(Mother and Brother)Last night I was invited to dinner by one of the Teacher's at my school. When one of the Teacher's asked me to come over for dinner, all of the others insisted that I come to their houses as well, so this will be one of many Nepali Family dinners that I will join.
After school the Teacher and I were picked up by her husband in their new car! Now this caused great excitement for me because I haven't heard of any Nepali family owning a car, let alone a new one! Immediately I knew that this would not be an ordinary Nepali family dinner, but a look into the lives of a rich Nepali family. When we arrived at their home, not too far from the school, they asked me into their living room, which unlike most Nepali homes, had big couches and chairs. They even had a big screen TV and a fish tank with goldfish. I felt as though I had stepped into a parallel universe and that I was not in Nepal anymore. The family consists of 7 people living in one house. Although it is 5 levels and very big, there is a Mother, Father, Older sister, Brother, Little sister, and Grandmother, as well as their dog Nemo. After talking about Canada, Nepali politics, and traveling, they asked me to join them upstairs to see the view from their top deck. Although it was cloudy that day the view of mountains and the local neighborhood was great. Their house towers over most others in their neighborhood so we could see into everyone else's homes. I chatted with the eldest sister for awhile about Western cultures, and how it is customary for young girls to have Boyfriends. She was very interested about this aspect of our culture. She didn't really understand the concept of a boyfriend because, like many Nepali girls, she will have an arranged marriage. I told her that I thought Western people had boyfriends and girlfriends because we did not have arranged marriages, so we need to find our own life partners. She seemed completely content in knowing that soon (she was 23) she would be married to a complete stranger.
After our short chat, we were invited into the dining room (with a table and chairs) for dinner. Everyone was there, but not everyone ate dinner, because normally a Nepali family eats dinner at 9 pm. They wanted to feed me dinner early because they heard we eat dinner at around 6 in Canada. The Mother had prepared a large meal with both Western and Nepali foods. She made rice, chicken, curries, and vegetables, as well as bread and peanut butter for me. It was a very good dinner and I was glad not to have the traditional Dal Bhaat (lentil soup and rice) again, because we eat it VERY frequently here at Basecamp. Dinner was finished and we headed back down to the living room to chat and watch some Nepali TV. It was really interesting to watch Nepali TV and I thought it was very amusing to see what kind of TV they watch. There were many Hindi (Indian) Dramas, similar to Soup Operas back home. They also had MTV India where we saw the latest popular Hindi hits and music videos. After sitting around with the family for awhile, and taking pictures and swapping emails they drove me home.
Like many Nepali families that I have met, this family was very hospitable and kind to me and treated me very well. I think it is considered a great honor to have someone from the Western world come to your house and eat with your family, I felt very lucky that they chose me to bestow their kindness on.
(Father and Grandmother)