How a Nepali woman is pursuing her dream in Hong Kong

March 08, 2016 11:38
Kala has found ways to express her talents through the creation of handicrafts and imparting her skills to other women. Photo: Hong Kong Christian Service/ Wolfgang Lin

It's March 8, so here are my best wishes: Happy Women's Day!

In our society minorities can seem invisible at times due to language barrier and discrimination. As for women from minority communities, the invisibility is often greater.  

But we must bear in mind that women who seem invisible also hold sparkling dreams, and that their stories need to be told.

This week let's meet Kala, an immigrant woman from Nepal with a unique artistic sense and a burning desire to live her dream.

The key words to her life would be happiness, persistence and passion. Qualities she evinces in both pictures and words.

From an early age Kala's dream has been to pursue fashion and design, a field she has been fascinated with since an early age. When she was fifteen, she moved from Nepal to India to study fashion design. Once she completed her studies, her ambition was to start her own fashion brand.

After graduation, Kala established a business in India. However fortune was not in her favor. A recession struck India's fashion business just as she was getting started, and Kala was unable to make a profit.

As funds ran out, Kala eventually had no alternative but to return to Nepal where she took various jobs to support her family.

Despite a setback that might have demoralized other women, Kala did not abandon her dream. In her spare time she would continue honing her sense of fashion and crafting clothes, stoking her artistic fire.

Years later Kala migrated to Hong Kong to make a living.

Once in Hong Kong she realized that it would be even more challenging to fulfill her dreams in the metropolis. The language barrier was a problem at every turn and prevented her from getting where she wanted.

Yet Kala found ways to persevere, engaging in handicrafts, products into which she would infuse her passion for design. She also became a handicraft teacher, enthusiastically equipping young ladies with artistic skills.

As of now, Kala's dream of starting her own brand and working in fashion design is yet to come true. However, she has found ways to express her talents through the creation of handicrafts and imparting her skill and artistic sense to other women. Her love for fashion has never wavered.

To put Kala's dream in her own words: “My dream is small, but it is meaningful to me... it dominates my whole life."

Her words should enthuse the hearts of all those who are still trying to realize their dreams.

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A Hong Kong-based writer from Norway