Book Review: A Study in Nepali Economic History 1768 – 1846


Classical work on the 18th and 19th century economic history of Nepal is found in Mahesh Chandra Regmi’s work “A Study in Nepali Economic History 1768-1846”. A Study of Nepali Economic History is one of Regmi’s pioneering work as well as on economic history of Nepal. The book is based on the historical documents such as royal decrees, orders, letters, legal code and previous account on Nepal written by foreigners. Basically, book is based on archival research.

The book begins by giving brief account of geographical and political division along with Gorkha kingdom in 18th century along with the objective of the conquest and failure to achieve national integration in the first chapter. Regmi argues that main objective behind political unification of Nepal is to gain the economic benefit as his (Prithivi Narayan Shah’s) military campaigns was to gain territory in the Tarai as well as monopolize the trade routes between India and Tibet. Similarly, his argument regarding failure (Shah rulers) to achieve national integration was lack of administrative (including revenue collection), political and judicial uniformity. Administrative boundaries were made according to the boundaries of displaced principalities, displaced Rajas were restored as vassals state, and internal autonomy was provided to Limbus showed that there was diversity or disparity in function of state. Hence, Regmi argues that the sense of belongingness as one nation was not possible at that time.

Second chapter provides information on the economic background of pre-unification period where Regmi briefly describes economic resources (such as land, forest/timber and mines; trade and commerce; land tenure and taxation; and unpaid labour), use of money, and administrative system (land holding rights – Raikar, Birta, Guthi and Kipat; and village headman and other functionaries). Third chapter is very important in terms of knowing how was it possible for small and weak kingdom like Gorkha to unify Nepal. For Gorkha kingdom, Birta and jagir are the bedrock of administrative and political set-up. Birta grant was of considerable significance in organizing the foundations of the new political authority and administration. Birta were made to the leading families of the nobility to get their personal loyalty and support in implementing government policies. Where as jagir land were provided to nobility, civil and military service holder in the absence of cash salary. As the land was major source of livelihood and with jagir land, one can get certain privileges over common villagers such as collect revenue, right to dispense justice and extract unpaid labour. This policy of land tenure supported in continuing campaign of conquest. Revenue and taxation in chapter four provides several types of tax and levies collected by royal palace, government and local Birta or Jagir owners and village headman (Subba, Rai or Chaudhari). According to Regmi, the main objective of fiscal policy was to maximize the revenue. Commoner at that time had to pay several forms of tax including free labour to the palace, government and village headman. There was no formal account of how much revenue was collected (only estimation made by Kirkpetrick and Regmi himself can be found in the text) and how much were misused by headman and authorities. Regmi came to know about the misuse of revenue from the complaints filed against these authorities from various parts of the country.

Chapter five and six gives the picture of state relationship with the peasant and the land; and its impact on peasants. Government tried to control the land as much as it can and extract revenue from it. Though state has provided land to Birta owners, Jagirdar and village headman, land ownership ultimately rested on the state. It was the duty of Birta owners, Jagirdar and village headman to keep on cultivating the land through peasants and collect revenue from them. There was abundance of land at that time and less labour to work. So, it is very important for the state to have peasants cultivating the land and landlords to maintain the peasants to keep on working on the land. Hence, it was the strategy of the state to provide subsistence to peasants and stopping them from flight. Regmi cites various stances where government sends landlords to keep the peasants happy and not to keep the land empty. In the process of extracting more revenue from peasants, government and landlords started to take “kut” (i.e. advance amount for the use/production of land) instead of “adhya” (i.e. taking half of every production from land). Due to the implementation of “kut”, local money landers came into existence. These money landers took high amount of interest from peasants that throw them into indebtedness. This kind of indebtedness had lad people to slavery and bonded labour. There were instances where government tried to control slavery and the main objective of this action was to mitigate the hardship of peasants and thereby preventing peasants from migrating but not to end the slavery. Beside tax, peasants had to provide free labour to state and land owners in the form of “jhara”, “hulak” and “rakam”. These free labour were compulsory and peasants had to give high priority to them. Peasants had to finish free labour work assigned to them before their own work. In these two chapters, Regmi had shown the life of peasants in 17th and 18th century Nepal.

Chapter seven is about the revenue administration impact on agrarian conditions. In this chapter Regmi shows two basic forms of administrative arrangement in the revenue collection at that time. They are Ijara and Amanat. In Ijara system, Ijardar and/or local administrator was hired to collect the tax where as village headman was appointed in Amanat system. There was no uniformity in tax collection approach. Regmi, here, mostly focused on the Hills and Eastern Tarai. This chapter looks like the elaboration of second and fourth chapter where Regmi mentioned about taxation system in different parts of Nepal. In the concluding remark, he mentioned that both of the revenue collection mechanisms did not fulfilled the objective of the state (i.e. to maximize the revenue). There were loopholes through which local tax collectors could benefit more from tax collection and exploit peasants because administrative mechanism was not strong.

Chapter eight is about economic policies and program implemented during this period. There was no uniform policy and program. As the state’s objective was to maximize the revenue and the most important way was through land reclamation and settlement. Similarly, multiple taxes were imposed from manufacturing to export level; traditional channels were used for internal and foreign trade; trade was focused on exports and discouraging imports; state was monopolizing on specific trade items by giving them to individual contractors; liberal policy was implemented in the minting and coinage as it provided more profit without investment, defense products were under the state’s control with major raw materials bringing from India; and ambivalent policy on mining. Mining licenses were given to individual contractors but in 1800 it was brought in the control of government but there was no change in mining technology. Prithvi Narayan Shah’s policy of displacement of villagers from mining area was adopted but later his successors did not follow it. Similarly, focusing on export was also Prithvi Narayan Shah’s policy on trade and commerce which was followed for long time. To protect Kathmandu valley from foreign invasion, policy of isolation was adopted. Limited checkpoints were kept so that it will be easy to track record of the people travelling to Kathmandu. Economic policies and programs during the period were like fire fighting type and was not focued on the long-term development and growth. Because of that Nepal was going through financial crisis. It was hard for the state to maintain military strength.

Chapter nine focuses on the economic development after Nepal-British war. Because of the weak military strength, Nepal lost the war with British. Because of the loss in war, Nepal and British Empire come to the agreement called Sugauli treaty. This treaty fixed the territorial boundary of Nepal and gets to the present shape. After the loss, Nepal and India trade and commerce increased significantly. Market centers were established in Terai (border area) and in some parts of hills. Growth of British mercantilism was observed after Sugauli treaty.

The final chapter (chapter ten) is the conclusion of the whole book where Regmi argued that Nepal’s economic development after unification was not possible because government did not emphasis on the capital accumulation in order to increase productivity. He further said that landholding system did not generate market mechanism but just maintain subsistence and fulfill the obligation of landholdings.

The book is very interesting for those who want to understand economic history of Nepal. The book also shows picture of Nepali peasants and their hardship. It also shows how this legacy of Birta and Jagir land ownership had created class in itself. When we study the class in Nepal, Regmi’s work must not be excluded. As I said earlier, it is the pioneering work in the economic history of Nepal. So, many historian, sociologist, anthropologist and economist have relied on his work and build up on his work. Regmi has shown that archival research can produce very good result. This was his strength as well as weakness. There are no other verification tools or techniques used in the research such as interview or observation other than archival document.

In the book, Regmi has mentioned that peasants have sent their grievances relating to exploitation done to them but he did not give much attention on that part. It would be interesting what kind of exploitation they were facing, who were writing their letters and how they send their letters to palace, since, most of the peasants those days were illiterate. In overall, the book is very informative, dense with details of economy and impact on the peasants’ life in 18th and 19th century Nepal.

2015 Nepal Earthquake Data

The earthquake with the magnitude of 7.8 on 25 April 2015 led Nepali people to devastation. After 7.8 magnitude earthquake, hundreds of aftershock followed along with 7.2 magnitude (12 May) strong aftershock. This took life of more than eight thousand people and more than 16 thousands injured. There is no exact data how many people became homeless and had to live in the shelter.

Different sources have different data on the number of death due to earthquake. Recent data of Ministry of Home Affair’s (MOHA) is 8,856 deaths and 22,309 injured[1]. UNICEF earthquake report shows 8,631 (May 2015) and UN OCHA report shows 8,659 (4,771 female and 3,887 male) (June 2015) deaths.

I got MOHA’s list individuals who died in the earthquake (till 20 May, 201) and it contains name and details of 8,205 people. From that list, I have disaggregated the data in caste/ethnicity and gender. The result is shown in the table and figure below.

Earthquake hit everyone equally without looking any caste or ethnicity. It is obvious that those who live in the area of epicenter had lost more lives. Due to social causes like weak infrastructure, poverty, medical care, earthquake response, exclusion and discrimination, more people have lost their life. Table 1 shows the number of deaths by caste/ethnic group and sex.

Table 1: Death by Caste/Ethnic Group and sex

s.n. Caste/Ethnic group Female Male Total Percent
1 Tamang 1479 1400 2879 35.1
2 Bahun/Chhetri 1053 795 1848 22.5
3 Newar 726 462 1188 14.5
4 Gurung 283 230 513 6.3
5 Dalit 246 209 455 5.5
6 Magar 131 125 256 3.1
7 Sanyashi/Dasnami 102 67 169 2.1
8 Majhi 84 65 149 1.8
9 Sherpa 58 71 129 1.6
10 Madheshi 47 48 95 1.2
11 Rai 29 43 72 0.9
12 Danuwar 33 27 60 0.7
13 Thakuri 31 28 59 0.7
14 Unknown 23 33 56 0.7
15 Bhujel 33 18 51 0.6
16 Thami 27 23 50 0.6
17 Foreigner 15 23 38 0.5
18 Pahari 16 14 30 0.4
19 Tharu 8 13 21 0.3
20 Muslim 8 11 19 0.2
21 Sunuwar 11 3 14 0.2
22 Limbu 8 5 13 0.2
23 Baram 5 7 12 0.1
24 Chepang 3 5 8 0.1
25 Kumal 5 2 7 0.1
26 Hyalmo 2 2 4 0.0
27 Dhimal 2 1 3 0.0
28 Thakali 1 2 3 0.0
29 Darai 1 1 0.0
30 Hayu 1 1 0.0
31 Jirel 1 1 0.0
32 Rajbanshi 1 1 0.0
Total 4473 3732 8205 100.0

Table 1 shows the number of death of different caste and ethnic groups in chronological order. Tamang community has highest number of lives (2,879) followed by Chhetri/Bahun and Newar (1,848 and 1,188). Chhetri and Bahun (and/or Brahman) are put together in the data because many of their surnames are similar and it is hard to disaggregate data on the basis of surname. That is why their number is high. Those peoples who were not identified were counted as unknown. There are 56 unknown. Beside national, foreigners (38 persons) have also lost their life in this earthquake.

Figure 1: Percentage of death of different caste and ethnic groups


Caste and ethnic groups are categorized into seven sub-categories. Among them indigenous peoples had highest number of death (5466 i.e. 66.6 percent of the total death). People from endangered and highly marginalized indigenous communities such as Chepang, Jirel and Hayu have also lost their life in this earthquake. Hill high castes (according to Verna system) had lost 25.3 percent i.e. 2076. Dalits (lowest caste in the Verna system) had lost 455 lives which constitutes 5.5 percent. Madheshi (people from Terai) had lost 95 lives (1.2 percent). Foreigner and unknown were less than 0 percent (shown in Figure 1).

Data in Table 1 showed that number of female death is higher than that of male i.e. 54.5 and 45.5 percent respectively. When this data is disaggregated into caste and ethnic group. We could see another picture (figure 2).

Figure 2: Percentage of female and male death of different caste and ethnic groups


 It was Tamang women and girls who lost the most lives. They constitute 18 percent of the total death followed by Tamang men (17 percent). Chhetri/Bahun women together lost almost 13 percent followed by Chhetri/Bahun men (9.7 percent). Newar women lost almost 9 percent of lives. Newar men on the other hand lost 5.6 percent of the lives. The difference between male and female death among Chhetri/Bahun and Newar communities are somewhat similar. The gap is not that big in Tamang and other communities. The percentage of death among Gurung and Dalits are between 3 to 4 percent and the difference between male and female is less than 0.6 percent.

Whole nation felt the terror of earthquake. Many of them have lost their homes, property and above all they lost their family and loved ones. According to the provided by MOHA, 31 districts had seen the loss of lives. Earthquake severely affected fourteen districts and making some damage in other districts. The data of the casualties from affected districts is given in Table 2.

Table 2: Number and percent of death by district

S.N. District Female Male Total Percent
1 Sindhupalchowk 1891 1478 3369 41.1
2 Kathmandu 586 606 1192 14.5
3 Nuwakot 393 339 732 8.9
4 Dhadhing 385 341 726 8.8
5 Rasuwa 310 256 566 6.9
6 Gorkha 232 208 440 5.4
7 Bhaktpur 212 121 333 4.1
8 Kavre 173 145 318 3.9
9 Lalitpur 112 74 186 2.3
10 Dolokha 81 81 162 2.0
11 Ramechhap 25 15 40 0.5
12 Makwanpur 19 15 34 0.4
13 Okhaldhunga 9 10 19 0.2
14 Solukhumbu 6 13 19 0.2
15 Sindhuli 9 5 14 0.2
16 Sunsari 6 3 9 0.1
17 Chitwan 1 6 7 0.1
18 Parsa 5 2 7 0.1
19 Bara 5 5 0.1
20 Lamjung 2 3 5 0.1
21 Mahotari 1 2 3 0.0
22 Rautahat 2 1 3 0.0
23 Bhojpur 2 2 0.0
24 Kaski 1 1 2 0.0
25 Morang 1 1 2 0.0
26 Sarlahi 1 1 2 0.0
27 Gulmi 1 1 0.0
28 Nawalparasi 1 1 0.0
29 Palpa 1 1 0.0
30 Rolpa 1 1 0.0
31 Rukum 1 1 0.0
32 Taplejung 1 1 0.0
33 Terathum 1 1 0.0
34 Udayapur 1 1 0.0
  Total 4475 3730 8205 100

People living in Sindhupalchowk lost the most lives (41.1 percent) followed by Kathmandu (14.5), Nuwakot (8.9 percent), Dhading (8.8 percent), Rasuwa (6.9 percent) and so on. These districts lost more than 500 lives. 14 districts have lost less than 0.0 percent i.e. one to three persons.

I hope this data will help people to understand the demography of the casualties and also to people who want to work in the earthquake response.

Note: I would like to thank Dr. Mukta Singh Tamang for providing the death toll of MOHA, Yonjan Bhai and Neem Darlami for helping me in data entry in excel and LAHURNIP for facilitating the study.

[1] viewed on 2016.3.21

युप्पारुङमा निहित महिला अधिकार

लिम्बू समुदायको विवाह संस्कारमा नभै नहुने वस्तु हो युप्पारुङ् । कहीकही यसलाई युप्पालुङ् पनि भन्ने गरिन्छ । युप्पाको शाब्दिक अर्थ चाँदिको ढ््याक÷पैसा भन्ने हुन्छ । यसलाई लिम्बू–अंग्रेजी–नेपाली शब्दकोशमा “लगनको समयमा वर र वधूलाई आजीवन विवाह–बन्धनमा बाँधी बाचा गराउँदा प्रयोग गरिने चाँदिको टक र (विवाहलग्नअधि बेहूलीलाई दिइने) बैना” भनेर अर्थ लगाइएको छ । हामीले देख्दै आएको युप्पारुङ् वा युप्पालुङ् भनेको विवाहमा बेहुलीलाई बेहुलाको तर्फबाट दिइने चाँदिको रुपैयाको ढ््याक नै हो ।

शाब्दिक अथै जे भएपनि युप्पारुङको सांकेतिक (symbolic) अर्थ धेरै महत्वपूर्ण छ । युप्पारुङ एक जिम्मेवारीको प्रतिक हो भने यो महिलाको लागि गरिएको विषेश व्यवस्था पनि हो वा महिलाको स्वतन्त्र हुनका लागि प्रयोग गरिने साँचो पनि हो । माथि भनिए झै विवाहमा लगन गर्नु अगाडि बेहुलाले बेहुलीलाई बाचा बन्धन गरीे चाँदिको एक रुपैया बेहुलीको पोथाङको छेउमा बाँधीदिन्छ । फेदाङमाले बेहुलालाई चाँदिको रुपैया बाधाउनु अधि आफ्नी श्रीमतीको साथ दिने, इज्जत साथ घरमा राख्ने, कुनै किसिमको र्दुव्यवहार नगर्ने, श्रीमती प्रति बफादार रहने र त्यस्तो नगरेमा त्यहि युप्पारुङ्ले श्रीमतीले श्रीमानको निधारमा हानेर वैवाहिक सम्बन्धको अन्त्य गर्नसक्नेछिन् भनी बाचा बन्धन गराएको हुन्छ ।

युप्पारुङमा गरीएको बाचा बन्धनले लिम्बू समुदायमा विवाह भनेको एक करार हो भन्ने मान्यता स्पष्ट देखिन्छ । करार गर्दाका सर्तहरु पूरा नभए वा नगरीए करार भंग गर्न सकिने कुरा पनि यहाँ देखिन्छ । युप्पारुङ दिदा गरिएको करार पुरुषले तोडेको खण्डमा महिलाले पनि त्यसलाई तोड्न सक्नेछिन् । यसर्त महिलाको स्वतन्त्र हुने महत्वपूर्ण अधिकारको यहाँ रक्षा गरिएको छ । अहिलेको मानव अधिकारको भाषामा भन्ने हो भने महिलाको आत्म–निर्णयको अधिकारको सम्मान गरिएको छ ।

हामी नजिकका अन्य सामाजिक/धार्मिक समुदाय जस्तो कि हिन्दू र ईसाइ धर्ममा यस्तो व्यवस्था गरिएको छैन । हिन्दू धर्ममा एक चोटि विवाह गरिसकेपछि सात जन्मसम्म ती महिला उसैकि (उसको श्रीमानको) हुन्छे । ईशाइ धर्ममा पनि पवित्र–विवाहबन्धन (holy-matrimony) लाई चर्चले तोड्न सक्दैन वा तोड्ने अधिकार धर्ममा दिएको छैन । लिम्बू मुन्धुमले भने विवाहलाई तोड्न सकिने करारको रुपमा प्रस्तुत गरिएको छ र फेदाङमाले विवाहकै समयमा युप्पारुङ बाध्ने बेला बेहुला–बेहुलीलाई सबै इष्टमित्र र तुम्याहाङबीच स्पष्ट पारेका हुन्छन् । महिलाले आफ्नो श्रीमानको घरमा अपमानित भएको, छल भएको वा र्दुव्यवहार खेपेको खण्डमा सम्बन्ध विच्छेद (नाजोङ) गर्ने अधिकार राख्दछे । यो अधिकार युप्पारुङमा निहित हुन्छ ।

युप्पारुङले निधारमा हिर्काएर चोट पुर्र्याउँनु भन्ने कुरा सांकेतिक मात्र हो । त्यसले शारीरिक चोट त खासै पुर्र्याउँदैन तर सामाजिक चोट भने राम्रै पुर्र्याउँछ । युप्पारुङमा बाचा बन्धन गरिनुको ध्येय पनि यहि नै हो । महिला आफूले आफ्नो जन्म घर छाडेर इमान्दारिताका साथ श्रीमानको घरलाई आफ्नैमानि घरको सबै कामकाज गर्ने, घरका सबै सदस्य लगायत वस्तुभाऊको रेखदेख र स्याहार–सुसार गर्ने, खेत–बारी लगायत पूजापाठका काम समेत गर्ने जिम्मा लिएकी हुन्छे । यस्तो गर्दागर्दै पनि महिलालाई सम्मानसाथ उसको श्रीमानको घरमा राखिनए भन्ने सन्देश यसले दिन्छ । हाम्रो समुदायमा भनाई नै छ, “बरु बुढी मरेकोसंग जानु बुढीले छाडेकोसंग नजानु” अर्थात् विहे गर्नु नै पर्ने अवस्था आईपरे र भनेजस्तो केटा नपाए बुढी मरेकोसंग विहे गर्नु तर बुढीले छाडेकोसंग विहे नगर्नु । हुन त बुढीले छाडेका सबै पुरुष खराब हुदैनन् तर साधारणतया त्यस्तै हुन्छ भनेर नै यस्तो भनाई प्रचलित भएको हुनसक्छ । युप्पारुङले हानेर सम्बन्ध विच्छेद गर्नुले पुरुषको सामाजिक मर्यादामा आँच पु¥याउनु नै हो । यसर्थ महिलालाई यस खाले विशेष व्यवस्था लिम्बू प्रथाजनित कानूनले दिएको छ ।

विभिन्न जाति/समुदायले परम्परागत रुपमा मानआएको÷चलिआएको नीति, नियम र कानूनलाई प्रथाजनित कानून भनिन्छ । यो लिखित वा अलिखित दुवै रुपमा हुन सक्छन् । संसारमा धेरै देशहरु छन् जहाँ त्यहाँका विभिन्न जातजाति, समुदाय, आदिवासी, जनजातिहरुको प्रथाजनित कानूनलाई राज्यको कानून सरह मान्यदा दिइएको छ । उदाहरणको लागि भारत, मलेसिया, फिलिपिन्स, क्यानडा, अमेरीका, बोलिभिया लगायत थुप्रै अफ्रिकि मुलुहरुमा प्रथाजनित कानून राज्यको कानून सरह मान्यता पाएका छन् । नेपालमा भने राज्यको कानूनले युप्पारुङ जस्तो परम्परागत मान्यतालाई प्रथाजनित कानूनको मान्यता दिएको छैन वा भनौ यस्ता प्रथाजनित कानूनलाई नै राज्यले मान्यता दिएको छैन । नेपालले आदिवासी जनजाति सम्बन्धी संयुक्त राष्ट्रसंघीय घोषणापत्र (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples)  र अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय श्रम संगठनको आदिवासी जनजाति सम्बन्धी महासन्धी (International Labour Organization’s Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples or ILO Convention no 169) अनुमोदन गरेसंगै आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको प्रथाजनित कानूनले राज्यको अन्य कानून सरह मान्यता पाउँनु पर्ने हो । तर घोषणापत्र र महासन्धी १६९ को कार्यान्वयन प्रभावकारी नभएको कारण यस्ता प्रथाजनित कानूको मान्यता भइ नसकेको अवस्था छ ।

युप्पारुङसंग गाँसिएको परम्परा धेरै पहिलेदेखि चलिआएको भएता पनि यो समसामयिक अवस्थामा पनि उत्तिकै व्यवहारीक छ । यो व्यवहारीक भएता पनि  राज्यको कानूनको प्रभावले गर्दा लोप हुँदै जाने अवस्था छ । साथै यसको अर्थ नबुझेर यसको महत्व विवाह विधिमा चाहिने सामग्रीको रुपमा मात्र रहने अवस्था देखिन्छ । यसको महत्वलाई समयमै बुझेर यस्ता परम्परा र प्रथाजनित कानूनलाइृ मान्यता दिलाउन आवश्यक देखिन्छ ।

Name of Limbu Gods/Godesses

There are several gods and goddesses in Limbu community. Each god has different roles and responsibilities. Here are names of Limbu god and goddesses.

  1. Akawanama = goddess of land
  2. Ashek Sammang = serpent god
  3. Kemba Sammang = god who protects from accidents, illness, etc .
  4. Theba Sammang
  5. Khanjama = goddess who lives in low land
  6. Khabeso Thakphumang = god of home
  7. Khijora Menjora Mang = goddess of loom
  8. Cherungma = goddess who saves from evil eye
  9. Taksangba = god of the jungle, forest god
  10. Taktakunungma = supreme power
  11. Tagera Ningwaphuma = Omnipotent god
  12. Tambhung = goddess of forest
  13. Tungdunge = one of the clan god (god who controls anger, state of mind, etc.)
  14. Tenchhama = goddess of a village (protects from mental illness)
  15. Thakphuppa Kappo = god of house, grandfather god
  16. Namhangma = a god (god who saves from illness of eye, ear, nose, skin, etc.)
  17. Payanglungma = a god (who control anger)
  18. Meyang Sammang =  Cat god (who protects kitchen garden)
  19. Misek = Fire god
  20. Miframa = God who protects children
  21. Mukkum Mujoklungma = Supreme powerful creator
  22. Mukkum Sam = Soul who gives power
  23. Mujoklung Mubokwa = creator
  24. Muden = a god (who protects human)
  25. Munam Mang = goddess who protects from heart disease
  26. Muya Sammang = Eagle god
  27. Musappin Khesappin Mang, Nisammang = god of knowledge and wisdom
  28. Muhik = a goddess (who helps in child birth)
  29. Yang Sammang = goddess of wealth
  30. Yamlenggen Sumnimang = who knows everything (past, present and future)
  31. Yam Sammang = goddess of health
  32. Yuma Mang = Reincarnation of Tagera Ningwaphu Mang in a form of powerful old lady to protect human beings (main deity of Limbus)
  33. Yobadangba = god of land, god who protects from skin diseases
  34. Laklungma = goddess who protects children
  35. Lademma = goddess who protects from blindness
  36. Lepmuhang = reincarnation of god (to protect human beings from calamities)
  37. Warakma = god of water (protects pregnant women)
  38. Sawa Sammang = Monkey god
  39. Sesemang Sangsangmang = holy soul

source: Limbu-Nepali-English Dictionary

लत लाग्ने क्याण्डी

क्याण्डी सबैलाई मन पर्छ । बच्चाहरुलाई त झनै मन पर्छ । क्याण्डी खान भनेपछि हुरुक्कै हुन्छन् बच्चाहरु । तर यो लत लाग्ने क्याण्डी, बच्चालाई भन्दा ठूलालाई मन पर्छ । यो खाने नभई खेल्ने क्याण्डी हो । यसलाई “क्याण्डी क्रस सेगा” भनेर चिनिन्छ ।

क्याण्डी क्रस सेगाको लतमा धेरैजना परेका छन् र त्यसमध्ये म पनि एक हुँ । यो क्याण्डीको लतमा परेपछि के के हुन सक्छ म क्रमैसँग बताउने छु ।

१. समय गएको पत्तै हुँदैन ः एक गेम खेल्छु भनेर मोवाइल समात्यो पाँच वा त्यो भन्दा बढी गेम खेलिन्छ । हारे पाँच गेम जिते त्यो भन्दा बेसी खेल्न सकिन्छ । पाँच गेम हार्दा पनि लगभग १५÷२० मिनेट त्यसै जान्छ । एक गेम खेलेर छाड्छु भने पनि यसले लठ््याएर छाड्नै सकिन्दैन । एउटा लाइफ भए मात्र एक पटक खेल्ने हो । लाइफ भए सम्म छाड्न मन लाग्दैन, यो क्याण्डीलाई ।

क्याण्डी खाने मान्छे टेक्नोलोजी चलाउन जान्ने छ भने मोबाइलमा समय अघि सारेर पनि लाइफ बढाइ क्याण्डी खेल्ने गर्छन् । मैले पनि धेरै पटक त्यसरी लाइफ बढाएर खेलेको छु । यस्तो गर्द २–४ घण्टा नै क्याण्डी खेल्न सकिन्छ तर समयले डाँडा काटीसकेको पत्तै हुँदैन ।

२. खानेकुराको सत्यानास ः क्याण्डी पड्काउने लत लागेको मान्छेले खाना खाने बेलामा पनि क्याण्डी खेल्न छाड्दैन । त्यसो भएपछि खाना सेलाउने भयो र सेलाएको खाना राम्रोसँग खान सकिन्दैन । क्याण्डी फोड्ने मान्छेले खाना पकाउँदा पनि क्याण्डी छाड्दैन र खाना कहिलेकाहि डढ्ने पनि गर्छ । खाना डढेपछि न अरुले खान सक्नु न आफूले नै । अनि भएन त खानेकुराको सत्यानास् ।

३. कामको थुप्रो ः जब समय जति क्याण्डी मै खर्च हुन्छ भने कामको थुप्रो नलाग्ने कुरै भएन । क्याण्डी खेल्दिन, काम गर्छु भनेर काम गर्न लाग्यो । एक छिन खेल खेलु लागि हाल्छ । अनि एक गेम, एक गेम भन्दा भन्दै धेरै गेम खेलि सकिन्छ । अहिलेको काम भरे, भरेको काम भोलि, भोलिको काम पर्सि । अनि त सकि गो नि …… ।

४. साथीहरु रिसाउने, सम्बन्ध बिग्रने ः बच्चालाई क्याण्डी दियो वा बच्चाले क्याण्डी माग्यो भने बच्चासंग सम्बन्ध सप्रिन्छ । तर यो क्याण्डीले सम्बन्ध बिगार्छ । क्याण्डी नखेल्ने साथीहरु फेसबुक म्यासेजमा क्याण्डीमा लाइफ माग्यो भनेर रिसाउँछन् र अनफ्रेन्ड गर्छु भन्छन् । अन्य ठाउँमा काम गरेन, भनेको कुरा सुनेन भनेर रिसाउने । कुरा गर्दै क्याण्डी खेल्दा कुराको सिलसिला बिग्रेर बर्बाद । सुनी राखेको छु भनी रहन्दा पनि ध्यान क्याण्डीमा हुँदा रेसपोन्स अन्यथा हुँदा परिवारजन रिसाउने त भयो नै ।

५. बिनासित्तिको गालि खाने ः क्याण्डीको लतले गर्दा यत्ति धेरै गालि खानुपर्ने तर पनि क्याण्डी प्यारो लाग्ने । अचम्मैको लत लगाउने । क्याण्डी खेल्दा त गालि खाने नै भयो, नखेल्दा पनि यसले धेरै क्याण्डी खेल्छ भनेर लागि खाइने ।

समयको बर्वादी, खानेकुराको सत्यानास, कामको थुप्रो लगाउने, सम्बन्धमा कटुता र गालि खान्दा पनि नछुट्ने लत लगाउने क्याण्डी । यस्तो क्याण्डीलाई के गर्ने होला ? छाड्न नि नसक्ने, राख्न नि हैरान ।

Everyone has a story to tell: One Year of Earthquake

Everyone who survived 25 April 2015 earthquake has a story to tell. That story of survival and devastation is in our minds as they are of yesterday. Every aftershock reminds us of the moment where earth d like never before.

Every day we think of earthquake, aftershock, shock, jolt or shake. Every shake, even it is not a quake, we got terrified. when a baby moves a bed with her innocent jump, we get up terrified thinking it as earthquake. When a big truck pass by and shakes the ground with its heavy load and sound, it feels like quake. Our mind is tangled around earthquake. There is no day there was not a post about earthquake in social media and online news portals. People keep on sharing the news and astrologer’s calculation on upcoming earthquake (the big one). Some commenting as fake and many still fearful.

Every social gathering, there is a bit of a talk on earthquake. Everyone has story to tell, one stuck in a bathroom and other in a mall, one in stairs of five-storey building and other in a lift, one in a cinema hall and other in a playground, one in hospital bed panicking and other in a house trying to run as fast as one can, one in the temple praying and other under the rubble fighting with death. Every story is interesting as other.

Everyone has additional story to tell about “the life under a tent”. Meeting with neighbours we never talked with, finding out where they originally from, sharing food and drinks we had, talking how fierce nature could be. It was the time when we also knew our strength and weaknesses. It was the time when we see the true colour of our family, friends and neighbours. Again there are stories of support, help, betrayal, discrimination and illtreatment to tell about.

Those who survived are capable of telling their stories but those who lost their life also had stories. How they died, where they died, they died young and they died old, they died alone or they died together with someone, how they lived their life and so on.

Many many stories, many many memories – some we do not want to forget and some do not let us forget. Everyone has a story to tell of the great Earthquake.

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How to learn Limbu language

Learning language needs dedication and practice. There are people who are very good in  learning and there people who are not so good. There are different tricks to learn language


1. Stay with people who speaks the language

If you really really want to learn Yakthung-pan (Limbu language), then best way to do is to go to the place where people only speaks Yakthung-pan. Or hang around with people who speaks the language.

Some of my foreigner friend suggested to have girlfriend/boyfriend who are native speakers so that you can learn the language faster. In my opinion, it will be best to go to village where everyone speaks Yakthung-pan somewhere in Panchthar, Taplejung or Terathum (but not their district headquarters or near district headquarters).

2. Take a class

If you have a group of people who wants to learn Yakthung-pan, then you can find a tutor. There are tutor who also teach individuals. With this little investment, you can achieve something important.

Actually, my brother and I went to Yakthung-pan classes run by an organization called Lilda. Dilendra Kurungbang (now he lives in Panchthar) was our Siksamba (teacher). It was a fun to be in class where there was no age bar. Young and old we all learned together. (Wish we could continue such classes again).

3. Get help from print materials

Getting help from print materials is another way to learn language. It might not help much in verbal part but it will help in understanding. My best friend in this part is dictionary. Now there are several dictionaries in the market and most of them are Limbu-English-Nepali and Nepali-Limbu. I have not seen any English to Limbu. (I hope there is, if not I hope somebody will work on it).

There’s a book called “Yakthung Pan Hu Asi” (i.e. Learn Yakthung Pan or Limbu language) published by Kirat Yakthung Chumlung. This books also helps a lot for beginners. There are several other books published for non-formal education published by different organizations.

There are several newspaper and magazines in Limbu every year. You could grab one of them and read them, mark the word and find the meaning in the dictionary or by asking. (This is not for the beginners though). But going through dictionary, word by word helps a lot (for beginners as well).

Actually, I have been reading Bairagi Kainla’sMundhum compilations (he has published several compilation of Mundhum). These compilations are in bilingual (Limbu and Nepali), so you can read in both language that makes easier to understand and learn. I wrote the words and find their meanings. I like it because Mundhum is so interesting and we can learn so much from it.

4. Audio-visual

Experts says that audio-visual is the best way to learn and tech. So, there are plenty of them in Yakthung-pan. There are so many music albums and videos realesed each year. Bhagat Subba, Jhuma Wanem and Manu Nembang are few names who have beautiful voice to listen.You can find one of them (buy CD or youtube) and write down the lyrics and find meanings. Sing along with the song. Enhance your vocabulary as well as pronunciation.

If you are fan of watching movies then good news is every year a couple of movies are released in Yakthung-pan. You can buy the DVD and watch them. I cannot guarantee the quality but you can definately use it as learning tool. You can find them in Ina Cassette Center, Putalisadak (opposite to Reporter’s club; Kirat Yakthung Chumlung Office (; Namendra Sing Angbuhang also sells these items at his library at Buddhanagar, Indigenous Film Archive ( and Yakthung Munchait Chok Sayang (i.e. association of Limbu film-makers) could help you in getting good movies.

5. Use Internet, email and social media

Internet is great tool for learning many things. You can use it creatively according to your need. The most simple and easy way is to make email group in yahoo or google and learn from each other. You can also use facebook as a learning tool (actually I just created facebook page called “Learn Yakthung Pan” and group “Learn Yakthung Pan”).

6. Mobile application

Mobile application has been an effective way to learn language. There are several applications to learn popular languages such as English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Hindi and so on. But I have not seen any application to learn Yakthung pan. So, I am thinking of developing one with the help of my friends and elder (who speaks Yakthung). (I am looking for moral and financial support and if you are interested to involve in this work or want to support the cause, please email me at

These are the few techniques and tools to learn Yakthung pan. I hope you like it.

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