West Lafayette, Indiana and Kathmandu, Nepal: Similarites and Differences

Comparing West Lafayette with Kathmandu is like finding similarities and differences between apples and oranges. They are very different, yet there are some subtle similarities.

My home town Kathmandu is the capital city of . is one of the poorest countries in the world in an economic sense, but hart a rich culture and natural resources. Kathmandu is the largest city in the country, with numerous temples, world heritage sites, monasteries and mosques. Surrounded by hills and covered with dense forest, Kathmandu valley is rich in biodiversity.

The people of Kathmandu come from different parts of the country, so the city has diversity in culture, language and cuisine. The original inhabitants of the city, the Newars, live mostly in and around the city center. They speak Newari, a language very close to Japanese and Chinese in its roots. Although Kathmandu is a beautiful city, it has its share of problems. Pollution, water scarcity and litter are some of the major issues.

Looking at West Lafayette through the eyes of Kathmanduite, I have found some interesting similarities. Both cities have biodiversity, lie on river banks and have a sister city. Katmandu’s sister city is Patan, across the rive Bagmati.

In West Lafayette we have large corn farms, small business areas and the city is not as congested as Kathmandu. Kathmandu is a densely populated city with almost no space for greenery.

Regarding culture, Kathmandu has more diversity whereas in West Lafayette the population is more or less a homogeneous mix, except the Purdue students.

Being a food person, I enjoyed Kathmandu’s mix of restaurants serving ethnic Newari food to serving Italian pizza. You can taste food from almost every Indiana State, Bangladesh and and there are restaurants serving Nepali dish too. In West Lafayette, this variation is lacking.

Although West Lafayette is a much quieter place, I enjoy the greenery, the congestion free roads and the clean air. I must say, I enjoy living in West Lafayette but I do wish the city would have some diversity.

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