Losing a bit of compassion
I looked out of my window, attracted by some movements on the lawn behind my house. On a small grassy mound several metres away, there were two men, a young boy probably in his early teens and a woman, most probably his mother. One of the men was setting out some things on the grass. I could guess by the shape that it was a worship item. The mother and the son hovered around. The boy was being instructed to make offerings. I noticed a four legged animal standing near the boy’s leg and I thought it was his dog.
For a while I went on with whatever task I had at hand. Then something made me look out again. The two men were still busy on the grassy mound where some ritual had taken place. The mother and son were now standing several metres away watching the two men. The “dog” was nowhere to be seen. Then the two men picked up the headless body of the “dog” which was actually a sacrificial goat.
A movement caught my eye. The boy hesitantly moved forward and went towards the mound. He gingerly picked up the head of the goat by one ear and followed the two men. Slowly the boy’s jitteriness changed into a jaunty manner as he felt that he was doing what his adults taught him was right.
I witnessed him losing a bit of his compassion with the approval and admiration of adults. He may be on his way to holding the struggling animal down the next time and yet another time he will be showing off his prowess over the poor animal by wielding the knife himself…
Why Veggie Mamas are Needed
The above is one example of how we are knowingly or unknowingly passing on the culture of unwise selfishness and violence to the future generations. Here in Nepal, as in many places in the world, we have just begun to emerge from a ten year internal conflict resulting in almost 14,000 deaths including 450 children dead, 2-3000 orphaned and 8000 displaced. Now we need to find a little bit of compassion.
When it comes to the basic values and principles – we live by the rule of the jungle. My happiness, my security, my comfort, my interests is of paramount importance. As a consequence, we are laying foundations for a future for our children, where the law of the jungle prevails.
We are here now
We introduced the Veggie Mamas for the first time on 24-26th August 2007 at a women’s festival in Kathmandu. We also introduced our “signature” vegetarian dish – “mashpo momos”. “Mashpo momos” is a vegetarian version of a popular non-vegetarian Tibetan dish called momos. Momos are dumplings with minced meat filling which are steamed/deep fried/partially fried. A traditional vegetarian version is replacing the minced meat with mashed potato and butter. However, this vegetarian version has never been sold, it has been restricted to home consumption, as most people believe that only meat momos are viable, business wise.
It was the first time in our lives doing business. We invested NRs.25,000/- (appx. USD 350/-) and recovered NRs.26,000/-. We got nothing for a week’s labour in monetary terms, but we learned an enormous amount and our spirits were still high, we all agreed that we would continue for the second time. Most important of all, we were able to sell our mashpo momos in competition with “meat” momos. People appreciated the taste and came back for more.
Drops in the ocean
While it is necessary to keep the bigger picture in mind, the vastness can be stupefying, making one feel small and ineffective. Therefore it is necessary to look around what one can do to the best of ones ability to contribute that one drop in the ocean which makes the ocean what it is – without these individual tiny drops of water – there would be no ocean.
This is where Veggie Mamas come in.
More Veggie Mama Stories:
- Losing a bit of compassion
- No Mashpo Momos!!!
- The Veggie Mamas’ Dream
- My First Shot at Becoming - Vegetarian
- Mashpo Momo on the Go!
- Thank you my son
- About Veggie Mamas
Try the Mashpo Momo Recipe tonight!