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Nepal
 
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Tek Lal

(NEPAL 3)

Sex

male

Age

67

Identity

Hindu, Brahmin caste

Occupation

farmer

Location

Bulingtar VDC, Nawalparasi

Date

December 1993

 

transcript

Section 1
May I know your name please?
Tekial Kandel.

How old are you?
I am 67 years old.

Could you tell me your address?
Ga.Bi.Sa. (Village Development Committee) Ward No.2, Bulingtar.

How many members are there in your family?
We are altogether seven in our family including our two granddaughters.

Your granddaughters are from your son or daughter?
They are from my son.

Are you living together?
No. My daughter-in-law lives in maiti (her fatherís home) with her daughters. My elder son is in Delhi. My youngest son is in Pokhara. We are only three, my wife, my one daughter and myself.

How much have your sons studied?
My eldest son has passed SLC (School Leaving Certificate), my granddaughters are small. My youngest son, Han has passed BA and wants to do MA.

Why is it that Puma didnít study, whereas Han studied?
He went to study, got the job then he left his study. What to do. It is difficult to get the job.

Anyway, he has passed SLC. It is also a great achievement. Didnít he get the job in Nepal?
No, thatís why he went to India.

Do you mean to say that it is a waste of time to study in Nepal?
No I didnít say that, we have many people they had studied much more and got the job in higher post in Nepal. SLC is the first step. In those days if you would pass class 8, it was like a BA. But now SLC is nothing, you have pass BA, MA.

Han has studied, does he want to do the job?
He is still studying.
Section 2
No, I am telling about the future.
Itís up to him. We do not force him to do the service. It is their time. He will do whatever he wishes to do.

In your opinion, would you like him to continue his studying or to do the service?
I want him to do service. We expect fruit from the tree when it grows in the same way we expect to do something. But the new generation will not listen to us.

These people who are educated got education from school and campus, they all do not get jobs, what do you think about todayís education system, is it good or only a fashion?
It is not good. I told you before, in those days class 8 was considered the highest. They could do maths but today even SLC is nothing. People are more educated than before but it is difficult to get a job. All one seems to get interested in is the politics.

Doing politics, many people have reached the top position, they are developing our country. What do you say about this?
Oh! It is all politics. Who has got money, he is on the top. Who does not have, he falls behind. You need money whether it is a multiple system or whether in Panchayat (administrative unit of previous political regime).

Now you started about the systems. In your opinion, which one is the best, multi-party or Panchayat?
In those days at least some development occurred. These days, people are too busy opposing one another. Nothing has changed. We have freedom of speech thatís all weíve got. All the leaders just shout, it is our right, we got democracy. Congress wanted to dominate Communist, Communist wanted to dominate Democratic party. Democratic Party wanted to dominate Communist. Who have got the power, they want to control each other. They suppressed the development and all went up. I donít understand.

Did you migrate here or you are living here since your forefatherís time?
My father came and settled here in 1987.

From where?
From Machedi. Machedi Shiva Prasad was our brotherhood relation.

That means your family of Kandels is also in Palpa and Syangia?
Yes, also Kandels are in Rishing. Gawadi, they came here to Buling also.

Why did you come here from Machedi?
My motherís house is here. My mother got the gratuity. Thatís why my father had come here and settled here.

Because of gratuity you are here?
Yes, we came here happily.
Section 3
You came here happily because you got the gratuity, and others from Machedi, are they also gone because of gratuity?
Whoever is here got the gratuity, I donít know about the others.

That means you are lucky?
Ah, yes. Somebody went to Madhesh. Bought lands and settled there. Others returned from Madhesh. People from those areas. It depends on our wish.

Your caste is Kandel right?
Yes.

What is your gotra (clan)?
Our gotra is Bhardari.

Bhardari gotra, do we find in other castes as well?
Yes, other Kandel has also Bhardari gotras. Pande has also some gotra. And Pokharel has also this gotra.

Some gotra, but why different caste?
I donít know. How it is like this. If I get the chance to see gotras then I will tell you.

Were you born here?
Yes, I was born in Madhesh. Our Madhesh is here.

You seem to know everything about Bulingtar, because youíve been living here since your childhood. Before Kandels, did other caste live here?
In the olden days, Kumal, Magar, Darai, Sanyasi, Bahun lived here.

Are they the same today?
Nowadays Magars have increased while the Newars are disappearing. Those days we had Sarkis, now they have gone. We have different new Sarkis [who] came from other place. Magars are living from old days. In those days we had some Bhotes here. But now there is not a single one. Some Sigdel Chettris are here; they are also living from old days.

You told me before Damai, Kumal, Bahun, Gharti are the traditional groups?
Yes they are. Especially Ghartis are the oldest one. They came here from Sichang.

What about Damai, Kami?
They are also old citizens. Katuwal is the one. Others came later.

Other people have also settled here. Did they migrate because of flood or of some other reason?
They came here to settle, because they were not able to live in the hillside. They are not rich. They came because they had their relatives here.

Do you find any difference before and now?
In the past this area was all jungle. Only wild animals like bears were seen. Then the people came to live here one by one. Slowly, trees were destroyed by the people. Now the result is in front of us. The population has increased, more than before.
Section 4
Now the population has increased. So, do you find any difference in spending life before and now?
For the poor people it is difficult to survive [laughs loudly]. In our family we are 10 members. The land is the same as before. We canít stretch it. Thatís why they are poor and they are suffering more.

How do they eat?
They work as a labourer. If they have skills, they will do karmi (wood-related work). If they are educated they do office work. Otherwise they will be gothala (shepherd) and somebody will go to cut the grass and other will work as a hali (ploughman).

In those days the jungle was dense, now it is destroyed, do you feel any difficulties because of the forest?
In those days people were less in number, lands were enough for them, now population has been increased. Everything is congested.

Do you feel any difficulties in using woods and grass for the animals? You donít have much ground for the animals to graze?
What to do where to go. I donít have any idea.

Do you think anything about the future? If at this rate the people are going to destroy the jungle, then what will happen after a period of 30 or 35 years?
I think we are going to suffer more.

How? There will be more transportation, you will be able to ride on motors?
If we get the chance that is different. But always will we get the chance to ride on the motor? And they are always busy to fight with each other. For example, they had survived last year and told us to make a road east to west. They make propaganda that it would start from 15th Asoj (mid-September to mid-October). But still they did not start yet.

When development will happen, you will feel more comfort in the future, isnít it?
Yes, if roads are built then things are different. At present we have only land. It is not enough, production is not sufficient. It is difficult to feed the family. If we want to do other works, we donít get that kind of opportunity. If the road goes in this way then everybody will get the chance to earn something. They can sell their radish and vegetables. But here it is a hopeless situation. They told us that road will come from Arkhola. They had showed us a picture.

The road has reached there only the motor has not come yet?
Only the road is not enough, we need good road where motor will run. It will facilitate to four districts - Parasi, Tanahu, Palpa and Syangja. It does not matter whether the road goes from here and there. People will get the chance to develop everything. Motors run from Terai and Tanahu, but we didnít have that facility because we are in the middle. No one will pay attention to us.
Section 5
How do you get money to spend your life?
They keep goats, which they sell. If we want to do something for our country, first of all we have to close the alcohol factory. Then poor people will also get something to eat. Today if they get Rs 50, they go to the restaurant and spend it in a moment.

Oh, you are against alcohol, but who is selling. I think he is making profit?
For him, he makes profit. But not for all.

For example, in my opinion, why not one should sell alcohol for one year, then another year another will sell. In this way in a 50 years time 50 people will get profit. Do you agree?
Oh! If one gets profit 10 people will be in loss [laughs]

If you want to sell your animals and crops, who comes to buy it?
For goat, Pokharel will come.

Do you have a rate to sell these animals?
They will fire the price. We canít weigh these animals. But chicken we will weigh and sell. But I donít know the price, I donít keep chickens but when they take goat, they will guess its weight in dharni (weight measurement) and fix the price. We will make a little bit of profit.

If somebody wants to earn a lot of money is there any way for it? If you grow more cowali (?) in your field what you will do?
If we grow more cowali, onion and garlic in the field, it is difficult to sell it. We eat as much as we can and the rest we distribute to our neighbours. Other will go to waste. But why it makes no difference whether we grow more or not. Nobody will bring. Last year all rotted away.

I agree, who lives here he will not earn money but others who went outside, who work in the office, do they earn a lot?
Yes.

What kind of job do they do?
Some are in the police, some are teachers, others have gone to India. What they do I donít know.

Does your son write to you?
No, he does not write to me.

I realise teachers can be easily found in Buling.
Yes, we have our own teachers, some work in the hulak (post office) also.

When was this school established here?
In 2024 (1967) it became a secondary school. In 2027 (1970) it made a high school.

How old is this school?
Itís been 23 years.
Section 6
It is a long time, at this time many students had studied, where did they go?
They were the main parts of the school. Because of them, this school is on the run.

How?
Because of those students we have this high school, when the school has opened students come to study here from Derdganwa. But ours got the idea later. Who got education from this school, they went to different places. They were bright, Padam, Ram, Sukraraj. All had studied here. They are from Dendganwa. But our Buling were only interested in khetala (field work).

There are so many high schools in your village. In your opinion which high school has done better?
I think the school has started first in Buling, but the progress has been made from students of Derdganwa. The number of students is also great in Derdganwa school. Because there is a bridge and it is nearer than other village.

Because of bridge, Dardganwa is ahead of other villages. Is there any other reason?
Dardganwa is more developed than others. It has a hulak. It has a go-down also (grain store). Everyone will go there. We also go there to post and register our letters. Now at that time we brought hulak, health post, animal hospital, bank. we had run an animal hospital for 10 months then later it was collapsed.

Why so? You didnít have sick animals?
No, it was because of staff. If one was sent he would not be fit for that job, others were sent, and also the same case. Thatís why we quarrelled and it was collapsed. In B.S. 2036 a bank has opened in Dardganwa. The bank manager had told us to go to Kathmandu with 8 or 9 people to talk about a bank in this village. But Darmodar was not interested. He was busy in politics. He told us after the multiple system everything will fall from the sky. Now bank dreaming has also slipped from our luck. Only we have a health post.

Are you satisfied with this health post? Do you get facilities?
If there is medicine, then we will get facility or treatment. If there is not, what to do? It is governmentís duty to see whether the workís been done or not.

What are the major festivals that you celebrate?
We celebrate Janai Purnima, Krishna Jainmastami, Teej, Dashain, Tihar, Maghe Sankranti, Panshis etc.

We have our Parange, do you have this festival?
Yes.... Yes....

You celebrate all these festivals, do Kumal also celebrate these festivals?
All castes celebrate these festivals.

These festivals are celebrated by Hindus, right? You are wearing janaiu (holy string worn by the upper castes). But Kumal does not wear janaiu, how come he celebrates Hindu festivals?
They all celebrate these festivals. It was from their forefathers they have been celebrating. Only Janai Purnima they do not celebrate with a great deal. They cut the pig and eat its meat. Thatís why they do not wear janaiu.
Section 7
In Janai Mantara, you also cut the chicken and eat it, am I right?
Yes, we cut the chicken but with the Vedic bidhi (holy method). We do not paint the buto (tree stumps).

In Vedic bidhi you donít need to paint buto?
No, to paint buto, means such as bokshi lagyo (to be possessed by a witch) bayu lagyo (to be possessed by spirit of the dead), kulayon lagyo (to be possessed by an ancestoral or guardian spirit)etc for them they are to paint buto. But to do shraddha (commemorative rites on behalf of deceased person) pray to Narayan, to do Janai Mantara we need a bahun (priest) to perform these customs.

Kumal have their own customs to perform from birth to death, do they need to perform their customs?
For this they need their jwai (son-in-law) to perform their customs.

Oh I see. And do they use the same method as bahun?
They use their own method to perform it which was they have been doing from their forefathers.

Donít they need bahun to perform marriage ceremony?
They use their own jwai chela (son-in-law).

When you perform marriage ceremonies do you put bamboo and bananas in the four corners?
Yes, we make a stage and around it we put colourful papers to decorate it. Then we bring bahun to read the mantra (holy incantation).

Do the Kumal also do the same thing?
Kumal go to spend one night. Groom goes in the morning and tomorrow he brings the bride with him. They donít make a stage like us to perform the ritual.

Do you perform any ritual after birth?
When a child is born, after 11 days we do Nauran (naming ceremony).

Donít you do anything in the Chhaith?
We donít do anything. Chhaith (?) is only for entertainment.

How do you enjoy it?
If somebody wants to dance he can and sing a bhajan (holy song).

Do you mean it is a song for god? We call it churdka?
Yes. It is called churdka.
Section 8
What is the difference between churdka and bhajan?
Bhajan is sang slowly, churdka you can sing fast and you will be excited about it.

Any more differences?
In bhajan they use Sanskrit. Some will understand others may not. But in churdka some will sing in the praise of Krishna and some in the praise of Lord Ramayan it is easier to understand.

And do they sing Roita in churdka or bhajan?
In churdka.

Girls and boys sing dohari (song of questions and answers) do they sing in bhajan or churdka?
They sing in churdka.

Do they sing a bhajan in dohari?
No.

Does bhajan mean arti (moral instruction)?
Yes. It sings in the evening if we feel sleepy then we start to sing churdka and spend the whole night.

I lived in Kodali, they sing bhajan and called it kritan?
In Kodali it is called kritan. Somebody will sing Radheshyam, somebody will sing HareRam and Harekrishna. They are Ram and Krishna Margi. But who is Shiva Margi, he sings om nino Shivaya. It depends on their community.

How many communities do you know?
Baishwa, Nimbark, Byash etc; Shiva Margi worships Shiva, Ram Margi worships Ram, Nirnbarta baishwar worships Vishnu.

Which one is the best?
Mainly people in some way are different. If we go to Kathmandu whether that way or this way, we will reach Kathmandu the same as whether you worship Ram or Shiva. There is no difference you can find this in Ramayan also. Han means Shankar (Shiva). Han means Bishnu.

At your time might it be that you could sing churdka. Do you still sing?
Yes. We sing churdka bhajan.

Do you enjoy it?
Yes, we sing roila (?) also churdka and bhajan, both ones old customs of ours.

Donít they sing bhajan nowadays? Todayís generation wants to sing roila, they donít want to sing bhajan and churdka. Thatís why it is going to disappear from our society.
Yes that is the same case. We old ones are left to sing. If we old people all die one by one than this bhajan and churdka will also become extinct from our culture.
Section 9
Donít you want to preserve it?
I want to, but they donít want to learn what to do. We canít force them to learn [laughs loudly].

You used to sing Ramayan. Mahabharat, do todayís generation still like to sing these?
They sing a little bit about Krishna Charitra, they donít sing Ramayan. Mahabharat, they hardly sing. The younger generation seems to be interested just in reading and writing. That is, their attention is more on studies.

For them it must be easier to sing Ramayan, as they can write a shlok (verse of a song), isnít it?
Yes, if they try they can find everything in Mahabharat, how Krishna did this tricks to kill Dronadharya, Bhisma etc. How Kaurav had killed Abhimanyu, the young generation doesnít care about these things.

I have heard that who takes interest in politics, he knows Mahabharat, without it nobody can succeed in politics. Thatís why young people also have known some of these Mahabharat. Otherwise, how do they know politics?
They will do, whom they want to dominate or with whom they have jealousy. They are able to deal.

It is not politics, it is a dirty game, isnít it so?
I donít know about this, but many things you will find in Mahabharat. Good things also for them. It will be interesting and useful.

For example give me one arti to me from Mahabharat?
Mahabharat consists of 18 chapters. I donít know how to give you an arti in one line?

Ok leave it. Now tell me which god do you worship?
We worship Lord Bishnu, but when we do Sradda then we worship Prithvi god. We also worship Naag (King Snake) and Kulayan god. We offer our prayer with bread and rice pudding.

Do all the Bahuns worship like this?
No, some worship by sacrificing lamb in Kulayan puja (praying, offerings to god) instead of rice pudding and bread. Some cut lambs in Dashain which is our culture coming from the forefathers. Our brothers of Machedi, they would cut the murda (carcass) before. In Gauri puja I have to go to Machedi. From Phalpa and Rashing people go there to celebrate.

In those days you used to cut lamb now you have stopped, did your Kulayan god not become angry?
Before we leave, we had asked Kulayan about this. Kulayan told us to give rice pudding and milk. After then we didnít get any trouble.
Section 10
Now many Kandel have migrated to different places. They didnít get a chance to worship Kulanyan. Will it get angry with them or not?
They have to worship it. But it will understand their difficulties.

Donít they worship from there?
Yes, I am in Buling others are in Machedi. In Rajhar 2 or 3 houses are there. They will worship there. And Sakahar people will do me in their place.

One person from Sakhar, I asked him about this, he told he even from Sakhar. He has to go to Machedi.
One of the Bhadanre Hargo comes to Machedi. Others will do in their place. Our villagers also go there. Look this Ramnath also goes there. Here 6-7 houses more rising they will do by themselves.

As you changed to sacrificing lamb, if the young generation will change everything like this will they be able to preserve old customs?
All have agreed to give bread and rice pudding. God has also accepted this. We canít afford lamb. It is expensive. God will accept our feelings, he will not eat these lambs. It will be eaten by us.

So you donít want to spend more on godís name?
Yes, I couldnít buy a lamb. Somebody says one thing other will say to other thing. Thatís why it is decided.

That means you will not only cut the lamb, but also worship and meet with people?
Yes, we will do the puja every year. Because of lamb, we had to do puja one time in five years. Now it is easier to do puja every year with bread and rice pudding.

In this village the majority is Kumal, they have their rules and customs. Same as them do Bahun follow their rules in Bahun society?
I donít think here it is same, Kumal has his own customs and rules. Bahun Bastoakoties are many they forgot to worship Kulayan.

If people become sick, what do you do? Who helps you?
The villagers help us.

That means you help each other?
Yes, if we have to take somebody to Jalasar or to stay at night all will come to help. If he dies then whatever. Things have to be done, it will be done by the people of the village.

Your do your Nauran in 11 days?
Yes.

What do you do before 11 days?
Nothing.
Section 11
Do you celebrate Chhaitho?
Kumal will celebrate it. If bahun celebrates, others will laugh at them. If something happens to child all will doubt Chhaitho. So they donít do Chhaitho they only do Nauran.

Do the Kumal celebrate Chhaitho?
Kumal does the Nauran in 9 days. They do by the hands of jwai chela (son-in-law). Bahun does the Nauran in 11 days. They perform big puja and use patro (horoscope) to give the name of the child.

Who gives the name to the child?
Bahun does the naming of the child.

Kumal uses jwai chela, such as donít you use jwai chela instead of bahun?
No, bahun is compulsory for it. If jwai is a pundit (priest) and learned then he can perform it. But if he does not know anything we have to call the bahun.

When the mother is pregnant, what rules does she have to follow?
What she has to follow? I donít know.

I mean, she is not allowed to enter in the puja kotha (holy place/prayer room).
I am not sure, maybe they do not allow her to enter into room of Magar Dev.

Could she eat meat, which you eat in the Kulayan puja?
No, they donít give her the meat from puja.

What about her husband?
They will give meat to her husband but not to her.

Oh I see, such as when a girl has menstruation, she is not allowed to enter into the kitchen garden, same as if pregnant. Women have to follow this rule?
No, she can enter.

Ah, if she is not allowed, who will do the work in the field? Am I right? Maybe. It is like that.

While in the period of menstruation, if she enters in the garden, does it have an effect?
Sometimes when there is red colour cones in rice, they tell women who are bleeding to enter into the field. But sometimes they do not allow her to enter into the field. They have some faith that if that kind of women enters into the field then red colour will disappear from the rice.

Did you have any experience about this? If red colour comes, women enter into the field and red colour disappears?
I donít believe in this kind of saying.
Section 12
Now, the child has got name, then when will you do Chhewar?
First we will do Chhewar (the first time a baby sonís hair is cut) and later Bratabandha (rite of passage marking the entry to manhood).

What is the right age, when you will do Bratabandha?
Those days we would do at age of 7,8,9. Now we do at the age of 13,14 and 15.

Has Han done it?
Yes, he has done Bratabandha.

How do you do Bratabandba?
First we make yagya (an alter) and call the bahun. It is good to call all neighbours. And person has to wear yellow clothes and go to ask for alms. That day he has to wear 3 janaiu of kush (variety of plant), then the guru (spiritual teacher) will teach him mantra and ask him for alms. He has to give all the rice to the guru which he will collect that day.

Does he ask for alms to villagers?
Yes, he should ask alms from villagers who come to Bratabandha, they bring rice and money, and these things are given to him.

In Bratabandha, do you use goat and lamb?
No, donít know about goat and lamb, we only eat dal bhat (literally, lentils and rice).

At what age do you perform Chhewar?
Chhewar is performed at the age of 3-5 years.

When you perform Chhewar, is it necessary for a childís father to be present?
It is not necessary. They fix the auspicious moment and start with it.

That means it doesnít matter whether his father is present or not?
Yes, a father is responsible for his childís work, and in the case of a child without a father, either uncle or sisterís husband will be responsible for the whole work.

For Chhewar, do you arrange everything like in Bratabandha?
No, it is simple. Just fix the date, time and the day for shaving his hair.

When you perform Chhewar, do you have to give dakshina (donation)?
Whoever does the shaving of the hair, gets a little money thatís all.

After Chhewar and Bratabandha, he becomes perfect or pure Bahun, right? But, before performing this ritual what kinds of things he has to eat?
He can drink rakshi, jard (types of alcohol) etc. After the performance he cannot take to drinking such things. It is our custom so coming from our forefathers. After Bratabandha, he has to take a bath everyday and come to the kitchen to beat rice.
Section 13
If he enters into the kitchen without doing Bratabandha, what will happen?
Oh, it is not good. We have to clean up the kitchen and cook another rice.

After Bratabandha, can he eat sitting below?
After Bratabandha, he cooks the rice, he does not have sit in a dirty place. He can sit only on the clean place.

If by chance he eats in a dirty place, what will happen?
He has to repent.

How?
We call the bahun to make him pure [laughs].

How do you perform your sonís marriage?
We make a proposal to a girl, and if she agrees we make an arrangement for a bahun to perform the puja.

Without Kanya is it not possible to perform the puja?
No, first ask for Kanya, then we will start the puja to make peace for Naugraha (our luck).

Who performs the puja for Naugraha?
The pundit performs Naugraha.

How is it performed?
He does the puja for Naugraha.

Do you know the name of these graha (planets)?
I donít know all of them.

Sukra, Sani?
Brihaspati, Sani, Rahu, Ketu etc these are some of the graha.

Do you have to make a sacrifice to perform puja?
No, we use accheta (rice offered in worship) and chandan (sandal wood paste)

After this peace making, then the groom will sit on the yagya?
We can marry our own relatives. We avoid these kind of mistakes. We try to avoid to marry from same gotra.

Nowadays do they follow these rules?
Yes, till now they are doing like this.

Do the young generation marry with each other without following these rules?
They will do marriage not thinking of relatives. But when we will arrange, we have to think of all these rules.

If they married in the same gotra and with their relatives. What you will do then in society?
These days nobody will care about this, but old people will hate them.
Section 14
You will do arranged marriages and what about jan marriages?
Nowadays, we donít do jan marriage (forced marriage?). Young people will like to do love marriage.

Does the boy marry the girl by force?
If a girl likes him, it does not matter otherwise she will complain about it.

Magar and Kumal will do rodi (Gurung folk dance), at that time girls and boys will like each other and marry. Do you known anything about this rodi?
Yes, they will meet in rodi and marry with each other. Kumal have their own old custom about marriage. They will go for koliyo (to ask a girlís hand in marriage for the first time).

What do you mean by koliyo?
The first time to go to ask for the girl is called koliya.

What do you called for second time?
Second or third time they will decide whether to give girl or not.

That means you donít have to go for the third time?
If you go for the third time and if the girl agrees, they will give you Rs.l to the girlís father. It means OK. Then they will decide about the time when they will do the marriage.

Is this an old custom?
Yes.

In old days Rs.1 had a big value. How did Kumal manage to give his samdhi (brideís father) Rs.1?
It was a custom. That is why they had given Rs.l to samdhi. Otherwise who would agree to give his daughter to them who didnít have Rs.l.

Nowadays Rs.1 is nothing?
It makes no difference. It is their custom to give Rs.l.

They still are Rs.1. Instead of Rs.1 why didnít they give one or two hundred?
No, still they have value of Rs.l. If they go to ask for girl, if she is dharma samai they donít go there.

What do you mean by dharma samai?
It means she is engaged or she has already got Rs.l from her fiancťe.

After getting that Rs.l how long does she have to wait for marriage?
If they want to do a big marriage it will take time to prepare. They have to make and collect rakshi etc. If they want to do simple they will do soon.
Section 15
After one year is it suitable to marry or not?
It depends on their wish. ďI wasnít able to marry your daughter this year and wait for meĒ. If the boy tells this to the girlís father then if the girlís parents are honest they will wait for him.

Do the Kumal do chori biwah (marriage by elopement)?
Yes.

What about jan biwah (forced marriage?)?
They do.

Love marriages?
Yes, they do.

In Dharma Sashtra (religion), if Daju dies then Dewar (brother) is second husband for her. He has to look after his brotherís wife, isnít it?
But not in our caste.

What about Kumal?
Yes, they have this custom. They will look after their bhawju (sister-in-law). Especially in Magar this custom is popular.

If a brother has children, do they accept?
Yes, if he likes the mother why not the children also.

And when they want to share who will be able to live together. I mean joint family?
They will live 17 to 18 members in one family.

Do they live 30 to 35 in one family?
No, that is too much.

What about Magar?
Yes, Magar lives.

Magar can live 30 to 35 in one family, why not Kumal?
I didnít see that many members living together in a Kumal family.

What is the difference between Kumal and Magar?
They are different from each other. Magar is cleverer than Kumal. We heard 65 members of Magar are in Ramkot. They would cook vegetables and it was only Tamakhar. They made a joke about it. But Kumal lives in 12 to 13 members. After that they will separate.

Kumal is cleverer than Magar?
No, it is opposite.

Thatís why they will separate? Why in Phant I saw only Kumal and Damai. And Magar came from the hillside to live here. Bahun also lives in Phant, why so?
Magar people like to live in Sikhar (on the hillside). They walk on an upward slope and downward slope. They donít hesitate to walk in this kind of hill. But we people mind to walk on the hill side, thatís why we like to live in Phant.
Section 16
Do you mean to say Magar is laborious?
Yes, they are hard working people. Thatís why they brought Bhote maize from Khoriya.

It is not here, donít you like to live in Sikhar?
We used to live here for one or two days living in Sikhar makes no difference. We are all used to its hot weather and mosquitoes. We settled here and donít want to go anywhere.

In those days, was the malaria popular?
I heard about it. Magar came to search maize here but in the evening they would return to stay at Kamilikot. They were afraid to live in Phant because of malaria. Nowadays, you donít find malaria. People start to live everywhere also in lek (Phant) such as Chitawan, Nawalparasi etc.

Now malaria is disappeared?
I think the malaria office has brought medicine and is being cured.

No, you donít have a malaria office?
In those days we had, now we donít have this disease thatís why the office also has gone.

That means you donít have to suffer from malaria?
Doctors and scientist tell us, there is no malaria. We also believe it.

When you become sick, do you go to the nearby health post?
Yes, but if it makes no difference, we go to Bharatpur chitawan and Pokhara.

What are the major diseases you find here?
Athe (flu?), khoki (a cough) are the major ones.

What do you mean by athe and khoki?
If a cold has caught you and it becomes worse then we call it athe. When a cough becomes worse with fever we called it sannipaat doctors called it typhoid.

Do people die, because of athe and sanipaat?
Yes, if it becomes worse then it is difficult to live.

For the minor disease, what kinds of medicines do you use?
We use herbal medicines.

Do you bring them from outside or you will make here by yourselves?
Some we will make here, other we will bring from outside.
Section 17
Which one is better, herbal or health post medicine?
Health post will give only half a tablet, if it needs one tablet to cure. They have to manage for all. Thatís why the dose is not completed. How he will be cured from this medicine?

In this village, did you suffer once from any epidemic disease?
I had once experienced it in 2015 (1958). Then later we didnít have epidemic disease.

How many people died at that time?
It was impossible to count.

At least you remember something, that some villagers were affected by that disease?
Small pox had affected people in those days. Cholera didnít affect much. In 2015, 5 or 6 people died because of small pox. When it would come to one family, whole villagers would cut them from the society. That family would become lonely.

Did you know about big floods in your area?
I didnít remember.

Did you have that experience before?
I heard from radio. We didnít have much trouble from flood.

Before that flood you had a flood 10 years ago. Do you remember that?
It was in 2038 a big flood had come and another in 2018.

Which one was the bigger?
2038 flood was the bigger one. It had damaged many places. It had drowned many lands. But in 2018 only the river had become big.

Because of rain, the flood had come?
Yes, heavy rainfall in Calcutta then the river became big and floods had come in 38 years.

Did you have any security in your village before?
We didnít have a Police chowki (station). Thieves were in big numbers.

Do you have this kind of fear nowadays?
No, we didnít have.

Do you have Police chowki?
Yes, we have Police chowki and thana (?) near our village. Maybe that is the reason we donít have thieves.

Did you remember unforgettable moments in your life?
I was drowned one Kumal saved my life.

How old were you?
I was 25 to 26 years old.
Section 18
You didnít know how to swim in that age?
No, it was difficult. I had fallen into the water that was coming straight from murdha (variety of tree). It was like a bhalbhal (running water). I could not swim. My hands were numb and it was like a dream.

How did Kumal save your life?
He gave me a big branch and pulled me out.

Could you tell me a beautiful moment in your life?
If my children will pass S.L.C, it will be the happiest moment.

What do you think about your children?
I donít know they are still small. The future is uncertain.

No, if they want to do so they will show talent from the childhood?
I am not sure about it.

Because of education of school, this village had been developed. What kind of role has the High School played in this village?
It is doing well.

What do you mean by well?
More students read in school. It is different from past. That is why it is good for us.

To study in school is not a big thing. They have to pass after that they have to get a good job or they try to get name in the society. Are these students able to fulfil these criteria?
Who has good economic condition automatically they will get higher education and get a good job. They can stand on their own feet but who does not have money how does he get education.

But is the fee expensive here?
I mean who has money he will send his children to school who doesnít have they cannot. But some have money but are not able to read and write. Maybe he is dull or maybe he is lazy, not wanting to read. If he thinks it is his duty to read and support his family, then he will do better. And about the job, if he is lucky he will get it, otherwise sons of C.D.O or prime ministers will get the job. The government has not opened a factory for all people.

Do you have sons of ministers?
We donít get the jobs, only they will get the jobs.

If somebody got a higher education but didnít get the job. Does he work in his field or look after the animals?
Yes, he has to do it. If he passes S.L.C. and didnít get job. So what to do he has to eat and stand on his own feet. That is why he has to do household works also.
Section 19
That means everybody has done good?
I think so they try hard. Who has just finished S.L.C., does not get a chance.

Could you sing bhajan? Please sing one line.
God has killed Sanksur, disguising himself as a fish. God has spun the ocean disguising himself as Kurma. By spinning the Ocean, he has produced amrit (nectar of the gods) and has gone to Tettishkoti Devata (33 Gods).

When you sing Churdha then Hunman will come, please sing a song about Hanuman?
OhÖ.. yes... yes
Brave Hanuman, servant of Ram(God)
North side I will drive water
Ramís child I will go there
Brave Hanuman, servant of Ram

If you sing this kind of song, I think any Hanuman will come to you. If Hanuman comes again and again how do you stop him?
We have to tell shlok.

What do you mean by shlok? Tell me please.
Ram was in the forest and saw a beautiful deer. Sita was taken by Rawana, Jtayu (bird) was killed by Rawana. Sukriv (monkeyís king) called the meeting than with all they crossed the ocean. And Hanuman burned the Lanka (Rawanís palace). Kurnvakarna (Rawanís brother) woke up to fight with Ran. It is Ramayana. After completing this Hanuman will not return.

You didnít say about Gopi?
That is from Krishna Lila.

Do you sing about Krishna Lila?
It does not suit with Hanuman but I can make a shlok about it. Krishna was a God who was born in Gopi griha. His parents were in jail. He respected Kunti. It is written in Bhagawat Puran called Krishna Lila.

If you sing this then Hanuman will come to stop?
Hanuman will stop in the first shlok.

Is there any power to stop in this shlok that makes Hanuman to stop?
This shlok will explain the whole thing. In eight chapters it is written in Ramayana. In Devaki also Krishna Charita is explained in eight chapters. That is why it has power to stop. If you donít believe ask to pundit and scholars they will explain you properly why Hanuman will come to stop.

I donít want to ask to anyone thatís why I came to you. Do you know other mantra also?
Gauri (goddess) will stay in Shivaís (god) neck as a garland. It will destroy all evil things. It will save you from the death also.
Section 20
What kind of mantra is this?
It is called mantra of Devi Bhagawati.

What do you get from this mantra?
If we say this mantra, we feel secure. When king Shirketu was doing tapasya (meditation or penance) then kaal (death) came to take him. King was a disciple of Shiva. Shiva came to save the King and king got life from Shiva. This kind of shlok has being written in Manjari.

Will this shlok save you also in other time?
When I used to walk alone at the night time that time I would recite this shlok and I would feel relaxed and safe.

I didnít bring a sweater, it is getting cold, if I tell this mantra shall I be protected from cold?
From cold? [laughs]. You have to wear your jacket.

That means this mantra will only save from kaal?
Yes, to save from kaal you have to pray to God, he will come to help you.

If you pray this mantra, then you will live three or four hundred years?
It doesnít mean you will live three or four hundred years. As long as you live God will save you.

Oh, I see. Look you have green vegetables in your garden. What kinds of vegetables will you grow here?
We didnít have water thatís why we didnít have good vegetables.

If you get water, will you grow potatoes and other vegetables?
Yes, a little bit.

Did you put manure here?
No.

Is it without manure?
Yes, only I have put water.

Do you use animal dung or chemical fertiliser to produce more crops?
We use animal dung. We didnít use chemical fertiliser.

Do you use organic fertiliser?
Some will use but if you use once this fertiliser then the soil will destroy. We canít produce any thing without using it.

Do you mean to say it will damage the soil?
Yes, if you use once, every time you have to use this, we didnít use. We just heard from the Radio.
Section 21
If the soil will be damaged then what will happen?
Nothing will grow, production becomes less. Soil becomes like kit (dirt, dust)

And what about gobar (animal dung)?
It will do good.

Does it become kit?