Our Culture, Our Identity
There are certain social issues, which can be effectively dealt with largely by the intervention of Professional Social Workers. Indeed, Social work is a multidimensional approach to tackle various Social and Cultural issues in very effective manner with proper utilization of resources for sustainable benefit of individual, group, society, nation and the world as a whole. Social Workers, apart from dealing with social issues, also take steps in maintaining proper social system with a special focus on preserving culture of that particular community and the country; thus respect the sentiments of local people. Social workers generally regard “culture” as a way of life of people living in that community that provides a guideline for a group of people to act reciprocally for the benefit of each other. Functionalists believe that culture of a group or of a community builds on a common ideology, philosophy, ethics and values that are respected by the people of that community which is necessary for the proper functioning of a society. Indeed, culture binds people to generate a sense of solidarity and we-feeling amongst them despite of their personal values and interests. However, with the lens of Conflict Theory, culture is not always for unifying people as each individual are free to have different ideologies and personal interests. The lack of consensus between different individuals in time and space lead to Cultural conflict.
In our present context, Nepal is going through a cultural conflict with the change in political situation. Sociologists consider this ongoing phenomenon is largely because of politicization of our culture. This has created a havoc situation that is fading our Nepali identity and there are high possibilities of deterioration of our culture, social norms and values. So, it’s a high time to be genuinely concerned about our culture for ensuring the respect towards our diverse culture and taking steps to preserve and promote it. Nevertheless, preserving our culture and identity can be the best strategy to promote Tourism industry in our country, which has also been recognized by the Finance Minister. Nevertheless, it’s not only the role of Government, but all the stakeholders should contribute their right effort in this great mission. With this regard, youth as the important key players can play very significant roles in promoting our culture and preserving our identity. In this scenario, SAATH (A youth group of Social Workers in Nepal) has tried to take some steps with SAATH EVENT 2008 that is to be organized on December 13, 2008 to address the issue - our culture, our identity and for moving forward to contribute its right efforts in promoting Nepali Culture and also to inspire others for their genuine involvement in this mission. SAATH understands the importance and essence of Nepali Culture, which SAATH take it as unique Nepali identity.
In the present context, when most of the young people are indulged into various socially unacceptable activities, there are few young individuals who have a strong determination to work for society and who are really contributing their efforts for our society. SAATH EVENT 2008 being a step put forwarded by such youth can’t be neglected, and obvious intrinsic reason is visible to everyone to call it as a worthy event for our society. Besides, the practical and truthful information to be provided by individuals, experts and organizations will be of great value for everyone. General public esp. youth will be aware about various issues like diversity of Nepali culture, cultural conflict and positive steps to create the sense of “Unity in Diversity”. Reciprocally, SAATH EVENT 2008 will be a platform for our ethnic groups, cultural groups and associations to come together to celebrate each other’s culture in one space and time and also to present their Traditional Culture at National Level. Moreover, we have lots of ethnic groups and traditional cultures that are not so much highlighted are in need to be exposed for the larger population. This Event particularly will provide a room for them to come up to stand in front to make everyone aware of their culture and traditions. Empirically too, it is an event organized by youth to sensitize youth to promote our Nepali Culture, so it holds a larger degree of significance.
It is noteworthy to mention that youths are not only the “future” but are indeed the “present of the Nation”. It is needless to mention that many Nepalese youths are staying abroad. However, there are youths, but few in number, who still believe in their youth spirit and are determined to work hard in Nepal for Nepal. They are the one who, rather than blaming Government sector, are taking genuine actions for social changes. SAATH EVENT 2008 is one of the actions needed in this high time. It is hoped that all the stakeholders including Government will develop the faculty to understand the importance of youth initiated programs like this. The success of this program will definitely inspire many Nepalese youth to take similar kind of actions and create opportunities for themselves in Nepal itself. This ultimately will help in creating sound environment for promoting Nepali culture and also for maintaining cultural consensus amongst different groups of people.
Lachhindra ( B.S.W., M.A.)