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Although there might be disagreements about each group's status within a caste structure, these are nevertheless based upon a shared cultural and ideological framework. Moreover, membership in a caste is not so much based on subjective identification as membership in an ethnic group, but it may be a social category one is ascribed to by others. Allen In India and Nepal "tribes" were distinguished from "Hindus" cf. Guneratne ; Bates The groups which consider themselves to be Adivaasi correspond thus to a large extent with those labelled "tribal".

A of groups within the hierarchy of the Muluki Ain the Matwalis are usually denoted as ethnic groups in the anthropological literature on Nepal. These groups were earlier talked about as "tribes". Half of the population in Nepal was described as "tribal", whereas the other half was described as "caste" or "Hindu" Guneratne There was, however, no traditional indigenous way of referring to the distinction between "caste", "Hindu" and "tribe", nor between "caste" and ethnic group. A common way for scholars to distinguish "tribes" from "castes", was in terms of social organisation.

Bailey ; Sinha ; Kolenda in the sense that they were not integrated with others in a caste system. Kolenda Furthermore, in contrast to the hierarchically ranked caste groups, "tribal" societies were considered to be egalitarian and undifferentiated cf. Unnithan Another criterion which frequently reappeared, refers to the treatment of women cf.

Female roles and statuses are often central when it comes to the ways in which members across and within "castes" and "tribes" describe themselves and others cf. Many scholars have ordered "caste" and "tribal" modes of organisation chronologically, and described in an evolutionary perspective the process whereby a "tribe" became a "caste" cf. The idea was that the "tribe" existed first, but as Hindu village life was established, the tribe became a caste. This evolutionary dichotomy has been abandoned, and it is now common to consider castes and tribes as of a continuum rather than separate dichotomies Gellner Tribes, castes and ethnic groups coexist, and they even coexist within one and the same community, such as the Santal cf.

Orans The Hindu-tribal synthesis, Sharma points out, is a fact of Nepal's historicity. When it comes to the term "indigenous peoples" as a self-chosen form of identity, it is largely a result of its currency in contemporary international legal and institutional activities cf. Gray et al. After the Indian independence, for instance, various systems of reservations for low castes, tribes and other "backward" castes and classes have been introduced.

This is known as the Indian quota system. The Tharus in India were given special treatment according to the various classifications made by the authorities. Inthey were classified as a "scheduled caste", whereas in they were categorised as a "backward class". Sincethe Tharus - together with five other "tribes" in Uttar Pradesh - were declared an indigenous people and "scheduled tribe" Adivaasi.

The Tharus of Champaran India first refused to be labelled Adivaasi but later saw the advantage by being classified as such Guneratne Many other so-called "tribes" have started to call themselves Adivaasi and mobilised politically into what is known as the Adivaasi movements. The term "indigenous" is a political category cf. Grayand we have to understand the term as "a political tool operating as an imperative term within a growing social movement" ibid.

In order to prove their Adivaasi status, it has become important to the Tharu elite to trace a non-Hindu and thereby "tribal" past. A "new" myth of origin has therefore come in as an important argument, and the Tharu elite go back to old written sources where Tharus have been represented as a "primitive tribe" which was not yet "Hinduised". I will discuss this in Chapter 6. The eclectic nature of Hinduism, however, makes it difficult to distinguish Adivaasi communities from Hindu peasant communities in terms of their religion cf.

Batessee also Chapter 6. Many Adivaasis were once regarded as Hindus, and only because they found it advantageous, started to call themselves Adivaasis Sinha ; Bates Barth has pointed to the important role global discourses have come to play in processes of identity formation. When, for instance, indigenous people struggle in order to achieve a negotiating position, it is very often global discourses which define the arena cf.

Barth Ethnic revitalisation and ethnopolitical mobilisation are often of globalisation and processes of modernisation, understood as the importance of capitalism, the overarching role of bureaucratic institutions and the growth of mass education Eriksen See also Gellner ; Smith ; Anderson And changes in ethnic identity are often precipitated by radical changes in the political contexts in which people live cf.

Keyes a After the political and democratic shift in it has become possible and meaningful for Tharus and other communities in Nepal to link themselves to external global discourses, such as the ones on human rights and indigenous peoples' rights. A democratic system has also made it possible to form organisations based on ethnic principles.

With its political and legal implications, the concept adivaasi has become useful for political actors. The term tribe, which denotes a culturally distinct and localised, territory-bound group, does not have the same political and legal implications. The Tharus have been described according to the various understandings of the term.

Jaatin other words, is a problematic concept which needs clarification. Guneratne suggests to replace the word jaat with the term ethnic group Guneratne As they were laid down in the Muluki Ain, the jaat were not based on subjective identification. Although some jaats may be called ethnic groups, I find it problematic to start calling all of them ethnic groups. Subjective identification is crucial for membership in an ethnic group cf. That means to be "conscious of a solidarity due to a mostly mythical common ancestry and of sharing specific linguistic and cultural phenomena" ibid.

The ethnonym Tharu, as it was used in the terminology of the Muluki Ainrepresented the Tharus as a single caste, but this was not based on subjective identification, or dialectical or cultural features. Some of the effects of the Muluki Ain was, to quote Andersonthat it made it possible to "say of anything that it was this, not that; it belonged here, not there" ibid. Although a collective pan-Tharu identity, one may argue, dates from the time of the Muluki Ainit rests to be seen whether this identity becomes internalised as an ethnic identity most Tharus will identify with.

Whether the Tharus are transforming from various distinct castes into an ethnic group is the problem I will discuss in this thesis. To what extent is a process of ethnic incorporation taking place among the various Tharu groups in the Tarai? I will attempt to answer this by tracing the different ways in which identity is formed and expressed among the Tharus living in Kailali district and relate this to the formation of various ethno-political organisations.

Due to the large-scale immigration of Pahaaris people from the adjacent hill districtsas well as by Tharus from the districts to the east, Kailali has become an "ethnic cauldron". In addition to the theoretical interests, there were also some practical considerations involved with my choice of fieldsite. The Nepalese antropologist Ganesh Man Gurung, see acknowledgements had earlier done fieldwork among the Tharus in Kailali, and he knew many people there.

I had also been in Kailali during my visit in Nepal inwhere I had met "Madame", 16 the Danish woman who for many years worked at the eye hospital near Dhangadhi, the administrative centre of Kailali district. This hospital was for long run by the Norwegian Church Aid. I was curious to see whether such a Tharu-based organisation would stimulate the development of a Tharu ethnic consciousness and thereby help in the formation of a collective ethnic identity see e.

Eidheim Arrival and Choice of Fieldsite. It was in the middle of the rainy season, and due to the unhealthy climate as well as communication problems, we decided not to go down to the Tarai. Another and more important reason for staying in Kathmandu, however, was to acquire some basic knowledge of Nepali. Together with Tove, I had private lessons with a Nepali teacher every morning. And at Tribhuvan University, I found Tharu and other relevant literature which had not been available in Norway.

In late September Tove and I arrived at the airport outside Dhangadhi. Ganesh and discrete sex chat in sarki khel of his local friends were waiting for us, and, together with them, we visited several villages near Dhangadhi the next couple discrete sex chat in sarki khel days. However, we came to know about a BASE office nearby the eye hospital. The head of this BASE office, who was very helpful, took me around to several such villages the following day.

I finally decided to settle in Geti, the neighbouring village of the hospital. In this village, there were two BASE classes running in the evenings; one for women and one for boys. Inhabited by Dangoras, Ranas and Pahaaris, Geti mirrored the "ethnic cauldron" already mentioned. To me, therefore, Geti seemed to be just the village "I needed". In order to get better access to the Rana Tharus in Geti, I thought it was necessary to stay in a Rana house, and I moved into a Rana family of altogether 16 members.

The houshold was known as Gorya ghar Gorya house and consisted of a senior couple, their two sons with their wives and children. Gorya ghar belonged to one of the better-off Rana families and was located near to three other Rana houses. The other neighbours were Brahmins, and one house was inhabited by Dangoras. I thought that it would be good for the focus of my study to live in an area where several jaats were settled. The elected representative of the village, a Dangora Tharu by the name of Basu Dev Chaudhary, had insisted to negotiate about the rent and to help me in other matters.

According to Basu Dev, I could not eat with this family, so I had to find another place to eat. He immediately offered me to eat in his home. Basu Dev is a religious devotee bhagat. As the Tharus are known for their liberal food and drinking habits, I was afraid that too close a relationship with bhagats would have negative impact for my study. Instead of eating in Basu Dev's house, I discrete sex chat in sarki khel to eat in the house of one of the Dangora girls working at the hospital.

I thought it was a good starting point to have established my two "homes" among different Tharu groups, and that this would make my access more smooth and easy. Living in a house does not automatically imply access and acceptance. And when it comes to the first period in my Rana home, this was not dominated by "inclusion". One reason for this was my lack of knowledge of the local Rana language. By the time I moved into Geti, I could to some extent manage without an interpreter and "speak directly with the people" in Nepali cf.

Srinivas But that did not help me much since many Tharus did not seem to understand my Nepali. None of the women in my Rana house, for instance, knew Nepali, a language which they referred to as pahaari bolii Pahaari language. This was not so strange, since they all came from Rana villages in India. The old mother, whom I hereafter will refer to as aya the Rana term for motherwas from a Rana village near the border.

In the beginning, therefore, the women were talking about me - not to me - something which made me feel ill at ease. The two sons spoke Nepali fluently, but since they were busy in the fields, they were hardly at home. It was therefore not too difficult for me to learn some basic phrases. I could thus understand what people were talking about, and I was also able to say a few sentences myself. Although I never became fluent in the Rana language, my effort was important in the sense that I managed to "break the ice".

I quickly experienced a change in the women's attitude towards me and felt more accepted. When the Ranas used words and expressions that I did not understand, there would usually be someone who found a Nepali equivalent, or a Nepali-speaking person who could translate. Participation and Discrete sex chat in sarki khel, Watching and Listening.

In participant observation, "the rule of method becomes the plastic, spontaneous faculty of application" Skar It is commonly stated that a fieldworker is varyingly "observing" and "participating". My fieldwork was no exception from this rule - hence a mix of participation and observation, watching and listening. I did, for instance, not work in the fields. My Rana family told me that it was too heavy work for me, and they also thought that I might hurt myself on the scythe.

And, I have to admit, that after I tried this hard work, I was quite happy to refrain from such activity. It is only during the busiest agricultural periods that most people are in the fields, and even during these peak seasons somebody has to stay at home to cook and look after the youngest children. The women and the out-of-school children were usually at home, and the women would frequently sit down to talk and smoke. Sometimes I would help them with minor tasks, such as to carry oil seeds and vegetables up on the roof to dry, or to sweep the courtyard.

During festivals, my role as participant was more dominant. At Dashain, an important festival celebrated by the Dangoras, I dressed like a Dangora girl and danced with the Dangora girls. The same was the case with the Ranas during their Holi celebration. Thanks to my camera and tape recorder, I became a kind of village reporter, whose presence was wanted in weddings, funerals, ritual celebrations and village meetings. And if I had taped a meeting, the villagers wanted to listen to it at once.

Contexts are emphasised as the crucial "thing" in ethnographic research, because contexts are so important for understanding "ongoing life" cf. Hastrupmy translation. To better understand "ongoing life", it is important to inscribe oneself into "otherness". Such an inscription is what deserves the term participation Hastrup In order to grasp reality, it is therefore necessary to have experienced it, and herein, Hastrup emphasises, lies the concrete challenge of the ethnographer.

The study of ethnicity implies a study of the social contexts for inclusion and exclusion. This was something I felt and experienced myself throughout my fieldwork. Some of the first things I did after I had moved into Geti, was to visit each house in the village in order to get an idea of its size and "ethnic" composition.

This was a good opprtunity to introduce myself to the villagers as well, and it was also important for my own feeling that I actually did something. I presented myself as a student who had come to learn about the Tharus and village life in general, and that I was interested in BASE and its activities. My presence in the BASE classes made me familiar with the curriculum used and the issues taken up for discussions.

Through the classes, I came to know many of the women, something which made my access to their homes and families fairly smooth and easy. I also have to say something about the time-span of my fieldwork. The thesis is based on three visits stretching over a period from August to April The most extensive fieldwork was done during an month period, during which I mostly stayed in Geti village.

These elections, however, gave me an opportunity to observe how "the local" was linked to larger, national issues. Thus, some of the ideas I had made after my first field visit had to be modified. The third and last visit was made in the period from January to mid-April Because of illness, I missed the programme itself, but the changes I noticed in the Tharu villagers, as well as the reactions and feelings they expressed, made me revise some earlier made conclusions.

This also made me conscious about the importance "events" and matters from "outside" have on locals - even in so-called remote areas. During my three visits, I realised the limits inherent in a time- and space-bound study like mine. Societies are in constant flux, and my interpretation is the result of my interaction with "my" informants, which took place at a specific time and in particular contexts cf. Geertz At the end it only rests to emphasise that all understanding is partial, and my understanding is no exception from this rule.

Multi-Levelled Linkages. In our attempt to understand and explain processes of ethnic identity formation, it is necessary to compare social interaction on a local level with national and global discourses and ideologies cf. I will discrete sex chat in sarki khel briefly say something about my approaches and techniques to the other levels I am discussing in this thesis: the pan-Tharu movement as well as the national indigenous movement. The empirical material from these levels does not come from long-term fieldwork, and it has therefore certain flaws and limitations.

The material which I use in my analysis is mainly based upon ideological formulations and public rhetorical statements by politically active people. During my stays in Kathmandu, I met and interviewed many of the actors who are involved in the national indigenous movement. These were both representatives of the ethnic umbrella organisation, the Janjaati Mahasanghas well as representatives of other "ethnic organisations". These actors are internationally oriented, and they express their ideas in English-written newspapers and magazines.

Some of them also write books and pamphlets in English. I was thus able to follow the discourse through secondary sources as well. But the majority of these activists I met during pan-Tharu conferences and meetings - arenas for the Tharu elite and the various Tharu organsiations. Next to the wide range of delegates I met and talked to there, I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to "ordinary people" who were not - to use Handler's expression - "professional ideologues" cf. Handler Such a combination of remarks made by "professional ideologues" and those made by ordinary people therefore gave me an opportunity to grasp the complexities and variations in "ethnic commitment".

In addition to the process of "watching and listening", my material is also based on several informal interviews with government officials at various offices in Kailali district. Next discrete sex chat in sarki khel the various British GazetteersKrauskopff's ethno-historical studies of the Tharus and the Tarai have been of vital importance to me. Although hardly anything has been written in English about the history of Kailali district, a Nepalese historian has recently written a paper placing Kailali in a larger historical context.

Visits at Lucknow University and Kumanyu University in Nainital made available most of what has been written about the Tharus in India, also more recent studies. In connection with the question about the Tharu origin, which has become an important issue to the elite, I visited several places in Rajasthan and was able to talk with historians at the City Palace in Udaipur, as well as at the University of Udaipur. Last, but not least, a three-day Tharu Seminar which was arranged in Junebrought together old and young "Tharu scholars" from several countries.

This seminar has been very illuminating for my own study. The focus of my thesis is on the Tharus, an indigenous 20 people of the Nepalese lowland Tarai. The "enigmatic Tharus" cf. According to the population census ofthere are 1. As an ethnic category, the Tharus are among the largest in Nepal's multiethnic population and numerically ranked as fourth among the ten major population groups. With a few exceptions, the great majority of the Nepalese people live in well-defined, specific geographic regions Bista Tharus, who are found all over the Tarai belt, make up about ten per cent out of the total Tarai population of approximately ten million.

Map 1. Tarai Districts.

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The Nepalese Tarai, bordering West Bengal in the east and Uttar Pradesh in the west, is a vaste area more than km long. The width varies between 50 and 90 km. The Tarai includes 20 of Nepal's 75 districts see map 1. The Nepalese Tarai is commonly divided into two zones, an inner zone known as bhitra madhes inner Tarai and an outer zone, the extension of the Indo-Gangetic plains, known as madhes cf.

Krauskopff a; Guneratne There is no geographical barrier between India and the outer zone. The Tharus are settled on both the Indian and the Nepalese side of the border, most of them in Nepal. The valleys of the inner Tarai are placed between the Siwalik hills also known as Suriya and the Mahabharata range, and they form a geographical transition between the plains and the hills.

The Tarai - the term used geographically on this part of the rain-forested plains - is a Hindi word meaning "feverish land" Krauskopff a. Sever traces the origin of the word Tarai to a Persian word, meaning "damp". Both etymological sources, derived either from Hindi "feverish" or Persian "damp", illustrate clearly the negative associations which for long were given this area.

But the Tarai has changed drastically over the last years, both ecologically and with regard to its population. What until the s was known to be a malarious rain forest area, with wild tigers, boars and snakes Hamilton Buchanan ; Crookehas today become the breadbasket of Nepal. Among the main crops grown are rice, sugar cane, wheat, corn, pulses and mustard. Tobacco and jute are also grown, and there is a great variety of forest products.

Settlement and clearing of forest land in the Tarai started early in the 19th century Cederrothbut the Tarai remained a "remote area" cf. Ardener in a national context, and a place most people were reluctant to move into. In order to increase tax revenues, which was the only income source for the government, the authoritarian Rana regime decided to populate the Tarai area.

First, they invited people from India to settle, and many Indian peasants from Bihar - for instance, the Yadav one of the politically most important castes in Bihar - settled and cleared the forest in the eastern parts of the Tarai Ghimire Criminals and runaway slaves were entitled to freedom if they settled and started to clear land in the Tarai. This settlement strategy, which was one of the first attempts to "nepalise" the Tarai region, was related to the government's concern to secure Nepal's independence from British India.

The early tax collectors in the Tarai, called chaudharyswere responsible for tax collecting in large administrative units, known as pargannas. The chaudharys, who were recruited from local elites, had a five-year contract from the government to collect taxes from a group of villages. A new tax-collecting system known as the jimidaari system 22 was introduced during Jang Bahadur Rana's rule in cf.

Cederroth The post of jimidaar was given to a chosen person, responsible for one village which had to give a fixed amount to the tax revenue office annually. After this fixed sum was paid, the surplus was the tax collector's own, and tax collectors would often become big and powerful landowners jamindaars cf. But because of malaria, very few landowners lived permanently in the Tarai, and a system of absentee landownership developed, where landowners came down to the Tarai only for a couple of months to collect the revenue from their tenants.

The Tarai was a popular hunting reserve for the ruling elite in Kathmandu, who often spent several months every year hunting there Sever ; Guneratne During these hunts, local people had to assist as porters, elephant riders or in other labour-intensive activities. The country was opened up to foreigners, who were eager to start development projects in this poor country, which they nevertheless considered as a Shangri-La. The jimidaar system was abolished with the land reform ofa reform which allowed landowners in the Tarai to own not more than 25 bigha of agricultural land.

In order to politically integrate the Tarai people into the monarchy-led panchayat system, a government-implemented programme of resettling the Tarai with Nepali-speaking people started. The result was a "decade of destruction" of the Tarai cf. Mishra Large-scale migration from the neighbouring hill districts by hill people who were considered to be more loyal to the monarchy was encouraged. Ex-servicemen who had retired from the British-Indian and Nepalese armies, were especially encouraged to settle in the border areas.

This, the government thought, would prevent the Tarai forests from being used as "sanctuary for arms raids and other political activities" Ghimire According to the population census inthe Tarai had With its subtropical climate and rich and fertile soil, the Tarai has 57 per cent of Nepal's cultivated land and provides 60 per cent of the country's total production.

It is estimated that by the year61 per cent of Nepal's population will be settled in the Tarai, and "this shift will discrete sex chat in sarki khel Nepal from a classic mountain economy into a predominantly flat, subtropical and urban nation". Himal Sept. Cultivated fields and grassland dominate most of the former rainforest. The deforestation has been enormous and rapid.

Whereas in about half of the total Tarai area was covered with forests, only one-fifth was forested in And today, there is hardly any forest left Jhaquoted in Gurung Most of the still existing forest is in the far west region, for instance in Kailali, which has 20 per discrete sex chat in sarki khel of the country's forest Gurung The population increase in the Tarai is, therefore, not just a spontaneous response of the land-hungry peasants of Nepal, but a state-implemented process.

Through a systematic resettlement of the Pahaari or hill people, the state attempted to culturally and ethnically transform this part of the country. This has been termed "Pahaarisation" Shrestha The Population in Tarai. The Tarai is today a mosaic of different population groups. Pahaari is a term used about the people traditionally settled in the hills pahaar.

The hilly nature is also commonly used as a metaphor for "the real Nepal". Madhesi means simply a person living in the lowlands, madhesbut refers to people of Indian origin. Madhesi has today negative connotations, and the term is very often associated with illegal immigrants from India. There is a strong feeling among Madhesis that they are treated as second-class citizens.

The Madhesis are composed of various groups. There are Muslims and high-caste Hindus, as well as the various occupational caste groups. According to Dahalthere are more than 30 different jaats among the Madhesi Hindus. The Muslims as well as the occupational castes are settled all over the Tarai belt ibid. The Adivaasi indigenous groups of the Tarai are settled in various geographical areas. Like the Muslims and the occupational caste groups, Tharus are settled all over the Tarai belt and they form the numerically dominant Adivaasi group in the Tarai cf.

Dahal ; Harka Gurung The major languages spoken in the Tarai are Maithili 2. Maithili and its various dialects are dominant in the far east. Bhojpuri prevails in the central Tarai, whereas Awadhi is restricted to the far west. Various Tharu languages are spoken all over the Tarai region, but they are much influenced by the three languages mentioned above.

Other languages spoken are Urdu in the west, Hindi in the central and Bengali in the east. They out most of the Tarai "tribal" languages cf. Gurung Table 1. The non-Pahaari Population of the Tarai. Madhesi Caste groups. Madhesi groups 17. When dealing with the Tarai people, it is important to keep in mind the migration factor Krauskopff a. Because of wars, natural catastrophes and sometimes by order of the local kings, the population in the Tarai has been constituted by incessable migrations in search of new land.

The Tharus also have a past characterised by migration, enforced by the deforestation which took place during the last years. Already inNesfield pointed out the consequences the rapid deforestation had for the Tharus in India : "Since the advent of British rule, the forest has been disappearing with surprising rapidity, and the Tharus have retired closer than ever to the Naipal mountain" Nesfield And Nesfield argues that the migration of the Tharus from Gonda district to Nepal started about a century earlier, i.

As a whole, the Tharus from east to west are composed of various endogamous groups with different cultural practices and languages. In the classificatory system laid down in the Muluki Ain ofthese various groups were subsumed under the general term Tharu and placed among the lowest of the pure jaats cf. Traditionally, the various Tharu groups looked upon each other as different from each other, and the different Tharu languages are often mutually unintelligible Bista ; Guneratne There is, as we will shortly see, also a great variation in the way the various Tharu groups have integrated into mainstream Nepalese Hindu society.

This cultural and linguistic variety, as well as the various Tharu groups' tendency to mutually exclude each other, makes it problematic to talk about the Tharu people as one ethnic group or ethnie Krauskopff a. I will now take the readers on a journey from Mechi to Mahakali, through the land of the Tharus. The main purpose for doing so is to place the various groups in their geographical and historical context, as well as to give the readers an idea of the variety existing within the people known as Tharu.

The East-West Highway Purba-Paschim Rajmarg links the various parts of the Tarai together, and I will start the journey by the border of Mechi river in the far eastern district of Jhapa. I will follow the much-used division of the Tarai belt into three parts: East, Central and West. Almost half of the Tharu population Approximately one third Entering the Nepalese border town Kakarbhitta from the Indian state of West Bengal, brings the visitor to one of the most densely populated areas of the Tarai.

According to Dahalthe Tharus in this eastern part are the numerically dominant group in Sunsari and Bara districts only, whereas Muslims and Yadavs, as well as different Pahaari groups dominate the other eastern Tarai districts. In the districts of Sarlahi, Mahotari and Dhanusa, there are only 20, Tharus. Further east, in Siraha and Saptari, the Tharu population is 82, whereas in Sunsari and Morang, the districts east of Kosi river, the of Tharus isGurung The east has been politically and economically the most important part of the region and also the country's most important area next to Kathmandu Sever ; Guneratne Already years ago, Prime Minister Jang Bahadur Rana made efforts to increase his tax revenue from the eastern part of the Tarai, which was the most productive part of the region.

Large yields, for instance, came from the districts of Morang, Saptari and Mahottari Stiller quoted in Deuel and Meyer Inthe rent for pastures in Morang district gave the Nepalese government a revenue of Rs. Singh Most social and structural changes in the Tarai started in the east. When, for instance, the Rana rulers decided to have a regular police force in the Tarai inthey started with Birgunj district now Bara. Ina telephone line was established between Kathmandu and Birgunj Severand Nepal's only short railway line was also in this part.

This stretch connected Nepal with the Indian railway network, and was important for the trade between the two countries. The Biratnagar jute mill factory was responsible for Nepal's main export to India. Situated near West Bengal and Calcutta, the eastern Tarai was also important in a political sense.

Supporters of the Nepali National Congress a pro-democratic movement much influenced by its Indian counterpart were detained in Biratnagar, Birgunj and Janakpur in The Koirala family lived near Biratnagar and was a driving force in the formation of the Nepali National Congress. Later, two of Nepal's prime ministers discerte from this Koirala family. The industry in the Tarai experienced instances of labour unrest as well, and 10, workers were striking at the Biratnagar Jute Mill in Apart from Tharus and other native Tarai peoples, many Indian immigrants have settled here the last years.

The great famine in the adjacent district of Bihar infollowed by other natural calamities, led to a huge immigration from the Indian side Guneratne; Deuel and Meyer According to the census ofthe Tharu population is absent in some of kjel eastern districts. The classification in Hcat censuses is based on languages, and after Nepali, Maithili is the language chwt frequently used in the central and eastern Tarai regions Dahal Due to intense settlement of Bhojpuri- and Maithili-speaking groups of Indian origin, 80 to 90 per cent of the people in these eastern districts regard Maithili chatt Bhojpuri as their mother tongues.

The large population of Tharus in the dicsrete Tarai is often forgotten. It was the image of the Tharu in the far west that came to represent Tharus as a whole Guneratne Unlike many other jaats in Nepal, there are not many Tharus who actually use the category Tharu when they refer to themselves. Bista mentions several different names used by the Tharus in the east, who today are collectively known as Kochilas. Chaudhary was a title originally given the land revenue collector in the Tarai.

The high status accorded the Chaudhary title resulted in kbel process of "Chaudharisation" among Tharus all over the Tarai. The Tharus' close contact with high-caste Hindus was followed by an emulation of high-caste values Bista Bista described "a wave of reform" taking place among educated young Tharus, who "changed their food habits, reformed their religious practices and introduced cat education" ibid. Bista also mentioned the Tharu Welfare Society - an organisation which encouraged education among the Tharus and provided hostels in Birgunj for school children and students of both sexes.

See Chapter 5. As a result of this long tradition of modernisation, many Tharus in the east are today working as schoolteachers, in public administration or in other white-collar jobs. They do not till their own land, and, often, the low-caste group of Musahaars literally rat eaterswho are migrants from India, work as day labourers on many of the Tharu landowners' fields.

These Musahaars, according to Deuel and Meyerare in many cases indebted to their Tharu landlords. This, they point out, is the reverse of the situation in the western part of the Tarai, where Tharus are often found as bonded labourers kamaiyas to high-caste landlords. The eastern Tarai has many places of religious and mythical importance.

Janakpur in Dhanusha is the birthplace of Sita, the faithful wife of Rama and the main protagonist in the great Hindu epos, the Ramayana Valmiki, BC. The temples of Rama and Janaki in Janakpur are holy places commonly visited by pilgrims. The Tharus in the east have been integrated into Nepalese mainstream society for quite a long time. They speak Nepali, dress in the same type of clothes which are common in most of Nepal, and live in multi-caste villages where they participate in and share the same rituals as elsewhere in mainstream Nepal Guneratne The district of Chitwan in the western part of the Narayani zone, together with the districts of Navalparasi, Rupandehi and Kapilvastu in the Lumbini zone, make up the central part of the Tarai.

A common name for the Tharus of Chitwan and Navalparasi is, according to GuneratneChitwaniya. The National Park - established in - covers more than 1, km2 of the forests and grasslands. These natural resources have been withdrawn from use by the local population, and the Tharus are those who have been mainly affected by the loss of these forests and grasslands cf. InChitwan was characterised as "the fever hell of Nepal", where "human beings are living, but they are starving apparently between life and death" cf.

See also Guneratne When the official programme of "Pahaarisation" started, 34 the first resettlement was established in the Chitwan Rapti valley in There are many examples of how this resettlement system was exploited by landowning Pahaaris in order to acquire large land tracts in the Tarai. The construction of an irrigation canal in the s, as well as ro which made access to markets easier Ghimire quoted by Skar gave further strength to Pahaari exploitation.

Some Pahaaris also encroached illegally upon Tharu-owned land, which they later were able to register in their own chzt. The Tharu farmers thus became losers in a system which was implemented by the Government. A result of this is therefore a conflict between the indigenous Tharus and the estate-owning Pahaaris cf. In Kapilvastu district, west of Rupandehi, lies Butwal, which is the third biggest town in Nepal and also an important trade centre.

Kathariya Tharus are settled in the area from the central Tarai and Gorakhpur in India all the way westwards to Kailali Krauskopff a. The Kathariya Tharus are divided into two mutually exclusive groups; "the sxe ones", called Pachal and "the eastern ones", called Purbya Krauskopff a. The western part of the Tarai consists of four zones - Rapti, Bheri, Seti and Karnali - and Nepal ends in the west by the border town Banbasa near the Mahakali river.

The neighbouring district west of Kapilvastu is Dang-Deukheri, the place of origin of the largest Tharu group in the west, the Dangora Tharu. Dangora is a term derived from Bhojpuri and means "Tharu from Dang" Krauskopff a. The East-West Highway crosses through the more fertile valley of Deukheri through which the river Rapti flows. The Deukheri valley is situated at an altitude of about m, and was, according to Krauskopff apopulated later than Dang.

The Tharus of Dang-Deukheri consider themselves to be of the same group. Krauskopff notes, however, that there are several differences between the Tharus of the two valleys, especially when it comes to social and economic issues. Tharus in Deukheri, for instance, tend to be richer and more powerful in their discrefe with the Pahaaris.

And the relationship between inherited priests and clients which is so fundamental in Dang, does not viscrete in Deukheri. These differences, Krauskopff notes, do not prevent these Tharus from considering themselves as one group. Mhel Dangoras are originally from the valleys of Dang and Deukheri, kbel today we find them in all the five far western districts, as well as in the Gonda and Bahraich districts of India Krauskopff a; Guneratne Due to immigration from the neighbouring districts, deforestation and natural calamities, Tharus in Dang-Deukheri have faced severe problems, the most severe probably being bonded labour.

Coxevery bonded labourer in the far west is Sakri. And of the landlords, 97 per cent were twice-born Pahaaris Brahmins, Chhetris or Thakuris. A massive outmigration of Dangoras from Dang-Deukheri and westwards has taken place. The last years, 6, Dangoras have migrated westwards from Dang valley Gunreratne From having formed a vast majority in Dang, the Dangora Tharus suddenly comprised only about 45 per cent of the total population cf.

McDonaugh a. Due to this migration, the increase in the Tharu population in the western districts of Kailali, Bardiya and Banke has been more than 22 per cent. The Dangoras are the largest Tharu group in the far west, and make dsicrete approximately 70 per cent of the total Tharu population Krauskopff a. According to Harka Gurungmost of the Tharus in the far west are settled in Kailali district. In Bardiya, theTharus make up Their linguistic and cultural practices resemble the Dangoras in Dang Krauskopffprivate conversationeven though the Dessaria Tharus I talked to in Bardiya claimed that they were a different jaat.

The main Tharu groups in the far west mentioned so srx, seem to be related to the Dangoras further east. There are, however, other Tharu groups in the west. According to Krauskopff a these Kathariyas are different from the Kathariyas in the Butwal area, and have several common features with the Rana Tharus of west Kailali and Kanchanpur, such as the female dress and the house style. The name Kathariya is probably derived from their occupation of bringing wood kaath on the rivers down to India Deuel and Meyer Bardiya district ends by the Karnali river, where Kailali district starts.

For a long time, the Rana Tharus were the best known Tharu group in an ethnographic context. Rana Tharus in India chhat been mentioned in literature e. The Rana Tharus came in many ways to represent the Tharu as a whole. The former malaria-infested Tarai has in short time changed into the breadbasket of Nepal. From originally being inhabited by malaria-resistant "tribes", such as the Sexx, the Tarai is today an ethnic cauldron.

The population increase has been tremendous. This has not been just a spontaneous response of the land-hungry peasants of Nepal, but a systematic state-implemented process commonly known as Pahaarisation cf. Shrestha In this chapter I have described how the changes affected the Tharus all over the Tarai. Tharus form the numerically dominant Adivaasi group in this part of the country.

The Tharus as a whole consist of various endogamous groups with little in common in a cultural and linguistic sense. In order to better understand this cultural diversity within the Tharu population, I made a travel over the Tarai belt and placed the various groups in their particular historical and geographical context. The various parts of the Tarai have played different roles in a national sense.

The east, for instance, was an important part of the region, both politically and economically, and the Tharus in this part, have for long been influenced by Nepalese mainstream culture. Since the eradication of malaria started in the s, as well as the establishment of the Royal Chitwan National Park, the discrette pattern in the central part of the Tarai has totally changed. Various development programmes, next to the tourist business, encouraged a lot of Pahaaris to sarkj there.

Because of problems faced in the valleys of Dang and Deukheri, the Dangora Tharus migrated westwards. This migration has led to an increase in the Tharu sfx of the far western districts. The Dangoras today out the original Tharu inhabitants of the far west - the Rana Tharus. I will in the next chapter introduce you to the far western district of Kailali and take a closer look at the Tharus of the "Far West".

Map 2. Until the creation of modern Nepal, most of dicrete Tarai was divided between its neighbouring hill principalities cf. Krauskopff a; Subediand revenues had to be paid to the different hill kings raajas. Kailali was under control of the various kingdoms in the Karnali region, and the disrcete kingdom of Doti administered and collected revenues here in a period before unification. Because of the trade which took place between the hill kingdom and the plains, there were several important centres in Kailali Subedi The far west never had the same importance for Nepal as the eastern part of the Tarai.

Ardener While travelling through Kailali district, a feeling of "remoteness" is certainly still salient. Even though a big new bridge has recently replaced the former tow-ferry, the Kailali part of the East-West Highway goes through jungles and a rocky landscape. During the rainy season, there is no link between this part and the rest of Nepal. Communication east-west is very difficult, and in order to go to Kathmandu, people have to travel through India.

The population structure here, like elsewhere in the Tarai, has changed drastically in recent years. Krauskopff a pointed to the fluctuation which characterised the Tarai people discerte their settlement pattern. Many stories I discrete sex chat in sarki khel confirm this fluctuation and instability. Sometimes the population pattern of a village changed totally because of out- and in-migration.

I will just mention two examples which illustrate how the settlement of two villages changed in a few years' time. East of Dhangadhi, the administrative centre of Kailali district, there is a village called Chaumala, which a few years ago was a Rana village of houses. Today there are no Rana houses left, and Chaumala is today inhabited mostly by Pahaaris and a couple of Dangoras. The same is the case with Malakheti, a village west of Dhangadhi. A former Rana settlement is today inhabited by Pahaaris.

Natural Resources and Deforestation. This former jungle area has seen an enormous deforestation, which, according to Ghimirehas been mainly politically sarik. UntilKailali had abundant forests, and in order to get land cleared, the government started to pay people 10, rupees pr. If more than one unit was cleared, a five years' tax exemption was given Gurung What is at present the big road leading from the border checkpoint Mohana near Dhangadhi, was a couple of decades ago covered by forest and renowned for all the tigers.

Another massive deforestation took place in the years between and Lots of people were engaged in the timber export to India, an export which was deemed illegal in In the period before the referendum in41 political leaders of the panchayat system were allowed to export timber so that they could finance their election campaign. A heavy deforestation also took place during the construction of the East-West Highway in All the forest in Kailali is state-owned, and nobody is today allowed to cut trees for their own use.

If a person is caught in illecal cutting, he is either fined or jailed, and there are 74 armed forest guards, known as bal bhutti, controlling the forests Gurung These bal bhuttis are known for taking bribes. A replanting project has recently been implemented, and - according to the DFO in Dhangadhi - about 1, to 2, hectares of trees have been planted.

There is a district-based research committee which makes decisions in relation to the planting of new dicsrete. As mentioned in the chapter, the Tarai was a popular hunting ground for the ruling elite, a place where they could hunt for big game, such as rhino, tiger, deer, sloth bear and elephant. Due to the deforestation, some of these species lost their habitat - hence the government saw the need to establish reserves and national parks.

Cuat the Nepalese part of the Tarai, there are today three national parks: in Chitwan, Bardiya and Kanchanpur. Across the border, in Kheri district in India, there is a national park called Dudwa. The Tarai nevertheless still has an abundant fauna, but according to Krauskopff c; a hunting was of almost no importance to the Dangora Tharu economy, an economy which was primarily based on farming and fishing.

Some Tharus would put up traps for rats and various birds, but otherwise hunting was not a main activity. Srivastavaon the other hand, described the Rana Tharus in Nainital as great hunters, and he listed the many and various hunting techniques and utensils used by them. In the far west, I heard rumours of people illegally hunting species such as jungle fowl and jungle cow nil gai. There is often big money involved in these illegal hunts. Tharus in my village of residence, however, told me that hunting was not very common nowadays.

I never saw any adult men go hunting, but children would set up traps for birds, and many young and old would set up traps for the big rats musa usually found in the fields. Fishing, on the other hand, is an important and a popular activity, and the fishing nets and techniques among the Tharus are many. The whole year, people can go fishing in the rivers, and during and right after the monsoon, people even catch small fish cyat their fields.

Big nets are cast into the larger rivers, whereas smaller lift nets are used for fishing in irrigation canals and small streams. Other nets and techniques are also common. The forest is often used for collecting berries, fruits and honey. During the season, people can collect wild papaya and mangoes from the trees which grow in huge quantities. Medicinal plants are also collected, and Dangoras use a particular leaf for making eating-plates and cups.

Grass for house construction as well as reeds for mat- rope- and basket-making are also collected. The soil is generally fertile, and now that irrigation has become more common, water does not seem to be a big problem. Migration and Population Pressure. The population of Kailali district has increased dramatically, and the annual population growth in some areas of Kailali is eight per cent cf.

Skar According to "Kailali's king" a big landowner who was minister during the short democratic period inthe two districts of Kanchanpur and Kailali formed one constituency in the election. As a result of the population pressure, Kailali alone was divided into four constituencies in the election, and the district consists today of 43 different village development committees. The total population of Kailali is aboutHarka Gurung Many Pahaaris from the surrounding districts of Dhoti, Dadeldhura, Baitadi and Achaam have settled permanently in Kailali and Kanchanpur.

Some came on their own initiative, but many were resettled by the government. One of the main objectives of the national resettlement department was to resettle landslide victims and others who khell been affected by disasters Gurung Indians who originally were invited by the Nepalese government to settle and develop this "remote" area, still form a major part of those who live in the bazaars. From being the only businessmen in the Tarai, they have now been followed by many Pahaaris.

Until a few years back, Hindi was the vernacular taught at school, and even today Nepal TV is not available west of Butwal. Dhangadhi is the administrative centre of the Karnali zone and the main bazaar in Kailali. Dhangadhi has grown rapidly during the last two decades. Now, the Main Bazaar, a road of approximately five-six kilometers, is full of shops.

There is a great variety of luxuries available, for instance Kenwood mixers, Japanese cameras, coffee sets as well as foreign chocolate. These "luxuries" zex not for the local peasants who produce at mere subsistence level, but Dhangadhi has become an important border town for Indians who want to purchase foreign luxuries at lower price. Discrwte Main Bazaar discrete sex chat in sarki khel Dhangadhi consists of one long road which ends at the crossing Chauraha.

At Chaurahathe road either goes south to the Mohana border and further into India, or it continues northwards to Attariya, where it s the East-West Highway. The Dangoras and Ranas form the two main Tharu groups in the far west. There is also a third group known as Kunna. Neither the Dangoras nor the Ranas khhel refer to each other as Tharu. The Dangoras, like many of the Tharu groups in the eastern and central part, call themselves Chaudhary, and they are also commonly referred to as Chaudhary.

The Ranas, on the other hand, call themselves Rana, whereas the Kunnas also commonly use the name Chaudhary. The Kunnas are often considered as a Dangora subgroup. Usually, Dangoras and Kunnas would refer to each others as Chaudhary. In some contexts, however, they would make a distinction between them. Rana and Dangora Communities.

Discrete sex chat in sarki khel

The differences between the Tharu communities are ificant, both when it comes to their languages, religious and cultural practices, as well as to phenotypical s, such as dressing and house styles. The Ranas usually live in small houses in villages which are more dispersed than the Dangoras. The Rana house, which is a one-storeyed building, faces east and has a "mezzanine", where containers of grains as well as other goods are stored.

The framework is made of wooden pillars, and walls are made of a particular type of grass, khariyatied to the pillars and later plastered with mud usually made of clay, cow-dung, water and chaff of wheat. The Rana women frequently decorate the walls with bas-reliefs painted in colours and adorned with pieces of mirror. Large earthen granaries, known as kuthiasserve as inside walls and divide a house into rooms. The kuthias are approximately the height of a human.

The inner part of the house is restricted to members of the family, and normally no stranger is allowed to enter. The kitchen rosaia is placed in this inner part of the house, and the worship of the deities is taken care of in the kolaa separate room next to the kitchen. The outer parts are for sleeping purposes. In late September Tove and I arrived at the airport outside Dhangadhi. Ganesh and some of his local friends were waiting for us, and, together with them, we visited several villages near Dhangadhi the next couple of days.

However, we came to know about a BASE office nearby the eye hospital. The head of this BASE office, who was very helpful, took me around to several such villages the following day. I finally decided to settle in Geti, the neighbouring village of the hospital. In this village, there were two BASE classes running in the evenings; one for women and one for boys. Inhabited by Dangoras, Ranas and Pahaaris, Geti mirrored the "ethnic cauldron" already mentioned.

To me, therefore, Geti seemed to be just the village "I needed". In order to get better access to the Rana Tharus in Geti, I thought it was necessary to stay in a Rana house, and I moved into a Rana family of altogether 16 members. The houshold was known as Gorya ghar Gorya house and consisted of a senior couple, their two sons with their wives and children. Gorya ghar belonged to one of the better-off Rana families and was located near to three other Rana houses.

The other neighbours were Brahmins, and one house was inhabited by Dangoras. I thought that it would be good for the focus of my study to live in an area where several jaats were settled. The elected representative of the village, a Dangora Tharu by the name of Basu Dev Chaudhary, had insisted to negotiate about the rent and to help me in other matters. According to Basu Dev, I could not eat with discrete sex chat in sarki khel family, so I had to find another place to eat. He immediately offered me to eat in his home.

Basu Dev is a religious devotee bhagat. As the Tharus are known for their liberal food and drinking habits, I was afraid that too close a relationship with bhagats would have negative impact for my study. Instead of eating in Basu Dev's house, I arranged to eat in the house of one of the Dangora girls working at the hospital. I thought it was a good starting point to have established my two "homes" among different Tharu groups, and that this would make my access more smooth and easy.

Living in a house does not automatically imply access and acceptance. And when it comes to the first period in my Rana home, this was not dominated by "inclusion". One reason for this was my lack of knowledge of the local Rana language. By the time I moved into Geti, I could to some extent manage without an interpreter and "speak directly with the people" in Nepali cf.

Srinivas But that did not help me much since many Tharus did not seem to understand my Nepali. None of the women in my Rana house, for instance, knew Nepali, a language which they referred to as pahaari bolii Pahaari language. This was not so strange, since they all came from Rana villages in India. The old mother, whom I hereafter will refer to as aya the Rana term for motherwas from a Rana village near the border. In the beginning, therefore, the women were talking about me - not to me - something which made me feel ill at ease.

The two sons spoke Nepali fluently, but since they were busy in the fields, they were hardly at home. It was therefore not too difficult for me to learn some basic phrases. I could thus understand what people were talking about, and I was also able to say a few sentences myself. Although I never became fluent in the Rana language, my effort was important in the sense that I managed to "break the ice".

I quickly experienced a change in the women's attitude towards me and felt more accepted. When the Ranas used words and expressions that I did not understand, there would usually be someone who found a Nepali equivalent, or a Nepali-speaking person who could translate. Participation and Observation, Watching and Listening. In participant observation, "the rule of method becomes the plastic, spontaneous faculty of application" Skar It is commonly stated that a fieldworker is varyingly "observing" and "participating".

My fieldwork was no exception from this rule - hence a mix of participation and observation, watching and listening. I did, for instance, not work in the fields. My Rana family told me that it was too heavy work for me, and they also thought that I might hurt myself on the scythe. And, I have to admit, that after I tried this hard work, I was quite happy to refrain from such activity. It is only during the busiest agricultural periods that most people are in the fields, and even during these peak seasons somebody has to stay at home to cook and look after the youngest children.

The women and the out-of-school children were usually at home, and the women would frequently sit down to talk and smoke. Sometimes I would help them with minor tasks, such as to carry oil seeds and vegetables up on the roof to dry, or to sweep the courtyard. During festivals, my role as participant was more dominant. At Dashain, an important festival celebrated by the Dangoras, I dressed like a Dangora girl and danced with the Dangora girls.

The same was the case with the Ranas during their Holi celebration. Thanks to my camera and tape recorder, I became a kind of village reporter, whose presence was wanted in weddings, funerals, ritual celebrations and village meetings. And if I had taped a meeting, the villagers wanted to listen to it at once. Contexts are emphasised as the crucial "thing" in ethnographic research, because contexts are so important for understanding "ongoing life" cf.

Hastrupmy translation. To better understand "ongoing life", it is important to inscribe oneself into "otherness". Such an inscription is what deserves the term participation Hastrup In order to grasp reality, it is therefore necessary to have experienced it, and herein, Hastrup emphasises, lies the concrete challenge of the ethnographer. The study of ethnicity implies a study of the social contexts for inclusion and exclusion.

This was something I felt and experienced myself throughout my fieldwork. Some of the first things I did after I had moved into Geti, was to visit each house in the village in order to get an idea of its size and "ethnic" composition. This was a good opprtunity to introduce myself to the villagers as well, and it was also important for my own feeling that I actually did something.

I presented myself as a student who had come to learn about the Tharus and village life in general, and that I was interested in BASE and its activities. My presence in the BASE classes made me familiar with the curriculum used and the issues taken up for discussions. Through the classes, I came to know many of the women, something which made my access to their homes and families fairly smooth and easy. I also have to say something about the time-span of my fieldwork. The thesis is based on three visits stretching over a period from August to April The most extensive fieldwork was done during an month period, during which I mostly stayed in Geti village.

These elections, however, gave me an opportunity to observe how "the local" was linked to larger, national issues. Thus, some of the ideas I had made after my first field visit had to be modified. The third and last discrete sex chat in sarki khel was made in the period from January to mid-April Because of illness, I missed the programme itself, but the changes I noticed in the Tharu villagers, as well as the reactions and feelings they expressed, made me revise some earlier made conclusions.

This also made me conscious about the importance "events" and matters from "outside" have on locals - even in so-called remote areas. During my three visits, I realised the limits inherent in a time- and space-bound study like mine. Societies are in constant flux, and my interpretation is the result of my interaction with "my" informants, which took place at a specific time and in particular contexts cf.

Geertz At the end it only rests to emphasise that all understanding is partial, and my understanding is no exception from this rule. Multi-Levelled Linkages. In our attempt to understand and explain processes of ethnic identity formation, it is necessary to compare social interaction on a local level with national and global discourses and ideologies cf. I will here briefly say something about my approaches and techniques to the other levels I am discussing in this thesis: the pan-Tharu movement as well as the national indigenous movement.

The empirical material from these levels does not come from long-term fieldwork, and it has therefore certain flaws and limitations. The material which I use in my analysis is mainly based upon ideological formulations and public rhetorical statements by politically active people.

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During my stays in Kathmandu, I met and interviewed many of the actors who are involved in the national indigenous movement. These were both representatives of the ethnic umbrella organisation, the Janjaati Mahasanghas well as representatives of other "ethnic organisations". These actors are internationally oriented, and they express their ideas in English-written newspapers and magazines. Some of them also write books and pamphlets in English.

I was thus able to follow the discourse through secondary sources as well. But the majority of these activists I met during pan-Tharu conferences and meetings - arenas for the Tharu elite and the various Tharu organsiations. Next to the wide range of delegates I met and talked to there, I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to "ordinary people" who were not - to use Handler's expression - "professional ideologues" cf.

Handler Such a combination of remarks made by "professional ideologues" and those made by ordinary people therefore gave me an opportunity to grasp the complexities and variations in "ethnic commitment". In addition to the process of "watching and listening", my material is also based on several informal interviews with government officials at various offices in Kailali district.

Next to the various British GazetteersKrauskopff's ethno-historical studies of the Tharus and the Tarai have been of vital importance to me. Although hardly anything has been written in English about the history of Kailali district, a Nepalese historian has recently written a paper placing Kailali in a larger historical context. Visits at Lucknow University and Kumanyu University in Nainital made available most of what has been written about the Tharus in India, also more recent studies.

In connection with the question about the Tharu origin, which has become an important issue to the elite, I visited several places in Rajasthan and was able to talk with historians at the City Palace in Udaipur, as well as at the University of Udaipur. Last, but not least, a three-day Tharu Seminar which was arranged in Junebrought together old and young "Tharu scholars" from several countries. This seminar has been very illuminating for my own study. The focus of my thesis is on the Tharus, an indigenous 20 people of the Nepalese lowland Tarai.

The "enigmatic Tharus" cf. According to the population census ofthere are 1. As an ethnic category, the Tharus are among the largest in Nepal's multiethnic population and numerically ranked as fourth among the ten major population groups. With a few exceptions, the great majority of the Nepalese people live in well-defined, specific geographic regions Bista Tharus, who are found all over the Tarai belt, make up about ten per cent out of the total Tarai population of approximately ten million.

Map 1. Tarai Districts. The Nepalese Tarai, bordering West Bengal in the east and Uttar Pradesh in the west, is a vaste area more than km long. The width varies between 50 and 90 km. The Tarai includes 20 of Nepal's 75 districts see map 1. The Nepalese Tarai is commonly divided into two zones, an inner zone known as bhitra madhes inner Tarai and an outer zone, the extension of the Indo-Gangetic plains, known as madhes cf. Krauskopff a; Guneratne There is no geographical barrier between India and the outer zone.

The Tharus are settled on both the Indian and the Nepalese side of the border, most of them in Nepal. The valleys of the inner Tarai are placed between the Siwalik hills also known as Suriya and the Mahabharata range, and they form a geographical transition between the plains and the hills. The Tarai - the term used geographically on this part of the rain-forested plains - is a Hindi word meaning "feverish land" Krauskopff a. Sever traces the origin of the word Tarai to a Persian word, meaning "damp".

Both etymological sources, derived either from Hindi "feverish" or Persian "damp", illustrate clearly the negative associations which for long were given this area. But the Tarai has changed drastically over the last years, both ecologically and with regard to its population. What until the s was known to be a malarious rain forest area, with wild tigers, boars and snakes Hamilton Buchanan ; Crookehas today become the breadbasket of Nepal.

Among the main crops grown are rice, sugar cane, wheat, corn, pulses and mustard. Tobacco and jute are also grown, and there is a great variety of forest products. Settlement and clearing of forest land in the Tarai started early in the 19th century Cederrothbut the Tarai remained a "remote area" cf. Ardener in a national context, and a place most people were reluctant to move into. In order to increase tax revenues, which was the only income source for the government, the authoritarian Rana regime decided to populate the Tarai area.

First, they invited people from India to settle, and many Indian peasants from Bihar - for instance, the Yadav one of the politically most important castes in Bihar - settled and cleared the forest in the eastern parts of the Tarai Ghimire Criminals and runaway slaves were entitled to freedom if they settled and started to clear land in the Tarai. This settlement strategy, which was one of the first attempts to "nepalise" the Tarai region, was related to the government's concern to secure Nepal's independence from British India.

The early tax collectors in the Discrete sex chat in sarki khel, called chaudharyswere responsible for tax collecting in large administrative units, known as pargannas. The chaudharys, who were recruited from local elites, had a five-year contract from the government to collect taxes from a group of villages.

A new tax-collecting system known as the jimidaari system 22 was introduced during Jang Bahadur Rana's rule in cf. Cederroth The post of jimidaar was given to a chosen person, responsible for one village which had to give a fixed amount to the tax revenue office annually. After this fixed sum was paid, the surplus was the tax collector's own, and tax collectors would often become big and powerful landowners jamindaars cf. But because of malaria, very few landowners lived permanently in the Tarai, and a system of absentee landownership developed, where landowners came down to the Tarai only for a couple of months to collect the revenue from their tenants.

The Tarai was a popular hunting reserve for the ruling elite in Kathmandu, who often spent several months every year hunting there Sever ; Guneratne During these hunts, local people had to assist as porters, elephant riders or in other labour-intensive activities. The country was opened up to foreigners, who were eager to start development projects in this poor country, which they nevertheless considered as a Shangri-La.

The jimidaar system was abolished with the land reform ofa reform which allowed landowners in the Tarai to own not more than 25 bigha of agricultural land. In order to politically integrate the Tarai people into the monarchy-led panchayat system, a government-implemented programme of resettling the Tarai with Nepali-speaking people started. The result was a "decade of destruction" of the Tarai cf. Mishra Large-scale migration from the neighbouring hill districts by hill people who were considered to be more loyal to the monarchy was encouraged.

Ex-servicemen who had retired from the British-Indian and Nepalese armies, were especially encouraged to settle in the border areas. This, the government thought, would prevent the Tarai forests from being used as "sanctuary for arms raids and other political activities" Ghimire According to the population census inthe Tarai had With its subtropical climate and rich and fertile soil, the Tarai has 57 per cent of Nepal's cultivated land and provides 60 per cent of the country's total production.

It is estimated that by the year61 per cent of Nepal's population will be settled in the Tarai, and "this shift will transform Nepal from a classic mountain economy into a predominantly flat, subtropical and urban nation". Himal Sept. Cultivated fields and grassland dominate most of the former rainforest. The deforestation has been enormous and rapid.

Whereas in about half of the total Tarai area was covered with forests, only one-fifth was forested in And today, there is hardly any forest left Jhaquoted in Gurung Most of the still existing forest is in the far west region, for instance in Kailali, which has 20 per cent of the country's forest Gurung The population increase in the Tarai is, therefore, not just a spontaneous response of the land-hungry peasants of Nepal, but a state-implemented process. Through a systematic resettlement of the Pahaari or hill people, the state attempted to culturally and ethnically transform this part of the country.

This has been termed "Pahaarisation" Shrestha The Population in Tarai. The Tarai is today a mosaic of different population groups. Pahaari is a term used about the people traditionally settled in the hills pahaar. The hilly nature is also commonly used as a metaphor for "the real Nepal". Madhesi means simply a person living in the lowlands, madhesbut refers to people of Indian origin. Madhesi has today negative connotations, and the term is very often associated with illegal immigrants from India.

There is a strong feeling among Madhesis that they are treated as second-class citizens. The Madhesis are composed of various groups. There are Muslims and high-caste Hindus, as well as the various occupational caste groups. According to Dahalthere are more than 30 different jaats among the Madhesi Hindus. The Muslims as well as the occupational castes are settled all over the Tarai belt ibid. The Adivaasi indigenous groups of the Tarai are settled in various geographical areas.

Like the Muslims and the occupational caste groups, Tharus are settled all over the Tarai belt and they form the numerically dominant Adivaasi group in the Tarai cf. Dahal ; Harka Gurung The major languages spoken in the Tarai are Maithili 2. Maithili and its various dialects are dominant in the far east.

Bhojpuri prevails in the central Tarai, whereas Awadhi is restricted to the far west. Various Tharu languages are spoken all over the Tarai region, but they are much influenced by the three languages mentioned above. Other languages spoken are Urdu in the west, Hindi in the central and Bengali in the east. They out most of the Tarai "tribal" languages cf. Gurung Table 1. The non-Pahaari Population of the Tarai. Madhesi Caste groups.

Madhesi groups 17. When dealing with the Tarai people, it is important to keep in mind the migration factor Krauskopff a. Because of wars, natural catastrophes and sometimes by order of the local kings, the population in the Tarai has been constituted by incessable migrations in search of new land. The Tharus also have a past characterised by migration, enforced by the deforestation which took place during the last years.

Already inNesfield pointed out the consequences the rapid deforestation had for the Tharus in India : "Since the advent of British rule, the forest has been disappearing with surprising rapidity, and the Tharus have retired closer than ever to the Naipal mountain" Nesfield And Nesfield argues that the migration of the Tharus from Gonda district to Nepal started about a century earlier, i. As a whole, the Tharus from east to west are composed of various endogamous groups with different cultural practices and languages.

In the classificatory system laid down in the Muluki Ain ofthese various groups were subsumed under the general term Tharu and placed among the lowest of the pure jaats cf. Traditionally, the various Tharu groups looked upon each other as different from each other, and the different Tharu languages are often mutually unintelligible Bista ; Guneratne There is, as we will shortly see, also a great variation in the way the various Tharu groups have integrated into mainstream Nepalese Hindu society.

This cultural and linguistic variety, as well as the various Tharu groups' tendency to mutually exclude each other, makes it problematic to talk about the Tharu people as one ethnic group or ethnie Krauskopff a. I will now take the readers on a journey from Mechi to Mahakali, through the land of the Tharus. The main purpose for doing so is to place the various groups in their geographical and historical context, as well as to give the readers an idea of the variety existing within the people known as Tharu.

The East-West Highway Purba-Paschim Rajmarg links the various parts of the Tarai together, and I will start the journey by the border of Mechi river in the far eastern district of Jhapa. I will follow the much-used division of the Tarai belt into three parts: East, Central and West. Almost half of the Tharu population Approximately one third Entering the Nepalese border town Kakarbhitta from the Indian state of West Bengal, brings the visitor to one of the most densely populated areas of the Tarai.

According to Dahalthe Tharus in this eastern part are the numerically dominant group in Sunsari and Bara districts only, whereas Muslims and Yadavs, as well as different Pahaari groups dominate the other eastern Tarai districts. In the districts of Sarlahi, Mahotari and Dhanusa, there are only 20, Tharus. Further east, in Siraha and Saptari, the Tharu population is 82, whereas in Sunsari and Morang, the districts east of Kosi river, the of Tharus isGurung The east has been politically and economically the most important part of the region and also the country's most important area next to Kathmandu Sever ; Guneratne Already years ago, Prime Minister Jang Bahadur Rana made efforts to increase his tax revenue from the eastern part of the Tarai, which was the most productive part of the region.

Large yields, for instance, came from the districts of Morang, Saptari and Mahottari Stiller quoted in Deuel and Meyer Inthe rent for pastures in Morang district gave the Nepalese government a revenue of Rs. Singh Most social and structural changes in the Tarai started in the east. When, for instance, the Rana rulers decided to have a regular police force in the Tarai inthey started with Birgunj district now Bara.

Ina telephone line was established between Kathmandu and Birgunj Severand Nepal's only short railway line was also in this part. This stretch connected Nepal with the Indian railway network, and was important for the trade between the two countries. The Biratnagar jute mill factory was responsible for Nepal's main export to India. Situated near West Bengal and Calcutta, the eastern Tarai was also important in a political sense.

Supporters of the Nepali National Congress a pro-democratic movement much influenced by its Indian counterpart were detained in Biratnagar, Birgunj and Janakpur in The Koirala family lived near Biratnagar and was a driving force in the formation of the Nepali National Congress. Later, two of Nepal's prime ministers came from this Koirala family. The industry in the Tarai experienced instances of labour unrest as well, and 10, workers were striking at the Biratnagar Jute Mill in Apart from Tharus and other native Tarai peoples, many Indian immigrants have settled here the last years.

The great famine in the adjacent district of Bihar infollowed by other natural calamities, led to a huge immigration from the Indian side Guneratne; Deuel and Meyer According to the census ofthe Tharu population is absent in some of the eastern districts. The classification in Nepal's censuses is based on languages, and after Nepali, Maithili is the language most frequently used in the central and eastern Tarai regions Dahal Due to intense settlement of Bhojpuri- and Maithili-speaking groups of Indian origin, 80 to 90 per cent of the people in these eastern districts regard Maithili and Bhojpuri as their mother tongues.

The large population of Tharus in the eastern Tarai is often forgotten. It was the image of the Tharu in the far west that came to represent Tharus as a whole Guneratne Unlike many other jaats in Nepal, there are not many Tharus who actually use the category Tharu when they refer to themselves. Bista mentions several different names used by the Tharus in the east, who today are collectively known as Kochilas.

Chaudhary was a title originally given the land revenue collector in the Tarai. The high status accorded the Chaudhary title resulted in a process of "Chaudharisation" among Tharus all over the Tarai. The Tharus' close contact with high-caste Hindus was followed by an emulation of high-caste values Bista Bista described "a wave of reform" taking place among educated young Tharus, who "changed their food habits, reformed their religious practices and introduced modern education" ibid.

Bista also mentioned the Tharu Welfare Society - an organisation which encouraged education among the Tharus and provided hostels in Birgunj for school children and students of both sexes. See Chapter 5. As a result of this long tradition of modernisation, many Tharus in the east are today working as schoolteachers, in public administration or in other white-collar jobs. They do not till their own land, and, often, the low-caste group of Musahaars literally rat eaterswho are migrants from India, work as day labourers on many of the Tharu landowners' fields.

These Musahaars, according to Deuel and Meyerare in many cases indebted to their Tharu landlords. This, they point out, is the reverse of the situation in the western part of the Tarai, where Tharus are often found as bonded labourers kamaiyas to high-caste landlords. The eastern Tarai has many places of religious and mythical importance. Janakpur in Dhanusha is the birthplace of Sita, the faithful wife of Rama and the main protagonist in the great Hindu epos, the Ramayana Valmiki, BC.

The temples of Rama and Janaki in Janakpur are holy places commonly visited by pilgrims. The Tharus in the east have been integrated into Nepalese mainstream society for quite a long time. They speak Nepali, dress in the same type of clothes which are common in most of Nepal, and live in multi-caste villages where they participate in and share the same rituals as elsewhere in mainstream Nepal Guneratne The district of Chitwan in the western part of the Narayani zone, together with the districts of Navalparasi, Rupandehi and Kapilvastu in the Lumbini zone, make up the central part of the Tarai.

A common name for the Tharus of Chitwan and Navalparasi is, according to GuneratneChitwaniya. The National Park - established in - covers more than 1, km2 of discrete sex chat in sarki khel forests and grasslands. These natural resources have been withdrawn from use by the local population, and the Tharus are those who have been mainly affected by the loss of these forests and grasslands cf. InChitwan was characterised as "the fever hell of Nepal", where "human beings are living, but they are starving apparently between life and death" cf.

See also Guneratne When the official programme of "Pahaarisation" started, 34 the first resettlement was established in the Chitwan Rapti valley in There are many examples of how this resettlement system was exploited by landowning Pahaaris in order to acquire large land tracts in the Tarai. The construction of an irrigation canal in the s, as well as ro which made access to markets easier Ghimire quoted by Skar gave further strength to Pahaari exploitation.

Some Pahaaris also encroached illegally upon Tharu-owned land, which they later were able to register in their own names. The Tharu farmers thus became losers in a system which was implemented by the Government. A result of this is therefore a conflict between the indigenous Tharus and the estate-owning Pahaaris cf. In Kapilvastu district, west of Rupandehi, lies Butwal, which is the third biggest town in Nepal and also an important trade centre.

Kathariya Tharus are settled in the area from the central Tarai and Gorakhpur in India all the way westwards to Kailali Krauskopff a. The Kathariya Tharus are divided into two mutually exclusive groups; "the western ones", called Pachal and "the eastern ones", called Purbya Krauskopff a. The western part of the Tarai consists of four zones - Rapti, Bheri, Seti and Karnali - and Nepal ends in the west by the border town Banbasa near the Mahakali river.

The neighbouring district west of Kapilvastu is Dang-Deukheri, the place of origin of the largest Tharu group in the west, the Dangora Tharu. Dangora is a term derived from Bhojpuri and means "Tharu from Dang" Krauskopff a. The East-West Highway crosses through the more fertile valley of Deukheri through which the river Rapti flows. The Deukheri valley is situated at an altitude of about m, and was, according to Krauskopff apopulated later than Dang.

The Tharus of Dang-Deukheri consider themselves to be of the same group. Krauskopff notes, however, that there are several differences between the Tharus of the two valleys, especially when it comes to social and economic issues. Tharus in Deukheri, for instance, tend to be richer and more powerful in their relation with the Pahaaris. And the relationship between inherited priests and clients which is so fundamental in Dang, does not exist in Deukheri.

These differences, Krauskopff notes, do not prevent these Tharus from considering themselves as one group. The Dangoras are originally from the valleys of Dang and Deukheri, but today we find them in all the five far western districts, as well as in the Gonda and Bahraich districts of India Krauskopff a; Guneratne Due to immigration from the neighbouring districts, deforestation and natural calamities, Tharus in Dang-Deukheri have faced severe problems, the most severe probably being bonded labour.

Coxevery bonded labourer in the far west is Tharu. And of the landlords, 97 per cent were twice-born Pahaaris Brahmins, Chhetris or Thakuris. A massive outmigration of Dangoras from Dang-Deukheri and westwards has taken place. The last years, 6, Dangoras have migrated westwards from Dang valley Gunreratne From having formed a vast majority in Dang, the Dangora Tharus suddenly comprised only about 45 per cent of the total population cf.

McDonaugh a. Due to this migration, the increase in the Tharu population in the western districts of Kailali, Bardiya and Banke has been more than 22 per cent. The Dangoras are the largest Tharu group in the far west, and make up approximately 70 per cent of the total Tharu population Krauskopff a. According to Harka Gurungmost of the Tharus in the far west are settled in Kailali district. In Bardiya, theTharus make up Their linguistic and cultural practices resemble the Dangoras in Dang Krauskopffprivate conversationeven though the Dessaria Tharus I talked to in Bardiya claimed that they were a different jaat.

The main Tharu groups in the far west mentioned so far, seem to be related to the Dangoras further east. There are, however, other Tharu groups in the west. According to Krauskopff a these Kathariyas are different from the Kathariyas in the Butwal area, and have several common features with the Rana Tharus of west Kailali and Kanchanpur, such as the female dress and the house style.

The name Kathariya is probably derived from their occupation of bringing wood kaath on the rivers down to India Deuel and Meyer Bardiya district ends by the Karnali river, where Kailali district starts. For a long time, the Rana Tharus were the best known Tharu group in an ethnographic context. Rana Tharus in India have been mentioned in literature e. The Rana Tharus came in many ways to represent the Tharu as a whole. The former malaria-infested Tarai has in short time changed into the breadbasket of Nepal.

From originally being inhabited by malaria-resistant "tribes", such as the Tharus, the Tarai is today an ethnic cauldron. The population increase has been tremendous. This has not been just a spontaneous response of the land-hungry peasants of Nepal, but a systematic state-implemented process commonly known as Pahaarisation cf. Shrestha In this chapter I have described how the changes affected the Tharus all over the Tarai.

Tharus form the numerically dominant Adivaasi group in this part of the country. The Tharus as a whole consist of various endogamous groups with little in common in a cultural and linguistic sense. In order to better understand this cultural diversity within the Tharu population, I made a travel over the Tarai belt and placed the various groups in their particular historical and geographical context. The various parts of the Tarai have played different roles in a national sense.

The east, for instance, was an important part of the region, both politically and economically, and the Tharus in this part, have for long been influenced by Nepalese mainstream culture. Since the eradication of malaria started in the s, as well as the establishment of the Royal Chitwan National Park, the population pattern in the central part of the Tarai has totally changed. Various development programmes, next to the tourist business, encouraged a lot of Pahaaris to settle there.

Because of problems faced in the valleys of Dang and Deukheri, the Dangora Tharus migrated westwards. This migration has led to an increase in the Tharu population of the far western districts.

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The Dangoras today out the original Tharu inhabitants of the far west - the Rana Tharus. I will in the next chapter introduce you to the far western district of Kailali and discgete a closer look at the Tharus of the "Far West". Map 2. Until the creation of modern Nepal, most of the Tarai was divided between its neighbouring hill principalities cf. Krauskopff a; Subediand revenues had to be paid to the different hill kings raajas.

Kailali was under control cjat the various kingdoms in the Karnali region, and the hill kingdom of Doti administered and collected revenues here in a period before unification. Because of the trade which took place between the hill kingdom and the plains, there were several important centres in Kailali Subedi The far west never had the same importance for Nepal chxt the eastern part of the Tarai.

Ardener Discrete sex chat in sarki khel travelling through Kailali district, a feeling of "remoteness" is certainly still salient. Even though a big new bridge has recently replaced the khwl tow-ferry, discrete sex chat in sarki khel Kailali part of the Chwt Highway goes through jungles and a rocky landscape. Dizcrete the rainy season, there is no link between this part and the rest of Nepal. Communication east-west is very difficult, and in order to go to Kathmandu, people have to travel through India.

The population structure here, like elsewhere in the Tarai, has changed drastically in recent years. Krauskopff a pointed to the fluctuation which characterised the Tarai people and their settlement pattern. Many stories I heard confirm this fluctuation and instability. Sometimes the population pattern of a village changed totally because of out- and in-migration.

I will just mention two examples which illustrate how the settlement of two villages changed in a few years' time. East of Dhangadhi, the administrative centre of Kailali district, there is a village called Chaumala, which a few years ago was a Rana village of houses. Today there are no Rana houses left, and Chaumala is today inhabited mostly by Pahaaris and a couple of Dangoras.

The same is the case with Malakheti, a village west of Dhangadhi. A former Rana settlement is today inhabited by Pahaaris. Natural Dixcrete and Deforestation. This former jungle area has seen an enormous deforestation, which, according to Ghimirehas been mainly politically motivated. UntilKailali had abundant forests, and in order to sed land cleared, the government started to pay people 10, rupees pr.

If more than one unit was cleared, a five years' tax exemption was given Gurung What is at present the big road leading from the border checkpoint Mohana near Dhangadhi, was a couple of decades ago covered by forest and renowned for all the tigers. Another massive deforestation took place in the years between and Lots of people were engaged in the timber export to India, an export which was deemed illegal in In the period before the referendum in41 political ssex of the panchayat system were allowed to export timber so sarkk they could finance their election campaign.

A heavy deforestation also took place during the construction of the Disrete Highway in All the forest in Kailali is state-owned, and nobody is today allowed to cut trees for their own use. If a person is caught in illecal cutting, he is either fined or jailed, and there are 74 armed forest guards, known as bal bhutti, controlling the forests Gurung discrefe These bal bhuttis are known for taking bribes.

A replanting project has recently been implemented, and - according to the DFO in Dhangadhi - about 1, to 2, hectares of trees have been planted. There is a district-based research committee which makes decisions in relation to the planting of new trees. As mentioned in the chapter, the Tarai was a popular hunting ground for the ruling elite, a place where they could hunt for big game, such as rhino, tiger, deer, sloth bear and elephant.

Due to the deforestation, some of these species lost their habitat - hence the government saw the need to establish reserves and national parks. In the Nepalese part of the Tarai, there are today three national parks: in Chitwan, Bardiya and Kanchanpur. Across the border, in Kheri district in India, there is a national park called Dudwa.

The Tarai nevertheless still has an abundant fauna, but according to Krauskopff c; a hunting was of almost no importance to the Dangora Tharu economy, an economy which was primarily based on farming and fishing. Some Tharus would put up traps for rats and various birds, but otherwise hunting was not a main activity. Srivastavaon the other hand, described the Rana Tharus in Nainital as great hunters, and he listed the many and various hunting techniques and utensils used by them.

In the far west, I heard rumours of people illegally hunting species such as jungle fowl and jungle cow nil gai. There is often big money involved in these illegal hunts. Tharus in my village of residence, however, told me that hunting was not very common nowadays. I never saw any adult men go hunting, but children would set up traps for birds, and many young and old would set up traps for the big rats musa usually found in the fields.

Fishing, on the other hand, is an important and a popular activity, and the fishing nets and techniques among the Tharus are many. The whole year, people can go fishing in the rivers, and during and right after the monsoon, people even catch small fish in their fields. Big nets are cast into the larger rivers, whereas smaller lift nets are used for fishing in irrigation canals and small streams. Other nets and techniques are also common.

The forest is often used for collecting berries, fruits and honey. During the season, people can collect wild papaya and mangoes from the trees which grow in huge quantities. Medicinal plants are also collected, and Dangoras use a particular leaf for making eating-plates and cups. Discrete sex chat in sarki khel for house construction as well as reeds for mat- rope- and basket-making are also collected.

The soil is generally fertile, and now that irrigation has become more common, water does not seem to be a big problem. Migration and Population Pressure. The population of Kailali district has increased dramatically, and the annual population growth in some areas of Kailali is eight per cent cf. Skar According to "Kailali's king" a big landowner who was minister during the short democratic period inthe two districts of Kanchanpur and Kailali formed one constituency in the election.

As a result of the population pressure, Kailali alone was divided into four constituencies in the election, and the district consists today of 43 different village development committees. The total discrete sex chat in sarki khel of Kailali is aboutHarka Gurung Many Pahaaris from the surrounding districts of Dhoti, Dadeldhura, Baitadi and Achaam have settled permanently in Kailali and Kanchanpur.

Some came on their own initiative, but many were resettled by the government. One of the main objectives of the national resettlement department was to resettle landslide victims and others who had been affected by disasters Gurung Indians who originally were invited by the Nepalese government to settle and develop this "remote" area, still form a major part of those who live in the bazaars. From being the only businessmen in the Tarai, they have now been followed by many Pahaaris. Until a few years back, Hindi was the vernacular taught at school, and even today Nepal TV is not available west of Butwal.

Dhangadhi is the administrative centre of the Karnali zone and the main bazaar in Kailali. Dhangadhi has grown rapidly during the last two decades. Now, the Main Bazaar, a road of approximately five-six kilometers, is full of shops. There is a great variety of luxuries available, for instance Kenwood mixers, Japanese cameras, coffee sets as well as foreign chocolate. These "luxuries" are not for the local peasants who produce at mere subsistence level, but Dhangadhi has become an important border town for Indians who want to purchase foreign luxuries at lower price.

The Main Bazaar of Dhangadhi consists of one long road which ends at the crossing Chauraha. At Chaurahathe road either goes south to the Mohana border and further into India, or it continues northwards to Attariya, where it s the East-West Highway. The Dangoras and Ranas form the two main Tharu groups in the far west. There is also a third group known as Kunna. Neither the Dangoras nor the Ranas commonly refer to each other as Tharu.

The Dangoras, like many of the Tharu groups in the eastern and central part, call themselves Chaudhary, and they are also commonly referred to as Chaudhary. The Ranas, on the other hand, call themselves Rana, whereas the Kunnas also commonly use the name Chaudhary. The Kunnas are often considered as a Dangora chah. Usually, Dangoras and Kunnas would refer to each others as Chaudhary.

In some contexts, however, they would make a distinction between them. Rana and Discrete sex chat in sarki khel Communities. The differences between the Tharu communities are ificant, both when it comes to their languages, religious and cultural practices, as well as to phenotypical s, such as dressing and house styles. The Ranas usually live in small houses in villages which are more dispersed than the Dangoras.

The Rana house, which is a one-storeyed building, faces east and has a "mezzanine", where containers of grains as well as other goods are stored. The framework is made of wooden pillars, and walls are made of a particular type of grass, khariyatied to the pillars and later plastered with mud usually made of clay, cow-dung, water and chaff of wheat. The Rana women frequently decorate the walls with bas-reliefs painted in colours and adorned with pieces of mirror.

Large earthen granaries, known as kuthiasserve as inside walls and divide a house into rooms. The kuthias are approximately the height of a human. The inner part of the house is restricted to members of the family, and normally no stranger is allowed to enter. The kitchen rosaia is placed in this inner part of the house, and the worship of the deities is taken care of in the kola disrete, a separate room next to the kitchen.

The outer parts are for sleeping purposes. Every house has a verandah which opens out into a courtyard where much of the activity takes place. On the doorstep of a house, there are some raised platforms of mud for the household deities. The Rana sexx dress is very bright and colourful, and consists of a skirt gangriya and a bra-like blouse angiya. The skirt has a beautifully embroidered back part got. On the head, the women wear a black shawl urniaand around each of their ankles, they wear two discrete sex chat in sarki khel anklets paela.

Old women will iin tie their hair very tightly on top of their head, whereas the young women wear their hair in two braides on each side of the head.

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The rest is tied in a top at the back of their head. The Rana village headman balemansa was originally the link with the government. He was appointed annually during a village meeting kacheri by all the he of the households. Discretr village headman was usually appointed from the better-off section in the village, and it was a prestigious position. When guests came to the village, they would normally eat and stay with the headman, who was a person who "had enough to eat".

He was also entitled to have a few days of free labour from all the houses every year. If the villagers were pleased with their headman, he could retain chag position for many years. The headman was helped by a village watchman chaukidaar who was also appointed annually during a meeting. This was often a poor person, "one who did ih have enough to eat", and he was paid annually by all the households in the village.

The watchman was sent around to tell the villagers about unpaid community work begaarimeetings, or to collect money for the collective village rituals. Guests could also sometimes stay with the watchman. While the headman was a "big person" thulo manchhethe watchman was a "small person" sano manchhe. The headman warki not a religious leader, because rituals were taken discrete sex chat in sarki khel of by a specialist bharra.

Hasanwho discrete sex chat in sarki khel the term gunthera, describes this specialist as "a multipurpose spiritual caretaker". There may be many bharras in each village, and they function both as healers and shamans. Each village often has a main bharrawho is responsible for the main offering to the village deities. This big bharra often has several villages under his responsibility, and is therefore not a resident of the village. The big bharra was also appointed on a yearly basis.

In the village where I did my community study, for instance, a big bharra was not re-elected because the villagers were not satisfied with his work. Neither the headman nor the healer were inherited positions, and they were divided between several persons. The headman would decide when the various festivals, such as Holi and Diwali, should be celebrated, as well as the time for the collective village ritual. After the headman had decided the time, the watchman would tell the villagers, and if necessary collect the items or money needed.

The big discrette would finally be called for to perform the ritual. The Dangoras traditionally lived in beautiful longhouses in rather compact villages cf. McDonaugh b; Krauskopff a. One longhouse was normally inhabited by senior parents, their unmarried children, their married sons and the sons' wives and offspring.

From Dang-Deukheri, often whole villages migrated westwards, and these were re-established in Kailali and Kanchanpur. Today, this migration pattern is still visible, my Dangora informants told me. And Dangora villages in the far west will often differ, depending on whether they originally came from Dang or Deukheri. The languages and traditions of two neighbouring Dangora villages may be slightly different, because one of the villages originally came from Dang, while the other came from Deukheri.

The houses are like the Rana house, one-storeyed and char of wood plastered with white-painted mud. The walls are often decorated with bas-reliefs made by the women, with des of various animals like elephants and peacocks. The roof is wide and thatched with grass, and the rows of containers, called deeris, divide a house into separate rooms. These deeris are placed on both sides of a corridor and they divide the house into individual sleeping quarters for the various nuclear families.

See McDonaugh b; Krauskopff a. More than 50 persons could live in one and the same house, and eat from the same kitchen. A Dangora village is usually placed in a north-south direction, and the houses are also organised according to a north-south direction. The kitchen, as well as the deity room, in which the tutelary and ancestral gods of the patriline reside, are normally placed in the north-eastern part of the house.

The appointed Dangora village headman is called mahatonand he would normally be the head of the village assembly khel. The assembly is composed of all household he in the village. The headman was originally the link between the village and the government sarkaar. Similar to kkhel Ranas, the traditional position of the mahaton has now been replaced by the formally elected ward chairman adhyaksa McDonaugh Unlike char Ranas, however, the Dangoras have hereditary priests.

The tradition among Dangoras in Dang was a system in which political and religious powers were centralised in one and the same person, the desbandhya-gurwa. He was at the same time priest, magician and chief, and Krauskopff calls him "perfect magician". The political power was not distinguished from magical power, and for the Tharus, Krauskopff argues, the strong human being was the one who could pacify the malevolent forces and guarantee the wellbeing of the country desa Krauskopff b.

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According to Srx, the various khe groups khhel a particular desa were united under a tutelary deity. This is also expressed in the most well-known myth of origin in Dang which tells how the valley of Dang was divided between four gods. Each god gained control over a particular mythic territory. Some of the patrilines started to worship the god as an ancestor and claimed right to hereditary priesthood in the area controlled by their particular ancestor.

This resulted in what later became the distinction between priestly patrilines desbandya-gurwa and their clients barin. This structure has now changed a lot both in Discrete sex chat in sarki khel and in Kailali, caht the former so powerful desbandhya-gurwa has been reduced to a healer cf. Krauskopff b. Even though it is difficult to separate the political from the religious on the Indian subcontinent cf.

Neale ; Pricenone of the positions among kehl Ranas bharra, chaukidaar, balemansa seems to be of the same religious-political character as the desbandhya-gurwa among the Dangoras. The Dangora social structure is also considered to be special in a Nepalese asrki cf. MacDonald discrete sex chat in sarki khel in Krauskopff a. The different dressing style between Tharus in Dang and Deukheri is seen mostly on the female part of the population.

The women of Dang usually wear saree blouses over a white cloth, lungi, which is worn like a skirt down below the knees. The Dangora women also used to tattoe their legs from the knees down to the heels, as well as their arms from the elbows down to the wrist. In Deukheri, the women often wear colourful skirts known as lahenga and a sleeveless blouse, kurti. The women - both in Dang and Deukheri - tie their hair in a top at the back of the head.

Today, the saree, the most commonly worn dress discrte Nepalese women, is worn by some of the married Tharu women. Tharus and their Pahaari Neighbours. The Pahaaris sarii considered to be much more hierarchically oriented than the Tharus, who, as I pointed out in the introduction, have commonly been described as a "tribal" people. One of the criteria given "tribes" in order to distinguish them from castes, was the egalitarian nature of "tribal" khle cf.

There are, however, both "caste"-like and "tribe"-like aspects of Tharu society, and like most of the societies in South Asia, Tharus are organised according to hierarchical principles. As I will discuss in Chapter 3, the Dangoras in Dang, for instance, differed between priestly and non-priestly patrilines gotyar cf. Krauskopff a. The Ranas, on the other hand, were subdivided into hierarchically ranked subgroups known as kuri cf.

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