From Dalgona Coffee To The Salaha Plague — A Flashback To Lockdown 1.0
The government of Nepal announced its very first coronavirus lockdown on March 24, 2020. Through the excruciating four months that followed, Nepalis found a variety of pastimes to keep themselves busy. They ranged from nation-wide pranks to news scandals that kept us busy with memes.
As the Kathmandu valley enters another period of prohibition, the energy is much the same as the very first nation-wide lockdown. In fact, many netizens are calling it Lockdown 2.0.
So, while we’re easing into this second phase of the coronavirus lockdowns, why not take a look back at some of the highlights from the first? Here are some of the scandals and pastimes that kept Nepalis busy in the first lockdown.
We Rewatched Madanbahadur Haribahadur, Heri Pheri, and Ramayan
Sometime into the lockdown, it was announced that the classic show Ramayan would be shown on Indian television once again to entertain families who were trapped at home. Meanwhile, on this side of the border, we got busy with our own classics like Madanbahadur Haribahadur.
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We Commented On Old Facebook Posts
Whoever came up with this one should be sent to jail. One lockdown day, we woke up to our Facebook feed full of old photos and posts of our Facebook friends. They had been revived with the most catchy comments such as —
“Jaad-raksi esai badnaam cha, asli nashaa ta yo photo ma cha!!”
Before noon you revived a few posts yourself. But soon, you got a nasty shock when your own posts from ages ago were revived for everyone to see.
*When your friends are commenting on your old photos on Facebook* pic.twitter.com/PPj4xRQQIw— karthikey (@kartikahire) March 31, 2020
The Government PUrchased 10 Million Rupees Worth Of Carpet
While the country was reeling from a global pandemic, our President Bidhya Devi Bhandari made the headlines when her office spent no less than Rs. 10 million on carpets. The sad thing is, this is not the only time the KP Oli-led government has overspent on expenses for President Bhandari.
Businesses Had To Pay Taxes Mid-Lockdown
While the lockdown was ongoing, the government ordered all business owners to clear their taxes for the year by June 7. The lockdown was scheduled to lift two weeks after that date, on July 21.
The government had to be ordered by the Supreme Court to fix the illogic in the tax deadline. Even though the government followed this order, it did not make it any easier for small business owners to pay their taxes after months of lockdown.
! It is forcing us to pay taxes in 7 days from the day #Lockdown ends! we aren't asking for money, mind it! we are just asking to loosen it for few more months! सुख त कहिले दिन सकेन, दुख चाहिँ नदिए हुने! @PM_Nepal middle finger for your government! #business #Nepal #COVIDIDIOTS https://t.co/JscF2YgKyx— Sanam Chitrakar (@ChitrakarSanam) June 4, 2020
There Was A Chariot War
As the pandemic continued to rage through the country, an important festival for the Newar community — Machhindranath Jatra — came close. As per custom, the residents of Lalitpur would have to relinquish responsibilities of the festival to Bhaktapur if the festival was not conducted. The Newars of Lalitpur managed to conduct the festival amidst police riots and a lot of controversy.
Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal Had Guests At Home
Health Minister Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal seemed less-than-equipped to handle the sudden global pandemic that had struck the country on his watch. As calls for action rose strongly, mediapersons managed to corner Minister Dhakal and drilled him with questions. The shrewd minister Dhakal managed to evade all of the questions by saying “I’ve got guests at home.”
KP Oli Suddenly Claimed Lipulekh For Nepal
While many of us wondered about the ill-fated timing of claiming the disputed area in the middle of a global pandemic, many others praised the move by PM Oli. If it was a PR move, it seemed to have worked perfectly. In the meanwhile, netizens from our neighbouring country had quite a few words to say about this issue, which they did so through memes.
We All Enjoyed Dalgona Coffee
Dalgona coffee became a trend out of Korea right as lockdown was about to start in Nepal. As people got busy in the kitchen, many people posted photos of momos and made dalgona coffee for themselves.
momo, dalgona coffee, homemade pizza days are coming.— Not Sidd (@siddnot) April 26, 2021
The Host Of Daily Coronavirus Briefings Picked His Nose
The very first precaution we learned as the coronavirus becan to cause alarm was to wear masks, sanitize our hands, and not touch our face needlessly. So, it was quite a shock to see the host of our daily coronavirus briefings, Dr. Jageshwor Gautam, pick his nose live on air. You can check the original nose-picking in full context below.
Dilli Ram Khanal Was Arrested
The protests over the Lipulekh debate, which unfortunately took place gave us a meme-worthy moment that we will remember for years. Dilli Ram Khanal is a popular YouTube personality known for his sharp wit. When he was needlessly arrested during one of these early protests, his unique way with words gave us these immortal lines.
“Maile ta kura bujhina bhanya.”
There Was A Locust Plague
Nothing says armageddon quite like a locust plague in the middle of a global pandemic. Many of us have forgotten the locust swarm that plagued the country during the lockdown, but it certainly gave us a fright with their biblical proportions.
Fortunately, Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhusal came up with an amazing method to repel these creatures that would have Dio rolling in his grave.
सलह कक्रक्कै हुने अमेरिकी गीत संकलन गर्दैछौं : मन्त्री भुसाल pic.twitter.com/4uaXmFuwEM— ekantipur (@ekantipur_com) June 29, 2020
KP Oli Also Claimed Lord Ram Was Born In Nepal
Our Prime Minister also took the opportunity of the Covid pandemic to abruptly claim that the Hindu deity, Ram was born in Nepal. Was it simply another diversion from the larger problem at hand? We may never know. However, the situation did give us many memes — from Nepal, as well as from India.
The Mountains Were Kasto Ramro
While we are quite used to the idea that Nepal is a Himalayan country, it is simply a thing to say for most of us. As a rare silver lining amidst the coronavirus lockdown, the lack of motor vehicles cleared the air and allowed us to truly appreciate the Himalayan country we live in, just like Haribahadur below.
These are just some of the trends that were compressed within the four months of Nepal’s first coronavirus lockdown. We laughed, we got scared, and we became enraged.
This time around, things are a little different. The government released a statement on Friday basically informing the country that they’d given up. Meanwhile, the variants that are being seen in our neighbouring countries appear to be much worse. Let’s stay safe, stay home, and sanitize. In the meanwhile, follow us for more such stories.