Nepanglish Way

This blog focuses posts on the writer's day-to-day conversations with his four-year-old daughter. Some posts might be filled with humor here and there—please laugh where needed because it is said that laughter is the best medicine.

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Baba, Haami fishing ma jaane ho today? (translates to ‘dad, are we going for fishing today’), said my nearly five-year-old daughter recently. She often mixes two different languages in a humorous way, probably without knowing what she is doing.

This time, I laughed out-loud internally! Yes, I just mentioned ‘out-loud and internally’ in the same sentence because my heart and lungs heard it out-loud. I am certain about that. Additionally, I’ve more freedom in the blogging world – and this should just vindicate it, right?  

Sorry, grammarians!  

I also immediately corrected my smart cookie to reiterate that she was mixing-up two different languages in an anomalous style. She nodded her head as if to indicate she was right. For me, this is a perfect example of her early sign that she might be good at Nepanglish (a commonly-used slang for a blend of Nepali and English when spoken together).

But I’ve bigger dreams for her than that. I want her to grow up as a perfect bi-lingual, far better than her daddy. I know that my wife might make me do dishes for an entire week for my failure to not use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ here. We’ll see if she reads this post to make that comment to me privately, so I can go from ‘I’ to ‘we’ in my future posts where we both agree reciprocally.    

When my daughter was even not in the making, I had a slightly different opinion. I used to think that kids should be given freedom to learn language on their own. My entire perception changed when she landed safely on this earth because by then I had a full realization that being multilingual has a lot of strengths attached to it.

Becoming a multilingual is also such a great asset right at home, may be even more than at the workforce. I’ve an elderly parent who not only provided childcare support, but also helped her learn Nepali—the only language spoken in my family members for generations. Covid-19 restrictions can’t take that away. 

It would be a disgrace for me to interpret for my parents when my smart cookie talks to them all-in-English. I can’t let most of my uneducated family members, including parents down. I am sure I am not the only one facing this problem.

As a millennial parent, I’ve a stout conviction that I’ll do whatever I can to make my daughter a bi-lingual, if not multilingual, without letting ‘Nepanglish’ rule her potentialities. It’s tough, challenging, yet I seem to think that this journey is filled with fun if we parents perform our duties sincerely. I know that it will be my failure as a parent not to inspire and teach her our mother language, Nepali, as perfectly as possible.

Until next post, please feel free to listen to this Nepali song she recently sang to get a better of my blog.    

 

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A father, husband, public speaker, and a freelancer, Mr. Mishra returns to this news portal as the Executive Editor after he had served in the same capacity for nearly three years in the recent past. Born in Dagana, Bhutan and raised in the refugee camp in Nepal, Mishra’s entry into journalism began as early as 2002, and he has been volunteering in the area since then.

Mr. Mishra worked as a special correspondent for The Bhutan Reporter (TBR) Monthly for a few years in the early-mid 2000s. Later, he became Editor at the same newspaper, and also served as the Chief Editor of TBR for two years. He is one of the founder members of Bhutan News Service (BNS), where he started serving as Editor (2006-2009), and later Chief Editor (2009-2011).

Mr. Mishra also served as one of the main hosts of the radio program, Saranarthi Sarokar (translates to ‘Refugee Concern’ in English) in one of the local FM stations in Kathmandu, Nepal from 2007 through 2009. As a host of the program, he interviewed dozens of high-profile Nepalese and Bhutanese politicians, academicians, social and community leaders, including foreign diplomats then based in Kathmandu and Jhapa, Nepal.

Aside from his reporting work while in Kathmandu, Mr. Mishra also got involved in other philanthropic work, and helped needy refugees. Mr. Mishra led two donation campaigns through the lobby in Kathmandu among fellow Bhutanese refugees and supported fire victims in the refugee camp in the eastern part of the country. Mr. Mishra also directly assisted dozens of sick patients with various illnesses from the refugee camps in Jhapa to get their appropriate treatment in Kathmandu-based hospitals at a discounted rate and/or free of cost.

Mr. Mishra has appeared in various national, regional and international publications including the Wall Street Journal, Aljazeera America, Explore Parts Unknown, Global Post, Himal Southasian, among dozens of other media outlets with articles aimed at advocating the Bhutanese refugee issue. The New York Times, BBC, Guardian Weekly, among many others have featured Mishra’s work. Mr. Mishra has also written articles extensively reflecting the state of ‘freedom of speech & expression in Bhutan.’

Mr. Mishra is also the author of a handbook called Becoming a Journalist in Exile.

Mr. Mishra is the recipient of two awards—one by the Bhutan Press Union (2006), and the other by the Organization of Bhutanese Communities in America (2011) for his contributions in the related field. Founder President of the Bhutan Chapter of the Third World Media Network (2006-2012), Mishra has also represented Bhutan in various regional and national-level trainings and seminars on media freedom while during his stay in Nepal.

Mr. Mishra holds his first Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Purbanchal University in Nepal, and the second Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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