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HomeInterviews & EditorialNepalese Americans: Their Contributions in Science, Economy, Innovation, Academics, and Their Associations

Nepalese Americans: Their Contributions in Science, Economy, Innovation, Academics, and Their Associations

Dr.Tausif Malik

Nepalese Americans, also known as Nepali Americans, are a growing community in the United States. According to the 2020 U.S. Census, there are over 200,000 Nepalese Americans living in the country. This community has a rich cultural heritage, with unique traditions and customs that have been preserved and passed down through generations.

Nepal is a small country located in South Asia, known for its stunning landscapes, including the Himalayan mountains and Mount Everest. Nepalese Americans have brought their culture and traditions to the United States, enriching the country’s cultural diversity. They have established their communities in various states across the country, including New York, California, Texas, and Virginia.

The Nepalese American community is diverse and includes people of various ethnicities and religions. However, the majority of Nepalese Americans are of Nepali ethnic origin and practice Hinduism or Buddhism. They have established temples and cultural centers in various states where they can come together and celebrate their traditions and festivals.

One of the most significant festivals celebrated by Nepalese Americans is Dashain. This festival is a celebration of the triumph of good over evil and is observed by the Nepalese diaspora worldwide. During this festival, families come together to offer prayers, exchange gifts, and feast on traditional Nepali cuisine. Another popular festival is Tihar, also known as the festival of lights, where people decorate their homes with candles and lights and offer prayers to the goddess of wealth, Laxmi.

Nepalese Americans have also made significant contributions to various fields, including education, medicine, and business. Many have started their businesses, while others have excelled in their professions, making them an essential part of the American workforce. The community has also made a significant impact on the healthcare industry, with many Nepalese Americans working as doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals.

Despite their contributions and presence in the United States, Nepalese Americans still face some challenges, including language barriers and social isolation. The community is working towards overcoming these obstacles by establishing support groups, cultural centers, and language classes. Organizations such as the Nepali American Society and the Association of Nepalis in the Americas have played a significant role in promoting the community’s interests and advocating for their rights.

Nepalese Americans are a small yet growing community in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were around 171,000 Nepalese Americans in 2020, an increase of 48.5% from 2010. Despite their relatively small population, Nepalese Americans have made significant contributions in various fields, including science, economy, innovation, and academics. In this article, we will discuss the contributions of Nepalese Americans in these fields and their associations.

Science

Nepalese Americans have made significant contributions in the field of science, particularly in the area of natural sciences. One of the most prominent Nepalese American scientists is Dr. Manu Prakash, a biophysicist and inventor who is known for developing a low-cost microscope called the Foldscope. The Foldscope is made out of paper and can be assembled by anyone, making it an affordable and accessible tool for scientists and educators around the world. Dr. Prakash is also a recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur Genius Grant.

Another notable Nepalese American scientist is Dr. Ram Ramanathan, an atmospheric scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Dr. Ramanathan has made significant contributions in the field of climate change research, particularly in the area of atmospheric chemistry and radiation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards for his work, including the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

Economy

Nepalese Americans have also made contributions to the U.S. economy, particularly in the area of small business ownership. According to a report by the Center for American Progress, Nepalese Americans have the highest rate of small business ownership among Asian Americans. Many Nepalese Americans own restaurants, grocery stores, and retail shops, contributing to the local economy and creating job opportunities for others.

One example of a successful Nepalese American small business owner is Jyoti Pathak, the founder of the popular Nepalese restaurant chain Curry House. Ms. Pathak started her business with just one restaurant in California and has since expanded to multiple locations in California and Texas.

Innovation

Nepalese Americans have also made significant contributions in the field of innovation. One notable example is Dr. Sanjiv Gambhir, a physician-scientist and innovator who is known for developing a technique called molecular imaging, which allows doctors to see inside the body without surgery. Dr. Gambhir is also the director of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford University and has received numerous awards for his work, including the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Another example is Dr. Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the founder of the Camera Culture group at MIT Media Lab. Dr. Raskar is known for his work in computational photography and has developed several innovative technologies, including a camera that can see around corners and a camera that can capture images at a trillion frames per second.

Academics

Nepalese Americans have also made significant contributions in the field of academics, particularly in higher education. Many Nepalese Americans hold advanced degrees and have distinguished themselves as scholars and educators.

One notable example is Dr. Binod Tiwari, a professor of civil engineering at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Tiwari is an expert in earthquake engineering and has conducted extensive research on the behavior of buildings and structures during earthquakes. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award.

Associations

Nepalese Americans have also formed several associations to promote their culture and provide support to their community.

Some of the prominent Nepalese American associations in the United States:

  1. Association of Nepalis in the Americas (ANA)
  2. Nepalese Association in Southeast America (NASeA)
  3. Nepali Cultural and Spiritual Center (NCSC)
  4. Nepali Association of Northern California (NANC)
  5. Nepali Society of Minnesota (NSM)
  6. Nepali Association of Oregon (NAO)
  7. Nepali Association of Southern California (NASC)
  8. Nepali Association of Colorado (NAC)
  9. Colorado Nepal Alliance
  10. Nepalese Association of Houston (NAH)
  11. Nepalese American Association of Georgia (NAAG)
  12. Nepalese American Association of Ohio (NAAO)
  13. Nepalese American Community Center (NACC) – located in Maryland.

These associations organize cultural events, festivals, and provide various services to their community members. They also work towards promoting Nepalese culture and identity in the United States.

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