The Mid-Western Nepal. The last unexplored lands of the Himalayan Country

The Mid-Western Nepal is one of the rare undiscovered lands where the people who inhabit it still lives in communities dispersed in the hills with rare contact with the civilized world. The almost absent influence of globalization and the distance from the industries makes the nature that surrounds these places still uncontaminated.
During the majority of the year the hills that shapes these lands are fully covered by green trees while the water of rivers and lakes is still crystalline. The houses of the villages are still made as the tradition wants. The most of them are made by rock slabs covered with mud used as thermic isolation. The roofs instead depending of the zone can be made by sloped wooden planks if the zone is subject to winter snowfalls and by rock slabs covered with mud layers if during the winter the weather is dry. Regarding the second case, the renovation of the roof with different layers of mud is very important and it is done once a year seen that the most of the daily activities takes place there. Due to the difficult conformation of the territory and the big slopes, all the houses roofs are connected with a big carved trunks as a stair that simplify the movements of the inhabitants inside the village. The interior division of the house is very simple. Depending of the dimension of the house the rooms could be from two to four, where the most important is without doubt the kitchen used also as meeting place. The villagers still cooking their food with fire wood that they will put inside an artisan iron chamber with circular holes for the pot and equipped with a chimney that will lead the smoke outside the home. Reach these areas of the country is extremely hard, due to the lack of a proper roads network, seen that the only big road is the Karnali Highway subject to the bad weather conditions. In addition, reach the villages is also impossible by vehicle because are scattered through huge hills that lead directly to the Himalayan Range. The people who inhabit these lands are therefore accustomed to walk hours through little muddy trails just to reach their cultivated fields or their home. The climate surely doesn’t help them. During the summer they are victims of massive quantity of rain brought from the monsoons that destroy their paths, while during the winter the temperature can reach even 10 degrees below the zero with ice presence.Their lifestyle could seem simple, but is truly strenuous. Due to the isolation in these remote places, and the absence of electricity, the people still live without any technological devices. At the same time, in the nearest villages to the biggest city of the area (Jumla), some families have begun to buy a small solar panel that permit to have 2 hours of light during the dinner time. The lack of electricity makes sure that their daily life is organized by the sunlight. Infact, their daily routine goes from the dawn (5:30 to 6 a.m.) to the dusk (4:30 to 6:30 p.m.) depending on the season of the year. Due to the insidious conformation of the territory the villages are without sewage and water system that it means that the inhabitants are forced to go to the nearest water source generally rivers, only to get some water to drink, for cook and wash themselves or their clothes. The almost absent contact with others realities and the lack of need to buy material goods, makes their economy rather basic. Their livelihood source and their only income comes exclusively from agriculture, breeding and the sells of some artisan product as iron pots or carved wood. The livestock breedings are formed by horses, sheeps, buffalos, muttons and chickens where only the last two are used for the locals diet. Regarding the agriculture, depending on the season it is possible to find several type of cultivations, such as potatoes, beans, barley, wheat, rice and many others plants used for feed the animals or even medicinals. A typical cultivation of these areas are the red beans, which are possible to find only in these hills. In rotation shifts, the work in the fields is usually done by every person of the village, even the children, that early in the morning have to walk even for hours just to reach their cultivated land. In order to help their family and consequently their village, the children begin to work usually since they are very young, even from 6 years old. When it is time to come back to the village, every people have to carry on the shoulders an heavy basket made of bamboo called “Doko” full of the harvest of the day or tanks filled by river water. The others people who remains in the village, are in charge of the legumes separation process that takes place on the house rooftop where with a long wooden stick hits the dried plants in order to separate the pods from the beans. Who remains in the village is also in charge to prepare the meal for the family. The daily meal is called “Dal Bhaat” and is composed by white rice, beans soup, boiled potatoes and sometimes for the special occasion chicken or mutton meat. Depending on the season, when the harvest time is finished, usually before the beginning of the winter, they store the remaining supplies in a hole under the ground covered with planks of wood in order to preserve them and avoid the lack of food when the weather blocks the roads which connect the nearby villages. Beyond the agriculture and the breeding the villagers have other occupations as blacksmiths, weavers and wood carvers. Almost every people in this area is descendent from Chhettri caste. According to the Nepali society the Chhetri are considered the sacred thread bearers (Tagadhari) and twice-born people. Their traditions are quite ancient and still they preserve it with proud. Both men and women are accustomed wear traditional dresses and ornaments as jewels. The traditional dress wear by men is called “Daura-Suruwal”, a cotton long dress formed by a shirt and a long pant that is completed with the inevitable hat called “Dhaka-Topi”. Instead, the woman dress is called “Gunyo Cholo” and celebrates the passage from childhood to being a woman. Besides, the women are accustomed to wear many jewels usually bequeathed by the mother that symbolize their beauty and richness. In particular, the most rapresentative jewel is the “Bulaki”, a unique nose ring that symbolize the family membership after the wedding. The people who lives in this area still speaks their own native language called “Khas” very different from the rest of Nepali dialects. The ancient religion of the Chhetri is “Masto” which worships the nature in all its forms but nowadays the most diffuse belief among them is without any doubt the Hinduism and at the same time Buddhism. Decades ago with its ascent, the hinduism brought new customs through the people. The inhabitants of the most remote villages due to the isolation from civilization have developed their idea of religion through a strictly way of thinking, more male chauvinist. Infact in several villages is still practiced the “Chhaupadi”. This habit consist in isolate the woman during her menstruation period in a little room outside the home because is considered impure. During those days the woman is not allow to cook, to eat with her family members and even to sleep in her bedroom. Therefore, even if unstoppable, seems that the globalization didn’t affect these lands and their inhabitants that are used to live as centuries ago. Their remote location keeps them even outside the possible touristic routes, helping them to preserve the authenticity of these places. In addition, the will of these people who are really bond to traditions plays a foundamental role in their society and daily lives. All these components makes these communities unique in Nepal and at the same time in the entire world, keeping alive the so called true Nepali spirit.