My Real Identity
Last year, I chanced to visit my neighbouring village with my grandmother. There was a religious gathering where there was a sermon. The attendants were heeding the preaching. My grandmother was also plunging into it. I accompanied her and lent my ear to the fluent preacher. I couldn’t get into its depth. However, I still remember some striking points. The preacher highlighted four major points, which make a man clear as well as intelligent if one executes them properly. Then, I mused what these four points could precisely be for, I was not an exception to other humans who want to be clever and intelligent. He said, “One can be both clever and wise by travelling far and wide, by making friends with a wise man, by participating in seminars and conferences, and by reading literature.” His points are inscribed in my mind really because I love travelling. I grew more enthusiastic about travelling.
Our annual exam finished and we all gathered on the school premises to discuss the plan. Everyone opined differently. Some friends suggested going for an excursion and the teachers too approved of it. Lumbini was selected as a better place to visit. All agreed and so did I. The preaching that I had heard, my interest and the excursion all came to the same floor coincidentally, and I became very happy. Our annual exam for the session got over and we all boarded the bus to take a trip to Lumbini. One of our teachers accompanied us to guide us. He was supposed to be our guardian, guide and patron. We felt secure. Moreover, I felt as secure as I did in my house. His accompaniment reassured me.
The bus purred and lurched and in no time caught the speed. Then there began gossiping, Some started singing and others budgeted to dance. I viewed the landscape outside and saw rivers flowing, lustrous forests, wide stretch green lea and patchy villages. I could not express my happiness on seeing such a diverse landscape within a few minute's of bus ride. My country, I felt, is very beautiful. No other place as kaleidoscopic as Nepal could be found anywhere in the world. For me, each glimpse along the way was equally majestic and regal, I got so spellbound by the views that I could not make out where we had arrived actually. Hearsay that a man who does not love his native land has nothing else to love proved true. I truly felt like arresting those luring glimpses into my eyes, with those passing views we licked our destination- Lumbini, which is widely known for its piety.
We got off the bus and lined up as instructed by the teacher. Lumbini was like a wide-stretched sacred garden- I came to know it instantly. It was far more than what I had heard and read before. I became so happy that I began to flutter like a butterfly.
Our first and foremost visit was to the Ashoka Pillar which the Indian emperor Ashoka had put up. The pillar, therefore, was named after him, our teacher briefed us. I found it was a national emblem of our country. Besides, it had been standing as a mast for all the Buddhists who would like to have a sacred visit to a great religious pilgrimage. Many people have strong faith and reverence for Buddha. They respect every Nepali who visits their country. They do so thinking that he/she is from the place where Buddha was born. My neighbouring brother who had visited a foreign country used to share his experience. I recalled him and his experience. I noticed the Ashoka Pillar had some cracks on it. It was therefore tightened with some slender iron strips for its repair. I realized that the historical and cultural heritages that make Nepal known to the entire world, should be preserved by all the concerned Nepalese. At the same time, I felt proud of having them listed in the world's cultural heritage.
We also visited Mayadevi Temple and had a look at the exact birthplace of Buddha and the pond in which Mayadevi used to have a sacred bath which was preserved with extra care. Thousands of tourists visit there annually and feel proud of having a chance to visit it. They regard Nepal as a country of Buddha, a country of numerous valiant knights, the country of Mount Everest, the country of Sita or a country of rhododendron. We Nepalese are highly dignified because Buddha was born in Nepal, because of his teachings and of his fame. I, at this moment, promise to preserve it.
There were gumbas, monasteries and emblems that represented the originality of various Buddhist countries in the world. There live numerous chances. I used to think that Lumbini was one of the famous places before I visited but I was wrong. It was not only a big tourist spot but also an international pilgrimage. It is our prime duty to protect, standardize and publicize it. They are indeed the real identities to make Nepal known to the world; I realized it during our trip.
We visited each place of religious importance within the premises under the teacher’s guidance. These places reflected the life of Buddha. The teacher told us about other places which, too, identify Nepal and advised us to visit in the days to come. He asserted that the thing learnt by observing is more concrete than the thing done by reading or listening. He said that the place of religious importance inculcates a sense of nationality and patriotism. I like his idea.
As we were planning to return, we caught sight of construction; we stormed to the site and soon came to know that a grand assembly house was being constructed there. It would then specify the place for Buddhists all over the world so that they could voice their opinions on the importance of Buddhism and its extension. Hundreds of people were working voluntarily. Our teacher encouraged us to volunteer the work and we set for the same. All the people irrespective of age and gender were involved in labour donation. Even chances were to do the work enthusiastically. We were inspired by the teamwork and assumed that our country could be developed over a night if all the Nepalese had a team spirit. ‘Development is not magic that appears with a magic wand but it's teamwork,’ reminded the teacher.
As we finished our excursion, we returned to the shelter where the teacher said, “Are you ready to listen to what I am going to say?” and we nodded. Then he revealed the fact that our school required a library and that every student was required to volunteer one day. We agreed and constructed the library soon after we had returned from the excursion. Then I believed in teamwork and its result that can equally contribute to the development of the nation.
It was when I discovered my real identity and came to know that national heritage is both a means and medium to identify a citizen of the nation. To preserve our national glory is to secure our own identity. One should recognize one’s own country if one wants to recognize the self in a real sense. I further understood that teamwork could contribute to a nation-building mission. The sermon that I had listened to before echoed in my ear, he said that tours and travels make a man wise and intelligent, and he was right.
Summary of My Real Identity
An individual is expected to have a sense of patriotism, which reminds him of his duty and responsibility. Similarly, he/she should be equally conscious of his or her own identity. Besides this, the places of historical and cultural importance are his or her identities because they are the identities of this nation. They should, therefore, be preserved for the sake of one’s own identity. Patriotism, preservation of national heritages and teamwork are the essences of development.
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