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Americans come time and again for Nepal’s people and culture: US ambassador Berry

Ambassador Randy W. Barry
US Ambassador Randy W. Berry with the women entrepreneurs from Janakpur Women’s Development Center.

Kathmandu: His Excellency Randy W. Berry, US ambassador to Nepal said Americans come to Nepal time and again not for mountains, but its people and rich cultural diversity.

He was speaking to Kantipur Television’s ‘Good morning Nepal’ show. Mr. Berry asserted that he is always ready to understand the very complicated history and culture of Nepal.

“Warm, hospitable, caring, open and willing to share their culture, are the hallmarks of Nepali people which I have observed wherever I traveled in Nepal, whether it is Kathmandu or Mustang. That’s what brings Americans here again and again,” he said.

Nepal has a marvelous natural beauty to share with the world. “I have traveled to Terai and seen the shrines of Muktinath temple and the beautiful landscape of Mustang, “added Ambassador Berry. He also appreciated the prevalence of gender equity and women’s changing role in Nepal.

When asked about the ongoing transformation in Nepal, Mr. Berry commented that there have been substantial changes in Nepal in the last ten years. When he was here before to work for his first tenure, Nepal as a country was merely coming out of the traumatic period of history and the political instability.

“But now pretty much has changed. Now we have a different conversation with the government, political parties, and civil society about stability, stabilization, and we can talk about to let the country prosper economically and create opportunities for all Nepalese. So, that’s pretty exciting change within the last decade. I am excited to work on it,” said Berry.

On being asked about the fascination of the American education system among Nepali students, Berry said that the US offers world-class education and an enormous number of Nepali students continue to reach the US for education.
He suggested that Nepal should also offer good basic education to the people especially girls and then create opportunities for the people to do something with the skill they have learned.

“I have an American experience. I grew up in a family in a rural area and my parents did not benefit from higher education. But they gave priority to my higher education which opened so many doors for me. If you allow girls to think critically, they can contribute to their family by doing something. I know that if key assets are given, people can achieve anything,” Berry added.

He also opined that young people in Nepal have started thinking out of the boxes to do what is possible. “I am pretty open to people. I have a great deal of respect for the history and culture of Nepal,” said Berry.

On being asked whether Americans know about Nepal, Berry opined, “The people of my country may not know about Nepal. But I tell them about the resources, about people and cultures of Nepal. And if they have been trekkers or visitors here they instantly understand what I am talking about.”

Commenting about Visit Nepal Year 2020, Berry said that the restoration of Krishna temple at Patan and Durbar Square will be part of the future project plan funded by the US embassy. “We are in the growth phase for these projects to promote Nepal Visit Year 2020. I will be here as a face again even if my tenure ends here,” added Berry.

The ambassador also said that the US embassy was working for the restoration of Nepal’s “Gandhi Baithak” so that it would be accessible to foreigners and tourists.

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