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KULUNG

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Kulung Culture

 

Marriage in kulung

Sa:leichha

 

Dhog Bhet "Mutual Exchange of Greeting"

 

Social Boycott

 

Birth Rituals

 

Festivals

 

Death Rituals

 

The Kulung Community has its own original culture. There is a system of rites and rituals to be performed in its own language and tradition from birth to death. Even after death, the departed souls are made with due respect to reach ‘Pomlaling’, a sacred place (where, according to kulung mythology, the departed souls are believed to rest in peace). The kulung culture is quite comprehensive but here only a short account is given about marriage, birth, festivals, and death

 

Marrage in Kulung

There are a system of performing/holding marriage ceremony twice in the kulung community. In the first marriage/ceremony, only the relationship on both sides (bride and bride-groom) will be established (who is who and who is what by relation) according to the tradition and custom, and following. Thus the new couple is legitimatised as husband and wife and can live together, but the burial/crematory right, in case of death of the bride, is still withheld by the birde’s parents/parental members. The final marriage/ceremony is the second one and only in this marriage, The old people of the bride’s side transfer the burial rights to the groom and his family members by sprinkling ‘raksi’ and ‘jand’ (home-made brew and liquor) on the stone-tripods (ovan).This ceremony is called “ba:gdatta”dine” which means declaration of transfer/handover of the bride in complete.In the presence of people of both side and their perspective deities as witness, to the groom including the rights to perform her death rituals according to the groom’s tradition. This final second marriage is also known as “da:plo kuim” in kulung language

 

 

 

 

Sa:leichha

Elopment of a girl with the one she loves is the most usual form of marriage in the kulung community. First, the girl is persuaded and taken away, unnoticed by her family members, then someone(s) from among the relatives of the girl or someone from other. Than her relatives, will be requested to act as matchmaker (kaliyu) and sent to the girl’s parents with home made brew and liquor in wooden container (kathuwa) as traditional present (ri:t/koseli). Presenting the ri:t to the girl’s parents, the ‘kaliya’ informs that their daughter is with so and son for marriage and apologise on behalf of the ‘kutumba’ (the boy’s family-family with which relation can be established by marriage) for causing their daughter to elope. This ri:t is called “saleichha”. Acceptance by the ‘maiti’s” (paternal member of the girl) of the ri:t (present/koseli) indicates that they are willing to get their daughter married.

 

Dhog Bhet "Mutual Exchange of Greeting"

On the day of marriage, the groom and the bride together with their companion/attendant (lokante-boy and lokanti-girl) have to greet all the relations of both sides present by bowing. In that day, the groom’s parents visit the bride’s parents and exchange greetings and start conversation addressing each other as ‘Samdhi’ (the relation between the fathers of the bride and groom) and ‘Samshini’ (the relation between the mother of the new couple).

 

Social Boycott

There is a tradtion of not marrying within the relationship of less than 5 generations of mother’s side and 7 generations of father’s side. Breaking of the rule with marriage on the maternal side is called ‘dudhphora’ (a dutterer in one’s relation by milk) and on the paternal side is called ‘hadphora’ (dutterer in ones relation by blood or maternal relation) and such couple are socially boycotted. Children from such marriage are believed to be deaf, blind, dumb and mentally retarded.

 

Birth Rituals

A new born child in the kulung community first gets its naval tied with thread, gets thread ribbons around arms and legs and is kept wrapped in with ‘bhangra’ cloth (coarse cloth made of thread from the bark of Alls- a kind of nettle plant). On the day of name-giving ceremony, both the lactiking mother and infant have to have a bath with the powder made by pounding together the barks of vllis, Bangset, Kafal and green leaves of katus(tree). The name giving ceremony is held within 5 to7 days, depanding on the place and time (season). The traditional custom for this day is to give the lactiking mother a cock’s head, if she has had a son and a hen’s head, if she had a daughter.

 

Festivals

The kulungs have festivals of vary especial features. Prominent one among them is “Tosh”. On this occasion, the kulung worship the land or nature at a particular site they have as a established place. At the sacred place, a sacred stone called ‘Yongkholu” is placed. This worship, in particular is to pray fro good harvest, not to have drought, hail-stone, land erosion and past-epidemy. This is done usually in chait, jeth and asoj.Three times a year. In this celebration, once the ‘Nokchha’(priest) completes worshipping the ‘yonkhalu’, the home-made brew and liquors are taken (sipped) as a ‘prasa:d’ (blessing) and everybody than dances to please the nature. A nokchhe (priest) is selected to the bhumepooja (worship of the earth) through a process called ‘sarbuhham’. Besides this, the Nagi Pooja (household deity) is performed in each house of the kulungs, while performing Nagi pooja, the ‘suktulu’ (stone-tipods-ovan) is consideredas the source of power and the custom is to pray it to drive away rivarly forces, diseases and sickness for prosperity.. If no prosperity or happiness is achieved by worshipping Nagi and diseases break-ups keep continuing at homes than an extended form of Nagi called ‘Dedam’ is performed. But this is very expensive so is done this rarely these days.

 

 

 

 

Death Rituals

Death is an eternal truth. Everybody must suffer/accept it. The kulung community has different sets of customs to perform death rituals for a natural death and otherwise.The dead body o’f one who has died an unnatural death is called ‘hilsi". Hilsi is buried in jungle and even its soul is killed by invoking ‘Mundum’. The dead body of a natural death is buried either in the court-yard or cultivated field, who dies a natural death while away from home is buried without paying homage and death rituals are completed on the same day. This is called ‘kubam’. In the same way, where there is sufficient time, enough own community member available and affordability, the daughter/sisters of the family/relatives keep paying homage up to three months after the dead body is buried. In case paying homage is not possible, there is a custom of paying ‘chandam’. To tell it in a summary, the presence of in-laws is a must while performing death rituals. Observance of mourning is not compulsory in the kulung community and someone observing mourning need not obtain from eating salt, oil, need net wear while clothes shave hairs and break bangles. Sons and daughter both can equally mourn the death if the wish to do.

 

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hi.

that was really great and informative too. i thouroughly enjoyrd reading it. forgive me for my ignorance but it would have been even better if you could introduce "kulung" where are kulung from (which part of nepal) and so on. i look forward to read more articles on this topic.

 

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hi.

that was really great and informative too. i thouroughly enjoyrd reading it. forgive me for my ignorance but it would have been even better if you could introduce "kulung" where are kulung from (which part of nepal) and so on. i look forward to read more articles on this topic.

Same here, appreciated, and wants more about Kulung.

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That's great knowledge to know about. Yeah, please tell us more about Kulung - like people, place, religion etc

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