. But you go on dragging Chinese and other Asian business (and Russian- aren’t Russians white Europeans as well?)into it, which is a totally different subject and reveals more your own cultural prejudices than the Nepali social reality.

    Are there not Western owned business in Nepal? Do Nepalis really resent the white Western expats but embrace their Asian counterparts? I certainly didn’t feel so. But I did notice (and I am surprised you never mention this in the post) the near universal negative feeling among Nepalis about their southern giant neighbour- India. And in most cases it’s not that they’d criticize Indian government’s policy towards Nepal, which would be a legitimate argument, but most comments I heard were directly against Indians as human beings (dirty, disgusting, sub-human, you name it) and what surprised me the most was that the people who despised Indians so much were mostly Nepali Hindus themselves, people who never had been to India, but who’d spend a lot of time watching Indian soap operas and who knew all about Bollywood latest gossips.

    As for being white in Nepal, overall, I think, being white middle aged male is probably the most advantageous identity to have in today’s world and in SE Asia in particular. And if you did indeed experience racism towards you in Nepal, I think you should take it as a blessing, as this unique experience would give you a chance to understand what millions of non white (and some white as well) immigrants experience on daily basis in Europe and the USA.

    • Dave from The Longest Way Home
      September 5, 2013

      “bigot: someone who, as a result of their prejudices, treats other people with fear, distrust, hatred, contempt, or intolerance” – you might have misinterpreted the meaning of this word.

      You’ve made a lot of assumptions here, which is quite strange as you give an indication you’ve read the more on this site.

      Firstly this is not a “personal” post as such. I have written about racism in Nepal directed towards people known as “white elephants”. If I were to write about racism as a while in Nepal is would be worthy of a book in terms of trying to cover all aspects. That’s not what this article is about.

      I will not get into a tit for tat about Russia / China and Africa. A mere look at Algeria/ South Sudan / Nigeria / Zambia … well the list goes on. I will interject and say I did mention India in my article in lieu of food and fuel.

      I find the Nepalese as a whole have equal distain for China as they do for India. India is certainly more pronounced and has been for the past decade due to overland trade in physical day to day goods eg. fuel / food. Add in a dash of Hindu rights / linguistics and there’s plenty more for the average Nepali to talk about than Chinese “investment”. Get it? Good.

      As a small snippet of the average Nepalese dislike towards Chinese when they come in contact with them? Just take to the hills and ask who the most disliked tourist is? Yes, tourist. That’s the most common Chinese person the average Nepali comes across. Yes, as you wrote, India is up there too. But one must take into account the ease of understanding when it comes to disliking Indians in Nepal- Again, linguistics plays a big part. Turn the tables and Northern Indians what they think of the Nepalese and much of what you wrote cab be reversed. Dare I mention to you to read the statistics in child abuse and who the main offenders are when coming to Nepal? Anyway, that’s somewhat off topic.

      Again, this article is about uncovering the little known topic of white elephants in Nepal. It’s a term that many have not heard of. Little more do people often read about racism of any kind in Nepal. So here it is in all it’s un-pretty glory.

      Is this article just about me? Absolutely not, but in part I have of course been exposed to much of what’s going on in Nepal.

      This is an unpopular topic and one that raises the ire of many people. That’s not to say one should not write about what’s going on. Read more and understand what I really think of Nepal.

  7. Graham
    March 28, 2014

    Nepal was never a colony of the British Empire.
    The British East India Company fought a war with Nepal in 1814-1816, which ended in a treaty.
    Which was when the Gurkha’s started to be recruited into the British army.
    Their was only ever 1 British resident stationed in Nepal.
    Their was no British colonial settlers in Nepal ever. Nepal was closed to all foreigners till the 1950s.
    The British Surveyor of India who calculated MT Everest to be the tallest mountain on earth did that from Darjeeling as they were not even allowed into Nepal.
    All mountaineering expeditions before 1950s had to have the permission of the government to enter Nepal.
    Nepal went to war with Tibet in 1855-56 with no involvement of the British Empire.
    Nepal has always retained its independence and governed its own foreign affairs.
    A Englishman and retired British Army officer in command of The Queens own Gurkha rifles in Hong Kong and Brunei.
    Any questions feel free to email me.

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