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My Australian Cheli

xenophobia, disciple

My Australian Cheli

Atithi deva vaba (Guests are equal to Gods) is our focal motto. Still this value is carried on in our society. Whenever we see a foreigner we bow or do many Namaskars with smiles even though s/he is inferior to us. As Nepal is one of best destinations in the world, many tourists visit this peace of heaven. Either hoi polloi or highly professionals come to hang about here frequently.

Till one and half years back a British educationist was my boss. He was a bit different than my former bosses. I would feel great airs for working under him. But he returned UK shortly I joined there. I felt sad because I wanted to learn more from foreigners like many other folks who think xenophobia is madness.

Still a giant looking Australian lady in her forties who was the mother of two pupils also used to appear there regularly. I had heard she was trying to be a teacher and her husband was heading a department in a university. So I was very curious if she could help me correct my accent accurately. Well, I felt me was like an innocent child passing through a suspended bridge and she was the engulfing river below me.

As I already had much load I could not teach a batch of students who had opted Optional English last year. So she was asked to teach it. Two days later she requested me to meet her. Some friends of mine had complained that she who always dominated was very snobbish. In my leisure time I called her in my office; I was very eager to know what she was telling me. She could explain me about varied methodologies or shower complaints. But there was nothing like that. 'I have heard you taught many sets, could you tell me how to do this?' When I cleared that it is the same everywhere on teaching English. She asked me politely to explain how I teach. She had not understood our professors are widely traveled and we do have updated syllabus, some of the schools even have lot of facilities with latest pedagogy.

I wondered, 'How do they teach in Australia?' She was confused; she didn't answer for a while. Then she took a stand, 'Please tell me how you do first?' I also didn't give up. There was stillness for a while. A little later the tip of ice was broken, 'I am an Australian does not mean that I know everything. Yes, I may know how to pronounce words and I have taught English to ordinary people in communities however teaching literature is different.' Not being fully persuaded I inquired about her High School. 'I graduated in 70s, I've forgotten everything¸ if you help me I can do it again.'

Needless to say I promised her, I assisted her for few weeks. Undoubtedly, she used to be very keen to know. I became her guru gradually though I as well learnt many things from her, particularly, on making teaching materials. I had never imagined that I could be so important to a goddess (according to our culture). On the top of that instead of showing her disdain and any prejudice to me, she sustained learning until she left Nepal in last June.

Now I don't understand whether they are more prosperous because of their interests for finding new things, places and people. If I was respected or used is not known to me however I felt delighted as I am no longer a small remote village now.
Published: 2007-01-15

About the author or the publisher

Born in 1976 at Dhola-9, Dhading, Eak Prasad Duwadi now lives in Kathmandu. He’s involved in many National/International organizations. English Literature Master’s Degree holder with couple of other degrees including Mass Communications, Mr. Duwadi who has won notable awards, is a prolific writer in contemporary issues. He has been teaching in reputed Schools, colleges and university students for last ten years in Nepal. Currently, he’s a faculty in Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel.

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