Nepal homestay that has a local family: Experiencing village life first-hand in Nepal


The home I’m keeping is humble, with doorways you have to squat so you can get through, ladders where stairs would usually be, no glass inside the windows, plus the occasional pigeon or mouse popping directly into say hello.

It’s definitely not for everyone. Shield . quantity of my stay it’s full of smiles, laughter as well as the mouth-watering scents of Newari cuisine. For people really wishing to wriggle beneath skin on this town, staying this is the wonderful opportunity.

My host “dad” Ram Shrestha, a devout Hindu, has demonstrated me round the serene old quarter, where we explored the ornate riverside temples, roamed the dusty ochre-hued laneways, and climbed to the lookout within the town’s outskirts to enjoy the sunset. I’ve chatted while using the Shresthas’ 18-year-old daughter Linda about her hopes for studying in California, and watched their nine-year-old Luniwa sing and dance to Bollywood tunes. Now, I’m helping my “mum” Rajani cook dinner. Once we’ve finished chopping you’re ready to fry fresh dosas, saute?vegies in cumin, turmeric and chilli, and stir soupy lentil dal.

Crowded within the small plastic home I mimic the Shresthas while they use their hands to enjoy. Squelching rice in a ball with my right hand, I mop the ball in the soupy vegetables and stuff an entire business into my mouth. There are actually giggles as food slips between my fingers and slops back onto my plate. Nepal’s famously potent “raksi” rice wine flows so we chat into your night.

At one time, the Shresthas draw out twenty pieces of photos of Luniwa’s “sun wedding”. There, spread along the table, are images on the seven-year-old Luniwa clad while in the traditional Nepalese wedding garb on the bright red sari and heavy gold jewellery, that has a terrified expression on her behalf face. Without any wonder. In broken English, Ram explains this coming-of-age ritual for Nepalese Newari (the indigenous inhabitants in the Kathmandu Valley) communities, whereby girls between seven and 13 are married towards “sun god” from a 12-day ceremony. To your first 11 days Luniwa was saved in a dark room, from the sunlight and then for any male contact?to purify her before her “marriage”.

It’s an intriguing ceremony, in any other case a bit confronting by my Western standards. However it is nothing when compared with what is due to keep next evening.

After bidding our Nepalese families and serene Panauti farewell, we make our in the past in to the honk and blare of Kathmandu. Within the outskirts within the city we get the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Pashupatinath temple, Nepal’s most sacred site comprising 400-odd shrines within the banks of your sacred Bagmati River. We stand on the dusty stone steps leading to the forest watching sadhus, or mystics, enclosed in tangerine robes with long beards wander by, while round the river four large funeral pyres burn.

“We Hindus believe the soul is indestructible,” says our Crooked Compass guide, pointing into the pyres. “Death is the end of the physical bodies, even so the soul continues its journey and it’s reincarnated in another form. Burning the body rids the soul for any attachment to your body that it was in.”

We continue walking by the river, having a number of rogue cows until we reach the site of the nightly aarti ceremony, Arya Ghat, the most key cremation site in Nepal. Once we’ve found a seat, the sun has set as well as the stars have happened, it begins.

On our side with the river the ceremony happens, with three turmeric-robed Hindu priests performing their choreographed ceremony of offering oil lamps, flowers and incense to your river, even though the public behind them sing, dance and clap their hands. On the other hand on the river the corpses are arranged. Some are wrapped in sheets, others exposed as they are blessed by their family before being affixed to the fireplace and engulfed by flames.

We dance, we sing, we laugh, we cry. I emerge using a distinct sensation of the fragility of life, and the thought in regards to an end, it has to be celebrated much like this.

The fragility of own life is on our minds again the very next day even as we visit Bungamati and Khokana, medieval Newari villages most of 1 hour from Kathmandu. When we explore the villages by foot we witness the devastation of last year’s earthquake, which killed over 8000 people and left millions homeless. Among?ochre-hued brick buildings strung with drying chillies and garlic lie piles of rubble. Some homes have collapsed completely; others have vicious cracks snaking up their facades. Among are small temporary aluminium houses locals must live in until the government rebuilds components.

Nepal’s history is rife using these sorts of hardships

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