photo of person from Nepal Sindhulpalchok

community activities
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introducing the area

spiritual beliefs

 quotes about spiritual beliefs
 key testimonies featuring spiritual beliefs

prayer flags in NepalMajor festivals in the Hindu and Buddhist calendars are quite often referred to, and clearly mean a great deal to a number of narrators, although no one expands on the specific tenets of their faith. One narrator says that knowledge of religious texts, especially the Mahabharat, is useful for an understanding of life. Some believe in the existence of evil spirits: one person describes exorcising the "devil" from "those who shiver and mutter" and another says that a curse from a god or goddess is responsible for the death of children. In one of the new interviews (Nepal 24), a woman describes how her husband's alcoholism was moderated after treatment by "a sorcerer", who said he had been "bewitched". Another narrator describes "throwing the rice" to find out whether a sufferer's illness is as a result of the "goddess effect". It is not clear how widespread such beliefs are, but they are evidently scorned by a few narrators.

woman at shrine in NepalSeveral narrators talk of the sacred qualities of certain rivers and water features, such as the old village ponds. One said that actually constructing these ponds (which stored water for irrigation and other uses, and were also designed as flood prevention) was itself a religious act: "Anyone inspired by religious sentiments and a desire to do a good deed built ponds and wells.... Because it was considered a pious act, all the people in the village helped dig and carry the soil..." (Nepal 19). He goes on to say that because "deities reside in them...the ponds must not be allowed to become extinct.... [But] the present generation has forgotten religion. All these ponds, wells and resting-places with provision for water have vanished because of the lack of faith." His sense that young people are less religious now is echoed by several other older men and women.

quotes about spiritual beliefs

"In our days we were scared to break or damage public facilities for fear of God. The children of today could not care less. When we tell them that they must not destroy our ancient heritage because it is a sinful act, they yell at us, 'What religion?' What is the point of telling them? The educated have turned out that way."
Satya Lal, M/92, Nepal 19

"It is a pious act to make ponds, wells and water canals. That is why people in the past built them. People get thirsty while working in the field, and it was difficult to immediately get water when required. That is why when people located a natural water source in the field, they got together and dug a well. Isn't it a godly act to make water available to the thirsty?"
Satya Lal, M/92, Nepal 19

"Some people say they are troubled by a witch.People just believe in this kind of thing.I never saw any witch. If you have faith even using only the leaf of sallo (chir pine) will cure you. If you don't have faith, even using hospital medicine will not make you well."
Kedar, M/37, Nepal 6

"When [people] use Dhamis they have to sacrifice chicken and goats, it least 1500-1600 rupees. But if they go to the hospital, they spend 20-50 rupees at the most. [As a Jhankri myself] I would talk them into going to the hospital. I'd read their future [as a fortune teller] if requested, but I am against the sacrificing of chickens and goats."
Jay Singh, M/55, Nepal 13

"They think if they do Ghewa it will reach to the dead person and they will get benefit from it. We have that custom. If we spend that much money on Ghewa, the dead person will get benefit. But I don't think like this. Because of spending so much money, even the living people will die. I don't get any benefit from it."
Mani, M/23, Nepal 4

"There were quite a few jatras (pilgrimages, fairs or religious festivals). We could comfortably witness these all night. Now since the Maoists [came] it is not the same. there are restrictions, because of the fear of Maoists.. [Jatras] have become fewer. [This year] I could not go to make offerings for my mother and father. I was afraid."
Soma, F/74, Nepal 29

"If we say this Mantra, we feel secure. When King Shirketu was doing tapasya (meditation) then kaal (death) came to take him. The King was a disciple of Shiva. Shiva came to save the King. When I used to walk alone at night, that time I would recite this shlok (song) and I would feel relaxed and safe."
Tek Lal, M/67, Nepal 3

key testimonies featuring spiritual beliefs

  No.   Name   Sex/Age   Occupation   Location  
Summary Transcript   13   Jay Singh   male/55   farmer     
Summary Transcript   19   Satya Lal   male/92      Sanagaon, Lalitpur  
Summary Transcript   29   Soma   female/74   farmer   Kavre district  
Summary Transcript   3   Tek Lal   male/67   farmer   Bulingtar VDC, Nawalparasi  
Summary Transcript   4   Mani   male/23   farmer   Ichok VDC, Sindhupalchok  
Summary Transcript   6   Kedar   male/37   herbal medicine practitioner   Thakani VDC, Sindhupalchok