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Federalism by Jill CottrellFederalism Issues in Designing a Federal System by Jill Cottrell in english language Download Powerpoint file Read more

संघीय प्रणाली प्रारुपका सवालहरुFederalism Issues in Designing a Federal System by Jill Cottrell in Nepali language Read more

Janajati

Gurung

Middle in height and stout in build, the main habitats of the Gurungs are the districts of Kaski, Lamjung, Gorkha, Syangja, Mustang, Manang and Dhading in the Gandaki Zone while they are also scattered in Okhaldhunga, Sankhuwasabha and Taplejung. Animal husbandry is their main occupation. They speak languages related to the Mon-Khmer and Tibeto-Burman lineages. The Gurung history is ancient. 'Pye-tan-lhu-tan' is their sacred scripture, sustained in their oral traditional, tells us a lot about their ancient history. Ghale is an address befitting high ruling class. Gurungs are predominantly Buddhist. Their institutions of Lhosar, Rodi Ghar and Rodi dance have high esteem in the Nepalese culture. They practice both cremation and burial of their dead. Some of them use Lama and some of them use Ghyabring to perform funeral services and post funeral service known as Arghun or Pa-ye. Gurungs prefer to call themselves Tamu. Their languages have no script.

ImageMiddle in height and stout in build, the main habitats of the Gurungs are the districts of Kaski, Lamjung, Gorkha, Syangja, Mustang, Manang and Dhading in the Gandaki Zone while they are also scattered in Okhaldhunga, Sankhuwasabha and Taplejung. Animal husbandry is their main occupation. They speak languages related to the Mon-Khmer and Tibeto-Burman lineages. The Gurung history is ancient. 'Pye-tan-lhu-tan' is their sacred scripture, sustained in their oral traditional, tells us a lot about their ancient history. Ghale is an address befitting high ruling class. Gurungs are predominantly Buddhist. Their institutions of Lhosar, Rodi Ghar and Rodi dance have high esteem in the Nepalese culture. They practice both cremation and burial of their dead. Some of them use Lama and some of them use Ghyabring to perform funeral services and post funeral service known as Arghun or Pa-ye. Gurungs prefer to call themselves Tamu. Their languages have no script. According to Census 2001, their population is 543,571.

Gurung in one of the major indigenous peoples of Nepal. The indigenous Gurung who live at high altitudes on the foothills of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains have been called so only after the eighteenth century by the Chhettri and Brahmind (Gurung, 2000). The name, Gurung, is derived from the Tibetan word, Grong, which means farmers (Doherty, 1975). The Gurung call themselves ‘Tamu', which means horseman in the Tibetan language. It is said that the Gurung are descended from the historical Hun people of Central Asia. Some researchers are of the opinion that as these people spread and settled in Nepal they came to be known as Gurung. And given that the word, Rong, also occurs in the languages of the Lepcha and Naga, it can be guessed that all these three groups belong to the same tribe (Gurung, 1999).

The main place of settlement of Gurung are the districts of Kaski, Lamjung, Mustang, Manang, Gorkha, Parbat and Syangja. The Gurung are also found in some other districts of the country like Baglung, Okhaldhunga and Taplejung as well as in various parts of east and west India. The population of Gurung in Nepal, according to the census of 2001, is 543,571. The Gurung have their own language, which is called ‘Tamukwi'. It belongs to the Khamer Tibeto-Burman language group (Hodgson, 1874).
The Gurungs are famous for their culture. The newborn Gurung child is named after three days, and the mother begins to work three weeks after birth (Andors, 1976). The child is fed rice five to six months after birth, and when the child is five to six years old, there is the practice of the child undergoing the initiation ceremony at the hands of his maternal uncle (Regmi, 1999:49-50). When the firstborn son reaches two years of age, a special ceremony is held, which is known as Putpute. The marriages of Gurungs are arranged or love. There is the practice of marrying one's maternal uncle's and aunt's daughters. As maternal cousins are eligible for marriage, there is the custom of marrying, in the absence of the husband, with the main pillar of the house or the photo of the husband (Bhattachan, BS2057). The Gurungs cremate, bury, or immerse the dead body in the river to flow with the current, as per the instructions of the Lama, Pachhyu and Ghyabri. The purification ceremony is known as Poye or Arghun. The death rites of Gurungs are long and elaborate, and all kinds of relatives participate in the rites (Messerschmidt, 1976:84). The Gurungs love to make merry and enjoy themselves, this is evident from their practice of Sorathi and Ghatu dances and their culture of Rodighar.

Until some time ago there was the practice of dividing the Gurungs into four and sixteen groups. Various studies today have, however, shown that this division is an imposition from outside, and the Gurungs are divided into various subgroups (gi) and thar not conforming to the caste system (Macfarlane, 1997:192-195). In Gurung society, the main responsibility for managing the village administration is with the leader of the village, Chima, who, among other things, settles disputes in the village. Rodhighar is among the major identity of the social system of Gurung. Some have called the Rodhighar a house to thread wool (Gurung, 2000), while others have called it a place to settle for the night (Tamu, 1999). Whatever it means, the Rodhighar is a good example of assistance, cooperation, good relations and collective spirit among the Gurungs.

The Gurungs are mainly animists or followers of the Bon religion. Their oral text is called Pye (Uthan) and their traditional religion is known as Pye-ta Lhu-ta. The Gurungs later came to adopt Buddhism. Some Gurungs of eastern Nepal have also been influenced by the Hindu religion. However, the Gurungs celebrate their feasts and festivals and carry out the ceremonies and practices related to worship, birth, death and marriage in accordance with the Bon and Buddhist religions. Lhosar is the main and the biggest festival of Gurung. It is also said that the Gurungs in the past used to practise human sacrifice in a ceremony known as Pade held every three years (Tamu, 1999).

The traditional occupation of Gurungs is animal husbandry, including the raising of sheep and hunting. However, after settling in the lap of the Annapurna and Machhapuchhre mountains, they began to farm and cultivate land hundreds of years ago (Macfarlane, 1976). The Gurungs raise sheep by moving the sheep to higher altitudes during summer and to lower altitudes during winter. They have shepherds to look after the sheep collectively. Nowadays, another major occupation of Gurungs is employment in foreign army, and the earnings from foreign military service have become the basis of the economic system of Gurungs. The traditional occupation of Gurungs is also engaging in trade to Tibet and to India.

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