Nepal - Snowland children | DW Documentary

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After ten years away from their families, three Nepalese teenagers return to their mountain village. They were sent to a boarding school in Kathmandu at the age of four. Now they must learn to reconnect with their families and tradition.

The Himalaya Mountains are a place of breathtaking beauty, but the secluded lifestyle there is tough. The parents of three Nepalese children, the girl Tsering Deki Lama and two boys Nima Gurung and Jeewan Mahatara, decided to send them off at age four to "Snowland Ranag Light of Education School" to benefit from an education and a better life. The boarding school is located in the nation’s capital of Kathmandu, run by a Buddhist monk, and primarily hosts students sent from more remote places. In the ten years they were at the school, the three of them could neither communicate with their parents nor see them. They felt abandoned by their families. After completing their schooling at "Snowland Ranag Light of Education School," the teenagers return home for three months. At first they question the sense of the long period of separation. In the end, however, they understand that their parents sent them away to give them a chance at a better life.

The documentary film accompanies the three teenagers on their long way back to their families. They travel by plane and bus, but mostly by foot, because it’s the only way they can reach their remote mountain towns, where people’s lives have hardly changed for millennia. The teenagers have gotten used to their comfortable lives in Kathmandu, where they could shower every day, had cell phones, used social networks, and ate three meals a day. The documentary gives them the chance to tell their personal stories and address their feelings of abandonment, to show the tough country life of their families, and to rebuild once-lost family bonds. All the while, the teenagers also film themselves, lending the documentary a very personal and emotional touch.

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