This week we have been enjoying learning from our new friends in Chaukati village, in Sindhupalchowk District northeast of Kathmandu. To get here, we drove about 4 hours up the Araniko Highway to Bahrabise Bazaar, on the Sun Koshi (‘Golden River’), and hiked 3 hours up into the hills. Chaukati is a diverse community, and many of the people here belong to the Thangmi ethnic group, of which only 20,000 speakers of their native language Thangmi remain.
Besides digging deeper into our course themes of environmental practice, intercultural dialogue, development (social, sustainable, & community), and diversity; we have been having fun playing in fields and farmhouses. We arrived for the Bhai Tika (‘Brother’s Blessing’) ceremony that marks the end of the Tihar / Diwali harvest festival, which was a beautiful and sweet ritual in which we are honored to have had the opportunity to observe and participate.
As is the case most of the year in a subsistence agricultural community, there are near constant opportunities for transmission of traditional wisdom during the harvest season. We have practiced hay bale preparation, garlic planting, corn shucking, preparing greens, husking soybeans, and more.
All while making time for the one of the most important wisdom transmissions of life: children reminding adults how and when to play!