A rather (un)happy start to the New Year

Quite by coincidence, the land of my birth and the land I (mostly) grew up in are sharing New Years this year. This is fairly rare since the Thai or the non-Tibetan sort of Buddhism differs from the Nepali (Tibetan) one. The main difference, apart from the colour of the robes (Orange/Saffron in Thailand and Maroon in Nepal) is that women (or even girl children) can't touch the robes of or sit near a Thai monk (this leads to rather difficult times on a crowded bus) while there're no such restrictions in Nepal. I'm sure they are theologically different too but I'm presuming you're not reading my post to have Buddhist theology explained. I'm a SuperF and footy kind of girl. You'll have to go elsewhere for Buddhist theology.

The Nepali New Year is usually a week or two before the Thai one but this year it's at the same time--this week. Not much of a time for celebration in Nepal with daily curfews, people being arrested, held in jail for the past week (including an uncle and an aunt, my sisters' school's teachers, and a couple of folks my brother and I went to high school with). Even lawyers are not safe.

What does the King do during all this? Why (and this is a fantastic idea if yous are ever in a position where the masses are revolting, in all senses of the term), he wanders off to his summer palace (in a different city). Nero and fiddle anyone? But, wait, apparently all problems will soon be over. Elections are coming up. I just love it when seemingly-intractable problems can so easily be resolved.

So, yes, Happy New Year, folks.

I'm frantically trying to finish proposal-ing so I can go eat yummy Nepali food (fried lettuce, dried and fermented greens...wait. Maybe I shouldn't write this? No wonder there's a serious lack of Nepali restaurants worldwide) and then go visit the Thai Temple on Saturday. Yes, you read it right, Dear Readers, I'm giving up DC United's home match for Thai food (and it comes with free helpings of dancing and religion).


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