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Till not too long ago, Nepal used to be a country where many women became grandmothers by the time they were 35. In many parts of the country this is still the case. My own mother is only 16 years older than me. She was married at 11.
The status of Nepali women in society used to be the worst in South Asia. All this is changing, with improving female literacy, rarer child marriages, better maternal and child survival, and couples having fewer children. But slower to change is the social status of women in Nepal. A Nepali woman still has to be both physically and mentally strong to survive society’s prejudices against her.
Most Nepali grandmothers today are survivors of a society that has consistently undervalued them, even though it would be nothing without them. They, above all, understand what struggle is about and what it means to be a woman in Nepali society.
Hamra Hajurama: Our Grandmothers is a selection of the collective wisdom of the Nepali grandmother, wisdom that comes from having suffered, survived, nurtured, endured and enjoyed a full life. What they tell us are individual stories of struggle and hope. These are lives that are more dramatic than novels. These are stories that rarely appear in our newspapers and magazines.
This book celebrates the life of the Nepali grandmother, with the hope and belief that the lives of the daughters of their granddaughters will improve.