photo of person from Nepal Sindhulpalchok
Nepal glossary


(NEPAL 15)










Thakani VDC, Sindhupalchowk





Section 1
How many family members do you have?
There are five of us: my mother-in-law, one son, one daughter and two of us.

How old are your children?
My son is 8 years and the daughter is 5 years old.

Do they go to school?
Yes, they both go to school. The son is in class 2 and the daughter in class 1.

What does your husband do?
He is a farmer and he also treats the animals.

What do you do?
At home, I wake up in the morning and fetch water, sweep the house, prepare khole (meal), milk the buffalo, feed them, prepare and feed the children then I go and bring the grass, then I cook rice and send the children to school after feeding them. After watering the animals I go to the fair and work all day and come back home at 5-6 in the evening. Then I have to milk the buffalo and feed them then as usual prepare dinner, give food to children then we eat and after finishing all the work go to bed.

When you go out to work, who looks after all your work at home?
My mother-in-law does the easy work and we pay others to do the hard work and farming.

At what time do you have to get up in the morning?
This time of year there isn't much work to do, so we can get up at 5, but in Mansir and Paus we have to get up at 4 in the morning. Then there are beans in the garden, we have to harvest the millet and paddy, so we get up at 4 o'clock finish all the errands and then go to work.

Do all the villagers have same routine or is it only you?
It's the same with everybody, some even get up at 3 to do their errands. There are people who have more work than us.
Section 2
Is it only the women who wake up early in the morning or do the men also do the same?
Only the women get up early, the men don't have much work - they get up, drink tea and go somewhere. We have to do everything, if the daughter cries I have to see to her, the animals cry I have to see to them, so if I don't get up early I will not be able to finish my work. I have to feed the children, send them to school and the men say they are tired and want to rest, they just sleep.

Do the men go to work in the daytime?
Yes, they go to work but they don't have to do anything at home.

What kind of work do the men do, and what kind of work do the women have to do?
They plough the fields, dig, carry goods and sick people and take them to hospital. They go to carry big loads, to plough the fields and go and buy animals, we [women] cannot go to such works.

Why aren't you allowed?
It has always been so; itís our system. Nowadays, we both can discuss and decide, but the main decisions are always made by men.

Why is it like that?
They say that men are the wealth and women have come from away so they can always spend their wealth.

Do you think that it is their own wealth?
Actually we also think that it is our wealth too, but when you come to someone else's house you have to be afraid of their son, we cannot treat them like we do our parents. So we also think that it is theirs.

Do you also think that it is their property?
I personally think that whatever I earn that belongs to me, but the men have a different attitude. In the village we hear men blaming the women of enjoying their wealth, they blame us of trying be superior to them, the women are suffering and the men are enjoying their life, they have the upper hand.

When you get married and come to your husband's house, what do you have as your own?
We do not have much, whatever we earn is ours, then the food we get to eat and some clothes that are brought for us. Everything we have is brought for us.

What happens if you keep pets and pigeons?
If you have a big family, they do not let us keep them, they will say that we will be using grains and flour for the birds and we cannot spare any and in the small family we have to manage everything, we cannot feed everybody.

Why don't they let you keep them?
In a big family parents-in-law complain, and if you have many in-laws they would also like to do the same, we do not have enough space and the feed, so, no matter how much you have ďit will not be sufficient for all of usĒ.
Section 3
If sometimes you need money to buy bangles and necklaces, what do you do?
If I need such things, I ask for the money and my husband or the parents-in-law will give me.

Do they also give you the money if you want to go to the market and spend some?
Yes, they give, but if it is not enough I have to manage because I also do not have any money of my own.

Is it the same throughout the village or is it with you only?
Some do get more to spend but some of us get only what we need. They say that they have given us food and clothes so you don't have to spend on anything else, so, they give us just enough for us to go to the market and spend a little.

How do you feel when you have to ask for the money every time and whatever you earn will not belong to you?
I feel bad that I was born a girl, because no matter how much we work we do not get enough. If I had my own property I wouldn't have to ask others, but I don't have anything and even if I beg they wouldn't give, then I have to cry. If I go to my parents' house and if they give I can have it with me and I can spend. But these people no matter how much you beg do not give, so it is better not to ask. They provide us the food and clothes and send the children to school, and if they don't we just sit back because we don't have anything. It's the same with everybody in this village, some have even worse situations, they go around crying.

What do you mean by worse situations?
The girls get married and come to the husband's house but after some years the parents-in-law call her names and tell her to leave the house.

Why do they tell her to leave the house, don't they like her, or maybe she stole something, can I know more about it?
Maybe she asked for something and the people blame her for asking, so she cries, that could be the reason.

The money the men earn, do they keep it themselves or do they give it to you to keep?
The men do not give even 4 paisa to the women to keep. They keep everything, every paisa they made by selling grains and animals and the women have only the flour and rice. We cannot sell the grains and flour, so, whenever we need some money we have to ask the men, that's what all the women of this village also say. But till now I don't have to ask the men, because we earn equally.

Do the men decide themselves about buying and selling things?
They ask their wives too, but if they have made up their mind they'll sell even if the wives don't want to.

When do the women work for wages, or don't they go to work?
Those who have small land go and work for wages. In Asaar, Srawan and Bhadra, they go to plough the fields, to cut the paddy in Srawan and to plant millet after finishing their own work in their land. Mostly the poor work for wages, like in Asaar, if they have small land they finish the work and go to others' fields, in Bhadra to weed the fields and to cut the paddy. Then in the time of wheat plantation people need help in the big lands so the people work in such places for wages.
Section 4
Do the men or women usually go to work?
During ploughing and weeding both go, so, in Asaar and Srawan they both work together. And in Bhadra and Asoj mostly men go to cut the paddy (harvest). The men are not used to looking after the kids at home and the animals, so the women have to work in the house. The work of the fair is mostly done by men, since the women look after the house and its work, they do not have time to go to the bari (field, usually un-irrigated). The children come home at four in the evening from school, we have to cook and feed them and the husband when he comes home in the night.

What happens if you do not prepare food for him?
If I don't cook the food he will be mad and will ...... me. He still blames me for cooking the food for children and myself only and not cooking for him. So I have to cook in time and make the food ready for him.

When your husband comes home in the evening, do they blame you of first sitting around house and not working or do they think that maybe you didn't have time because of the work in the house?
If the husband is a drunkard then he will beat the wife even if the wife has been working hard. This is a Brahmin neighbourhood so we do not have such incidents but around this village we have heard of wife beatings. In our village the men don't go around saying that the wife doesn't work, because the wife does all the work by herself and the men doesn't donít at all.

Do the men and women get the same wages or is it different?
It is different; the women get Rs. 25 and the men Rs. 40.

What kind of work do you do?
During Srawan when we plough the fields the women get Rs. 25 and the boys and men get Rs. 40. The rate is the same in Asaar and Srawan otherwise we all get the same wages.

What kind of snacks do you get?
Both the men and the women get the same kind of snacks but some get different kind also. In our case, we have to have the food suitable for the neighbours, we have Brahmin neighbours so some eat here and some eat out. The Brahmin eat fried corn but the outsides don't.

So there is a difference in what the men and women eat?
No, there isn't really. In Asaar we all get the same food but in the evening the men get to eat dal bhat and curry but the women have to go back to their houses and eat. It is so because there are many women and few men so, instead of cooking for everybody they just invite the men to eat, its the same in everyone's turn.

What are the different kinds of work that men and women have to do?
The difference is there, the men go away to India to work but women cannot go away. Since the men go away to work the women have to stay back to look after the house, the children, the animals and the fields. No matter how difficult the life is we cannot leave our house just because men have gone away. There are cases where the husband had gone away searching for work and never came back, but the women have stayed back working in wages or doing odd jobs to look after their children because of the love for their children. The men can go away for 15 days without any information but for a women they cannot go away even for a day, they cannot because they can't leave their house and children just like that.
Section 5
Why don't the men care so much as women do?
I don't know why! Maybe they think that they'll marry again if the wife leaves. They do love their children but not as much as we do. It's the same here and in Kathmandu, it's the women who bath and oil the children after giving birth, it's the women who bring up the children not the men.

Why do you think that it should be the women or the mother who has to do all these things?
Maybe they don't know how to do it, the women have been doing these things so the men do not have such skill; it cannot be because they do not love the children.

After all the works done by women, how much do the husbands love their wives?
Of course, the men love their wives for all the works done, that is why they are forced to go anywhere, but some men are always angry no matter how much the wife works. The parent-in-laws are always angry with the daughters-in-law, they don't give them enough to eat, not as much as they give their son. If they give their son rice the daughter-in-law gets corn to eat, we have seen many cases, some women even died because she didn't get enough to eat not even one meal a day, but till now I haven't suffered that way.

If such things happened in your village, maybe you have a story to tell me?
There was a friend, her husband was not here, she really suffered, she used to dream of better days but she died. She didn't have a son and her husband was away, the parents-in-law were with her, they were very greedy. They had 2-3 daughters-in-law to save the money they used to cook dhindo (porridge made of millet or maize)early at 7-8 o'clock and keep it, when you can hardly eat fresh and hot dhindo who can eat a cold one! So she used to dream of living with her husband separate from the family but died early. Now what can she dream of?

Was it the same with clothes?
There is discrimination in clothes also. Women get only a set of clothes in a year from the husband's house, so, most of the women bring clothes from their own houses. I am getting the dresses from my husband and my house but even 4 sets are still not enough. So how can others manage to wear a set for a year? But still they have to wear it by repairing, stitching, patching and at the end they wear it even if itís torn badly.

What about the children?
It's the same with children too. They also get one set so the women have to sew if they are torn and if they cannot they dress their children with whatever they are given. If the clothes are beyond stitching then only with much difficulty the men buy new clothes.
Section 6
Do the men also wear torn and patched dresses?
Men want to be heroes so they never wear torn clothes, they throw away the clothes if they are a bit old and dirty but they do not care what their children are wearing.

Why do they discriminate the women?
I don't really know, but in a big family they have two kinds of daughters-in-law, one the parents like and the other they don't. But in our family I am the only daughter-in-law. In this village we see that the parents like one of the daughters-in-law because she also likes them very much they are called khaasi (term of endearment) and the other daughter-in-law who really doesn't show love is also loved less by the parents. So if the loved one brings one gagro (pot) of water they think she has done a lot and no matter has much the other un-likeable daughter-in-law works its never satisfactory.

Why do they have different attitudes among women also?
They also have their in-laws, they also... each other, they also blame each other for not working. They have a feeling that if everybody eats the same everyone must work equally. There's no end to it.

Do these problems occur in the rich family or in the poor family?
There are the problems of rich family. In the poor family there are few of them so they have agreements because they all have to work very hard and they understand each other very well. In the rich and big family no one is satisfied with nobody.

What are the other problems of the women?
We mostly have the problems concerning our family. Like if someone gets sick we do not have enough manpower to work in the fields or to work in the house and to look after the animals. If there is someone to look after the house we do not have to worry about our children, even if there is a storm they can come home and stay or the parents can search for them. But if there is no one at home we have to look after it so the children may not find shelter in the storm, there will always be the thought of your children whether they are safe and sound or suffering from maybe a fall or a cut or something. We cannot feed ourselves without working and we cannot stay home just because of the children, we have to raise the animals and have to keep our friends also. Since my mother-in-law is there I don't have to worry, she can give the food that I have prepared to the children after they come from school. But itís not the same with everybody, some have a very difficult life.

How popular is it to send your daughter to school in this village?
It is very popular. Before the girls used to be married when they were 5 years old but these days they go to school and still not married when they are 18, 19 or 20 years old. There is no discrimination in girlís education.

Before the girls used to get married young?
Yes, they used to be married at the age of as young as 4-5 and 6 years. These days girls don't get married unless they are 18, 19 or 20 years old.
Section 7
What do the people think about girlís education?
They have a positive thinking about it. They think that if the girls get education they won't be deceived in their lives, that the girls will be able to come back from wherever they had been taken by reading the signboards, they will be able to read with the letters. They don't want to keep their daughters in darkness, so they are sending their daughters to school.

How much have you studied?
I have studied only a little, I know only a few letters. I was married when I was 10 so I didn't have time to study. I can read and write very little.

In those days what did the people think of girlís education?
People used to say that what's the use of educating a girl because they will be married off to others, no matter how much education you give to a girl, one day she is going to get married. And one cannot eat without working in the fields. But these days, people say that the girls shouldn't be kept in darkness they should go to school even if they get married later. The people say that even the girls have to work at home and in the fields after they get married they must learn to read and write.

Shouldn't the educated girls sweep the floor?
They should, but the people of old days never thought of that. The educated girls can do anything they can work in the fields and do the household works even a five year old girl can write their names and even their mother's name.

How would you have felt if those days were like these days?
If those days were like today and if my parents had sent me to school I would have kept on studying without getting married.

Could you have been unmarried?
Yes, I could have easily. Marriage is not a must, you can live doing whatever you like to do. If it was like today I could have remained unmarried even if I had to die.

They say that women cannot make a living by themselves, why?
Of course we can. These days you don't have to work in the fields to make a living, you don't have to be strong physically. If you get education you can work in the office and easily make a living, you can even save for the future, you can put your money in the bank so if you are unable to work you can live on it.

One cannot depend on their children to look after them, and if the daughters are educated but do not get married the people don't think good of them, isn't it?
Some girls become bad, we have seen some girls getting abortions and some say they have unmarried, not married before, but with children. We have seen such cases but some have improved their characters.

Whose fault is it, or is the women like that?
It's the women's fault, they themselves bring such misfortune to them, nobody forces them to make such mistakes.

How can they not make the mistakes?
It the women don't go to men, the men don't force them. The girls get together with boys and use some technique and take the girls away.
Section 8
It is the woman, who attracts, is it her fault or is it the man's fault?
In this case with the power to attract, itís the man's fault, because girls can talk, laugh and play with men, there is nothing to it, but these are other kinds of women too. There are gentle as well as bad kinds of women.

In such cases is it the women's fault or the man's fault?
Women are not in fault, mostly itís the men's fault. If the men give women to eat something which has the power of attraction (mohani) if they try to force into a women, it is all men's fault. If not only the women's fault, the men can try to make the good girls bad.

Why do they do such things?
Maybe they like the girl and want to take them away.

Do they do such things just to take away the girls they like?
Yes, they do, if they like someone they do, they are not afraid of police. It hasn't happened to me but I'm telling you from all I've seen.

Nowadays how much do the women have to respect the men?
We had to respect the men before, but these days there is no such system. Before the wife could eat only after her husband had eaten, she couldn't tell her husband to work. Even if the husband didn't work and just sat around the wife must always show respect. But these days, it has changed.

What kind of difficulties do the women of this village have to face during their pregnancy and childbirth?
We don't have too much trouble except the pains and other usual things and the family also do not face any problem. They look after woman for 2 months after the baby is born; they are properly fed and not allowed to work. It's the same in all the families.

If there is lots of work, after how many months are they allowed to work?
It depends, if the woman is strong she can get up and cook for the children, they will bring the water, so if she is able to work a little and cook a little they let her work after 15-20 days. But if the woman is still weak and cannot work she will rest for 1-2 months before she regains her strength and if she is strong and eats well, regains her strength, then she can work.

In the old days the women were not supposed to go out and talk to others, what is the situation now?
That is no more in practice. Before if a woman talked to a man they used to think that she was going to run away. But now we can talk to anybody, there is no discrimination. Before we couldn't go out with other people, when we started to work they would say we eat whatever we get whoever had touched the food. In the Brahmin community you can still find some who are restricted to walk around and eat everywhere, they do not eat everywhere, but in other communities it is not so strict.
Section 9
What do the Brahmin community say if women walk on their own?
They say that if a woman walks alone she will be taken away.

Do the people really take away the women?
No, they don't, itís just their saying. If the woman doesn't agree who can take them away.

Do the women tell the men to take them away?
If the woman really wants to go away maybe she will tell the man to take her away, otherwise itís just what the people blame the women for.

If the men go around do they say the same to them also?
Sure, if the man goes around with the girls, the wife and other women certainly say the man is going around in search of another wife.

If the daughter-in-law goes around what will the parents-in-law say?
They will say that the daughter-in-law is going to elope.

And what will they say if their son does the same thing?
If their son goes around the parents say that he is going to work and earn money.

Does the husband confer with his wife about business, marriages and other important matters?
In the case of buying and selling the husband should confer with his wife. The husband does confer with his wife for shopping, to buy materials and for the marriage of the children.

Do the men confer with their wives when selling the grains or the animals? Or do they sell on their own will?
If the husband thinks he is all in all, he'll do it on his own and if he thinks itís better to confer then he will confer with his wife. There are two kinds of men.

If the husband is of the type who thinks he is everything, what does he do?
He will sell without conferring with his wife and spend the money on alcohol and doesn't give the wife anything. The other kind who doesn't drink alcohol will usually confer with the wife and gives the wife money to keep. There are two kinds of men in this village, one that drinks alcohol and sells the land and some have come from other places, worked hard and became rich too.

If the man gives woman the money then who manages it?
There are two kinds, one who lets the woman manage most of the things and the other who says that the money is his not hers. If the man lets the woman to manage, she has to look after the children's clothing, food and education, in this case the man is liberal, he lets the woman do whatever she likes. The other kind who doesn't care what his children wears or eats or goes to school or not, he just indulges in alcohol and doesn't confer with his wife or take advice. He doesn't let his wife keep the money.

If he spends all the money on alcohol how can he look after his family?
He doesn't, it's the wife who takes the responsibility, it's her worry.
Section 10
How can the woman manage?
If the woman cannot feed the children she will work for wages. The villagers call them, because they are poor, they know that she is in need so she will come.

What kind of work does she do for wages?
Anything, she will work in the fields, to plough, cultivate, irrigate and harvest. She can work in the construction of houses, carry stones and soils.

What do they do with the wages? Don't the husbands ask about it?
They keep it for themselves and if the husband asks they say that they worked hard to earn the money and spent it on food and children.

Doesn't the husband scold the wife?
Even if she gets scolded she will also fight back. She'll also tell him to work and earn and whatever she earns itís her wish to spend it on children and whatever she likes, but will not give it to the husband to drink alcohol.

Does the husband beat the wife also?
Maybe the drunkards beat their wives. In this village people don't drink alcohol, so they don't beat the wives, but in other places they do.

During the festivals do the men have to work hard or the women? What kind of works do you have?
Men and the women have different works. The men buy goats, paint houses, buy clothes and other things necessary to celebrate the festivals. The women have to wash clothes, make the house nice and clean, cook and provide rice, beaten rice, etc.

So, who has more work?
The women have more work to do. The women have to make the house neat and clean, wash clothes and prepare food, the men don't help, they just bring the materials. During the festivals, itís the women who cook the food, feed the children, wash the dishes, look after the animals and many other things, so it looks like the women always have more work.

Do the men help in household works?
The gentle and understanding husband does help his wife, he fetches water if the wife doesn't get time, helps to shift things, sweeps the yard and if the wife is busy he even washes the dishes. The other kind who thinks he is a king will not help the wife at all; there are two kinds of men and women.

In which class of people do you find such men and women, in the poor or rich?
You find such people in the rich families, in the poor family, they have few members, so there are no such people. In the rich family, there are many members, so you can find such people. In a poor family, there are just husband and wife, so whoever is free or has time will cook and feed the children, even wash clothes. The husband bathes the children but in the rich family only the women do all these works and the husband never helps.

Why do you think that it is like this?
Maybe they think that since they are rich some other people will do their work, but I'm not sure, how can I read their mind.
Section 11
In your opinion, the women of which caste suffer more?
It's the same in all the castes. As far as I have seen the women of Tamang, Chettri and Brahmin castes all suffer. They all have to work very hard, fetch water, gross and fire woods, cook food its all the same. The men, they all go around and don't bother to help the wife.

Don't the men fetch firewood and grass?
The men only work in the fields, in Asaar and Aaavin they go to the fields early in the morning come home and eat. The women have to fetch water, grasses and firewood, clean the house and the yard, cook food, feed the children and the husband then only gets to eat.

Can you eat first and keep the food for your husband?
In my case, I can. My husband tells me to eat and keep the food for him, but in other families the husband will really get mad if his wife does that. He will blame the wife of eating more and keeping only a little. There they will fight and if the wife asks him why he didn't come till late he'll make excuses and say what can he do even he walked fast it took him so long.

And what about in the afternoon or evening?
There are people who go around the village in the evening, so the food has to be kept for them after it has been cooked but again the husband complains why the food was still there.

Can't the wife eat first when the husband is roaring all day?
There is no justice here, but to whom can we ask for help. People are doing and saying whatever they like.

Was it like this before also or did it start lately?
This has been like this since a long time back. If the old women had different practices it would be the same these days too, so this is a very old system.

Who differentiates the work of men and women?
If the father-in-law is at home he will differentiate the works and if there is mother-in-law then she will do it. They give orders to us to do different works. If the woman can do the work then she has to do it otherwise the man will do it.

What are the works that women can do?
The women can plant rice in Srawan, and harvest, cook and prepare seeds but we cannot... [inaudible part of tape] ...of salt or fertilisers and work in the fields in Asaar.

Does the daughter-in-law have to look after her parents-in-law?
They do but there are some who make them work too.

How do they treat that kind of daughter-in-law?
They have to treat her well too otherwise she might get mad and walk off leaving all the work to them.
Section 12
Does the husband also love her?
Sure they do, nowadays the man loves his wife more than his parents. If the wife is not loved then she will walk away so what can the parents do.

Is your husband like that?
No, my family is not like that, there is no discrimination at all. I am not the only one in the family, everybody has to get an equal share. There is no restriction in buying, giving and spending money.

In your opinion, how many families in this village have life like yours?
There are only a few families where women are as happy as their husbands.

How long do you think it will take for all to be like that?
It will take very long, maybe a lifetime. The people don't go anywhere they don't ask anybody, they just stay at home so where can they go and ask.

Why, the women can also go around and ask?
They could but they are not educated, when the educated women came before, it used to be the same, they will never improve their lives.

Why can't the women go around?
They can go, but if the husband blames her going around with others or men and if they don't deny it then she will have a hard life.

Can't the women say that if her husband can't take her she can go with others?
Why should she say such a thing, even if she says she won't go. If she is having such a hard life with her husband, she's going to have the same kind of life if she goes with the other. So they don't go, they stay back.

If the husband can marry again why can't the women do the same?
Even if others do such thing I won't do it.

What do you think that itís not right?
I think after the husband dies and you have children, I don't think its right to marry again and wear red sari, blouse and have other children.

Can't you wear a red blouse?
You can wear a red blouse but why do the women become a widow after her husband dies? Why do we have such custom?

So do you think itís good?
I think it is a bad practice to marry again. Because, we wear red clothes, tika and bangles but when you become a widow why do you have to get rid of all those things? We have been wearing all these things since we were born the only change or addition in the pote (necklace of beads) but why can't we wear them any more? Why do we have these customs?
Section 13
You mean you can't wear them again?
Can you? No, in our custom we cannot, we shouldn't. If we wear them again we cannot stay here, people will chase us away.

When the husband dies the woman has to get rid of those things and if the woman dies will the husband do the same?
No, he doesn't have to, but I feel we should have such rules for the men also. What is the reason behind staying a widow till you die? We could wear red sari, tika, bangles, etc. which we have been wearing since we were born, the only other thing we wear after getting married only is the pote, we can get rid of that pote and live as we used to! I wish the congress party would make such rules.

The men can marry again but the women cannot marry again after the wife or a husband dies, what do you think of this?
It's not that you can't marry again, people do get married again, but those who feel really bad after the spouse's death don't, there are two kinds of people.

Do you think that you should mourn his death throughout your life or you should be able to marry again?
I think the women should be able to marry again. But the custom won't let us. Because if you marry again you can wear whatever you like and if you get sick your husband will be there to look after your, but if you don't have your children and your husband you don't have anyone to depend on in your old days also. I wish the rules will change, the Tamangs can get married again, I feel happy for them.

Do you know who made these regulations?
I am sure itís the Chettris and Brahmins. The marriage of Tamang is easy, they just beat the drums and itís finished but in our marriages there are so much to do.

Are you satisfied with what you have to do in your marriages?
Yes, I am very much satisfied, because the Tamangs get married but the women don't get anything from their house, they get married in whatever clothes they had been wearing. In our customs we get many things from our parents and family from clothes to dishes to money but the Tamang girls don't even get clothes and dishes.

Do you think its right to get wealth from the girl's family?
Yes, the parents must give. If the sons can stay home and enjoy all the wealth and property why can't the daughter get a little from them? After all she is also a daughter.

It's all right if the woman has the right over what she got from her parents, but what if the husband takes over it?
Never, the woman always has the right, itís her father's wealth so she will always have the right.

So you can sell or give it to anyone?
Yes, whatever she got from her parents she can give or sell.
Section 14
That means you also plan to give your daughter quite a lot when she marries?
Yes, I must, I have only one daughter. If her brothers can enjoy the father's wealth and property my daughter also must get enough of it. I'm going to arrange everything for her and marry her to a sahu but not with a poor man.

Why do you want to give her to a rich man?
If she gets married to a poor man then she'll have to work for wages in the fields but if she gets a rich husband she can live an easy life just by leasing the land.

But you said that the women of rich families are not happy?
Yes, but only in a big family, but they will not stay together all the time. One day or the other they have to separate so if they have land they can either sell or lease and live easily. But if she marries a poor man without much land she'll have to work hard all the time and will never be happy. If the rich family is big, they have enough land and even if they're separate they can get a big share which they can utilise, but in the poor family she'll not get anything, so how can she make a good living. So she must marry a sahu.

Does the daughter have to marry?
It's not a must, if the girl is smart we don't have to get her married, but if she is meek and has bad campion (?) we must get her married.

Isn't it all right if the girl gets married with whomever she likes?
She can get married if she wants to, but the parents will feel that they couldn't get their daughter married to whom they liked. The people will talk if the marriage is inter-caste. The girl has to marry in the same caste. Yes its true that all are superior in their own caste but still we do not approve of inter-caste marriage. Like, Bimala got married to a Bhote but why wasn't her last rites done?

Maybe they did it by Bhote custom, the Ghewa?
That is their customs, but have you ever heard of Chettris and Brahmins doing Ghewa when people die?

To whom does the land and property belong to? Who deals with these things?
They all belong to men, the women don't have much.

Why aren't the land or property in women's names?
I don't know, we have to ask the office. They say that the women have to be 35 years old to have the property in their names.

Are they all eligible after they are 35 years old?
If the husband is alive then everything is in his name, but if the husband is dead she won't be eligible till she is 35.

Do you think itís right for the women to get the property only after her husband dies? Or should she get it before hand?
The wife should get her property when her husband is still alive, so that she can make her own living even if her husband leaves her or treats her badly, and she doesn't have to depend on anybody. It would be very convenient for the women. But till now we haven't heard any cases of any woman having the property in her name while the husband is alive, and after the husband dies she will get it only when she reaches 35 years.
Section 15
How would you feel if women can have these privileges before they are 35 years?
I feel that it should be 15 years of age rather than 35. It would be very convenient for us, we can do whatever we like with our property and make our life easier.

But you get food even everything's in your husband's name?
We get the food but we cannot sell our things.

What will you do when you sell your property? Maybe your children may not get anything in the future?
I mean, if you have lots of land and if the husband doesn't give any money then the woman can sell her property and do as she pleases. The land is property given to the woman by her parents and will remain in her name and she can sell it too, the husband will have nothing do with it.

When the husband is looking after the children and family why do the woman need wealth and property?
They do look after us, but some husbands sell the properties without their wives knowing and spend everything, then the children will not have anything. This has been going on for generations and generations but I feel at least the properties should be in both husbandís and wife's names, so that if the husband brings another woman or gives us hard time then we can sell whatever belongs to us and survive.

But if the husband doesn't care about you and you don't have any property in your name, what is happening nowadays?
In such cases they are fighting cases in the court. There is a case going in our own family. The husband has gone abroad and his brother doesn't give the land to his sister-in-law. The sister-in-law says that the land was given to her in her marriage, so she also should get something from it and the husband's brother says he will not give the land as long as his brother doesn't come back. They are fighting the case in court.

What if the woman sells all the property in her name and leaves?
No, it won't happen, maybe if the husband really doesn't care for her and gives her hard time, but not all will do such a thing. These are two kinds of them, but some women even with children leave her husband and family.

Why do you think the properties are not put in woman's name?
Maybe because they feel that the women will sell their property and leave.

Why do the women really sell the property, have they done it?
They why aren't they given their properties, there are some strong women who could definitely sell their properties and enjoy.

Do the men also sell the property to enjoy or not?
The gentle and sober won't but the ones who has to drink alcohol will certainly sell their properties. Itís the same with women too. If the woman doesn't like her husband and wants to go away with another man the she will sell her properties and leave.
Section 16
But if the properties are not in her name, how can she sell?