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Nepali Culture and Traditions

Home | Old Nepali Houses | Traditional Musical Instrument Equipments
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Old Nepali house found in the outskirts of Darjeeling.[West Bengal ,India]
This type of houses were made during olden days which are rarely found these days.The  pillars are made from bamboo and the roofs are of typical type of grass locally named 'Siru',walls are of mud beautifully furnished and colored.Its said that this type of houses are warm in winter and cool in summer.the floor are made with the mixture of cow dung and mud.

Fig : Different types of old Traditional houses

Nepali Musical Instruments

Fig:Sarangi
Sarangi" is a four string Nepali traditional instrument specially made of a tree locally named Khaamari,Its lower portion has a small box covered with animals skin for vibration,Sarangi has a bow similar to Violin for playing.This instrument is the backbone of Nepali Folk Music.Its been said that the instrument is designed similar to the shape of horse.In olden days it has served as the way for spreading messages about Culture,Tradition,Religion and Historical facts,most of the folk song sang with with Sarangi depicts some historical facts and facts related to real life.The instrument were played during festivals like Dushara Dipawali etc. but nowadays Sarangi are played in recording studios and few cultural program only.
There are also number of folks song and some commercial songs based on this instrument in Nepali  Musics  holding place in several hearts. Sarangi still have its importance in our culture and tradition People still love to listen  the sweet melody of the  instrument "SARANGI".

Fig:Madal
Madal: Madal is one of the old traditional musical instrument of Nepali folk music,its said that Madal has been derived from 'Mridanga' (an important instrument of Indian classical music).There are different types of beats of this instrument used for controlling the flow of the song.
Name of few beats are as follows:झ्याउरे [Jhewray],ख्याली [khyali],समला [samala],सोरठी [Sorathi] ,चरित्र [Charitra], चड्के [Charkey] etc.
In olden days the farmers used to play Madal for refreshment after the whole days work.It was also played during festivals like Tihar while playing Deusi [Deusi: A typical type of play like Christmas Carol played during Tihar(Dipawali) spreading the message of God and Goddess and celebrating the festival and creating the feeling of oneness].
            Not only in olden days but Madal also plays a vital role in today's musical world as its used in recording studios for recording purposes.A famous Bollywood music director played madal in one his composition 'Hoga tumse pyara kaun'{होगा तुमसे प्यारा कौन} which still captures the heart of the people.
                                           

Fig:Damphu
Damphu is the an instrument played by the hill tribal people Tamang,in olden days it was made by bamboo stripe round in shape and animals skin was stretched covering the ring and pinned by small pins made of bamboo.Its has only one type of beat locally named Selo [2/4].

Fig:Panchey Baja
पनचे बाजा [Panchey Baja]


Panchey Baja, a special instrument mostly played during marriages and few traditional Nepali functions like fest and others,This instrument are rarely visible nowadays,Its the collection  of few instrument like Sahanai [सहनाई], Jhyali [झ्यालि], Damaha [दमाह] and Dolki [डोल्की ].

मर्चुङग [Marchunga] :


This is a unique instrument rarely found these days,Its made from small piece of bamboo and copper as well.Its placed in mouth and thread tied on its one end is pulled in certain  way which generates a typical type  of vibration a melodious vibration.


Other instruments are as follows:


बाँसुरि [Bansuri]-Flute
दमाह  [Damaha]
डमरु  [Damaru]
धिमे [Dhimay]
ढोलक्[Dholak]
झ्यालि[Jhaley]
खिन्[Khin]
शंख्[sankha]
सृङगा[sringa]
तबला[tabla]
तुङगाना[tungana]
बिनायो[binayo]

Traditional Equipments
Fig:Jhato

Fig : Nanglo


ओखली [Okhli]

Fig; Thangra
Maize (मकै) : Maize is one of the major cultivation carried out in few areas of Darjeeling.Its believed that maize helps to keep body warm so people eat maize during winter season mostly.Maize usually termed as corn in most of the English speaking countries.
       The figure shows how maize is kept for future use.These system of keeping maize is locally termed as 'Thangra' (थाङ्ग्रा ) in Nepali language.Its said that this method of keeping maize hanged in bamboos covered with typical type of grass locally called Siru prevents it from spoilage and remains safe from rats and rabbits.
{Siru is typical type of grass normally found around hill areas,these type of grass are used to make roofs of houses but are rarely seen nowadays }
There are several ways of keeping maize,the figure shows one of its kind of saving the maize for the future use.Its approximately at a height of 3-4 feet from the ground level.


Nepali girls in Traditional dress .

Fig:Khukuri
The Khukuri (खुकुरी) is a traditional cutting tool and a Weapon of Nepalese people.The weapons is used by all the Nepali Armies in Nepal,India and serving  in different armies around the world.The Khukuri is originated from Nepal and presented as the icon of Nepal.It has its significant importance in the battlefields around the world used by he Gorkha regiments in Indian Army ,Nepal Army and other  armies. Khukuri symbolizes the bravery  of the Gorkha regiments all over the world and occupies a special position in the history of war like
battle of 'Nalapani '1814  where the Khukuri was used  by the Bir Balbhadra a Gorkha commandant as a major weapon. 


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