Sunday, December 12, 2010

A comparison

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and the poorest country in Asia. 80% live for under $2 a day and 40% live below the poverty line. In July this year it was estimated that there are about 29 mio. inhabitants in Nepal , and about 17 mio. In the Netherlands.
The median age in NP is 21 years, in NL 41 years.
And some more numbers:
Urban population: NP 17%; NL 82%

GDP per capita: NP $1,200; NL $39,400
Mobile phones: NP 4.2 mio; NL 19.9 mio
Internet hosts: NP 43,900; NL 12.6 mio

The literacy in NL is 99% for both men and women. The national literacy rate in Nepal is 49%, but only 35% for women.
And speaking about women; they have a hard time in Nepal. They usually work harder and longer than men and for less reward. They only truly gain status in traditional society when they give birth to a son. (Apparently a man can legally take a second wife if the first has not had a child after 10 years of marriage.) However, I have met many women whose husband has taken a second wife even though the first wife has given birth to children – even sons. I guess one of the reasons for this could be that the first is an arranged marriage whereas the second is a so-called ‘love-marriage’.
Arranged marriages is still the norm, but now and again you do hear about a love-marriage. I heard that a young couple from one of the villages - who are in love with each other and are seeing each other without their parents' knowing are trying to trick their parents into setting them up together in an arranged marriage. I hope they succeed.

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