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'Don't treat us like your dumping ground': Nepal citizen's viral open letter to Indian tourists sparks debate

An open letter from a Nepali national addressing Indian tourists' behaviour in Nepal has recently gone viral on Reddit, sparking widespread discussion across social media.

Dont treat us like your dumping ground Nepal citizen's viral open letter to Indian tourists sparks debate snt
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First Published Jun 18, 2024, 7:46 PM IST

An open letter from a Nepali national addressing Indian tourists' behaviour in Nepal has recently gone viral on Reddit, sparking widespread discussion across social media. The letter, which highlights concerns about littering, noise, and disrespect for local customs, has resonated with many Nepalese citizens and ignited conversations about tourism ethics.

The letter begins by acknowledging the close cultural, traditional, and culinary ties between India and Nepal, emphasizing the familial bond that exists between the two nations. However, it quickly transitions to a candid critique of certain behaviours exhibited by some Indian tourists that are causing increasing frustration among the local population.

"Dear Indians," the letter opens, "We recognize and appreciate our close cultural, traditional, and culinary connections, which make us see you as brothers and part of our extended family. However, we have noticed that many Indian tourists do not adhere to appropriate ethics and values when visiting other countries, including Nepal."

The author expresses disappointment over prevalent issues such as littering and loud behaviour, urging Indian visitors to conduct themselves respectfully. The letter underscores the impact of these actions on the local environment and community, questioning if common sense is truly uncommon.

"It's disheartening to see issues like littering and loud behaviour becoming prevalent among some of you. Please remember to conduct yourselves respectfully when abroad. We are growing weary of the noise and the mess left behind. Is common sense really that uncommon?" the viral open letter added.

"With the heat waves, many Indians are traveling to Nepal, often by road. The main concern is the disregard for local rules. Do you realize the number of Indian drivers facing violence due to their arrogance? The mindset of "I paid money, so I can do anything" is fostering animosity between Nepalese and Indians," the letter further states.

A particular point of contention is the behaviour of tourists who cook by the roadside, often leaving behind significant amounts of garbage. The letter notes that while the local community does not mind tourists bringing their own materials and cooking, the expectation is that they clean up after themselves. Additionally, the author criticizes the reluctance of some visitors to pay nominal fees for public amenities, such as toilets, choosing instead to relieve themselves in public areas.

"Many of you arrive in buses, bringing all necessary materials and then cooking by the roadside. While we don’t mind this (though we encourage supporting local hotels), it is unacceptable to leave garbage behind. In Nepal, there is a small fee of 10-20 NRs (5-10 IC) to use public toilets, yet many choose to relieve themselves roadside to avoid this fee," the letter stated.

"If you cannot afford to pay for basic amenities, why come to Nepal at all? Please do not treat our country like your own dumping ground," the letter implored.

Despite the criticisms, the letter concludes on a note of gratitude for the aid and support Nepal has received from India, appealing to the strong bond between the two nations and urging mutual respect and adherence to local rules and norms.

"While we remain grateful for the aid and support from India, the behaviour of some tourists is creating resentment. Let's strive to maintain the strong bond between our nations by respecting each other’s countries and following local rules and norms," it concluded.

Dont treat us like your dumping ground Nepal citizen's viral open letter to Indian tourists sparks debate snt

'Only big fines can deter them': Netizens react to open letter

The viral letter has received a mix of reactions online. Many Nepali users have echoed the sentiments expressed, sharing their own experiences and frustrations. Conversely, some Indian users have highlighted this issue as a menace in India itself and called for greater awareness and responsibility among tourists.

"Start fining them heavily for littering, literally the only way," said one irked Reddit user.

"Our own heritage sites in Himachal, Uttarakhand and Arunachal have been destroyed by these s******s who believe they can litter anywhere since 'they pay taxes' and 'they can do whatever they want'. What good can we expect of them when the same scumbags travel abroad," responded an enraged Indian.

A third user noted, "You can take an Indian out of India, but not India out of an Indian," while a fourth added, "Damn, no wonder we Indians get so much hate."

A user from a European country noted, "It’s the same in Europe as well. Talking very loud to their family members, kids screaming, going out on railway track to take pictures even after officials warning not to leave the platform in one of the station in Norway. It is sad to see them do it because others would just generalise and look down upon you saying Indians."

"Dear Nepali OP, Very, very sorry for this brute, inconsiderate & illiterate behaviour. I cannot speak for all Indians, but this sort of loutishness needs to go away, respect for others, being considerate, & caring of customs & places - especially other countries has to be improved. We are not perfect- far from it. We are a work in progress. We appreciate your kindness, I hope we improve. Not just for you. But for us. Always grateful," remarked another Indian user.

One Reddit user called for hefty fines stating, "At this point just ask them to pay 4-5k per tourist to enter Nepal. Mark it as a clean fees as these assholes are bound to make a mess. It's not just Nepal, stupid Indians are destroying every place they go to. Only big fines can deter them."

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