The biggest laundry and meat shops in the cities belong to them. How can you ask this question? 71–88 doi:10.2307/2056667 Nepal: Towards a Democratic Republic: Caste, Ethnicity and Inequality in Nepal References Human Resources Development Research Center, Kathmandu. All rights reserved. [18] The name ‘Uray’ is said to have been derived from the Sanskrit term “upāsaka” meaning “devout layman”. 46, No. For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. The caste system defines social classes by a number of hierarchical endogamous groups often termed jaat. The caste system appears to have been first conceived in Nepal towards the beginning of Lichhivi period. [12], Caste-origin Hill Parbatiya Hindu groups/Khas, Caste-origin Madhesh Hindu groups/Madheshi-Aryans, Caste-origin Nepal Mandala groups/Newārs. In Nepal, high castes dominate 91.2% among the prominent position in politics and bureaucracy. Unlike the traditional Hindu caste systems prevalent in Khas and Madhesi societies, the existence of Buddhist “ex-monks” from ancient times in the Kathmandu Valley added a “double-headed” element to the Newar caste system. They are the most dominant Newar caste that includes the old Newari aristocracy as well as the traditional land-owning and mercantile families. Although believed to be the true descendants of the various original settlers of the Kathmandu Valley – Licchavis, Ahirs, Kirata, Gopalas, among others, the Jyapus were turned into a lower caste category during the Malla period. For most Newars, partners must belong to different descent-group lineages within the same caste. people's perception of their own social situation has more to do with geography and objective social class, than with their association with the groups that the state has based its internal social policy on. The parents traditionally arrange marriages for their sons and daughters, although with the modernization of Nepali society, an increasing number of young people choose their own partners. The Chatharīya do follow many traditions very similar to those of the Khas-Chhetris. (2) Maithil Brahmins or colloquially Tirhute Brahmin with surnames Jhā and Miśra serve as temple priests and are later additions to the Newar nation. For Buddhist Newars, Vajracharyas, and the Shakyas (collectively called “Bare”) was followed by the Uray, the Buddhist lay patrons or Upasakas, who were most typically involved in trade. Newars are one of the major castes of Nepal. Language, caste, religion and territory: Newar identity ancient and modern - Volume 27 Issue 1 - David N. Gellner. Like Liked by 1 person. Caste, State, and Ethnic Boundaries in Nepal. We even met the owners of a butcher shop – which is the domain of the lower caste – declare belonging to a brahmana caste. In 1962, a law was passed making it illegal to discriminate against other castes led all castes to be equally treated by the law. Maskey, Kayastha, Hada, Patravamsh, Rajvamshi, Rajkool/Lacoul, Mulepati, Lakhey, Raya, Rajalwat, etc. Pañchthariya and especially Chatharīya reject the claims of such pretensions and prevent caste endogamy and commensality with such groups. This group presents a complicated social structure that only reflects the model of four Hindu varna categories, itis also clearly divided into two distinct religious groups: the Hindu and the Buddhist. These minor shortcomings do not, however, lower the standard of the book. The … In both Hindu and Buddhist Newar communities, the caste system has been found to exist. Khas upper castes come next with an average income of Rs. Thus making is a complex system that can combine many elements from birth right, ethnicity, occupation, power and financial acumen. Newar women's restrictions at menstruation—a time of impurity for higher caste Hindus—are considerably less. The Newar are divided into hierarchical clan groups by occupational caste, readily identified by surnames. Normally they are made by members of the local Citrakār painter caste (New. Similarly, the Janajati has 36.0% of the total population of the country, has representation of 7.1%. If you agree to these terms, please click here. The caste system defines social classes by a number of hierarchical endogamous groups often termed jaat. The Chatharīya and Pañcthariya accept water and all foods except boiled rice and lentils from them. 15,630, Dalit Rs. According to him, at the time of his study in 1982 there were about 60 bhikkhus, i.e. Exclusive religious preference disappears from the next occupational caste which consists of people who form the majority population among the Newars – the farmers and agriculturalists – who are collectively called the Jyapu. First introduced at the time of the Licchavis, the Newar caste system assumed its present shape during the medieval Malla period. bahun( Mishra), Singh( rajput),baniya (sah/shah), yadav and koeri are most dominating caste among madeshi-aryan community.These various cultural groups belong to five distinct language groups: Maithili, Bajika, Bhojpuri, and Awadhi. Economically, the position of the Newars was weakened by the diversion of Tibet trade from the Chumbi Valley route since 1850s A.D. and the competition with the Marwaris became all the more stiff since the end of the World War I. Masks are a conspicuous and requisite feature of Newar theatrical plays and dances (both types of performances are called pyākhã in Newari). Newars are a strikingly complex community which cannot be limited as a simple singular community or a caste … The Newar caste system is the system by which Newars, the historical inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley, are divided into groups on the basis of Vedic varna model and divided according to their hereditary occupations. The adoption of the Hindu caste structure by the Newar Buddhists is also not easily explained, because, in principle, Buddhists oppose the Hindu caste system. The population of Newars is around 5%, but its occupancy in Civil Service is more than one-thirds (33.2%), the population of Khas-Chhetris constitutes 17.6% but its participation is mere 14.7%. In the past, the upper caste people used to look down upon the lower caste. Such a division of people created a rift in the society which has rendered the mention of caste as a taboo. They succeeded in producing the required social credentials to prove that the Mallas and Chathari tharghar (families of noble extraction) alone were “pure” Shresthas. But the Jyapus remained united and never allowed themselves to pushed into the position of serfdom of slavery as many non-Hindu tribes in the plains were forced to do. They are the purohits or family priests. The Nepalese caste system broadly borrows the classical Hindu Chaturvarnashram model consisting of four broad social classes or varna: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra. Originated as Vaishavism, this concept began to assimilate with Shyamanism (including natural religion), Shaivism and Buddhism. Pañchthariya or simply Shrestha, and iii. They are the indigenous people of the Kathmandu valley the and its surrounding areas in Nepal and the creators of its historic civilization. Newar caste logic stratifies the Uray and the Pāncthariya Srēṣṭha as the core Vaishya (alternatively Baisya) of Newars who are highly specialized in trade and commerce. Today, they picture themselves as the most genuine Newars, the epitome of their society and culture. 71–88, This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 05:06. It was only those clientele Newar families patronized by the Ranas who succeeded in upgrading their social and economic status by imitating new norms of the Rana durbar. Rakesh says: June 16, 2019 at 12:23 am. Ritual funeral specialists for Hindu Newars, Farmers from valley outskirts; not accepted as, Fishermen, sweepers, traditional executioners. The Nepalese caste system was the traditional system of social stratification of Nepal. They were, of course, not admitted in the army till 1951 A.D. –the year when the festival of Indra Jatra discontinued to be celebrated as “the Victory Day”—commemorating the conquest of the valley by the Gorkhali army. The global definition of the caste system surrounds a classification of several hereditary groups of hierarchical social class. Thimi, Dhulikhel, Dolakha, Panauti “Shrestha”, etc. Nepal: Growth of a Nation. They serve as traditional non-Brahmin Tantric priests of Taleju, the guardian deity of the Malla kings, as well as various other Tantric temples of Kathmandu valley. Among the Shresthas, since they are subdivided into two general sub-castes, the higher Chhathariya and the lower Pāñcthariya, one’s marriage partner must be from the same grade as well. Newar caste system is the system by which Newārs, the historical inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley, are divided into groups on the basis of Vedic varna model and divided according to their hereditary occupations. How Do Different People Assess Social Change In Nepal? Conversely, those Khas (North Indian Indo-Aryan) groups untouchable to the Partya Brahmans and Chetri themselves are also untouchable for the Newars. The residual group, neither Khae(n) nor Sae(n), are Muslims and Westerners, and these are generally treated as untouchable by the highest levels, and water-unacceptable by those below them. In the past, the upper caste people used to look down upon the lower caste. Caste system in Nepal Caste discrimination Nancy E. Levine. To these historically established and upper Srestha ranks, Chārtharīya’s efforts remain unacknowledged and hence are not counted among the Srestha fold. These rankings reflect the rankings and ambiguities of the Muluki Ain, the attempt to legislate a Nepalese national status system. Your email address will not be published. (3) Jyāpu group, consisting of several sub-castes, viz Maharjan, Dangol, Suwāl, Prajāpati, etc. Most Newars, as well as they themselves, consider them as being only partial Newars. fully Some of the prominent sub-castes within this group are Maharjan, Dangol, Suwal, Duwal, Singh, Prajapati, etc. In some areas the rule of “seven generations” of descent is observed; members who fall within the common descent group of seven generations are restricted from intermarriage. The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. This custom was traditionally only prevalent in the Hindu-Arya (Indo Aryan) societies of the Khas, Madhesi, and Newars. Paper presented at National Dialogue Conference on ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, Kathmandu, 19–20 January 2005. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/how-discriminatory-was-the-first-muluki-ain-against-dalits/. [1]The Newar system varies from the ideal typical South Asian religious model in various aspects. The most common Newari surnames could be Shrestha, Manandhar, Shakya etc but you might be surprised to know there are more than 115 surnames in this caste. Such a division of people created a rift in the society which has rendered the mention of caste as a taboo. This group not only presents the complicated social structure among all groups in Nepal, truly reflecting the model of four Hindu varna categories but is also clearly divided into two distinct religious groups: the Hindu and the Buddhist. First introduced in the time of the Licchavis, the Newar caste system assumed its present shape during the medieval Malla period. 46, No. It was an attempt to include the entire Hindu as well as non-Hindu population of Nepal of that time into a single hierarchic civic code from the perspective of the Khas rulers. Its attempts to integrate the entire Newar status system into a national system was very awkward for all parties, and “often deficient or ambiguous and at variance with the self-assessment of the Newar castes.”. The Newar caste system is the system of subdivision of Newars on the basis of designated occupation. The Brahmins were like all other specialized service providers, except that they were considered higher to others in ritual purity. The Rajopadhyayas still keep a strong tradition of Vedic and Tantric rituals alive, a fact exemplified for instance at the recent Lakhhōma, performed with contributions of the whole town of Bhaktapur. Until recently Newars of the Valley made no use of Parbatiya specialists, whether priestly (Bähun) or artisanal (low caste). More than fifty (52.0%) of Hill Dalits, 47.0% of the Tarai Dalits, 48.0% of the Muslims and 30 percent of the Hill Adivasi Janajatis have never been to school. Below is a list of Newar castes, their traditionals occupations, with the most common surnames and their respective hierarchical positions. Caste, State, and Ethnic Boundaries in Nepal. 1 (Feb., 1987), pp. Unlike the traditional Hindu caste systems prevalent in Khas and Madhesi societies, the existence of Buddhist "ex-monks" from ancient times in the Kathmandu Valley added a "double-headed" element to the Newar caste system. First introduced in the time of the Licchavis, the Newar caste system assumed its present shape during the medieval Malla period. of Sankhu. Some Udasas, like the Tuladhars, are among the most prosperous and wealthy people in Nepal, and used to have property interests in places like Lhasa, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and various other trade centres outside Nepal. Within the Sresthas there are three hierarchically ranked, traditionally endogamous groups which describe themselves as i. Kshatriya or colloquially Chatharīya, ii. For Hindu Newars, Brahmans had formal precedence with Kshatriyas, which included the royal family and the vari… They are the most dominant Newar caste that includes the old Newari aristocracy as well as the traditional land-owning and mercantile families. While the Chatharīya are the Newari aristocrats treated ritually as nobles, Pañchthariya are those who have been drawn from multiple economic and social backgrounds, especially from successful mercantile and commercial families and hence ritually seen as Vaishyas. Even Newar Brahmins who had been serving as priests for Newars lost ritual status vis-a-vis the “Hill Brahman”, the Parbate Bahuns, of the Khas people community. With the advent of Khas domination since Nepal’s unification by Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1769 A.D. the center of power shifted from the Newar noble families to these power -and land- hungry rural nobility whose core values were concentration of power at home and conquest abroad. He succeeded in introducing the caste system to a much greater degree and rigidity than Jayasthitimalla, the Malla king had done just over five hundred years before him. Nepal Population Report, 2002. For the higher Parbatiya castes (Bahuns and Chetris), the higher twice-born Hindu castes (Brahmans, Chatharīya and Pañcthariya) exist in a kind of “separate but parallel” status with respect to the high caste Parbatiya. [citation needed] Education is free and open to all castes. Therefore, while Rājopādhyāya Brahmins occupy the highest social position in the Hindu side, the Vajracharya (or Guru/Gu-Bhajus) form the head among the Buddhists. Traditional families also get advice from family Jyotishi/Joshi for horoscope match-making. There is an observable reaction to this among certain Khas Brahmin and Chhetri groups, seeking to prevent group-based rights from becoming an important factor in the country that earlier had a political system associated with group-based discrimination. The Acharya or Achaju (alternatively Karmacharya, Guruwacharya) hold prominent and respected position within the Newar society. The Sae(n) were generally treated as water-unacceptable by Brahmans. Madhikarmi (Halwai), Māka, Mulmi, Bhadra, Kachhapati, Banepali, Deoju, Nyachhyon, Bijukchhe, Sivacharya, etc. So there was an inclination for many lower caste people to change their name for better opportunities. Inter-caste marriages also take place in Newar society, usually where the bride marries a caste lower than hers. In 1963, Legal Code was replaced by New 1964 Legal Code. Newar caste system is the system by which Newārs, the historical inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley, are divided into groups on the basis of Vedic varna model and divided according to their hereditary occupations. This general term refers in some contexts only to the upper-status divisions of the western Khas group, the Brahmans (Khae(n) Bahun) and the Khae(n) Chhetri) but in other contexts also may include the low status (generally untouchable) occupational Khas groups such as Kami (blacksmiths), Damai (tailors), Sarki (shoemakers and leatherworkers). Terai occupational castes – Dhobi, Halkhor, Chamar, Dushad, Dom, Musahars, etc. (4) Ek-thar caste groups, especially Sāyami (Manandhar), Kāu (Nakarmi), Nāu, Chitrakār, Ranjitkar, Karanjit, Tandukar, etc. The case of Newār is exceptional. Furthermore, other non-Mongoloid hill groups who may be of dubious historical Khas connections, such as the Gaine, are included as Khae(n). Toffin's work is a significant contribution to the study of Newar society and culture, and, as the publisher's note says, "will certainly be very useful to the Newar themselves to help them understand their own society differently, if not better. Marriage is, as a rule, patrilocal and monogamous. Caste is inherently subjective; information for this site was gathered from an interview with a high-caste, ethnically Newar Nepali immigrant to the United States, Shreya Shrestha, who was present during the May earthquake, as well as outside sources like NGOs, opinion editorials, news resources, and needs assessments by organizations like the World Bank. Caste (jāt) Traditional occupation Personal Surnames (thars) Notes Brāhman, Shivamargi (1.1%) Hindu family purohit Rajopādhyāya, Sharmā, … [11] In terms of education, 88.0% of Khas Brahmins & Chhetris, and Newars have access to school, 12.0% have never been to school. You forgot Rajkarnikar. Terai and Newar Brahmins and Kshatriyas were officially placed below their Khas equivalents. Most notable contradiction is the inclusion of previously non-Hindu tribes "Adivasi Janajati" groups, as well as non-Nepalis including Muslims and Europeans into the hierarchical fold. Social exclusion and Maoist insurgency. Therefore, while Rājopādhyāya Brahmins occupy the highest social position in the Hindu side, the Vajracharya (or Guru/Gu-Bhajus) form the head among the Buddhists. The Bajracharyas, who belong to the first group, are placed at the top of the hierarchy among the Buddhamargi Newars. For Newar Brahmans, Partya or Khae Brahmans and Chetris are only water-acceptable. They are a prominent community in the business and cultural life of Kathmandu and have played key roles in the development of trade, industry, art, architecture, literature and Buddhism in Nepal and the Himalayan region. There are no low and high caste in Nepal. Referred to as ‘Dhyo Brahman'(God Brahmin) or colloquially as ‘Dhyo Baje'(God Grandfather), these Brahmins with surnames Rajopadhyaya, Sharma, Acharya, Subedi, among others, serve as family priest (purohit) primarily to the Hindu Srēṣṭha clans. The caste system is still intact today but the rules are not as rigid as they were in the past. The Legal Code “Muluki Ain” promulgated in January 1854 A.D. classified the entire Newar community—irrespective of its internal stratification—as an “enslavable alcohol-drinking caste.”. They do not generally call themselves by the name “Shrestha”, but use their family or clan titles, the main ones being- Joshi, Pradhan, Malla, Pradhananga, Amatya, Munshi, Maskey, Rajvanshi, Rajbhandari, Rajvaidya, Rajalwat, etc. Many Newars, in fact, participate in many of the observances of both religions. The interesting thing among Newars is that similar to much of India, the population of upper-caste Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas is minuscule compared to the lower castes. The division into Hindu and Buddhist castes has not been regarded by Newars as a serious cleavage, since both groups share the same basic values and social practices and are in close accord in their underlying religious philosophy. The old Newar upper caste, the Shrestha, were also reduced to Matawali status. In 2001 the CBS recorded 43 caste-origin Hindu groups in the Madhesh. Newar lowest occupational castes – Kulu/Dom, Podhya, Chyamaha/Chandala, etc. Today, Jyapus have succeeded in placing themselves at the centre of Newar society, thanks partly to the growing popularity of the Indigenous adivasi discourse. LANGUAGE, CASTE, RELIGIO AN TERRITORD N Y Newar identity ancient and modern Between the Newars, however an, d the other Hindoo inhabitant osf Nepal, there subsist a,s wel al s in character, customs, manner and featuress a,s in religious rite ans d language , very essential al differencesl o … Caste endogamy, however, which has been one of the main methods of maintaining status in India, is not strictly observed in Nepal by either the Newars or the Khasas. He ihtroduced those Newar castes from which most of the Theraväda followers come and gave some figures for the clerics, but none for the Tay people. Chārtharīya. [4][5], Hierarchies of Major Caste/Ethnic Groups in Nepal according to Muluki Ain:[6][7]. The high caste people like the Brahmins and Kshatriya are adopting traditional low caste jobs like sale of meat and washing clothes. First introduced at the time of the Licchavis (A.D. 300 – c. 879), the Newar caste system assumed its present shape during the medieval Malla period (A.D. 1201–1769). It was rooted in traditional Hindu Law and codified social practices for several centuries in Nepal. Menstruating Newar women can comb their own hair, and may continue to sleep in their usual place, although they sometimes … Among those 73.8% in higher education belong to higher castes, 22.0% Janajatis and 2.9% Dalit.[9]. Certain outside analysts have suggested that "seeking a balance in approach requires addressing both specific indigenous historical injustices while creating a common citizenship for all marginalised citizens regardless of identity, which remains a particularly challenging issue for Nepal". The legal recognition to caste and all the discriminatory laws made on the grounds of caste were ceased. Required fields are marked *. They speak Newari and follow Newar traditions but always retained matrimonial and other relations with the Terai. Historically, Newars in general divided non-Newar Pahade (hill) Nepalis into two groups: Sae(n) and Khae(n). [2], The case of Newār is exceptional. Newars are divided internally into distinct cultural groups of over 25 occupational caste categories who share a common language (mother-tongue) Nepal Bhasa.[2]. Pum), which is of a relatively low-ranking (but pure) status. Prerit Rajkarnikar says: April 22, 2019 at 3:40 pm. Jyapu and lower clean occupational groups accept water as well as boiled rice and lentils from them. Astrologers; also offsprings of Brahman-Srēṣṭha marriages; Nobles and royal descendants, military advisors and ministers. Majority population in Lalitpur, Bungamati, Kirtipur. In 2001 the CBS recorded only nine groups in the caste-origin Hill Hindu groups. Social exclusion and Maoist insurgency. Rajopadhyaya, Sharma, Acharya, Subedi, Shukla. Nay referring Newar butcher caste, Khi means drums and Baja as any kind of instrument or ensemble), the instrument which lends its name to the musician caste … We all live here with a great love, with equal rights. On the other hand, people of lower sections have slowly risen to the higher position with possibility for their advancement or economic independence, with dignity of their own. Mongoloid peoples, thought generally to have Tibetan connections, are called “Sae(n)” This term is said to derive from an old Newari term for a Tibetan or, according to some, for Lhasa. Gurung, H. (2005). Their dominance is reflected in education, administration and economical activities of the nation. The mother tongue of these groups is Nepali. The Dalits who constitute 12.8 percent of the total population of the country have no representation in the higher echelons of power' (Gurung, H. 2006). Through their community organisations, they increasingly speak on behalf of all Newars. For the non-Mongoloid hill ‘Khas’ tribe of the west who are of North-Indian Indo-Aryan heritage, and are in large part associated with the Gorkhali invaders, the term Partya or hill-dweller is used in polite reference. Newar – Brahmin and ChatharÄ«ya Srēstha; Terai – Brahmin (referred in the code as Indian Brahmin) (no mention of Terai Kshatriya groups), Gurkha tribes - Gurung, Magar, Rai and Limbu. The social values preached by the Muluki Ain, however, were providing restrictive, anachronic and out of step with the spirit of times. Along with the Shakyas they have the right of hereditary membership of the bahas or viharas. Below is a list of Newar castes, their traditionals occupations, with the most common surnames and their respective hierarchical positions. The Gubhaju (Vajracharya) and the Bare (Shakya) form the priestly functionaries. We all respect each other. In terms of earning/income generation, Newars have the highest per capita income of Rs. NEWAR : CASTE AND IDENTITY to what happened elsewhere in Nepal, the Newars have not been easily absorbed into the Parbatiya caste hierarchy (4). The Nepali civil code Muluki Ain was commissioned by Jung Bahadur Rana after his European tour and enacted in 1854. In this process the left outs were oppressed class (Dalits), women, the poorest of the poor, powerless and the second class citizen and indigenous nationalities (Adivasi Janajatis). The Rajopadhyayas speak Newari language and have been the purohitas and gurus of the Malla kings. However, since the unification of Nepal in the 18th century, Nepal's various non-Hindu indigenous nationalities and tribes, previously called "Matwalis" (alcohol-drinkers) and now termed as "Adivasi/Janajati" (indigenous/nationalities), have been incorporated within the caste hierarchy to varying degrees of success. They were the primary carriers of trade between Nepal and Tibet. The remaining castes all fall under the rubric of matwali or “liquor-drinking.” From the Khas Brahman-Chhetri point of view this large middle-ranking group includes most Newar and other Tibeto-Burman speaking peoples. This is followed by the Hindu Kshatriya nobility (Chatharīya) and the Vaishya merchant and traders castes. First introduced at the time of the Licchavis (A.D. 300 – c. 879), the Newar caste system assumed its present shape during the medieval Malla period (A.D. 1201–1769). As a consequence, among the Newars, caste has become more complex and stratified than among the non-Newar group. [1], The social structure of caste-origin Hill Hindu or Khas groups is simple, reflecting only three groups in hierarchy, with the distinct absence of the Vaishya and Shudra varnas.
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