- What is your name?
My name is Hari Devi Neupane
- How old are you?
I am twenty-three years old. I was born on 30 april 1990.
- Where do you live? And with who?
I live in Sundaridanda, a small village between the Begnaslake and the Rupalake. There live about hundred people in my village. I stay with my father, mother and little brother.
- How many brothers/sisters do you have?
I have three older sisters and one younger brother. My sisters are all married, so they do not live in our house anymore.
- Did you study?
Yes, I finished my bachelor. My major subject was Nepali.
- Do you work?
Yes I work at the Shree Arun Jyoti primary school. I have been working there for five years now. I am also working at the library at school.
- You think you will always be a teacher?
I really love my job. It would be nice if I would earn a little bit more, because my salary is so low now. But I do not mind to be a teacher for the rest of my live. Another job I would like to do is social worker, to develop our place.
- What are the good things in the school?
There are a lot of good things in the school. Like the library, we have a lot of books and it is good organized. Also the playing ground is nice; they have a lot of space to play. The classes in English are also good. I think we give them a good education.
- What could be improved in the school?
We should improve in the number of students. I think private school is not better then government school. But a lot of parents think so, that’s why we have to compete with the private schools and show them we also have a good education. I also think that we should use the library books more.
- What do you think of the political situation of Nepal?
Our political situation is quite good at the moment, it is stable now. I think that if they work together and if they help each other it will get better. It is important for the development of Nepal. It is also good that the Maoist are gone. It was really dangerous when they were hiding in the jungle.
- What are the good things of the Nepali culture?
They have respect for each other and they are helpful and kind.
- What are the bad things about the Nepali culture?
Mainly the bad thing is the superstition on Nepali culture, the different between two castes. I also do not like the traditional arranged weddings.
- Can you tell me a little bit about the castes and your opinion about it?
A long time ago they made the castes for the different jobs. In the beginning there were four castes. But now there are like hundreds. This is because in every cast they made also new castes. Officially they do not exist anymore. They were forbidden years ago. But everyone still lives threw the rules of the castes.
I think it is bad because they treat people different only because they are born in a different caste. They think lower castes are not as good as they are, they are second kind of persons. But of course this is not true! It is also not fair because people from higher castes have more opportunities to get a better job.
- Why do you think the arranged weddings are bad?
Our parents organize the wedding by only looking and or maybe a little bit of talking to the futuristic family in law. The children just have to accept it. I cannot imagine living like that. I think it would be a very difficult life.
- What about your sisters, did they have an arranged wedding?
I have three sisters who are married. Two of them had an arranged wedding.
My sister who did not have an arranged wedding, met her husband at house. The man was working on the Begnas resort, nearby our house, and came by everyday for buying some stuff at our shop.
After a while they fell in love with each other and wanted to get married. The man came from India, a foreigner. So my parents did not accept their wish to get married. But my sister ignored it and they got married. It was hard to see my parents so sad and disappointed.
- How is the bound between your parents and your sister now?
For several years we were not allowed to see and speak to my sister. It was very hard, especially because she lived so nearby our house. After their second child was born it got better. From that moment on my parents and my sister see each other again. So that is good!
- How was the marriage arranged for your other sisters?
I remembered the marriage of my youngish sister very good. It happened one year ago. One evening my sister met with the man. They talked a little bit and then the man went home. Both fathers were discussing threw the evening. The next morning we woke up and our father came in our room. He told my sister that she was engaged with the man. I asked her what she thought about it. She told me she accepted it and was ready to get married. A few hours later our father came again and told my sister that the wedding was today.
So in less than 24 hours they arranged the wedding and actually got married.
- How do you see your love life?
I hope my love life will be funny, full of enjoy and with a lot of love. Without love we cannot enjoy our life.
- Do you have a love life at this moment?
Actually I have. On this moment I have a boyfriend. I met him in secondary school. We were in the same class. We are now a couple of years ‘together’. But it is very hard. I cannot tell my parents about him, almost no one knows the relationship. At this moment he lives in Kathmandu. He is an engineer over there; he was not able to find a job closer to his parents and me.
We see each other twice a year. But it is hard to arrange a meeting. I am really afraid that someone will see us and tell my family about it.
- Why are you so afraid?
He is from a higher caste then I am. My parents would not accept a boy from a different caste. And even if my parents would accept it, his parents wouldn’t. Because they are from the higher caste. I am also so afraid because I saw how much pain my parents had when my sister got a love marriage. I do not want to put them in so much pain again.
I am also very afraid my parents arrange me to someone else when they found out.
- You think you are going to marry him in the end?
Yes I hope so! First he needs a better job so we have more money to build a house. Then he needs to go to my parents and ask their permission. When they do not give it we will marriage in secret. But I really hope that is not necessarily.