So, what can we do about such diversities and disparities? What can those of us living in Nepal do? And what can those of us living outside of Nepal do? These are the diversities among the Newars, about which we have to think seriously and take action seriously as well. We must do what we can to eliminate such disparities.
Newars from various castes should learn best practices and useful lifestyle from one another. Newars living in rural and urban areas should exchange and share useful cultures and skills in the best way possible. The well-to-do Newars should help the poor Newars. At the same time, those Newars who are aware should explain, extend, and expand the importance of equality, importance of studies of diversity among the Newars, of preservation of language, cultures, and heritage to those who are less aware. The other sad diversity (diversity in my eyes) I see is that Newars are speaking other languages at home and forgetting about their own mother tongue. As a result, Newah Bhāy is dying fast. This is one of the negative diversities developing among many Newars. In this regard, one should appreciate the fact that it is because of the Uray group that Newah language is still alive today – with a few exceptional cases, they are the ones who preserved the language by speaking Newah at home and by teaching Newah to their children even today. All of us can still preserve our language by teaching our children speak Newah Bhāy at home. Just because one of the parents cannot speak Newah Bhāy or just because one of the parents is an American or foreigner should not be the cause of depriving the children of Newah Bhāy.
Finally, I would like to share my experience with those of you who are into quantitative research, especially with those who are in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. What you could do is, collect the data on Newars and analyze the data by education, income, employment, demographic variables (rural/urban, male/female, age-groups, castes, etc.), mortality, fertility, migration, and so on. Look at the differential by castes; do comparative analysis/study from various perspectives. If you need skills from experts such as statisticians or data analysts, demographers, language editors, and research experts, then do a group study rather than doing research alone. See what the findings depict about the Newars. Why do you think Newars from some castes have higher education and income than others; why some have higher fertility than others; why more infants and women in reproductive ages in some caste groups die than those in other Newar castes? What are the possible factors that contribute in such varying results? What could be done to eliminate such polarizations? What does the trend suggest – have such disparities and diversities been changing in Newar societies? That is the way to do quantitative research and discuss the findings, then suggest recommendations so that the concerned departments, governments, guthis and organizations, and authorities could take positive steps to eliminate unwanted disparities and diversities among the Newars. Such quantitative studies along with the qualitative studies the anthropologists and sociologists do will generate the true picture of Newar societies, status of Newars among various castes, differentials in their cultures and practices, and so on. All of that will provide us information that will allow us to understand Newar people, their various caste groups, their status, their cultural practices, and most importantly their shortcomings. Eventually that will provide Newars an opportunity not only to preserve the uniqueness of their social and cultural aspects but also to strengthen the unique qualities, skills, socioeconomic areas, languages, and heritage of all the Newars.
Newah Organization of America July 14th, 2015