Thursday, May 15, 2014

Street Children

Pokhara is the most distinctive spot where tourists meet the native Nepali people. The two groups of people are shaken and blended together, but mix as well as water and oil. The tourist walk past slyly gawking while the natives continue with their normal life. The most interaction is in shops and through trekking guides. The kids though, do not follow their parents’ lead. They wave and yell hello to you. Often time they approach you and want to hold your hand. This is all fun and games until you hear "give me candy", "give me money", and "give me chocolate". It sometimes seems like your running from zombies (YouTube). The street children are even worse. They pop out of nowhere and demand everything. It has become a game for them: How many things can I get from the tourist. They ask for your bracelets. They ask for your water even when there's a spigot 10 feet away. They try to annoy you enough so you want to give them stuff just to go away. The worst thing a tourist can ever do is give street kids sweets or money. This keeps the street kids and village children on the streets. If they can make three times the average person by begging, why would they go to school, get a normal job, or stay in programs to get them off the street? Parents in villages also hate when tourist give the kids things. So, from one traveler to another, don’t do it!

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