Nepal | May 28, 2020

Sacred Tsum Valley gears up for centennial celebrations

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

GORKHA: With a slogan ‘A campaign of non-violence: The identity of Tsum inhabitants’, the remote valley in Gorkha district is gearing up for the centennial celebrations in April, marking 100 years since the declaration of the Upper Tsum Valley as an area of non-violence by the Tsumba people and their Lamas.

“The Indigenous Tsumba people of the sacred Tsum Valley in the foothills of northwest Nepal’s Himalaya reaffirm their collective commitment to the conservation of nature and culture during the Shyagya festival (Tsum Centennial Celebrations) to be held from April 17 to 20,” Nima Lama, coordinator of the event, said.

“The Tsumba people would like to invite visitors from all over the world to join them and witness this historic event,” Lama said, adding the festival also aims at supporting the government’s ambitious campaign Visit Nepal 2020.

As the organiser plans to inaugurate the festival in the presence of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, the event will witness a renewal of the community’s commitment to non-violence and its resolve to continue following the key principles of non-violence.

Lama, a community leader, shared that the Upper Tsum, with 11 settlements, was declared a non-violent area in 1920, and the Lower Tsum Valley, with 22 settlements, declared its commitment to non-violence during the Shyagya festival in 2012.

According to Lama, the seven key principles adopted by Tsumba people include: Hunting is forbidden; setting traps is forbidden; harvesting honey is forbidden; the sale of livestock is forbidden; violence against calves of Himalayan cows, and other aquatic and terrestrial species is forbidden; restrictions in the import and export of animals for meat will be respected; and burning in forests and mountains is banned.

Visitors consider the valley as an open natural museum, where wildlife is intact and allowed to move freely, according to Lama. “Through the Shyagya festival, we want to re-demonstrate our commitment to the conservation of biodiversity and culture for many generations to come,” he said.

The four-day festival will include a nature worship pooja known as Rilung Thrisole for the good of human beings, wildlife and other species, and the sun and the rain; Chewang pooja for good health; cultural activities; the installation of sacred flags and poles; a march for world peace; and the Tsumba’s collective signature on the commitments and rules of non- violence.

According to Jailab Rai, Assistant Professor at the Central Department of Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, the Tsum Valley is a Beyul (sacred refuge) created by Guru Ringpoche, who introduced Buddhism in Nepal in the 8th century. “This Valley, a sacred place of spiritual significance, is sustained by Buddhist cultural values and practices, institutions of the Tsumba people, and the support of dedicated leaders and revered Lamas from the monasteries,” Rai stated in his research, adding that this territory of life in the Tsum Valley predated official Protected Areas in Nepal.
“Tsum valley can be recognised as a sacred natural site and should be recognised as such as part of national conservation planning processes,” Rai stated, adding, there is a need to raise awareness among local communities on the roles and contributions of their culture to biodiversity conservation.

According to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, approximately 2,000 species of plants, 11 types of forests and over 50 species of medicinal plants have been recorded in this valley. A total of 33 species of mammal, over 110 species of birds, 11 species of butterflies and three species of reptiles have been noted in the valley.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Home quarantined pregnant woman dies in Saptari

Rajbiraj, May 26 A pregnant woman staying in home quarantine at Simara Chowk of Kanchanrup Municipality, Saptari, died today. Saptari District Hospital said that the woman aged 24 had died at home at around 7:00am today. “The deceased woman’s throat swab sample was collected and sent to BP Read More...

Quarantine facility poses risk of virus spread

Bajura, May 26 Quarantine facility at Malika Higher Secondary School in Bajura headquarters, Martadi, is at high risk of COVDI-19. A total of 93 people, who recently returned from India have been kept in the quarantine facility. They came from red-zone in India. But, they have not undergone Read More...

Bring gender-responsive budget: HoR panel

Kathmandu, May 26 The Women and Social Development Committee of the House of Representatives has directed the federal and provincial governments to bring gender-responsible budget for the fiscal 2020-21 in the wake of adverse situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairperson of the parli Read More...

Double joy for Pongracic as Wolfsburg stun Leverkusen

LEVERKUSEN: Croatian Marin Pongracic scored his first two Bundesliga goals as VfL Wolfsburg romped to a surprise 4-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday, boosting their hopes of playing in European competition next season. Leverkusen slipped one place down to fifth on 53 points from 28 games Read More...

Four Minneapolis officers fired after death of black man

MINNEAPOLIS: Four Minneapolis officers involved in the arrest of a black man who died in police custody were fired Tuesday, hours after a bystander’s video showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed man’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving. Mayor Jacob Read More...

Frankfurt rally late to draw with Freiburg and stem losing run

FRANKFURT: Lowly Eintracht Frankfurt ended a run of five successive Bundesliga defeats as they staged a late rally to come from behind and force a 3-3 home draw with SC Freiburg on Tuesday. Daichi Kamada and Timothy Chandler scored in the closing stages to rescue a vital point for the strug Read More...

Relegation-fighting Bremen held to 0-0 draw by Gladbach

BREMEN: Werder Bremen drew 0-0 at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga on Tuesday, a result which moved the visitors into the top four but kept Bremen in the relegation zone. Bremen came alive in the second half and missed a couple of big chances, above all when substitute Da Read More...

Hollywood red carpets look for coronavirus makeover

LOS ANGELES: It could be a long while until you hear that Hollywood red carpet staple, "And who are you wearing tonight?" Red carpets, the lifeblood of movie premieres and award shows, thrive on the buzz of glamorous actors, show-stopping gowns and screaming fans. But as Hollywood grappl Read More...