Ghale Gaun: An adventure to travel

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the world have announced lockdown.

In our country Nepal, there is also lockdown and we have to stay home. Since we cannot travel during a lockdown, we can engage ourselves in creative works at home.

Our country is very beautiful and is very rich in culture. If we travel throughout the country we will witness a variety of landscapes, people from different casts and their culture. One of them is Gurung.

In this lockdown, I'm taking you to Ghale Gaun where you will learn about local Gurung people, their culture and know more about the locality.

Before lockdown, I went to Ghale Gaun. It is located in Lamjung district. I went on this trip together with my teachers and class fellows.

On usual time, I went to school. I went to my classroom. Our teacher gave us trip-sheets. We practised the "Pre-Trip Activity" section. There we had to draw our prediction about Ghale Gaun. At 8 o'clock in the morning, we left the school.

On the way, we enjoyed listening to songs and also singing, and ate some junk food. Our teacher supervisor, Subash Dahal Sir sang many songs. He is, in fact, our music teacher and sings very well.

In the evening, we reached Ghale Gaun where we stayed at a homestay. It was my first experience of a homestay. There I got an opportunity to talk to homestay landlord to know more about local culture and religion.

Ghale Gaun is a Gurung settlement. Gurung people eat food grown in their own farms. Rice, dal, spinach, radish, potato and beans are their chief food. They use utensils including kanti (Karahi) and pressure cooker to cook food.  They often use firewood and sometimes use gas stove to cook.

Before the trip, I had thought that Gurungs were only Buddhist but after interacting with locals, I learnt that some of them were Hindus. Some of them are Hindus while others are Buddhist. Buddhists worship Lord Buddha while Hindus worship various deities including Goddess Durga, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu among others.

The people in Ghale Gaun were kind. When we reached there, they welcomed us by putting tika on our forehead and offered flowers to us. They also offered us tea as a welcome.

The festivals that they celebrate are Dashain, Tihar, Lhosar and Chaite Dashain. In Tihar, they put tika and cook Sel-Roti (bread prepared from rice flour) while in Loshar, their New Year they have fun performing dance.

There were so many food varieties. A few were similar while others were very different from the ones at my home.  The difference is that the food items in my house are bought from the market while the food items in Ghale Gaun are grown in their own farm and those are organic. At home, we use electricity to cook while people there use firewood. There is a similarity in the spices they use on dishes and also their cooking style.

My experience of homestay at Ghale Gaun was good. It was good because it was my first experience with a homestay. I learned about Gurung culture and experienced rural life. The hiking in and around the village was fun.

I clicked many photos of mountains.  We viewed Machapuchre and Annapurna mountain range.

We also visited Gurung museum. We observed Gurung costumes, jewellery, musical instruments and different tools used for hunting and farming.

There is a temple and a gompa in the village.

I would like to do another trip to Ghale Gaun because the environment is calm, peaceful, and clean except for the air pollution caused by the smokes from the burning of wastes.

People in Ghale Gaun are kind.

Paudel is a Grade V student at Ullens School