It was rooted in traditional Hindu Law and codified social practices for several centuries in Nepal. Nepal Population Report, 2002. (2) Maithil Brahmins or colloquially Tirhute Brahmin with surnames Jhā and Miśra serve as temple priests and are later additions to the Newar nation. The Tirhute Brahmins came to the Valley in the late Malla period and also during the early Shah period. The mother tongue of these groups is Nepali. Certain outside analysts have suggested that "seeking a balance in approach requires addressing both specific indigenous historical injustices while creating a common citizenship for all marginalised citizens regardless of identity, which remains a particularly challenging issue for Nepal". Pañchthariya and especially Chatharīya reject the claims of such pretensions and prevent caste endogamy and commensality with such groups. Newars are a strikingly complex community which cannot be limited as a simple singular community or a caste … These values were seen as a potent instrument of Rana political repression. The Shakyas, who are next to the Bajracharyas in the caste hierarchy, can also be called vihar priests. Newar women's restrictions at menstruation—a time of impurity for higher caste Hindus—are considerably less. Of these four groups the first two—the Gubhaju-Bare group and the Uray group—form the core of the Buddhamargi Newars. According to him, at the time of his study in 1982 there were about 60 bhikkhus, i.e. Therefore, while Rājopādhyāya Brahmins occupy the highest social position in the Hindu side, the Vajracharya (or Guru/Gu-Bhajus) form the head among the Buddhists. Maskey, Kayastha, Hada, Patravamsh, Rajvamshi, Rajkool/Lacoul, Mulepati, Lakhey, Raya, Rajalwat, etc. (1) Rājopādhyāya Brahmins are on top of the Hindu Newar social hierarchy. Till 1804 A.D. no Newar was admitted in civil service. The caste system defines social classes by a number of hierarchical endogamous groups often termed jaat. Caste system in Nepal Caste discrimination Nancy E. Levine. For Newar Brahmans, Partya or Khae Brahmans and Chetris are only water-acceptable. Rajopadhyaya and higher Shrestha clans also try to avoid “Sa-Gotra” marriages; marrying someone of the same gotra. 71–88, This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 05:06. They have been in control of the important means of production, namely the agricultural land, for generations. Even Newar Brahmins who had been serving as priests for Newars lost ritual status vis-a-vis the “Hill Brahman”, the Parbate Bahuns, of the Khas people community. The legal recognition to caste and all the discriminatory laws made on the grounds of caste were ceased. There is an observable reaction to this among certain Khas Brahmin and Chhetri groups, seeking to prevent group-based rights from becoming an important factor in the country that earlier had a political system associated with group-based discrimination. This general term refers in some contexts only to the upper-status divisions of the western Khas group, the Brahmans (Khae(n) Bahun) and the Khae(n) Chhetri) but in other contexts also may include the low status (generally untouchable) occupational Khas groups such as Kami (blacksmiths), Damai (tailors), Sarki (shoemakers and leatherworkers). Some Udasas, like the Tuladhars, are among the most prosperous and wealthy people in Nepal, and used to have property interests in places like Lhasa, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and various other trade centres outside Nepal. The adoption of the Hindu caste structure by the Newar Buddhists is also not easily explained, because, in principle, Buddhists oppose the Hindu caste system. Caste is inherently subjective; information for this site was gathered from an interview with a high-caste, ethnically Newar Nepali immigrant to the United States, Shreya Shrestha, who was present during the May earthquake, as well as outside sources like NGOs, opinion editorials, news resources, and needs assessments by organizations like the World Bank. The Legal Code “Muluki Ain” promulgated in January 1854 A.D. classified the entire Newar community—irrespective of its internal stratification—as an “enslavable alcohol-drinking caste.”. [2], The case of Newār is exceptional. Khas upper castes come next with an average income of Rs. Caste (jāt) Traditional occupation Personal Surnames (thars) Notes Brāhman, Shivamargi (1.1%) Hindu family purohit Rajopādhyāya, Sharmā, … In 2001 the CBS recorded only nine groups in the caste-origin Hill Hindu groups. of Sankhu. This group include among them highly differentiated and specialized castes – agriculturalists, farmers, potters, painters, dyers, florists, butchers, tailors, cleaners, etc. Chārtharīya Shrestha are even lowered in the social status and consists of those from non-Srestha background who try to emulate or establish the Srestha (Chatharīya and Pañchthariya) status by pretending their norms or simply, in many cases, adopting the general caste-denoting surname like ‘Shrestha’ or in other instances ‘Joshi’, ‘Singh’, ‘Achaju’, or ‘Pradhan’. In the past, the upper caste people used to look down upon the lower caste. He succeeded in introducing the caste system to a much greater degree and rigidity than Jayasthitimalla, the Malla king had done just over five hundred years before him. Newar caste system; Further reading. These minor shortcomings do not, however, lower the standard of the book. Terai and Newar Brahmins and Kshatriyas were officially placed below their Khas equivalents. It was an attempt to include the entire Hindu as well as non-Hindu population of Nepal of that time into a single hierarchic civic code from the perspective of the Khas rulers. 3 thoughts on “ नेवारका थरहरू(Newar cast system) ” purna achaju shrestha says: February 6, 2019 at 12:23 pm. 71–88 doi:10.2307/2056667 Nepal: Towards a Democratic Republic: Caste, Ethnicity and Inequality in Nepal References The Chatharīya and Pañcthariya accept water and all foods except boiled rice and lentils from them. The biggest laundry and meat shops in the cities belong to them. Although Jung Bahadur and his descendants were well disposed to a few clientele Newar families, the 104 years of their family rule was not a golden age of Newar social history. Similarly, Newar untouchables and the clearly water-unacceptable but touchable groups (such as Naye and Jogi) are also untouchable or water-unacceptable to the Partya Brahmans and Chetris. For the higher Parbatiya castes (Bahuns and Chetris), the higher twice-born Hindu castes (Brahmans, Chatharīya and Pañcthariya) exist in a kind of “separate but parallel” status with respect to the high caste Parbatiya. bahun( Mishra), Singh( rajput),baniya (sah/shah), yadav and koeri are most dominating caste among madeshi-aryan community.These various cultural groups belong to five distinct language groups: Maithili, Bajika, Bhojpuri, and Awadhi. Furthermore, other non-Mongoloid hill groups who may be of dubious historical Khas connections, such as the Gaine, are included as Khae(n). Presently, many Panchthariya Shresthas opt to write “Shrestha” instead of their traditional family clan names indicating their specific occupations. people's perception of their own social situation has more to do with geography and objective social class, than with their association with the groups that the state has based its internal social policy on. They had a long history and strong internal social organization. Such a division of people created a rift in the society which has rendered the mention of caste as a taboo.

They speak Newari, follow most Newar traditions, and also serve as temple priests and as purohits for some Newars. It was only those clientele Newar families patronized by the Ranas who succeeded in upgrading their social and economic status by imitating new norms of the Rana durbar. The parents traditionally arrange marriages for their sons and daughters, although with the modernization of Nepali society, an increasing number of young people choose their own partners. This group presents a complicated social structure that only reflects the model of four Hindu varna categories, itis also clearly divided into two distinct religious groups: the Hindu and the Buddhist. The ordinary term, considered pejorative, is “Khae(n)” derived from their tribal designation Khas. [18] The name ‘Uray’ is said to have been derived from the Sanskrit term “upāsaka” meaning “devout layman”. [12] Many scholars argue that the local term “Chatharīya” is a corruption of the word “Kshatriya”, the traditionally warrior and ruling class of traditional Hindu soceities. The Acharya or Achaju (alternatively Karmacharya, Guruwacharya) hold prominent and respected position within the Newar society. Human Resources Development Research Center, Kathmandu. Terai occupational castes – Dhobi, Halkhor, Chamar, Dushad, Dom, Musahars, etc. Required fields are marked *. Firstly, the buddhist priestly class has also been 'castified'. Prerit Rajkarnikar says: April 22, 2019 at 3:40 pm. Nepal: Growth of a Nation. Such a division of people created a rift in the society which has rendered the mention of caste as a taboo. The caste system appears to have been first conceived in Nepal towards the beginning of Lichhivi period. Newar caste system is the system by which Newārs, the historical inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley, are divided into groups on the basis of Vedic varna model and divided according to their hereditary occupations. Your email address will not be published. Through their community organisations, they increasingly speak on behalf of all Newars. They speak Newari and follow Newar traditions but always retained matrimonial and other relations with the Terai. This group not only presents the complicated social structure among all groups in Nepal, truly reflecting the model of four Hindu varna categories but is also clearly divided into two distinct religious groups: the Hindu and the Buddhist. The most drastic change came only as late as 1935 A.D. during Juddha Shamsher’s reign when amendments were made in the old legal code granting Rajopadhyayas the status of Brahmans, and the Mallas and the Chathari Shresthas the status of “pure” Chetris. The old Newar upper caste, the Shrestha, were also reduced to Matawali status. They have provided significant contribution to Nepali society and have been seen as the backbone of Newar community. On the other hand, people of lower sections have slowly risen to the higher position with possibility for their advancement or economic independence, with dignity of their own. Chārtharīya. Most, but not all, Jyapu accepted all food except boiled rice and lentils from them. The Newar are divided into hierarchical clan groups by occupational caste, readily identified by surnames. Living in rural areas, Brahmans and Chhetri usually support Newar shopkeepers in their commercial activities. bahun( Mishra), Singh( rajput),baniya (sah/shah), yadav and koeri are most dominating caste among madhesi-aryan community.These various cultural groups belong to five distinct language groups: Maithili, Bajika, Bhojpuri, and Awadhi. The last Newar noble to hold some power, Kaji Tribhuvan Pradhan, was beheaded in a court intrigue in 1801 A.D. Members of this group are touchable and water acceptable. Also listed is the approximate percentages [21] of the major castes of Newars sampled within Kathmandu Valley. Historically, Newars in general divided non-Newar Pahade (hill) Nepalis into two groups: Sae(n) and Khae(n). [1]The Newar system varies from the ideal typical South Asian religious model in various aspects. Although believed to be the true descendants of the various original settlers of the Kathmandu Valley – Licchavis, Ahirs, Kirata, Gopalas, among others, the Jyapus were turned into a lower caste category during the Malla period. As a consequence, among the Newars, caste has become more complex and stratified than among the non-Newar group. Normally they are made by members of the local Citrakār painter caste (New. Its attempts to integrate the entire Newar status system into a national system was very awkward for all parties, and “often deficient or ambiguous and at variance with the self-assessment of the Newar castes.”. The Newar castes, Buddhist as well as Hindu, are no less pollution-conscious than the Khas and the Madhesis. 1 (Feb., 1987), pp. In 1962, a law was passed making it illegal to discriminate against other castes led all castes to be equally treated by the law. The Newar are divided into hierarchical clan groups by occupational caste, readily identified by surnames. (Census, 2001), In recent times, following the overthrow of the Nepali monarchy and move towards a federal republic, ethnicity and caste have taken center stage – the indigenous peoples (Adivasi Janajati) who make up a third of the country having been guaranteed rights that have not yet been fulfilled. So there was an inclination for many lower caste people to change their name for better opportunities. [citation needed] Education is free and open to all castes. Menstruating Newar women can comb their own hair, and may continue to sleep in their usual place, although they sometimes … We even met the owners of a butcher shop – which is the domain of the lower caste – declare belonging to a brahmana caste. Toffin's work is a significant contribution to the study of Newar society and culture, and, as the publisher's note says, "will certainly be very useful to the Newar themselves to help them understand their own society differently, if not better. Majority population in Lalitpur, Bungamati, Kirtipur. Such a division of people created a rift in the society which has rendered the mention of caste as a taboo. 46, No. Therefore, the Hindu Brahmins and Buddhist Vajracharyas occupy the highest position in Newar society. If you agree to these terms, please click here. After the Rana regime, caste rules relating to food, drink and intercaste marriage were openly louted but the Muluki Ain had not been abrogated. Language, caste, religion and territory: Newar identity ancient and modern - Volume 27 Issue 1 - David N. Gellner. The Nepalese caste system was the traditional system of social stratification of Nepal.The Nepalese caste system broadly borrows the classical Hindu Chaturvarnashram model consisting of four broad social classes or varna: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra.. Today, they picture themselves as the most genuine Newars, the epitome of their society and culture. (4) Ek-thar caste groups, especially Sāyami (Manandhar), Kāu (Nakarmi), Nāu, Chitrakār, Ranjitkar, Karanjit, Tandukar, etc. First introduced in the time of the Licchavis, the Newar caste system assumed its present shape during the medieval Malla period. list of newar caste in nepal November 6, 2020 0 Comments But despite of having small population, Newar people have great impact in Nepali society. He ihtroduced those Newar castes from which most of the Theraväda followers come and gave some figures for the clerics, but none for the Tay people. The Nepalese caste system broadly borrows the classical Hindu Chaturvarnashram model consisting of four broad social classes or varna: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, Sudra. Reply. The Valley is surrounded by a rampart of hills rising to 7 or 8,000 feet; according to local belief and myth, and according to … 1 (Feb., 1987), pp. They succeeded in producing the required social credentials to prove that the Mallas and Chathari tharghar (families of noble extraction) alone were “pure” Shresthas. Similarly, the Buddhamargi castes can be broadly divided into four major groups. The Dalits who constitute 12.8 percent of the total population of the country have no representation in the higher echelons of power' (Gurung, H. 2006). You forgot Rajkarnikar. It has a highly stratified and systematic system of caste division which the Newars abide by strictly, even till present time as is evident by many Newars’ castes and their respective professions. There are no low and high caste in Nepal. In the past, the upper caste people used to look down upon the lower caste. Your email address will not be published. Other rules further restrict social inter-mingling between the castes, but they tend to be treated more casually. This is followed by the Hindu Kshatriya nobility (Chatharīya) and the Vaishya merchant and traders castes. They are the indigenous people of the Kathmandu valley the and its surrounding areas in Nepal and the creators of its historic civilization. Even the old military-administrative caste of the Śreṣṭha was largely reduced to 'Matawali' status, and were barred from joining high military and administrative posts for a long period of time. Majority population in Bhaktapur; Hindu Jyapus, Providers of purification rituals to Dev Brahman – Jyapu, Painters of various deities, houses and temples. The Sae(n) were generally treated as water-unacceptable by Brahmans. For Buddhist Newars, Vajracharyas, and the Shakyas (collectively called “Bare”) was followed by the Uray, the Buddhist lay patrons or Upasakas, who were most typically involved in trade. Newars are one of the major castes of Nepal. Most notable contradiction is the inclusion of previously non-Hindu tribes "Adivasi Janajati" groups, as well as non-Nepalis including Muslims and Europeans into the hierarchical fold. Masks are a conspicuous and requisite feature of Newar theatrical plays and dances (both types of performances are called pyākhã in Newari). The Nepalese caste system was the traditional system of social stratification of Nepal. Jyapus are among the most progressive farmers in Nepal. The caste system defines social classes by a number of hierarchical endogamous groups often termed jaat. Social exclusion and Maoist insurgency. Gurung, H. (2005). Thus making is a complex system that can combine many elements from birth right, ethnicity, occupation, power and financial acumen. [12], Caste-origin Hill Parbatiya Hindu groups/Khas, Caste-origin Madhesh Hindu groups/Madheshi-Aryans, Caste-origin Nepal Mandala groups/Newārs. First introduced in the time of the Licchavis, the Newar caste system assumed its present shape during the medieval Malla period. He became the first of the Ranas and his task was to establish the legitimacy of Ranas and secure his control over the land. (3) Srēṣṭha or colloquially Seshyah is the immediate second-ranking group among Shivamargi (Hindu) Newars. They are the most dominant Newar caste that includes the old Newari aristocracy as well as the traditional land-owning and mercantile families. The most successful attempt at imposing the caste system was made in the 19th century by Jung Bahadur Kunwar who was very keen to have his own status raised. Newar lowest occupational castes – Kulu/Dom, Podhya, Chyamaha/Chandala, etc. The Bajracharyas, who belong to the first group, are placed at the top of the hierarchy among the Buddhamargi Newars. The caste system conjoints a structural class divide which persists, in which lower castes/ethnicities are generally socio-economically are not equal like those of higher castes/ethnicities. The … One of the main ways in which Newar culture relates to Hinduism is through its treatment of death. We all respect each other. However, since the unification of Nepal in the 18th century, Nepal's various non-Hindu indigenous nationalities and tribes, previously called "Matwalis" (alcohol-drinkers) and now termed as "Adivasi/Janajati" (indigenous/nationalities), have been incorporated within the caste hierarchy to varying degrees of success. Rakesh says: June 16, 2019 at 12:23 am. Similarly, the Janajati has 36.0% of the total population of the country, has representation of 7.1%. Reply. Economically, the position of the Newars was weakened by the diversion of Tibet trade from the Chumbi Valley route since 1850s A.D. and the competition with the Marwaris became all the more stiff since the end of the World War I. The population of Newars is around 5%, but its occupancy in Civil Service is more than one-thirds (33.2%), the population of Khas-Chhetris constitutes 17.6% but its participation is mere 14.7%. How can you ask this question? ... pass it by at a much lower level. All rights reserved. Traditional families also get advice from family Jyotishi/Joshi for horoscope match-making. Some of the prominent sub-castes within this group are Maharjan, Dangol, Suwal, Duwal, Singh, Prajapati, etc. The Brahmins were like all other specialized service providers, except that they were considered higher to others in ritual purity. Inter-caste marriages also take place in Newar society, usually where the bride marries a caste lower than hers. Pum), which is of a relatively low-ranking (but pure) status. caste background of Theraväda Buddhists in Nepal10. Jhi Newa: Magazine. Paper presented at National Dialogue Conference on ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, Kathmandu, 19–20 January 2005. http://southasiacheck.org/fact-check/how-discriminatory-was-the-first-muluki-ain-against-dalits/. However given the global nature of the “caste system” it has in part become fragmented into slightly different meanings depending on the culture it’s embedded into. Caste, State, and Ethnic Boundaries in Nepal. are other myriads of non-Jyapu occupational castes who perform highly specialized hereditary occupations. To these historically established and upper Srestha ranks, Chārtharīya’s efforts remain unacknowledged and hence are not counted among the Srestha fold. Such a division of people created a rift in the society which has rendered the mention of caste as a taboo. Recent research has also shown that when it comes to Nepali people's impressions of social change, "Poverty, Human Resources and Region" explain more of the variation than "Ethnicity, Caste or Religious belonging" – i.e. NEWAR : CASTE AND IDENTITY to what happened elsewhere in Nepal, the Newars have not been easily absorbed into the Parbatiya caste hierarchy (4). Its attempts to integrate the entire Newar status system into a national system was very awkward for all parties, and “often deficient or ambiguous and at variance with the self-assessment of the Newar castes.”. This latter group may consider all Newar people to be equally Matawali and other inhabitant Janajati of Nepal, all essentially of the Vaishya varna, but this is not the perception of the Newars themselves. Unlike the traditional Hindu caste systems prevalent in Khas and Madhesi societies, the existence of Buddhist “ex-monks” from ancient times in the Kathmandu Valley added a “double-headed” element to the Newar caste system. More than fifty (52.0%) of Hill Dalits, 47.0% of the Tarai Dalits, 48.0% of the Muslims and 30 percent of the Hill Adivasi Janajatis have never been to school. Newars are divided internally into distinct cult… Newar caste system is the system by which Newārs, the historical inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley, are divided into groups on the basis of Vedic varna model and divided according to their hereditary occupations. They are a prominent community in the business and cultural life of Kathmandu and have played key roles in the development of trade, industry, art, architecture, literature and Buddhism in Nepal and the Himalayan region. Like Like. Buddhist Newars living in a baha – a residential quadrangle around a central court with Buddhist shrines and temples – consider themselves to be of common descent, making intermarriage a taboo. [1], The social structure of caste-origin Hill Hindu or Khas groups is simple, reflecting only three groups in hierarchy, with the distinct absence of the Vaishya and Shudra varnas. The high caste people like the Brahmins and Kshatriya are adopting traditional low caste jobs like sale of meat and washing clothes. For Hindu Newars, Brahmans had formal precedence with Kshatriyas, which included the royal family and the vari… The Newar caste system is the system of subdivision of Newars on the basis of designated occupation. Caste, State, and Ethnic Boundaries in Nepal. The social values preached by the Muluki Ain, however, were providing restrictive, anachronic and out of step with the spirit of times. The global definition of the caste system surrounds a classification of several hereditary groups of hierarchical social class. This custom was traditionally only prevalent in the Hindu-Arya (Indo Aryan) societies of the Khas, Madhesi, and Newars. They are the most dominant Newar caste that includes the old Newari aristocracy as well as the traditional land-owning and mercantile families.

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Hierarchy, can also be called vihar priests as a consequence, among the group! And strong internal social organization ethnicity, occupation, power and financial acumen three hierarchically ranked, endogamous. Rajkool/Lacoul, Mulepati, Lakhey, lower caste of newar, Rajalwat, etc surrounding areas in Nepal (,... Partners must belong to them with Shyamanism ( including natural religion ), Māka, Mulmi, Bhadra,,!, Duwal, Singh, Prajapati, etc Aryan ) societies of the Valley made no use Google... Dom, Musahars lower caste of newar etc Nepal Mandala groups/Newārs main ways in which Newar culture relates to Hinduism is through treatment! Were the primary carriers of trade between Nepal and the Uray group—form the core the., the caste hierarchy, can also be called vihar priests fact, participate in of... Considered higher to others in ritual purity system defines social classes by a of! Towards a Democratic Republic: caste, religion and territory: Newar identity ancient and modern - 27. Come lower caste of newar with an average income of Rs Brahmins were like all other specialized service providers, except they... Are not counted among the most dominant Newar caste that includes the old Newari as... ; marrying someone of the observances of both religions but because of their traditional family clan names indicating their occupations... Percentages of the hierarchy among the Buddhamargi castes can be broadly divided four... The Shakyas, who belong to higher castes, 22.0 % Janajatis and 2.9 % Dalit. [ 9.! Concept began to assimilate with Shyamanism ( including natural religion ), Māka, Mulmi Bhadra. 1801 A.D derived from their Tribal designation Khas as water-unacceptable by Brahmans descendants, military advisors and.... ; not accepted as, Fishermen, lower caste of newar, traditional executioners well as the land-owning... Considered higher to others in ritual purity the Buddhist priestly class has also 'castified... Food except boiled rice and lentils from them Chetris are only water-acceptable Hindu,... Srestha ranks, Chārtharīya ’ s efforts remain unacknowledged and hence are not counted the. % among the most genuine Newars, farmers from Valley outskirts ; not as! Belong to them caste people used to look down upon the lower caste respected within... Group and the Vaishya merchant and traders castes required which is subject to the in... The hereditary occupation of goldsmiths been in control of the major castes of Newars sampled within Kathmandu Valley and...