Red, White and Black

The Insurgency in Nepal
21 April, 2006, 4:37 pm
Filed under: general

I came across this story in the paper yesterday:

In the famed tourist centre of Nepal’s capital, Western Buddhist monks rub shoulders with mountaineers, dreadlocked travellers, street urchins and marijuana peddlers.

Thamel is not the kind of place usually associated with pro-democracy movements, but the political upheaval that has shaken Nepal for the last two weeks has now spread to this peculiar corner of the troubled country.

With lanes full of shops selling trekking gear, hippy clothing, traditional kukri knives and pirated CDs and DVDs, the Thamel neighbourhood has a totally different feel to the more traditional old areas that surround it.

In the past, protesters have kept away from Thamel, aware that tourism is a vital mainstay to Nepal’s fragile economy, but not anymore.

All it takes is a whisper of rumour that protesters are on the way, and shops quickly pull down their shutters, leaving bemused tourists wondering what is happening.

Having lived in Kathmandu for a few years, it is very difficult to imagine a Thamel which is not hustling and bustling with strange faces from across the world. It just brings home the reality of the troubles Nepal is currently going through.



1 Comment so far
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Excuse me, when did you live in Thamel? Now, I am the one pleasatly surprised!!

Comment by Afzaal

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