Source: Kathmandu Post - 4-2-2007
More Nepalis marrying across seven seas
Marriage is something which unites two hearts
no matter how far apart they are. And it is something which the hearts look
forward to, irrespective of differences in caste and culture.
Sundar Man Dangol, 35, of Lalitpur, a die-hard Beatles fan, married Tamara Jean
Roendall, an Australian, in 2003.
While he was in college Dangol found his true love and decided to realize his
affection for Western culture by making Roendall a Nepali buhari
(daughter-in-law). Dangol, who is planning to return to Australia soon, says, "I
am happy with my Australian wife."
Like Dangol, there are dozens of Nepali men who
have brought home foreign women as Nepali buharis. Nepali women also are not
lagging behind in bringing foreign men home as Nepali dulahas (grooms). Urmila
Upadhyaya, a Nepali artist tied the knot with a Canadian, Krishna Garg, a
professor of Indian-origin in Canada.
Upadhyaya married Garg in a court in Paris,
France. Although majority of Nepali men and women go abroad with their foreign
partners and rarely return to Nepal after marriage, Upadhyaya has persuaded her
Canadian husband to visit Nepal at least once a year. "Now, he loves this
country more than I. And he has spent much of his wealth for social service in
Nepal," she said. Interestingly, foreign husbands and wives rarely take up
Nepali citizenship, preferring to go back to their own countries. "He says he
doesn't need Nepali citizenship," said Upadhyaya. The District Administration
Office, Kathmandu has records of 183 Nepali men and women who married foreigners
last year. However, the office doesn't have records of marriages which took
place in other districts. An official at the DAO said most Nepalis choose
foreign partners just to go to foreign countries.
Among foreigners US citizens top other
nationals in becoming Nepali dulahas. DAO statistics show that 32 Americans
married Nepali women including Nepali transgender persons last year. Nationals
from Japan, Britain, Australia and Canada are also other favorite partners for
Nepali women and transgender persons. "Some Nepalis are attracted to the white
skin of those foreigners," says the official, on condition on anonymity.
Manakamana Marriage Bureau in Kathmandu helps
find suitable foreign and Nepali ladies for interested Nepali and foreign men.
"A number of youths who want to marry foreign ladies approach our office every
day," says Pradip Sharma, a proprietor of the Bureau. "Most of the youths want
to marry foreign ladies just to go abroad." Lamu Sherpa, a 21-year old woman
from Okhaldhunga, married a 58-year old Australian national, Jonathan Ken last
year. Sherpa has already flown to Australia with her husband.
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