As young move away, traditional craft dies out in Nepal

THIMI: For generations, the residents of the ancient Nepali town of Thimi supplied the rest of the Himalayan country with everything from tiny clay lamps used in temples to massive grain storage jars.

Locals still mix clay and throw it on potters' wheels, then leave pots to dry and harden in the sun.

But not for long.

As more young people leave town for better paying jobs in other parts of Nepal or abroad, fewer families have to eke out an income from the relatively low-returns business of clay pottery.

What has kept the tradition alive, for now, is the flow of tourists who buy artistic clay pots as souvenirs, and also because clay pots are still used in certain Hindu and Buddhist rituals.

"Times have changed, new products have flooded the market, and people from potter caste love other lucrative professions. I fear that the tradition will fade away," said Dil Krishna Prajapati.

His sons never took to the trade.

"Nobody in the family from the next generation will be interested in this business. I am still in this profession because I don't have other options now," he said.