Tattooing And Piercing
VOL. 06, NO. 04, July 27, 2012 (Shrawan 12, 2069)
BY ADITI ARYAL
Tattooing is an art that has been around the world for ages now. Some studies have shown evidences of tattoos as existing from the time two thousand years before the Egyptian Pyramids. The Mayans, Aztecs, Incas and Polynesians all have proved the existence of this ancient body art relating to reasons of their own, like denoting the belonging of a group, spiritual healing, marking criminals, and symbols with some other meanings. This art exists even today in its modern version and is very popular, not without criticisms though.
In today’s precise terms, tattooing is an increasing trend among the youths, especially young adults. Tattoos today describe people’s feelings of individuality, passion for something, expression or rebellion. Men and women of very young ages can be seen flaunting their tattoos. Some religions see tattooing with maturity, like the Ancient Catholic. And others consider it to be mutilation of the body and, therefore, a sin.
Likewise is the art of piercing, which has been around for years now. Human kind has always seen a need to mutilate their bodies, and piercing has been the next best alternative. Piercing, like tattoos, has stuck around for thousands of years and still exists in both modern and ancient forms. Many tribes from around the world practice the ancient form of piercing: Cuna Indians of Panama, Nepalese and Indians, to name some. Side by side, non-tribal people around the world have modified this art to make it their own. There has now emerged a classified stratification of kinds of piercing, but people still can have their own unique one.
However, our minds have not completely broadened up to these arts. Most of the people immediately link tattoos to deviance and see tattoo makers as inculcating this trend for the worsening of the society. Also the people with tattoos are seen as deviants and immediately judged as deviants too. Our preoccupations have led us to believe that this trend is linked with the wrong category of people, disregarding people’s wishes to express themselves, to be different, or simply to rebel for a change. Ditto is the case with piercings.
At times, we mistreat or misjudge such people, giving way to the adage that says ‘being different is to be condemned by the society’. Often people with these arts are denied jobs in institutions, posed as scarecrows but to threaten kids, and ostracized, ridiculed and mocked. While we make fun of people with a passion for arts, we tend to not realize our ignorance of the significance of such arts, dating back to thousands of years.
Most families, as I know, in our society are not much supportive of their members getting tattoos or piercings. Let me cite an example of this person I know of. She wanted very badly to get a tattoo. And one day, she managed to get one. While her kids saw it as an accomplishment and were very proud of having a ‘cool mum’, her husband and in-laws were absolutely against it. There she was in a dilemma, not knowing to what new identity to choose. She simply saw it as getting what she desired from years ago, her kids found it great and other family members just treated her as if she had committed a sin.
If it is our mentality that prevents people from getting what they want, isn’t it for the best of all that we change it now? Why should the people be held back at doing what they want because it is wrong in our eyes? If this is what change and metamorphosis is all about, it is high time we bring it about. Not just for people’s wishes and desires but for the respect and appreciation such arts deserve.
Youths want better leaders, a better Nepal
I have been reminded several times, through experiences and encounters, that Nepal is a third-world country. Development is slow. Progress is slow. The everyday life of the average person does not seem to change at all, even after the democratic parties and the revolutionary Maoists overthrew the monarchy and established their own rule.
Friends have recounted the amazement of their countries and described the variety of resources they have available at their disposal. However, when it comes to the topic of my beloved country, people have asked me if there exists a mall or if we use spoons at all. Sure, to their faces, I express my anger and highlight their ignorance of the world. I tell them that Nepal is as beautiful and respectable country as any other. However, behind the curtain of these words, I wonder to myself if all I said is true. How proud can I be of my country?
In order for a country to succeed, in all socio-economic and political fronts, it needs proper leadership and leaders who genuinely care about the interests of the people. These leaders need to be educated, learned, and knowledgeable about what changes are absolutely necessary in a country like ours. These leaders should have the drive to pull the country out of the grips of what binds us to the ground. As of recently, I have seen some changes brought around by our current leaders: the latest being the areas for roads are being reclaimed and expanded, and the common person is grateful towards the government. However, it seems to have stopped at that small things. Is the government going to break down a few walls, sit back with a cup of tea, and wait till people are agitated and go on strikes to rebuild what has been broken? Moreover, does the government think that it has bought more time to stay idle for a few more years by breaking down some walls? Is that enough service for the people in the part of the government?
Personally, I feel like the government is quite detached from the people of Nepal, specifically from the younger generations. It does not care about their nationalist feelings. What I feel is that the politicians and government officials are so busy with electing positions and fighting over who gets to do what, that little thought is given to the people. Honestly, what are the things that the government has specifically done for, and only for, the people? What has the government done for us, the youth, the future of the country?
Isn’t the government responsible for, say, sending funds over to victims of landslides across the country? Isn’t that the purpose of a government, to help the common people, people who have to turn to the government because they have no other means of support?
And it isn’t like the government doesn’t have the financial support. Time and again, various developed countries have donated billions of dollars for the country’s welfare. However, nothing seems to change around us, and all this money seems to just disappear into the government’s pockets. Besides, we don’t seem to have brighter projects to develop the country, and make it as competitive as any other developed nation in the world.
Not only the government, but ‘we, the common people’, are also to be blamed for the slow progress of the country. We are careless and busy. Nobody has any time for anybody else. Everyone is too entangled in the realms of their busy lives to give the victims of that landslide a second thought. Kathmandu seems to be the center point of the country, and while enjoying the richness it has to offer, those residing inside the valley seem to forget about those outside. They are part of Nepal too, and they are as much a Nepali citizen as any other person walking down the paved roads of the valley. Sure, Kathmandu is the capital city, but that does not mean we, its residents, or the government should focus on the city and forget about those who do not get to feel its comfort and take advantage of its resources, resources which we seem to take granted for, like water and electricity.
Moreover, it becomes a responsibility of a city-dweller to leave the premises of the valley and stretch out to help those who seem to be out of reach of the capital.
My arguments boil down to this: we need a better government and some better groups of enthusiastic leaders at all fronts who indisputably want to bring change to our country. We need leaders who know what they’re doing. We need leaders who understand the state of the country and what needs to be done. We need leaders who have enough confidence to know that they can bring change.
(Bidushi Adhikari is a Grade XII student).