Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC.
So we walked from Capitol Hill and up the steps of Lincoln Memorial. I couldn’t feel my legs, dead tired from walking about 2 miles with less than excited 2 year old.
Between placating her and admiring the grand monuments around us, I couldn’t help but feel a little uncomfortable because growing up I didn’t see history and heritage get so much importance.
My parents didn’t take me to see Nepali artifacts and historical monuments. It is a shame that I haven’t visited Lumbini- Buddha’s birthplace, and I know very little about our art history.
When I was a kid, history was not celebrated in Nepal and from what I see, it is the same today. Every country has their share of unpleasant memories and mistakes. America’s history is not perfect but still the country takes pride in it. Why are we so afraid to look back?
There is no shortage of heroes in Nepal, but where is our Lincoln Memorial and where is our MLK Memorial? Yes, we have managed to erect statues of notable figures across the country, but are they really there to honor those individuals? If yes, why do they stay lonely year around except on certain national holidays?
And to make matters worse, there are some who want to sanitize history by denying it. Hence the disrespect towards founding leaders. Nepal’s founder King Prithvi Narayan Shah, he was no saint but does that permit us to deny his contribution in founding modern Nepal? I mean, even Nelson Mandela is criticized but he is respected too.
Why can’t we develop pride in our past and learn from the mistakes? Why do we need a sanitized history to love our country?