Why Did I Compile Falang Food Dictionary? An article by Shiva Neupane

Why did I compile Falang Food Dictionary? By Shiva Neupane

Today I would like to share my bizarre journey that led me to compile a food dictionary. I have been told by many friends and well-wishers that I must be the first Nepali writer to compile a food dictionary in the Nepali context.

This may be true because I have not come across a food dictionary compiled by Nepali writers in our country. The food consciousness movement in Nepal has only just begun. Only recently have food coverage and reviews found space in the newspapers.

From all these compelling scenarios, I am totally convinced by what they say regarding me being the pioneer in publishing a food dictionary.But it does not matter whether I am a pioneer in publishing a food dictionary or not. I leave this to my readers to find the veracity of the assertions that my friends have put forward. A decade ago, when I started to do my dish washing job in a restaurant, I was taken aback by the pressure that I had to deal with.

I was literally fed up by the amount of work I had to do in the hospitality industry to pay my exorbitant university fees and the house rents in Melbourne. It is human nature not to like your work environment when it becomes a fountain of stress. In the beginning the same thing had happened to me. However, I have managed to deal with all the challenges and hurdles over the years. I have spent more than a decade in the hospitality sector in various positions. I have devoted most of my energetic segment of my life to the hospitality industry. Therefore, I came up with the idea of compiling a food dictionary, which I did at the drop of a hat owing to my time-honored experience in the field.

One of the things that we must learn is that if you take pride in what you do, that will certainly slake your thirst for your goal or vision. In my personal experience when the situation is out of your control, you need to learn how to live with it.

Therefore, coming to a new country and working in an exotic environment makes anyone jittery in the beginning, and you cannot control the situation that you are in, but you can find ways to adjust to it. Many young Nepali students feel homesick upon their arrival to Australia since they are not accustomed to how things would change their trajectory of life in down under.

In worst case scenarios, they remain in the orbit of depression and possibly put a stop to their lives when they do not receive an immediate psychological counselling or family support. I have had terrible moments. However, I have never belittled myself while sailing through the ocean of struggles in Australia. I have knocked the doors of hundreds of restaurants in Melbourne to find a job in the kitchen to make my ends meet.

Getting a job like dish washing was like winning a lottery back then. I can firmly remember the fact that dozens of students lined up for interview for dishwashing job. The one who could do job in a fast pace and efficient manner would get the job. I was succeeded in getting job in the kitchen. However, I had gone through terrible ordeal when it came to dealing with the work load and pressure.

Eventually, the time, energy and effort that I put into what I had been doing in the kitchen paid off my serendipitous dream of becoming a food writer. The career in the hospitality reinforced my ability to think outside the box and gave wings to my ideas, if I may say so for accomplishing my fluky mission.

Therefore, it is imperative to take every challenge as an opportunity and be prepared for lemons to make lemonade if life gives you one.






Bio of the writer: Mr. Shiva Neupane, is a Nepalese born permanent resident of Australia. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Mrs. Devi Neupane Gaihre, and two daughters Devyanshi Neupane and Saanvi Neupane. He has published Falang English Dictionary, In the Pursuit of Utopian Life in Australia, My Waves, Falang Food Dictionary and The Elixir of my voice. He has been writing articles since 2001 for various publications; his articles have appeared in The Himalayan Times, The Kathmandu Post, The beatnik Cowboy (U.S.A), The Nepali Times Australia, scotnepal.com, and the Australia based newspaper “THE AGE”. He has studied multifarious disciplines in Australia. Interestingly enough, the former Prime minister of Australia the Honourable Scott Morrison issued him a letter during his tenure in 2022 in response to Shiva’s dictionary of multicultural cuisines (Falang Food Dictionary). In a nutshell, Mr. Neupane is a well-rounded personality and a social- butterfly.

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