photo of person from Nepal Sindhulpalchok
social relationships

employment and income
family life
justice and crime
spiritual beliefs

introducing the area

community activities

 quotes about community activities
 key testimonies featuring community activities

building a wall in NepalA tradition of reciprocal labour provision exists among farmers, along with newer forms of mutual support including village credit schemes. One narrator emphasises the importance of mutual help in the fields and of village meetings where individual needs are discussed and decisions made about providing support: "If you alone spit alone it will dry soon. If we all spit together it will become a sea." Several say that community participation in, for example, building or maintaining ponds and canals happens less than in the past. One claims people have become passive and wait for services to be provided by the government; others feel that modern developments have changed people's attitudes, particularly as some of the benefits of mutual labour are less obvious.

The increase in migration for work has also affected patterns of communal activity, and several recent interviews talk of the need to hire waged labour rather than being able to rely on mutual exchange. But clearly, when they can, villagers still work together, within and between communities: "We are 12-15 households living at top of the landslide on both sides. But when we seek help to clean the pond, every house from other villages also sends a person for one day to assist us" (Nepal 22). One woman (Nepal 24), now living in Kathmandu, contrasts the way people help each other in the villages with the "competitive, I-will-earn-more-than-you type of friends" she has in the city. "In the village they take turns [to help each other] - one day one person's work, another day someone else's - doing turn by turn they go around happily."

quotes about community activities

"The system of parma in farming is when the family cannot manage all the work and we pay others to do the job. In other places the wages is about 50 rupees but in our village we give only 20 rupees, or 1 pathi of food grain. If you have work but the others don't, then we can pay back the parma later also. Like we can finish our work and sometimes when they need it, I go and work for them." Jay Singh, M/55, Nepal 13

"People never quarrelled or fought while constructing ponds. Whenever we felt the need.... the community got together and built the pond....Whoever wanted to build a pond would provide the land. Once the pond was constructed, you couldn't say his, mine, etc."
Satya Lal, M/92, Nepal 19

"If people work in groups it helps everybody otherwise the life is very hard here."
Gaumati, F/51, Nepal 8

"In the old days, people used to clean the ponds. But, today, not everyone joins hands. One pond is still being maintained somehow. With water available from taps these days, people couldn't care less about the ponds. [While] cleaning the pond they took their share of sediment...and dumped it in their fields as manure. There would be competition to get this clayey mud [as it] was better than the present-day chemical fertilisers. Everyone looks for easy jobs these days. Who will go to carry that muck and mud? Now, with the introduction of chemical fertilisers, nobody cares for the rich sediment from the ponds."
Satya Lal, M/92, Nepal 19

"In our village, sometimes neighbours become sick and are not able to help in time, at that time villagers will help them they will cultivate crops in his field and he will pay for their help when he becomes well. We have an understanding between us. In this kind of case, we call the meeting. it is a good system. Sometimes I have to face more problems myself. At that time I need help, I would not be able to do my work by myself. Then my neighbours will decide to help me. If they do not help me I will be ruined. So this is a good system. When the time comes I will also help them. We have a good cooperation between us."
Ram Bahadur, M/48, Nepal 2

key testimonies featuring community activities

  No.   Name   Sex/Age   Occupation   Location  
Summary Transcript   13   Jay Singh   male/55   farmer     
Summary Transcript   16   Bishnu Prasad   male/56   farmer   Bhadrakali VDC, Sindhuli  
Summary Transcript   19   Satya Lal   male/92      Sanagaon, Lalitpur  
Summary Transcript   2   Ram Bahadur   male/48   farmer   Thakani VDC, Sindhupalchok  
Summary Transcript   22   Badri Prasad   male/58      Bhattedanda, Lalitpur  
Summary Transcript   4   Mani   male/23   farmer   Ichok VDC, Sindhupalchok  
Summary Transcript   8   Gaumati   female/51   farmer   Ruchang VDC, Sindhuli