Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tamang: An Enslavable Alcohol Drinker ethnic of Nepal

Every human being who are born in this world is associated or belong to the certain societal made ethnicity, race or caste group. It is essential for everyone of us must learn to understand about our history of origin and the culture from where we have existed in this society and the world so that it helps us to understand our root from where we've grown now as a fruit. It is also important to understand our history because
"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."  as said by Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator.

As I belong to the ethnic group of Nepal known as "Tamang" so being a curious mind learner connected with this community I always wondered why Tamang community is relatively backward and disadvantaged in Nepal despite living in surrounding Kathmandu valley and having rich culture with fifth major population of Nepal that occupies almost six percent (5.8%, 1,539,830) of the total population of Nepal as per the census 2011.

While undertaking my PhD on "Influence of gender-power relations in sexual and reproductive health knowledge and use among youth in the Kathmandu Valley" I read and explore many literatures to understand the root cause of gender-based discrimination and came to know the main reason not just about the discrimination between males and females but also about the caste/ethnic discrimination how it has started from the early 14th century formulating the Kathmandu Valley (by then Nepal) first code of conduct known as "Manav Naya Shatra" during King Jyasthi Malla period incorporating with the support of 5 Indian Brahmins all the verses from the Law of Manu "Manusmriti" a Hindu most prominent holy book that shaped Nepalese and Indian societal mindset even today.  In Nepal, in 1854 AD at the time of integrated /unified Nepal code of conduct "Muluki Ain" was written during Prime Minister Janga Bahadur Rana almost all the verses from the previous legal code of conduct "Manav Naya Shastra" including Manusmriti and other Hindu scriptures were incorporated that classified Nepalese diverse caste/ethnic groups in 5 different hierarchical groups.According to this code of conduct Tamang ethnic group has been placed in 3rd hierarchical group  categorised them under the Enslavable Alcohol Drinkers  as BHOTE (literally it means Tibetan) since their culture, customs and religion was very different than rulers and close to Tibetan tradition.  

Most scholars believe that the Tamangs are an ancient people, the original inhabitant of the himalayan regions, including the present capital of Nepal, Kathmandu valley, known to the Tamang as Yambu [1].

However, we have to learn to understand that Tamang community in Nepal like other tribal indigenous ethnic community has massively victimised because of the Sanskritisation and Hindunisation process imposed by the past rulers of Nepal. Therefore, they started to celebrate Hindu festivals and rituals like Dashain, Tihar and else. Otherwise, they never ever used to celebrate Hindus feasts and festivals. Also because they were Buddhists and were Brave therefore they were not allow to join any civil service in Nepal by Rana/Shah rulers. They are treated inhumanely that's why they are still backward in Nepal. Their daughters were used for sex trade and exploited sexually by Ranas and sold in India for sex trade for the East India Company troops to satisfy sexually so that government of Nepal could earn income. Because of this still some Tamang community in Nepal sell their daughters to India for sex trade.


2. Rinzing Lama, 2010. Tamang: My Community accessed from

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou Miss Laxmi Tamang for this indepth research and the never told truth of the Tamang Community. Great efforts. Please go on to reveal the unsaid truth of our community being hatred, enslaved and massively victimised to fall backward.