The wellbeing of every country on Earth can be measured by how much leisure time its citizens have. Industrialised nations are so productive that they allow their taxpayers to laze about, take long vacations, and fully enjoy the fruits of their labour. In poorer countries, however, donkeys like us have to work our asses off.
In fact, you can accurately gauge how well-off a country is by how many national holidays it has in any given year. Which is why it is good news that the Grabberment of Nepal is going boldly forth to announce a two-day weekend from Jest First, and the only last minute hitch is whether to also keep the official Friday half-days.
The long weekends will mean that Nepal will not just be graduating from Least Developed Country to Middle Income Country by 2025, but also leap-frog into becoming Fully-Developed in the process. Yay!
Taking a country’s Gross National Holiday Index (GNHI) as metrics, Nepal already ranks right up there with OECD member states in terms of annual holidays per capita. Despite our laid-back attitude, we have still managed to mine all our rivers of sand and boulders, dug unnecessary roads, and built view-towers atop all our mountains.
Even before the 5-day work week, Nepal already held the world record as the country with the most national holidays. We give holidays for five different new year days every year. Communists in government commemorate the opium of the asses to celebrate all the holy days in every major world religion. Even Holi Day is a holiday.
We are now a proud Lock Tantrik Republic, which makes it mandatory to have holidays for Praja Tantrick Diwas (the day we threw off the Rana yolk), Lok Tantrick Diwas (when we broke the Shah yolk), Gun Tantrick Diwas (the day to demonstrate that political power indeed comes out of the barrel of a gun), and Sambidhan Diwas (to remind politicians that the laws of the land are written to be broken).
With a 2-day weekend, holidays for solar and lunatic eclipses, and a day off to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, Nepal will have 312 holidays in a year. And we are not even counting 2020 and 2021, when we all got two whole years off.
There are some workaholic spoilsports who bemoan this. Relax. First of all, having more holidays will reduce petrol and diesel consumption, not just lowering Nepal’s petroleum import bill, but also improving air quality. It will also mean that there will now be more fuel available to smuggle across the border to India, allowing Nepalis a chance to earn valuable Indian currency, and reduce the country’s widening trade gap.
Also, government offices going down from a 42-hour week to 35-hour week will have a direct impact on reducing corruption. Fewer bribes will be given and taken if there are fewer hours in a week to do so.
Nepal’s position in the Transparency International ranking will then improve from being the second most corrupt country in South Asia to the third most corrupt country in the Subcontinent.