Nepal | May 26, 2020

Locals of Jajarkot concerned about vanishing folk culture during Dashain

Himalayan News Service
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Jajarkot, October 14

An issue that troubles elderly Sher Bahadur Khatri of Khagenkot VDC-6 is the gradual decline of traditional folk culture and practices during Dashain festivities in the district.

He is greatly concerned as cultural practices that used to be held in the past are slowly disappearing due to growing urbanisation.

“The ferry-wheel swings and other type of swings that used to be propped up during Dashain festival in the village have sadly disappeared. So has the Sigaru folk dance that was the hallmark of the festival,” Khatri bemoaned.

He fondly recounts the times when they used to construct swings out of ropes spun from the babiyo grass (a long grass) on tree branches at the vantage points in the village when he was a young man. “But all this has faded away. These days youths seem to be disinterested in tradition and culture,” Khatri said.

According to him, different types of folk dances as Singaru, Saringey, Maruni, Sorathi and Khando among others used to reverberate the villages during the Dashain in the past, but all this is nowhere to be seen these days.

Modern songs have replaced traditional songs and dance in recent times, he added.

Eighty-three-year old Nadi Khatri agrees with Sher Bahadur. “The cultural practices that were handed down by the ancestors have started disappearing due to the technological advancement and the growing influence of western culture,” she said and stressed on preserving their unique culture and tradition for the future generation.

“The houses also used to be daubed with kamero (a special white clay) in the upper portion and with ochre clay in the lower parts on the outside. Now this has been replaced by different types of industrial paints.

Traditional musical instruments used to be played back then, but now the audio players have taken their place,” she said.

A version of this article appears in print on October 15, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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