KATHMANDU, June 13: Date: An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest.
The easy access to the world, the change of pace in lifestyle and the modernization in the outlook of most people is the consequence to most of the changes we see today. And while some changes have been for the better and some for the worse, some seem to have even amazed us with its sheer surprising transformation.
One of such changes we see in the Nepali society these days is dating. Today, it’s acceptable that people date and it’s also acceptable that they start young.
Except that long gone are the days when you waited for your girlfriend/boyfriend to walk out of their classroom. You would walk home together or walk as far as the bus stand, always taking the longest route possible, of course. Apart from the quick meeting at lunch break, this was the sum of your “date” during your schooldays.
But now such ‘dates’ are passé. The youth are now quite adventurous when it comes to ideas for their rendezvous.
Cutting class, carrying an extra pair of clothes inside their school bags for a day out, going for long rides in the Valley, they have tried them all.
It’s quite noticeable that the number of students you see walking hand in hand in public and crowding the cinema halls or food courts has grown over the years.
It’s easier to separate friends from the special one without having to keep an eagle’s eye on groups of young people. A couple of smitten actions should make it clear for you.
Biplav Pangeni, 18, a student of St Xavier’s School, explains, “A date means that I have a good time with a special one, getting to know her better. Since I can’t stay out late, it’s normally going out to restaurants for lunch or coffee together. I think the change has come about due to the influence of the western culture. Movies are a good option but only during holidays. While I never did it myself, I had friends skipping school for dates. But I think there’s no harm in it if it’s a once-in-a-blue-moon thing. A date during school hour helps to relieve the stress of our studies.”
When asked about his reaction if he accidentally bumps into his family members during a day out with his special one, he says, “Of course, I would be a little nervous. But if asked I would introduce my girlfriend.”
What we can gather from such a reaction is that it’s time parents started opening up a dialogue between their children and themselves.
Only when there’s transparency can the give-and-take of well meaning advice be implemented. The situations which might land teens in trouble and invariably cause shame for the parents can then be avoided.
Remember the times when countless incidences of young students in compromising situations would be on the news. The rise of students sneaking off to discotheques in their uniforms also made a few headlines. Now with so many “innocent” options these days, have things slowed down for the
SSP Bhog Bahadur Thapa, Metropolitan Police spokesperson, states, “Well, we only conduct raids if we get complaints from the society. We make any such move after we have proper information at hand. In the past, we did find a lot of students in their school uniforms in discotheques and sometimes in delicate situations and what we usually do is hand the child over to the guardians. If the case is extreme, we do try to punish them. But their parents, for fear of exposure, try to have
He concludes with positive news, “However, for the past one year, things have been quite stable.”
However, not much has changed since the days Neeva Pradhan ventured out on lunch dates during her schooldays. Now 25, Neeva is currently pursuing her Master’s in Child Development and Gender Sociology at Padma Kanya College.
She recalls, “Since staying out late was out of the question, it was mostly lunch dates for me then. We would get nervous with the possibility of coming across someone we might know. Apart from such dates, I never went out anywhere else. The only thing that’s changed now is perhaps that I can now stay out for a longer period in the evening.”
One thing is certain. We have now become as accustomed to seeing teens cuddling and enjoying rides together as well as going out on dates.
Honey Gurung, 24, a final-year student of Bachelor’s in Public Health at Hope International College, says, “I never dated during my schooldays but I’m okay with how young students date now. In my opinion, circumstances change according to the times. Now most people are more open-minded and not very conservative. I think it is okay that young students have so much time for each other. But they shouldn’t neglect their studies, either. Relationships are important but not at the cost of studies, especially when one is young. I don’t recommend bunking my classes for dates. one can always do that during their holidays.”
So there it is dating is fun and its acceptable provided that the teens started listening and heading back to school during school hours. The malls, the movie theatres and the long rides will always be there and weekends might just be the time to enjoy them.