The day I was ashamed to be an Australian Nepali

By Bhuwan Khadka, Perth
20 February 2017

It was 5:30 pm on Sunday the 19th of February 2017, my eyes fixed on the front door of Rivervale Community Centre in Perth. I could hear my heart pumping as I kept looking towards the entrance in utter nervousness and apprehension. It was my event, Meet the candidate- Bhuwan Khadka organised by The Greens WA. I am a Greens candidate for the seat of Belmont in the upcoming WA elections. Sunday’s programme, which was supposed to be a “community event”, was organised at my behest – for myself and my community, the Australian Nepali community based in Perth. I wanted to introduce myself to the community and speak about the policies I stand for. I was expecting encouragement and best wishes from my fellow Australian Nepalis living in Western Australia but all I got was shame and embarrassment.

I have been told that there are over 5000 Nepalis living in Perth but only 2 individuals turned up at the Meet the candidate event. One of them was my close friend, Deepak Sharma while the other was Rabin Bartaula who was the only one I did not know personally and attended the event because he wanted to know about me and my vision.

That’s 0.04% support from my “beloved” Australian Nepali community based in Perth. All I expected was 1% support from them — which comes to only 50 people. Only two participated.

I believe most of the community members did not turn up because it was not a birthday, wedding anniversary or some house-warming party that offers ‘Free Buffet Meals’ with ‘Free Hard Drinks’. All I could offer at my own event was ‘Free tea and coffee’. After reading this article, many might say, “I did not know otherwise I would have attended” and I shall not blame them. Because, I had sent messages to the so-called ‘leaders’ of different Nepali community organisations urging them to spread the word about the event. No one bothered to do so. Forget about sharing, they themselves did not turn up.

A week after I sent the request to community leaders, one of the top ‘leaders’ told me, just 24 hours before the event (…. when we met at a birthday party) that he was going to reply and say that he could not attend the event. I did not and do not believe him. Another “businessman” who accepted my Facebook invitation to attend the event and also shook my hand merely 24 hours before the event and promised to see me at the Rivervale Community Centre, did not have the courtesy to apologise for his absence. Similarly, another gentleman who travelled nearly 40 kilometres for a birthday party, told me that it was too far for him to attend my event which was only 3.5 kilometres further from the house where the birthday party was hosted. Forty kilometres were not “far” but 3.5 kilometres were unreachable! So much for the “community spirit” we keep harping on on the social media!

Such stone-cold response from the Australian Nepali community has hurt me immensely. Yet, I shall not give up that easily because I am a dreamer, because I am a diehard optimistic.

My message to the future young politicians or leaders is this: ‘Please do not expect anything from the Nepali community. They will let you down, let you deep down. They are in fact champion of this game of letting one down. So, be strong and hold on to your hopes.’

I always spoke highly of my community during my conversations with my colleagues within The Greens WA but now I need not spend a word. They have seen it for themselves. First-hand.

My wife says “Those Australian-Nepali citizens who voted for your party last time will not vote your party this time because you, a Nepali man, have stood up as a candidate”. I hope she is wrong. I was always proud to call myself a Nepali but yesterday, for the first time in 30 years of my life, I was ashamed to be a Nepali. For accurately, I am ashamed to be an Australian Nepali.

However, my values and my belief in the Greens remain unshaken.

20 thoughts on “The day I was ashamed to be an Australian Nepali

  1. Bhuwan, you are not a man to get disheartened! I believe you can fight for your dream all alone. Yes you can. That’s what you always did.

    1. Wow, that was shameless manipulation. “Nepali people, vote for me because I am Nepali.” I would not vote for you because you are with the Greens.

  2. Dear Bhuwan ji,

    I am surprised you felt this way. First of all are Nepali Australians supposed to vote greens because you are from Nepal. And secondly mist people have other political affiliations other than greens any way. So i say you were lucky to have thise two prople turned up!

    1. Dear Bible ji,
      I invited my community as a Nepali individual, not as a Greens candidate. I understand it very well that we have our own political views. All I wanted was to introduce myself and my beliefs to the community in a hope that I might be able to make those undecided voters to vote for me and my party.
      At the end of the day, it’s their vote. They have the final decision.
      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Hi Bhuwan
    I felt so bad after reading your feeling towards Australian Nepali. I am sure that even they did not attend on the event, they will definitely support you during election time.
    I know you posses a lot of confidence to go forward and can do something new which is good for us.
    Best of luck

  4. Dear bhuwan ji
    I just want to know that to how many Nepalese did you invited personally? How is your involvement in nepalese community bese programs? 90 percent nepalese in perth doesn’t know I request you first, try to do something to your community then move ahead.
    Any way best of luck.

    1. Hello sir/madam,
      I am vice-president and club manager of NUFCWA. Many Perth Nepali residents know me. I could invite only those who were on my Facebook but I did request the community leaders to spread the word which did not happen as I expected. Also, I had personally invited few renowned Nepali personalities when I met them face to face.
      Thank you.

      1. Bhuwan I believe you have just made the biggest mistake you can in both political terms and terms of Nepalese Australian.
        I am truly disgusted reading this! You write this :
        My message to the future young politicians or leaders is this: ‘Please do not expect anything from the Nepali community. They will let you down, let you deep down. They are in fact champion of this game of letting one down. So, be strong and hold on to your hopes.’
        For over twenty years I’ve watched Nepali Australians support numerous causes, stand by each other, and rally behind each other’s causes.
        You are running as a Green Candidate in a set area and have just pubically told the entire Nepalese population you are ashamed of them as well as insulting them.
        You are running as Green and are in a set area and bashing everyone who does not support that polictical affiliation.
        You wife is right, those who voted for your party last time won’t vote this time, nothing to do with being Nepali… but you throwing a tantrum for not having enough supporters.
        Bhuwan you don’t stand a chance at the elections and if you can’t handle poor turn outs I think it’s a good thing.
        I think you also need to evaluate who you are running as … a Nepali party candidate or a green?

      2. Bhuwan ji
        I think you are not mature enough to be a politician. I would like to request you please do not join in politics, please withdraw your candidacy from the Election otherwise we all Nepalese will be ashamed because of you.

        1. Hello Bhuwan

          Not only from candidacy you should resign from your vice-president and club manager position of NUFCWA, why you should be affiliated with the Nepalese community organisation if you are shamed of them.

  5. Nepalese will never support their own, and that is precisely why they are so far behind in the world. Their crab mentality gets in the way of developing a real “winner’s” attitude. I have seen so many communities around the world where if someone is doing something positive or extraordinary from their own community, that community supports them, celebrates them and makes them a kind of hometown hero. Knowing one has the support of one’s community or a particular base is something of immeasureable value for someone doing bigger things out there in the world (especially if its something political in nature). Khadka ji, I am sorry about your experience. Please abandon that pathetic community of yours and find those ‘kind strangers’ in the larger Australian diaspora that connect to your Green cause. That sounds like the longer and harder road, but might be the right one. Good luck to you sir. We will be cheering for you and doing a few ‘pujas’ for you all the way in Nepal.

  6. Bhuwan Ji

    Those Australian-Nepali citizens who voted for your party last time will not vote your party this time not because of you but because of this article.

    Being an Australian Nepalese first of all try to respect Nepalese Community. I live in Perth and I barely know you and barely see you in Nepalese community events so how you expect all Nepalese community living in Perth to attend your event. I came to know you are Vice President of Football Club, did anyone for your football club attend your event to support you?? and where did you get the number, did you even check out of those numbers how many are eligible for voting. so get your maths correct.

    Because People like you have disrespect to our community we are ashamed to be an Australian Nepali

  7. I never knew about your vision or values nor do I know you in person. I felt so proud when I heard the news of candidacy of a Nepalese youth in WA. But after going through your article, its headline and the contents, I am trying hard but could not figure your personality out. You sound an immature, arrogant young man with an opaque mind. How could a political leader, representing and leading a community can express their disappointment in such a disgraceful way in social media? You have done quite a reprehensible job.
    You are just making things harder for you by doing this.

  8. Stop crying and bitching. It’s not even your country, why should they show up to support you? If you want the support of the Nepalese people, become a politician in Nepal. Also, judging by the way you’ve whined and complained in this article, you’re not fit to be a politician in the first place.

  9. Dear Bibek Ji,
    Lucky two Nepali attended your program. Australian Greens are pushing this country towards dark age. They value life of bugs more than human being. If you were independent or associated with another fair minded party you could see lot of support. Open your eyes and look at the mirror

  10. This article shows how much you expect from Nepalese community. In fact, the Nepalese community in Western Australia is fragmented for many reasons. Remember social capital is an important aspect while working with communities, high expectation could lead to disheartening result.

    Yes, birthdays and family functions are an important aspects of community living, however I do not think that there are enough of efforts made in terms of promoting Nepalese community other than cultural and religious aspects.

    Personally, I feel this article is an instant reaction to defame the whole Nepalese population. I would like to point that your strategy may not have been adequate or your dissemination of information to reach the population was not tactical. How can you self assume that by calling a leader will motivate Nepalese community attend Greens meet and greet. I would like to ask you- did you attend community function to create buzz about your potential nomination, what was your plan for the community, how would community benefit from your candidacy. I can only say that such article is defaming Nepalese population and putting the whole population down. I am saddened to see such article. If you take a positive step in promoting Nepalese’s diaspora’s social and economic status, the reaction may be different next time. Good luck Bhuwan.

  11. I don’t know who the hell are you? What have you done for neplaese in Western Australia? I feel ashmed shit like you are in Perth and representing.If you feel ashamed go to Tasmania

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