Ama Nepali is a digital resource for Nepali mothers raising global children.
Mother is the fount of sustenance of child and culture. We cook for our children, often multiple times a day. We transmit elements of tradition and identity in and with each family activity. Routine for all mothers, but for the Nepali edition, the everyday comes with a twist.
Today’s Nepali child is a global citizen. Her food taste is multi-cultural. She is full of questions. From Sindhupalchowk to Sydney, Iowa, Itahari and all points between, Nepali mothers are raising children in manners far different from any reference we could draw from our memory banks. We cannot just rely on pure instinct to fulfill our duty.
How to cook Western food in a Nepali kitchen? How to cook Nepali food in a Western kitchen? Founders of Ama Nepali, we have had to make puja sweets at home out of necessity: they are not available near our home in the United States and the sweet shops in Nepal use unhealthy oils and (likely carcinogenic) chemical color dyes in their cooking. Purposefully, we cook with seasonal products to renew ties to our land and ancestors–and principles of organic, sustainable living. We fuse taste by incorporating Chinese spices in traditionally Nepali dishes and making momos with pizza bread. In-step with a changing world but rooted in tradition, we cook to keep our children close to what we call home, wherever ‘home’ may be located at any given time.
Home is the crucible of culture. We are गृहस्थ | grihastas | householders. In philosophical outlook and in everyday practice, the home is our world. At home, we live–which is a very involved affair. At home, we perform pujas early mornings; cook for and eat with the family three times a day; entertain relatives and guests; interact with service providers; reflect on the state of the world and our place therein; observe occasions that commemorate birth, death, celebration, festival, et cetra, et cetra. The practice of each of these activities is the stuff of culture.
Ama Nepali is a digital reflection of the home culture. In cyberspace, we, the founders, share that which we practice. The food on our table that sustains our physical life. Bite size servings of culture that sustain our identity. If you find these to be of use in your own lives, great! If you make us a part of your life, wonderful. In either case, tell us.
Tell us what you are cooking for your child, and where. Tell us how you are using everyday activities in your homes to nurture confidence in her/his identity. Nepali mothers all, we are practicing a collective activity in what appears to be a personal enterprise. Let us work together in raising global children with Nepali souls.