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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



Dhimals live on the peripheries of the districts of Morang and Jhapa. Because of their facial features, language and religious practices, they are called the Limbus of the Nepalese plains. However, anthropologists place them next to the Meches. But, even if they are plain's people, Dhimals have the characteristic habit of exhibiting the quick temper and unwarranted aggressiveness of the Limbus of the eastern hills. Dhimals have their own unique language, dress preferences and culture. They have their own traditional village council and the headman of the council is called the Deonia.The headman and the council effectively manage their internal problems and activities. They are fond of music, and in this there is a trace of the Rajbanshi ethos. They are animists and propiliate numerous deities including the Daulabarang, Burathakur and Din. They bury their dead. Farming is their specialization. Dhimal women are famous for their traditional skills of weaving. The census 2001 has revealed that their population is 19,539.

ImageDhimals are a minority indigenous nationality of eastern Terai settled along the border areas of Morang and Jhapa districts. They are dubbed as 'Dhimal' by Rajbanshis, 'Haiko' by Meches and 'Limbus of Terai' by the mountain people (Regmi, 1991:55). Analysing the term, 'Dhimal', Tulasi Diwas (2039:2) has interpreted it to mean one vanishing on the edge of river. They consider the Rais (Khambus) of mountains, especially Athpaharaiya Rai, Limbus, Koches of Terai as their brethren. Their population, according to the census of 2001, is 19,537.

Dhimals have their own language. It belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family of languages. They have their own distinct culture and costumes. They cleanse the post-delivery woman on the day when the umbilical cord of the child breaks off by sprinkling water with silver, basil leaves and dubo (cynadon dyctylon) or sacred grass. They worship family gods by slaughtering chicken and ducks. The maternal uncle gives the first haircut. Marriage can be conducted in any one way, ie by elopement, request or persuasion. The girl is also persuaded by giving nut. The marriage is not regarded as confirmed until the girl's father accepts Das reet or a package of ten gifts as per cutomary regulations. Only the eldest son can observe death pollution, observe it for five, seven or nine days. On the day of purity ritual (last day of mourning), all relatives gather together on the last day of mourning rites and the Barang, who officiates the cleansing ceremony of death rites, delcares the observers of the mourning cleaned with the consent of the gathering. This practice is called Haragali (Dhakal, BS2056:102-105).

Dhimals are animists or worshippers of nature. They worship various gods like Sakodir, the family god, Jaurage, or the god of ancestors, Gramdeer, or the god of village, Dharni Berang, or the god of hearth, etc. They believe in soul, ghosts and spirits. Their dhamis and jhakris or shamans are called Ojha. They have immense loyalty/allegiance towards such Ojhas. The community leaders of Dhimals are called Majhi, who officiates the settlement of disputes within the community. This practice is almost non-existent there today.

Dhimals are dependent on agriculture. Fishing, making khungi (a kind of long basket useful for fishing), making bamboo containers to protect seeds, making spinning wheels of bamboo, bhakari (a bamboo mat made of straps) and chitra (mats made of split canes) of bamboo, making ropes, bows and arrows, making ploughs and yokes, making herbal medicines, painting the walls with figures of flowers, peacock, water pots, etc, fixing the roofs of houses, weaving looms and dying clothes are their special skills. The women of Dhimal community are considered independent and they run their own privately owned businesses. They get encouragement for such work from their families but they are not entitled to a share of inherited properties.

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