photo of person from Nepal Sindhulpalchok
Nepal glossary


(NEPAL 11)










Thakani VDC, Sindhupalchok





Section 1
Do your children go to school?
Yes, sometimes at 10 o'clock, sometimes at 10.30 A.M. The teachers are not good.

Could you tell me your name?
Dhawa Gyalmu Sherpa.

How old are you?
28 years old.

What is the name of this place?
This is called Okhreni Chair or Bhumsang tole.

Ward no.?
Ward no. 5.

My name is Bal Kumari Dhakal, what is your religion?
I am a Buddhist.

How long have you been living here?
It’s been four years.

Before coming here where did you live?
I lived in Sundarijal V.D.C. Kathmandu.

Where is the place?
In Sundarijal near the jungle 'Shivapuri Ban'. Above it has an English name. It is called 'Tyawbashi'.

Do you have a mother and father in law?
Yes, I have.

How old are they?
I don't know their actual age, may be 60, 70 years old.

How many brothers do you have?
I have only my brother-in-law (husband's brother).
Section 2
Does he live here?
He lives near the pond of Sundarijal.

What kind of work does he do?
He has his own hotel and in free time he does other work: thekka patta (contract work).

How many members are in your family?
My husband and myself and my four sons.

How old are they?
My elder son is 10 years old, second son is 8 years old, third son is 7 years old and youngest is 6 years old. They play in the morning time and go to school in the afternoon.

In which classes do they study?
The elder son studies in 4, second son is in 3, third and youngest son study in one class. But they two don't know even 'Ka Kha'.

Could you read?
No, in those days we didn't have a school. I didn't know about school. Now I know about it but I have never gone to school.

You are uneducated, but how did you realise that education should be given to children?
My parents didn't send me to school, but nowadays people have good work in the office because they are educated. That's why looking at them I also realised education is the most important thing. So I have sent my children to school.

Do other villagers also send their children to school?
They do not send their children to school. I tried to convince them. My children never miss a class. I force them to go to school everyday. Teachers are also not good. In villages everybody is worrying about teachers work. Such as bringing grass from the field and to feeding the goats etc. They don't have time to read and write. I tried to convince them but they don't understand. But a few of them are sending their children to school. 10, 12 years before there were only two or three students in school. Nowadays it has increased.

Where did they go to study before 10, 12 years?
Small school was there 20, 24 students were there, half from Thakani, half from Banskharkha.

You told me before it’s only four years you are here. How did you know about it?
I was born there. My maita (father's home) was there in Dhwali Ghyang. And my house is here in Talamarang V.D.C.

How old is your mother?
She is one year older than my father; I don't know the actual age. My father is a farmer. He works in the field. My grandfather used to be a Lama (Buddhist priest). My mother keeps buffalo and helps my father in the field.
Section 3
Does she go outside?
No, she has never been outside. She sometimes goes to other villages to see the Lama in Haibung and Pipse.

Did they get any training?
No, they didn't get any training. They are doing that work from their forefathers. They are called Thari Lama.

What do you mean by Thari Lama?
I don't know why they are called Thari Lama. They are called Thari Lama from their forefathers' time.

It's been four years that you are here?
Yes, from Shivapuri they threw us out. They gave us a little money for our lands. From that money we were unable to settle in Terai, that's why we bought some land in Jorpati. My four sons will look after it. We didn't have money to settle in Kathmandu, that's why we chose this place to live.

Why especially did you choose this place?
Because here is ActionAid. We don't have any earning source. We thought that we could get a work from ActionAid. We could do some business. That's why we are here. First year we made 9 thousand, later 7 thousand. Last year 4 thousand. In this way we are earning and living.

Don't you have any land?
No, but to live I have to do something. For the first few years I had worked in ActionAid for daily wages. Later I left the work there and went with brother to do outside work. When I was doing a work in ActionAid I had to bring vaccines and letters, and sometime I had to cook rice too. Instead of money we exchange the rice and vegetables and we could celebrate the festival from that money.

Which festival do you celebrate?
Our big festival is Loshar. It falls in the month of Maagh. It starts from one day after the aunsi (day of no moon). In this festival we take tika (decorative mark on the forehead as blessing) of ghee (clarified butter). We make bread but not any meat as we don't in most of our festivals. We don't kill animals. Bread is the main dish in this festival. We put flags in front of houses and also put some bottles of rakshi (alcohol) with tika and ghee. This festival continues till purnima (the full moon). Many guests come and we serve them bhote (?) tea with bread and vegetables (potato, beans etc). It is regarded as a great respect to serve the guest such things. If we have sukuti (dry meat), we serve them making a dish of it. Then the elder persons of the family put tika himself first. Then he put tikas to mother giving a bottle of rakshi to her with the bread in circle. Chiura (beaten rice) will be on a plate in the middle of the circle. Then father will serve tika to other members of the family and also give some dakshina (gift of money). It costs about five to six thousand rupees to celebrate this festival.
In Lama's house many people come with bread in plates. If he has a big family they bring one mana of rice and take tika from Lama. It is very expensive to celebrate Loshar if Lama has agood reputation. People come to take from him. Lama has to offer bhote tea and chiura. It is very expensive to celebrate Loshar for the Lama. But for us we don't have too many expenses. We only have to spend one thousand to celebrate it. Only two or three households celebrate it in our village others celebrate Dashain.
Section 4
How do you celebrate Dashain?
We live here with Tamang so in Dashain we bring meat and celebrate. Actually it is not our festival. To adjust in the society we go to maita (father’s home) and eat meat but we don't take tika. Also tika we don't celebrate but we take tika in Tihar from the period of our forefather. We celebrate it making shell roti (type of bread).

Do you find any difference now and then?
We don't do Bratabandha and Chhewar. But we Sherpa people perform a marriage ceremony spending a lot money with a great enthusiasm. It is our major occasion.

What do you mean by 'major'?
To do a marriage we have to call Lama, the Buddhist priest. Lama will dance taking Chauri's tail. It is an interesting dance. There will be two groups, one of boys and one of girls. They take part in this dance. All will bring white pheta (cloth) that will later be brought to the boys by the people. To the girls they will bind with khada (small piece of cloth). To do weddings we need a lot of money. For pheta and khada you have to empty one room. Everybody brings khadas. It is very interesting to do a wedding.

How did you do your marriage?
When I got married I didn't know about it because my grandfather had decided about it. They had already talked with my husband's father and mother. One day when I was working in the field at that time he, my husband, came and pulled me. I tired to hide but my grandfather scolded me and ordered me to go away with him. That's why I went with him. He had relatives of three loners (?). They came and put khada (white cloth) on me. It was finished. With khada they gave me money also. Who didn't have sons they gave only 40, 50, 60 rupees but who had sons they gave Rs. 100. Because their son would get marry we would have to give some in return. That's why when people give money marriage they expect the same amount in return.

Do you find any difference in doing marriage now and then?
I don't think there is much difference. But in those days boy could marry a girl by force, pulling her without her will. If somebody protested from family then they would find him and keep him in another room. When they took the girl and reach far then they would leave him. Even in my family, my third sister in law got married that way. They came and took her away. She had only an old grandmother. One grabbed her grandmother and two grabbed her. She tried to run away and hid in the gotha (livestock shed). But they broke the door and took her by force. You know that hill Ghopte Danda where the plane had crashed last year, in that place they took her when she was taken by them her old grandmother cried for help but she was not there it was too late. Nowadays they can't force like that.
That is the difference now and then in doing marriage. Now, girls are also aware of the law. They know what to do if not. If somebody forces them they are also able to protest. Now ActionAid and other projects are here. They come to our house and tell them about things. At that time, if these projects were there they should be able to stop doing that kind of marriage. I was also aware of these things but I accepted my marriage because my grandfather was old and he told me to go. I respected him that's why I got married that way. At that time there were many people who wanted to take us - myself and my sister - by force. But I and my sister were there we decided if somebody pulled us we would report it one day or we would do something to protest it. Then nobody was able to do anything. Even a man who came to take us to Bombay wouldn’t be able to persuade us. Twelve, 13 boys were there in the Patibhanjyang chauk (crossroads). They wanted to pull us. One of the boys was there who wanted to pull me. We weren’t afraid. We walked in front of them. One of the boys pushed that boy towards us. But he wouldn't be able to touch me. He knew a little bit about law in Nepal. Then we came to buy biscuits and salt there looking at them. They were unable to do anything.
Section 5
Where did they come from?
They were from Patibhanjyang. One relation also didn't give permission to many us. He was a son of my uncle's friend. His name was Chyangba. He used to tell his friend that he liked me very much. But he could not touch me and pulled me. We were pretty in our time. People wanted to take us to Bombay but they didn’t succeed.

Do they still take girls from here to Bombay?
In those days they took everyone from here. Every 10-12 days one girl would go missing from the village. But now this kind of work is decreasing; it became less. It may be due to ActionAid or because of girls’ own awareness, that has stopped a little bit of the girl trafficking in Bombay. Villagers also raise their voice and beat the people who come to the village to take the girls from here. That's why that kind of person is not seen these days. That kind of person came to the village and persuaded girls with his flowery talks and took them to Bombay. Most of the girls were taken from the jatra (fair). Those were not from our village. It has been two years not a single girl has been taken to Bombay from here. Girls also began to understand about taking them towards Bombay.

Do they go by themselves or other will take?
In those days if a girl married a boy without liking each other, if a boy didn't like the girl and he had married her by force, in that condition the girl would go to Bombay. Other boys would persuade her not to live with her husband. She would also agree to go with them because her husband didn't like her. She would think it was better than to live with him. They would tempt her to go with them. If she would go with them, they would give her better life than there. Then she also would decide and would go with them. Over there lives Man Bahadur an old man. His uncle's daughter married to one boy. There were no children from her. So her husband married another girl. That scared girl was not happy with her condition. She didn't like her husband, that her husband had already one wife. She couldn't adjust herself with the situation. In one of the jatra she met one boy. I had also seen them walking together. Everybody knew that man was not good. But nobody said anything. After few days later that girl had disappeared from the village.
If you have some troubles or you are mentally disturbed then you can do anything. I had also experienced that. My marriage was also done by force. I had three brothers, they would get money doing gheware (selling ghee and sweetmeats). And they would buy everything for bhauju (sister-in-law), such as hair slides, nail polish and new clothes. But nobody would bring anything for me. If I would demand then they would say “You are not a daughter of this house”. Bhauju is from another family. If we don't make them happy they will leave us. That's why I never engaged my life when I was young. I had my desires to enjoy life at that time. So I decided to go with him. My grandfather and sister had decided about it. When he pulled me I also agreed to come with him.
Section 6
Whose sister?
My own sister. She was also married just like me. She didn't return, she died there. When we decided to marry we talked with our mother. My mother cried and told us, if we would go she would also go. She cried continuously. I never forget that day [she is crying].

Did your sister die there?

Your elder sister didn't die there?
Not an elder sister, she was my second sister. My elder sister was killed by a tiger. Girls run from their family because of many reasons. They don't get good care or fulfil their desires at home. They want to enjoy their life. That's why they want to go to Bombay with those persons. Nowadays girls choose their own husband. That's why the flow of girl trafficking is Bombay is becoming less. But when they are hurt they want to escape from here.

Do the girls still go to Bombay?
Sometimes. But the flow of going to Bombay is becoming less. It maybe due to ActionAid or adult education and also people of the village protested about it. They forced him to talk about it. That's why a person who takes girls from here, is discouraged. They captured him.

Where did they capture him?
In this Talamarang V.D.C., there is a place called Batase where a person lives, his name is Taw Taw. He mostly takes girls from our village Thakani. But it's been two years he does not come here because he had taken one girl, a daughter of Shing Bir from Talamarang. From that time on Shing didn't allow him to enter into the village. That person Taw Taw does not come into the village.

Who didn't allow him to enter into the village?
Sing Bir didn't allow him to enter into the village. He bought the police to take him. Police tried to catch him but he was escaped. Then police warned his mother. And Sing Bir also told to his mother if Taw Taw come there he would break his legs and hands. Then after no one has dared to take girls from Thakani and Batase or from Talamarang V.D.C. I didn't also question about it.
Section 7
Do they take only girls or women?
They take girls and women both. If I talk, I will get into a trouble. You know Som Bahadur, his sister was also taken by Chaparasi Kanchhi. Chaparasi Kanchhi is a rich woman in the village. She took his sister giving money to him. Because Som Bahadur had a shop, which was in bad condition, he needed money he sold her sister to Chaparasi Kanchhi. Chaparasi Kanchhi sent her to Bombay. His sister asked him where he was taking her to. Som Bahadur told her but he would bring her with him. But it was a lie. He sold her sister to Chaparasi Kanchhi. I knew it from Mangale's wife. Once we went to search for millet to make rakshi, that time she told me this. Otherwise, I didn't know about it. Som Bahadur told his sister that he would come later and take her. But he didn't return. He had only two sisters. One was already married. She was the youngest sister. When the other brothers heard it, they fought with him. They asked him why he sold his own sister. He told others that if he had money then he wouldn't sell her. Because of [the need for] money he sold her.
Then Som Bahadur began to sell other girls too. Once he caught one girl and raped her at home. He tortured her and she had to do every household works. Some of his friends came and urinated on her. She cried for help. She wished to die. Then police came. That time he sent her away with his friend giving her a set of clothes, and told her to come again. She said yes only to escape. Once she got away she didn't return to him.

Did she return alone?
No, she was sent with a person. Later she didn't want to go back. First person was angry with that man, because he was not able to bring her back.

Who took her home?
I don't remember. Later a man came to take her back but she didn't agree to go with him. She told him she would die or marry an old person rather to go with him. He couldn't take her back. Later she had married an old man and settled herself. That person who sent her sister in Bombay, later she returned back and gave everything she had but not much. It was a time of Tihar (Bhaitika). It was her turn to put tika to her brother, but he didn't accept her and he called another girl and asked her to put tika to him and gave her Rs. 500. It was not his money. What kind of justice? He could use her money but could not accept tika from her.

Who was that girl he had taken tika from?
She was from a different family. His sister had returned from Bombay after 10, 12 days. He didn't accept to take tika from his own sister but could accept to take from other.

Why he didn't accept her? Due to coming back from Bombay?
Yes, when she will die he does not have to mourn for her, and nobody eats the main part of a meal from her. Even she isn't allow to give her jutho (something polluted, in this case leftovers) to a child.
Section 8
What do you mean by jutho?
Jutho means the remaining part of a meal. Before going there everybody used to eat her jutho. But, later returning from there nobody eats her jutho. Everybody hates her. She tells me all about this. She stayed in Bombay only 10-12 days. Then she returned to her village. She did nothing wrong. Everybody was angry with her because she didn't bring sufficient money to give them. He brother didn't accept her, and didn't take tika from her but he could take from others. I pity her, but now she has married. And her brother also became happy to get rid of her, and they also ate her jutho.

Do the people like to marry that kind of girl?
No, people don't like to marry that kind of girl. But if she has money then people want to marry her. Even if they are already married. They talk with their first wife to get her money, their wives also accept their husband's second marriage. When they get all her money from her then they will neglect her. Only to get her property they are ready to marry her otherwise it is a rare case.

Why men don't want to marry that kind of girl? Is there any reason?
When a girl goes to Bombay and returns then nobody will accept her. Nobody eats her jutho. That's why people are afraid of marrying this kind of girl. Everybody dislikes her. There lives one girl who always tried to go to her sister's house, but her sister was not able to face her. That's why she went with a person.

Who was that boy?
He was from the same place.

Did he come here?
He visited here several times, and he took her with him. Her brothers warned her not to go with another's husband, but she didn't listen. She left her husband and children. Her sister cried and worried about her and searched for his wife everywhere. He couldn't eat and sleep properly without her, and one day his wife and that man came from Kathmandu. They were hiding, but one of his friends showed him. The place where they were hiding, and he went there and caught his wife and brought her to home. She also agreed to come back with her husband. This kind of things happen here. Sometimes I feel puzzled.

You told me before that there are many differences between before and now?
Yes, there are. In those days we didn't have drinking water and medicines. People died without treatment. Many children died without getting any medicine.

What was the reason they died?
They had suffered from many diseases, but people could not get treatment. There was no hospital near the village. So people had to go to Jhankri. They died without getting proper treatment. At that time no vaccine was introduced in our village. In this ward, five children had died everyday. I had seen all these days. The rate of death was more in the past than now.
Section 9
In which time did children die most?
The would die mostly in the birth time and months are Chaitra, Baisakh, Jeth and Asaar.

What was the disease?
They died of diarrhoea, and without getting a good diet they would die.

Do you know anything about epidemic disease that had brought a lot of death in the past?
I don’t remember much. When that kind of disease spread in the village 3-4 people died from one family in every tol (ward) one or two people had died from each house.

What do you wish for in the future?
I don't have time to read. I wish to advise my neighbours and want to tell them about the importance of education. I want to do something. If I get time, I would like to read.

What will happen if you read?
I will learn something. I will gain some knowledge.