Nepal on the Move: Conflict, Migration and Stability

Mobility, multi-locality and civil engagement in nation and community building; a perspective from Far-Eastern Nepal

Jytte Agergaard and Marina Koržeņeviča (PhD student)

On 15 January 2015 Marina Koržeņeviča successfully defended her PhD thesis at University of Copenhagen.

Objective of sub-study 5

The overall objective of this study is to examine how mobility practices and access to mobility intersects with civil engagement of young people in nation and community building.

Sub-5Eastern Hills of Nepal delineate today rapid socio-political transition and consequent shift in migration patterns. Until recent in remote districts people mostly did not have access even to primary education, being deprived from even basic facilities and having the only possibility for waged occupation through proximity with India. Current young generation exemplifies changes in national, regional and local levels by reacting acutely on conflict, boom of development and connectivity. More than ever young people migrate before they enter adulthood and before they can have access to “become something” in public space. Different mobility patterns of young people are the most various: educational migration to mostly urban zones in lowlands, labour mobility to Gulf countries or Malaysia, traditional internal migration and conflict induced migration to very different destinations. A “mobile” youngster(s) is (are) almost in every household in the village. High mobility differentiates movers according to their destination and strikingly polarizes young movers and young stayers. How do they enter collective public space and how do they perform, being the youngest but the most educated, being in the rural, urban and foreign worlds of ideas or being isolated from them, how do they vocalize themselves and how do some come back after “loosing” years which are used by others for earning human capital?