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Unlikely Twitter encounter that led to creating awareness on discrimination in Nepal

Last Sunday I shared a story on my first earthquake experience . In my story I talked about how after the earthquake I logged onto twitter to get updates on the extent of the earthquake and what to do in-case of the earthquake.

In the process of following different hash-tags on the earthquake. I connected with a journalist Dinesh from Ekantipur.com. He had tweeted about his experience. After two or so tweet exchanges. I though that was going to be the end of our connection and considered the subject closed.

However... the following day I was surprised to get DM ( Direct Message ) on twitter from Dinesh asking me to share my experience as a Foreigner living in Nepal. He said that the article would feature on the following Saturday 24th September.

I was surprised but happy to share my story. He asked me to write as I wished. (A rare chance). I said all the good things I had experienced in Nepal and emailed it to Dinesh. However Dinesh wrote back and asked me whether I had any negative experience in Nepal.

The following is part of our email correspondense

DINESH : A quick question: Did you, by any chance, during your stay in Nepal face questions about the color/race and Nepali behavior based on that? I ask this because one of our columnists, a white man from UK, hinted that he didn't like how some Nepalis behaved with some of his Africans friends who worked at UN Mission in Nepal

MY RESPONSE: Yes indeed we have experienced it. i just didnt want to bring it up...

DINESH: I am ashamed to hear about that and I am so sorry that you had to face such situations. But I think telling about those incidents will be the most effective way to crate awareness among those people and educate them

Anyway to cut a long story short. The article was published in Ekantipur in Nepali this past Saturday with both sides of my experiences.The Foreigner's eye is a column in Kantipur newspaper, Nepal’s top daily in which foreigners who have lived or visited Nepal or are living in the country write about their experience with Nepali society. And since then I have received quite a number of apologies in my blog from Nepalese who feel bad about any unkindness that I have experienced.

Read my reflections on my days in my Nepal ( http://yaotieno.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/reflections-of-my-days-in-nepal/) COPY and paste to browser to access article.

The Nepali version of the story is accessible here ( http://unitedweblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/an-african-experience-in...)

As Dinesh says, I hope that the article will help create awareness and educate the masses that people are more than their colours. All this is possible only because on the unlikely connection through Web 2.0. I am also grateful to journalists like Dinesh who don't shy away from addressing issues considered sensitive.

Dinesh's twitter adress is @wagle

Does any one else have an unlikely connection that led to raising awareness on pressing issues? I would really love to read about it.

Comments

Tripti's picture

Apologies from my side as well

I am also fully aware of discrimination by some of our citizens to our tourists who are dark in complexion. I sometimes notice people staring at them and i for one despise the situation and at least not follow what they are doing and quickly pass away from the situation but i know that is not what should have been done. I should have talked to those who stared and possibly create an awareness by telling them that first of all it is rude to stare and second of all, racial discrimination is way behind from this generation and it is wise that they should accept the change too. But i'm sure there had been worse situation than just staring. I would like to humbly apologize to you for such behavior and wish you would not judge our country by this one hurtful act. I hope that none of our friends (the tourists) would take it personally. It is the nature of some of the people of our country to look amazed by the tourists whether they are with any complexion. I hope that you would come back again and again and in time i am sure you would love our country even by just the people and our hospitality because we love tourists..:)
Tripti

PS i have shared your story to my facebook account. I am sure this issue would surely be heard if we keep spreading the awareness.. thank you.

YAOtieno's picture

Thanks

Thanks Tripti,

That is very kind of you. apology accepted though there is no need to. I am sure my experience is not unique many have faced worse. We should just keep sensitizing others to be tolerant despite our differences.

Thanks for sharing and dont worry about it.

Cheers,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

love2write's picture

Wonderful story that shows

Wonderful story that shows the strength of Twitter

Ellen Rosner Feig
Assistant Professor, Composition and Literature
Carl Wilkens Fellow, Genocide Intervention Network/Save Darfur

YAOtieno's picture

Yes

Love2write,

Yes it shows the power of Twitter and other the social platforms.

Thanks for reading and commenting on my article

Cheers,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

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