Nepalese in Tanzania

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As always, I am fortunate and blessed to meet fellow countrymen like Mr. Bharat Rijal, a Nepali who has been working with a newly established Tanzanian mobile company as the Country Manager. He shares his experiences this way – “When I first came to Tanzania in September 2010, there was only one Nepali and he also worked in my company. We used to think that we were the only Nepalese in the coutnry until we ran into Mr. Binod Patel, Mr. Arjun and Mr. Ramesh Paudel. Soon the circle of Nepalese grew and a community was established as each one of us introduced other Nepalese we knew.”
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I was also surprised to meet Nepalese in Tanzania that are involved in variety of professions, some in United Nations, World Banks, some are Engineers or work in Hotel industries etc.. There’s a large contingent of over 100 Nepalese working as security guards in Tanga region. And then there are quite a number of Nepalese that work in mines and are confined to their barracks. Like the Nepalese I met in Rwanda working in similar sites, they work for 6 months continuously before being allowed to return to Nepal for 6 months break and then repeating the next round of tour. I am told the owners of the mining companies prefer employing Nepalese because of their trustworthiness in comparison to other nationals or the locals. There are also Nepalese that work in hotels ranging from waiter, chef to manager. Ninety percent of the Indian restaurants in Dar-Es-Salaam have Nepali chefs. Thanks to people like Mr. Rijal for bringing together the Nepalese expats in Dar-Es-Salaam.

Like Nepal, most of the African countries have suffered from civil wars and faces political crisis. As in Nepal; the rules are there but meant to be broken. Tanzania, in comparison to other African countries, is a lot secured and peaceful. It is politically stable as one party has dominated the political landscape since thirty-five years. There appears to be calm and unity among many ethnic groups and tribes. Also the Tanzanians are peaceful in nature and they respect foreigners or tourists as we Nepalese do. Many different people from different countries come and invest in Tanzania due to the opportunities and security. Nepal can learn much from Tanzania.

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“I find a lot of similarities between my country Nepal and Tanzania. It is very interesting that there are electricity outage here also (though not as much as in Nepal). I’m used to it since we had to cope with 16 hours of load-shedding in Nepal. So this is not a new issue for me.” says Mr. Rijal.

Most of the people have an easy going and laid back attitude when it comes to work. They don’t take any stress to complete their work; rather they pile up today’s work for tomorrow and then tomorrow’s for the next day. Sounds familiar. With regards to an environment, Tanzania is similar to Nepal as there are many forests and greenery everywhere. Unlike Nepal cities, the Tanzanian cities include urban planning with well preserved greenery conservation area. Tanzania is rich in varieties of vegetables, fruits and other eatables. Every type of fruits and vegetables that are found in Nepal can be found here to the delights of Nepalese living here.

Nepalese have come here due to different reasons. Some have ventured directly from Nepal for economic reasons or some are transferred working for international organizations. Leaving behind our families back home is never easy but I am blessed to find these fellow countrymen that I like to call my new family and to see them built a vibrant community gives us a hope that we are one big family whether we are at home or far from home.

As I continue along with my journey, my search for Nepalese has also continued more enthusiastically. The stories of their struggles in different areas of life bring sadness to my heart. And their success stories give me even more courage to carry on with my journey. I greatly value the moments I spent with each and every one of them. I will continue to explore and bring unto you the life stories of different Nepalese living in different parts of the world.

Peace and Harmony,

Furtemba Sherpa

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