Monday, May 10, 2010

Namaste


There is no mistaking, I am utterly smitten with Nepal.


Having just returned from an eight day trek through the majestic peaks of the Anapurna mountain range, I have become swept up in the beauty and reverence of this incredible place.


But beyond the striking scenery. And the rich bubbling history marked with temples and monuments, it’s how the Nepali people say “hello” that has me so enchanted.


“Namaste,” pronounced Nam-a-stay.


It’s a word you hear so often in Nepal it becomes as common as the frenetic sounds of car horns or motor bikes.





Photo: I remember this little boy had his hands clasped together for quite some time. I didn't realize he was waiting for me to turn around so that he could say "Namaste."


Whether you're walking the streets of Kathmandu or trekking through the mighty Himalayas, the Nepali people always have time for a heartfelt “Namaste.”


Derived from Sanskrit, the salutation is used across the country by its ethnically diverse population.


Loosely translated as “I bow to you”, small children, farmers or shop owners will place their hands, palms touching, in front of their heart. An ever so slight bow of the head comes in tandem.


It is this one simple gesture that gives me butterflies. Amidst the difficult grind of daily life and the political uncertainties currently strong-arming the nation, for me, it speaks volumes about the amicability of the Nepali people.






Photo: We had barely made it out of the car during a recent trip to Dolokha before this woman welcomed us with a customary "Namaste."


“It’s different from where you come from,” my friend Aruna, who has been helping me film here in Kathmandu joked with me recently. “Here in Nepal, we always have time to stop, to greet, to say hello.”


It is a lesson I will take with me always - as a friend, a daughter, a journalist and also a perfect stranger.


Palms touching, hands in-front-of-heart, the collective ability of the people to take a literal breath and acknowledge one another is the most beautiful thing I have seen during my time here in Nepal.


Namaste. I bow to you.


Isn't it just lovely?




Photo: I snapped this photo right before this woman greeted us with a kind "Namaste."






2 comments:

  1. Great photos once again Jayme. And wonderful reflection on the kindness of the Nepali people.

    ReplyDelete