My housemate and I were on a five day road trip to Pokhara. At Pokhara we went trekking in the Monsoon, before going for a boat ride on Phewa Lake. Besides boat riding in Pohkara, we also enjoyed a visit to Davis Falls and caves, and an early morning of view the sunrise from Sarangot and a small trek to the world peace pagoda. We also had a chance to visit an elephant breeding centre and go for a jungle ride. In the evening we went for a Tharu Cultural dance at Chitwan
We learnt a few things about the Tharu community living in this area. Most of the local Tharu people use elephant grass (Nep-khar) to roof their houses. Only a skillful person can make the roof by using the grass. This grass is water proof and it helps keep the house cool, however it needs to be replaced every year.
The Tharu were the first inhabitants of Terai. They are indigenous people and are considered malaria resistant tribe. They have been living in Teria for more than 700 years. In the past they mainly focused on fishing and hunting but today most are farmers. Most practice Hinduism.
During our trip we visited a Tharu cultural centre and were entertained by five main dances. Many other tourists were present at the centre. The first dance was a Bhajayati dance where adults dance while beating long sticks. The second dance was Thekara and is performed using two short sticks. Dafu dance is performed using a musical instrument made of gold skin and decorated with peacock feathers.
The fourth dance Jhumara, this dance is performed on the 13 th day after the death of a person. During this ceremony they sing holy songs in respect to the dead person’s contribution to society. We also saw a Peacock dance. In this dance a man is dressed like a woman and his dressing looks like a peacock. Fire dance, in the fire dance a man puts a fire on both sides of a long stick. The stick usually has a piece of cloth that has been dipped into kerosene on both ends. He then dances in circles following the rhythm of the music while turning the stick round. Traditionally the dance is usually performed to keep away wild animals upon seeing the fire.
We were happy to join the last dance !!!