Beauty standards; are we to blame?


When people knew that I had joined a pageant, I got a lot of appreciations and “you’ll surely win” kind of statements but along with that I also herd, “I never thought you’d do a pageant” or “oh! This is something different.”

Yeah, typically we assume pageants to be for the girls who are really into fashion and modelling. But I had a totally different background. Moreover, I was an advocate of body confidence and ran free being me sessions with children and taught them how fashion industry is creating stereotypes about beauty. So, pageant was out of a box kind of thing for me.

I was always interested in pageants. I loved to watch pageants as a child. Always used to get amazed at how the girls carried themselves so confidently on the stage. But, it never occurred to me that I’d be a part of one.

It was during my +2 days, when one of my friends, Anusha talked me into joining a pageant. It was then when I considered, “Maybe I should take part in one someday.”

But when I looked into some of the applications, I WAS DISAPPOINTED!!

beauty-graphIn order to take part in the contest, you needed to meet some criteria. Criteria not as in the age criteria or the educational criteria but the “beauty criteria.”

It’s not that I didn’t fit into the criteria.  But somehow somewhere I didn’t feel right to take part and promote a platform which promotes the standards on beauty.

C’mon, every girl should have right to take part in any contests she wishes to and express herself. No limits of her beauty should be a barrier.

One of the many reasons I joined Miss Newa is because it has “no beauty criteria.” This line drew my attention to the contest.

And after going through 2 months of training and finally being able to win the crown, I can say that at last what really matters is how you carry yourselves, what really matters is your smartness and your confidence. Obviously, your physical appearances also play a part but its not only about that.

When I was traveling abroad, I used to get complements on my Aryan features and even got asked if was a model. When I said no, they said you should consider being a model, maybe like a face model. I used to laugh it off and say, “Okay I’ll keep that in the possibilities. But what’s wrong with my body?” And then I smirked and thought by myself, “Oh yeah I don’t fit into the stereotypical skinny divas and I don’t have that Wow 5’10” height.”

See here is the thing, knowingly or unknowingly we are creating the beauty standards and these things like a boomerang are hitting us right back.

Few weeks ago, I came to know that a girl child didn’t want to fill out a form for a children’s pageant because she thought she wasn’t pretty enough to get past the audition round.

dove-door-ad.0.0 (1)Talking about this on a broader perspective, on an experiment done by Dove, women were given two choices of doors to enter the building, one had “beautiful” sign on it and the other had “average” sign. And not to my utter surprise most women chose the “average” door.

We are the ones limiting and undervaluing our own beauty based on the comparisons we do with the magazine cover girls who have went through months of grooming, hours of make up and skills of air brushing.

We live in a society in which we judge and compare each other by our outer appearances. We blame society for that but in the meantime aren’t we the society?



Rizasa ❤



Bride at Eleven.

If I were asked, “What is one thing you’d change and experience in the past, if you had the superpower to do so?”

I’d probably answer, “Nothing. I’m happy with whatever happened in life, happy moments taught me to appreciate life and sad experiences taught me to value life.”

But deep down, I know and you know it too, if given a chance we wouldn’t hesitate to go back in time and make it all right, fix the broken pieces, mend things and make a perfect future for ourselves.

Well in my case, I will always reproach not having the experience of “gupha” in life.

I remember visiting my sisters during their gupha and I remember how badly I wanted to do the traditional “bara chonegu.”

But my mother wanted me to go to bihar.

Yeah bihars are shortcuts and easy way out in everyone’s busy schedule but I don’t know I’ve always felt like I have been deprived of enjoying my cultural right. (No offence to anyone.)

But no worries, I’m a fantasy girl, always loved to live in fantasies.

I’m really sorry if I exaggerated something or missed out anything in this article. As this is NOT MY STORY. Its just me fantasizing about my missed life event.


Being born in a culturally rich Newar community of Nepal, I was exposed to numerous rituals and tradition, rules and regulations from an early stage of life.

Nine years ago, when I was merely enjoying the winter vacation of my sixth grade, I was taken to a priest to get an auspicious date to “MARRY THE SUN”. Yes! It may sound implausible in the scientific world but Newar girls should marry the sun before they reach puberty. This ceremony is called “gufa tehegu” or “bara chonegu” in which they are kept in darkness away from the sunlight and any male contact for 12 days.

I was particularly nervous and extremely worried for the next 12 marked days of my life. The thought of being locked inside the four walls of the room predominantly scared me as I was outgoing and loved to visit different places than sit idly. But the 12 days didn’t turn out as I had imagined. It was indeed more exciting, and I learned a whole lot of things that I couldn’t have learnt otherwise. I was taught the basics of life, to do cleanings, to cook, to do make-up and wear different cultural outfits and ornaments. Overall, I was taught to be independent.

Every passing days were becoming more interesting and appealing as I was exposed to the cultures of our society and various norms and traditions. My relatives visited who spoke to me of how my body will now change and transform into woman, how I wasn’t a child anymore and how I should behave. I was given education about virtual world, sex, and mensuration. This traditional ritual signified the transformation of my girlhood into womanhood, childhood to adulthood. All in all, I was taught what it means to be a woman.

The days went by in a blink of eye. On the 12th day, I was woken up by my mother before the sunrise. I purified myself by taking bath and was dressed in bridal attire and make-up. I stared at my own reflection in the mirror for a while, my eyes were lined up with kajol, my cheeks were rosy and my full-lips were red with lipstick. I was draped into a red sari and my hair was tied into a high bun.

“Are you ready?” I heard a vague voice.

“Yes!” I answered to myself. “I am ready to be a woman.”

I was escorted by my mother into the terrace. A veil covered my head and face. I could hear and sense the numerous people in the terrace who were waiting for me. Someone handed me rice and flowers.  My mother lifted the veil, and for the first time in 12 days the sun embraced my face, my body felt warm, and I opened my eyes, I opened my eyes to the same world but now with different perspective.

gupha 2The wedding ceremony began completing with the custom of applying vermilion (sindur) on my forehead. I was now married to the sun. I was told that from now onward the sun will protect me from evil spirits and even in a case of untimely death of my human husband I would never be a widow which would prevent me from the tortures of the society.

The life after my gupha has been totally different. I was treated as an adult. I no longer spent my leisure time playing outside, I had numerous chores to do and help mother in her daily tasks. I was allowed to take life decisions and exposed to the real world. This ceremony marked a significant change in my life and lifestyle. I was no longer a wailing child, I was a fully grown-up woman in every aspect.




Rizasa ❤

Different, Not Less!


Often times we take life for granted, all the small normal things we can do in life for granted.

Now, I want you to sit back, hold your breath and think for a while.

What if  you weren’t able to do the normal day to day activities? What if you wanted to express your feelings but your voice blurred and you had no words? What if you couldn’t react and respond? What if you were always categorized “different” from you peers? What if?

Well, I cringe even to think that happening to me. And I wouldn’t want anyone suffer with this. “Suffer” might not be the right word to use. As this is life and everyone must accept and cherish every single moment that comes with it.

I had an opportunity to volunteer in Special Olympics Nepa, a national level sports competition held for the children with autism and special needs. I got to interact and work with very special children from different parts of Nepal.

To be honest, I did not have high expectation. But when I saw the children performing the best of their ability, running with striving competitiveness, jumping as high as they can with all their might, throwing balls as far as they can with their full effort and alongside coordinating and communicating with each other, I was particularly awed, fully contented and extremely proud.


Imperceptibly, they all inspired me to look at life from a disparate point of view. All the special children have in fact taught me to rise and shine and face the day with a impeccable smile even when it’s gloomy, to dance in life even if it rains,  and be carefree of yesterday and of tomorrow because life is ‘today’ and today we shall enjoy the fullest and live it to the best.

Anything is possible. You just need to have the willpower, acceptance and a chance.

Learn to see the ABLE in the disABLE!!



Rizasa ❤

GCED: A must for 21st Century


Global citizenship education (GCED) is the education which is inclusive, participatory and equitable quality education and which endeavors to equip learners with the knowledge of peace, justice, principles of human rights, civil rights, cultural diversity and environment.

At this 21st century when ongoing global challenges are impacting everyone as every local level activity is interrelated to the global world and the solutions require thinking and acting beyond local level. It has become a must for young people to go beyond the four walls of the classroom and not limit ourselves with the textbooks and explore GCED more significantly and considerably.

Hence, it is no longer enough for education to produce people who can read, write and count. Young people need education which is relevant to their world, which teaches them skills to alter and adopt the global community and which provides key to prosperous, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive world.

Global Citizenship Education edifies people to live together in peace with due respect to all; regardless their sex, color, caste, nationality or ethnicity. It advocates the essence of belonging to common humanity. GCED makes people realize their rights and make them understand the global issues and universal values and motivates plus engages them to resolve the challenges.

GCED aims to empower learners to assume active roles to face and resolve global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, and inclusive and secure world as it addresses the global issues of social, political, exclusion and discrimination for more equal mechanism for and peaceful world.

Development can only be fostered when students have the knowledge about global issues and how it impacts their community. They must be taught to respect each other’s opinion and diversity which is only possible through Global citizenship education.

GCED could be used to combat violence, intolerance, exclusion and discrimination to build a bridge between the underprivileged and the privileged. GCED is a powerful weapon against extremism and radicalism.

Many education and training system do not provide young people with the basic skills needed to escape poverty and unemployment, even when they continue to receive formal education. GCED seeks to fill this gap by providing learning and skills development opportunities which are relevant to the context.

Youths are filled with tremendous and towering ambitions and ideas but they are not being fully utilized due to wrong education practices. Young people need structured mechanism for participation through decision making, especially in area which has a clear impact on young people.

GCED should be introduced to youths because they are the one who are going to develop into tomorrow’s active and engaged adults who continue to work for the development and pass on their valuable knowledge and experience to upcoming generation.


Rizasa ❤

10 things I learned from YHRI- International youth forum.


It’s not friYay yet and I’m here with a post! Wondering?

Well, I had to share something of worth and I couldn’t wait until friYay!

And also, this is not a story.

If you’re following me on Facebook, snapchat; you’ll know that I attended a program on human rights and sustainable development goals.

“International Youth forum on human rights and UN SDGs” was a two day program organized by “Youth for human rights Nepal.”

It was a really effectual program with the most passionate, like-minded people from different corners of the world, driven by success and with a vow to change the world to make it a better place to live in.

Here, I will be sharing the top ten things I learned from the event.

  1. Learn to learn.


Simple but meaningful.

One thing you were never taught in school was: how to learn. Most of us really never did get taught evidence based learning techniques. What we were taught probably wasn’t actually backed by any research evidence, we were told to use techniques such as memorizing, copying and rereading that have been handed down obediently from generations to generations and been shown to be comparatively ineffective.

So, Learn To Learn!

  1. Protesting is not violence, but instead it is standing up.


Till date, we have always misinterpreted protest as violence.  But actually, protesting is standing up for what you believe in, standing up for what is right.


  1. Youths have ideas, olds have experience; and when they come along, great things happen.

old youth

“When the old are not allowed to tell their story, the young grow up without history. When the young are not listened to, we lose unique ideas and have no future.”

Youths are creative, energetic and enthusiastic but on the other hand olds are rich in experience and knowledge, they know how to do things and how not to do things. And with fresh ideas and remarkable experiences, great things can happen.

  1. Don’t give fish, teach how to fish.


Well, of course if you give fish that will be only for a certain period of time and what after that? But if you teach them to fish that will be forever.  (Or at least until the period the fish hasn’t extinct. Ha-ha)

Also, isn’t giving fish every time making them dependent and lazy?

P.S Fish is only a metaphor.

  1. Leave no one behind.


If you are familiar with the sustainable development goals, you must know this, “Leave no one behind” which has been the fundamental rallying cry around the SDGs.

  1. If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you must follow these rules:

    images (4)

i) My benefit, your benefit equals people’s benefit.

ii)If people talks shit about you, enjoy it.


  • Interest
  • Respect
  • Positive
  • Perspiration
  • Patience
  1. Break the stereotypes.


Our society is based on the superficial things, from which we categorize people because of the actions of a small percentage.

Stereotypes are sometimes too stiff and when there is no room for growth, the “tag” becomes oppressive, both for the individuals who are “tagged” and for the category itself.

The challenge is to keep an open mind even for the most rock-hard “tags.”

Because if not now, when? If not you, who?


  1. Education is the key to unlock the cage of ruthlessness, key to freedom, key to hope and key to turn hope into reality.

    download (1).jpeg

True education is not preparation for life, education is life itself. Education is not an event but a process, a process we can use to change the world. Education teaches us to raise our voice, without actually raising our voice.

  1. Certificate; more like a piece of paper?

    download (2)

You don’t need certificates and degrees to become innovators. What you really need for innovation is surprisingly simple. Identify what you are passionate about — which is almost always what you’re good at. Then find an accessible and reasonable way to be the best at it, or at least the best at a part of it.

  1. You don’t need a penny to create an impact.

    images (5)

If you want to change the world, but you don’t have money to take actions, chill! Actually there is an easy way to do so without costing you anything.

You can share; share anything worth you find in social media, share all the good deeds you are doing in the society, share  new things you get to learn (like I’m doing now). And by doing so, at least you’ll be impacting 1 out of 100 people who are scrolling their news feed.

Besides, the share button in Facebook or the retweet button in Twitter does not come with a price tag!

P.S You can start it by sharing this post 🙂

Thanks for reading 😀

And please do comment if I missed out anything important from the event.


Rizasa ❤

Happy New Year Nepal!

3…2…1… HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

A couple of claps and the echoes of screams around the valley welcomed 2074 with a warm hug. A rocket pataka was to be seen in a far distance which exploded just below the shining moon.

We couldn’t have ended 2073 in any better ways.


And Nepal couldn’t have started 2074 in any other better ways.

Well, when I was small and when unfortunately I had to travel through the chaotic and crowded public transportation with irritating sounds of horns now and then. I so much wished that a Genie would appear out of nowhere and grant me three wishes.

First, would be of course to have a limited number of passengers in a public vehicle i.e. not more than the capacity of the seats. Second, Please Genie smash all those vehicles producing that dark, polluting air. And Third, Take all those bikes and vehicles pressing that infuriating horn even when knowing that pressing the single button won’t lessen the traffic or broaden the lane.

Now, after 10 years, I finally feel that the Genie really listened to me. However, he was a little miser; fulfilling only my last wish. But, yeah considerable!

The sounds of the soothing horns and the aroma of the black perfume from the vehicle’s really helped us to relax after an exhausting day. And may I not say about the overcrowded vehicles. Oh! What a massage therapy it was.

Packed micro bus old bus park
Packed micro bus old bus park
Dear Nepal, I am going to extremely miss these therapies in 2074. JK 😛

Well, what I really want to say is that those three wishes aren’t only the “Fancy wishes” of an eight year old child; those wishes were of every common Nepali who travels through public vehicles to work, from work, to school and back from the school.

With 2074, Nepal has welcomed new traffic rules; better ones actually. Once in a blue moon, we get to see our government doing something good. Now, it is upon us if we really execute it into action or let it fade away like a Genie does after granting the wishes.

Happy New Year Nepal!


Rizasa ❤

Shivaratri Service Camp; A new chapter in the book of scouting!

Scout is a book and going to camps is always an interesting chapter; especially, when it is service camp. We get to meet different people, undertake new responsibilities, deal with public and face new challenges of life. And these lessons are worth taking.

Today, I woke up as an early bird with a smile on my face because I knew this day was going to be awesome, dressed up in the legendary ‘green sari’ and set off for Pashupati. Pashupati, regardless to say, was very brimful.

The devotees, saints, volunteers and Medias were all over the temple.

We had duty right in the front gate of the temple. And I must say, this time was easier than the times when we used to have duty inside the temple. Haha.

Sun was shining bright putrefying our body, the psalms were playing loud, and the crowd was bustling. But still there was calmness on our hearts because we were there to service, to volunteer and  to make that place convenient for everyone.

Although this was not my first time to shivaratri camp, but today was totally a new experience for me. Arranging the lines, supporting the disabled, helping the old ones and coordinating with other volunteers was all about today.

At times, my legs were shivering, my throat was dying for water, the scorching heat of the sun was shining on my forehead but every time I helped someone and when they smiled at me and said “Thank-you Nani”, a new me would generate and every energy that I had lost would automatically restore. A smile would crawl on my face and I would feel complete.

Well, dealing with public is hard, I know. Especially when the public is the crowd who have waited in line since the dawn; starved and tired, but this is what scouting is. Facing the challenges, handling it with a smile and then looking back to see that you have made a difference. This is the happy moment.

And obviously, seeing yourself in the news channel is happier than that. Hahaha.



‘Ready Enough’ To Start Blogging

Well today was a chaotic day, from protestors’ motorcade (bikecade would be appropriate) to giving up hope on getting home and then finally boarding a bus of another route (Because that was the only available),I sigh off gazing outside the bus window; thinking about the worse things that could have happened, the narrow escape I could have made  and all those impossible things.

“Hey you can write about this! What a great plot it will be” a voice echoed.

“Really?” I doubted myself.

This took me 2 years back.

“I love your stories. Why don’t you start blogging?” a friend of mine was suggesting.

“Me and blogging?” I was not confident.

“Yes! So that you can share your stories online to everyone.”

“That’s a good idea. But I am not ready enough.”

Now, two years after when I think of it, I ask myself “When will I be ‘ready enough’ then? When I haven’t written a complete story for more than a year and suddenly a plot comes into my mind and I am not ‘confident enough’ to write it?” Or “when age dies and along with it my passion for writing dies?”

Well, if i kept waiting to be ‘ready enough’, i will be waitinhg for the rest of my life,

So, now I think I am ‘ready enough’ to start a blog and this led me to tell a story!

I will be telling a new story every friYay on the territory of stories.