Jyapu women play dhime

Lalitpur, November 26:

Women from the Jyapu community played dhime, a traditional musical instrument, for the first time in Taa Nani, Thecho, Lalitpur, today. Fifteen teams, each comprising four members, played dhime for five minutes at a ‘Dhime competition’ organised by the Thecho Misa Dhime

Khala (TMDK). A musical instrument of the Jyapus, dhime is played during festivals, jatras and auspicious occasions. Girls and women in Thecho were not even allowed to touch dhime. Only boys were allowed to learn to play it from their elders. Three years ago, when the girls wished to learn to play the instrument, they had to go against the practice in the community.

“Eleven of us donated money to buy musical instruments,” said Ganga Maya Malakar, 22, president, TMDK.

“After six months of training, we began performing at the Open Theatre and in peace rallies,” she said, adding that exposure helped them earn money and recognition.” Community members have praised the girls’ efforts and provide them support. “With three years of experience and with support from the concerned authorities, girls and women hope they can opt for this occupation,” she added. Gopal Mali, a resident of Thecho, said: According to Newari culture, women were not supposed to touch the idols of Natheshwar, the god which is worshipped before playing dhime. “We now allow women to play the instrument,” he said.

Nhuchhe Bahadur Dangol, an assistant professor at the Padma Kanya Campus, said that tradition can be preserved by holding such competitions frequently. He added that the Tribhuvan University has included the Dhime music at the intermediate and graduate levels.