Binny Amatya is a graduate of SapientNitro’s Fall 2011 Marketing and Strategy Internship program. In this blog, she shares her perspective on how social media is enabling Nepalese youth to “show up. stand up. speak up. else, shut up”:
I come from a country not many people know about in the United States. I am used to getting asked twice when I say my country’s name, and then I also always have to associate the name “Nepal” with “Mt. Everest.” Not many people would know about it otherwise, and that makes perfect sense. It’s a small developing country tucked away cozily between two powerhouses — India and China.
For a country that has not seen development on par with the rest of the developing world, the one area that is growing in enormity, and use, is social media. Social media was in its dormant stage a few years ago. Being a big fan of American sitcoms, I used to watch shows like “Friends” and “Seinfeld” searching for videos on YouTube as they weren’t aired on my local TV stations.
Computer usage in rural Nepal is very minimal. Here you’ll see a woman travelling a week just to use a computer to connect with her family living abroad.
The social media landscape is still developing in cities. Frustrated by the political instability and weakening job market, the youths in Nepal are now turning to social media to organize massive movements.
Recently, an event was created on Facebook called ‘Come on Youth, Stand up.’ Within a few days, 9,000 people responded to it. According to Nepali Blogger, this event aimed to organize a peace rally in Kathmandu, the capital city, to pressure leaders to give full commitment to the constitution writing process and to incite every youth to raise their voices against misdeeds of leaders. Inspired by the successful turnout of this event, Nepal Unites created an event called “Show up. Stand up. Speak up. Else, shut up,” which attracted hundreds of youth to come out to the streets and make their voices heard.
Through their humble beginnings in Facebook, these movements have grown to unparalleled scales in Nepal. Who knew such an easily available platform could help the thousands of frustrated youths to unite and send a message to the political leaders — leaders who often ignore the voice of youth, in a country that only respects seniority.
We’ve all seen the recent unfolding of Middle East’s youths standing up for their rights. Nepal is not alone. There are countless stories just like this from small countries like mine. That’s the power of social media. It’s our local access to a global voice.
|About the Author
Binny Amatya is a graduate of SapientNitro’s Fall 2011 Marketing and Strategy Internship program and Nepalese by origin. Having always been interested in pursuing a business degree from a college in the U.S., she fulfilled her aspirations by completing her bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University and went on to complete her MBA from Kennesaw State University.