Sunday, January 15, 2017

‘Tharu’ identity is part of a political agenda which does not necessarily correspond to the local reality – Gisele Krauskopff

Gisele Krauskopff. Image from her Facebook page.

Gisele Krauskopff, one of the first few researchers to conduct fieldwork in the Tharu dominant Dang Valley, is not a new name among the researchers working in the Himalayan region.

Though most of her works have been published in French, ‘A Marshland Culture : Fishing and Trapping among a Farming People of the Tarai’ gives an overview of different fishing techniques used by the Tharus in the Dang Valley.

Sanjib Chaudhary from Voice of Tharus spoke with Gisele about her research work and publications. Here’s an excerpt of the interview.

Voice of Tharus (VOT): Welcome to Voice of Tharus. Your pioneering research on Tharus has helped the Tharus to be recognised internationally. Can you tell our readers about your research and the publications you have published till date?

Gisele Krauskopff (GK): I am surprised to discover that my researches ‘helped the Tharu to be recognised internationally’. I think they managed themselves to be recognised. I doubt that books published in French could have such an influence.

Moreover, I should like to emphasise the following point (see also next question): I did not work on ‘The Tharu’ but did a study in a predominantly inhabited Tharu village in Dang valley in Western Nepal. At that time, the 1980s, (except for very few educated one) they had no contact with other groups called ‘Tharu’. The outsiders called them ‘Dangaurya Tharu’. The farmers in my residential village did not travel much outside of the valley and even to the neighbouring Deokhuri Valley. They did not like to go to the bazaar.

However, at the beginning of the 1960, after the land reform, whole villages had migrated to ‘Buran’, that is the Far Western district of Terai, mainly in Bardiya district. My most recent publication (to appear in English very soon) is about the so called migratory practices of the Tharu farmers that I trace in historical documents (Nepalese archives but also British colonial archives of the 19th century during the border conflicts between Nepal and British India from 1802 onward) and with the help of my ethnographic work. I considered this the most valuable part of my work (with my PhD).

My PhD research had a different perspective. My field work was done in 1981-1985, and according to the dominant ethnological approach at this period, was based on a monograph of a village of Western Dang where I spent two years and revisited often: a monograph of the rituals as I observed then, in this village, in the company of my best friend and informant, a gurwa, who was called in many houses or villages to treat illnesses and other disorders.

I taped all the events (I plan to deposit these tapes in protected archives or hopefully an open database) and was helped for their translation by Ashok Chaudhary, from Hekuli village. I used these documents to deepen my knowledge of the rituals and of the language with my gurwa friend. I also worked a lot with the women. Being myself a woman, it was easier and the deep and affectionate relationship I built with women was very very important for my day to day life and the progress in the local language and understanding of the culture.

But already then I was much interested by history and the processes by which the Tharu social organisation in Dang was moulded through an agrarian system in which the political and agrarian authority was delegated by a ‘Hindu’ king (living in the hills) to Tharu local headmen who had a pivotal and very important role in the centralisation of the system at the local level.  Hence, I framed my ‘village’ study taking into account the larger territorial organisation of the Dang Valley, which was divided into several ‘rajya’ or parganna.

The main goal of my thesis and first book (Maitres et Possédés that I plan to translate and publish in English) was to demonstrate how the division between priestly clans and ‘client’ clans was rooted in this historical development and the history of subjection of the Tharu to hill kingdoms. This bipolar structure, extremely important in Dang, was not found in other area of Terai among other Tharu groups. It shows how the social and religious order that bounded the Dangaurya Tharu society at this time was locally rooted and inscribed in the agrarian and political history of the area. This local order is of course now part of history: the change brought by the transformation of Nepal in the last 25 years has changed the situation and local is no more local.

VOT: What is opinion about the Tharus? Did you find any clues on the origin of Tharus during your research?
 

GK: I have opinion on the human beings I met during my fieldwork, and very different ones, but none on ‘The Tharu’.

Even in the ‘Tharu’ village where I did my field researches, I met different kinds of ‘Tharu’, I mean: landless farmers, rich jimindar, educated fellows, illiterate people, women, men, kids and some villagers from other ethnic background.

In all my researches I have tried to deconstruct this category ‘the Tharu’ used as an ethnic, caste oriented, or racial category: many groups called Tharu have different social organisation, and some other groups differently called have very similar culture (as far as the lowlands of Assam). And inside any local communities, there are class distinctions (landless labourers, wealthy jimindar).

In the present political context of Nepal, ethnic groups have redefined themselves and ‘Tharu’ identity is part of a political agenda which does not necessarily correspond to the local reality I encountered in the past.

Concerning the ‘origin’ of the Tharu I suggest to read some of my English papers where I discussed this question which is political rhetoric. Since I do not know my own origin (I am French, have a German name, and was born in North Africa) but only the context (economic and social) in which I was educated, I do not know how I could propose a theory on the Tharu origin!

More seriously, considering my historical approach, origin has no meaning and looking for it postulates that a group could have existed from time immemorial without transformation. Each classificatory order, class or term is historically rooted and takes meaning in the context of its use. This is why when I wrote on this topic, I consider it as an historical narration to support a political agenda, in the past as in the present.

VOT: Can you cite any anecdote during your stay with the Tharus in Dang?
 

GK: I remember the beginning of my fieldwork in Dang during the rainy season. From January to June, I had travelled all over Western Tarai to find the right place to study. But finally I choose Dang Valley and started to settle there at the beginning of the rainy season.

Two images remain in my memory. Once I was crossing the Patu Khola River but could not fight against the current. Boulders were hurting my Western too soft feet and I could not walk in the water. Happily, a Tharu villager wearing his loin cloth and bare feet rushed to me, took my hand, and forced me to run to reach the bank of the river. You can easily imagine how even trained local people could die drowning in the rivers. 

The other image is of myself trying to reach the village: The paths were so muddy that I sank to the thighs in the mud. It was the only rainy season I spent in the Terai but it was worthwhile since most of the very interesting village rituals were done during this season. And in September, suddenly the sky opened and I discovered the beauty of this magnificent and rich valley covered with green rice fields. A fascinating and meaningful contrast!

VOT: You were again back in Dang for your research on Tharu masks? Can you tell our readers about it?
 

GK: I have never done researches on Tharu masks since I never saw any masks in Dang. But it seems that jokers intervening in some dances like the cokra dance could wear masks made by Tharu or sometimes by Magar people who settled in Dang.

VOT: During your research, you worked with many international and Nepali researchers. Can you share your experiences with us?
 

GK: Most of my research colleagues do not work on the Tharu but other topics in the Himalaya (see for instance the CEH web site, ‘Centre for Himalayan studies’ on my own laboratory in Paris Nanterre University, LESC.

VOT: Can you share with us link to your writings and publications?
 

GK: I have not yet posted my publications on Academia or other websites. More important for me is to translate my publications into English. Nevertheless, you can find some of the French ones published in journals on the internet (for instance Persee or revue.org, for French journals). You can also trace them through my name. For those published in collective books.  I plan to post them on Academia in close future.

VOT: What are your personal views about the Tharu? Do you have any advice for the young generation?
 

GK: I already answered this question: I have no personal view on ‘The Tharus’. Concerning the ‘young generation’ in Nepal in the global context, I am afraid by the consumering trend and think that emigration, particularly to the Gulf countries, will bring a big change.

Some Tharu do PhD some others are working in the Gulf countries, some remain farmers in the villages with less and less land to till, so their conditions and aspirations are different.

VOT: Are you continuing with your research and writing? Can you share with us your future plans?
 

GK: I am interested by other topics. Concerning my research on the Tharu, I am planning to publish my first book in English, and to translate some of my French papers (not all). It is possible also that I write a more personal account of my experience in a non-academic format.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Valuable but neglected – some oil yielding plants from the southern plains of Nepal

Some plants are valuable but neglected. And among those valuable but neglected are some of the oil yielding plants cultivated in the southern plains of Nepal.

I’m talking about castor oil, linseed oil, wild linseed, sesame and chamomile. While the linseed is still cultivated in large quantities, its importance is unknown to the farmers. Except for its use in few Tharu cuisines like the water snail curry for the non-vegetarians and jackfruit and bamboo shoots curry for the vegetarians.

Meanwhile chamomile is being cultivated for its essential oil, largely by the Tharus in the Mid and Far Western Nepal in the lands near protected areas. Just to prevent the wild animals marauding on the crops.

Let’s talk about these plants in detail.

Castor oil plant by Flickr user Kenneth Cole Schneider. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Castor oil

One of the most neglected oil seeds is castor oil. These plants grow on fallow lands and garbage dumps on its own. In the past, castor oil was used to burn oil lamps in the southern plains of Nepal during Sukrati, the festival of lights called Tihar and Deepawali in other parts of the country. The oil was also used as a pain reliever. I’ve heard my grandmother telling about its benefits and applying it on her joints and back to get rid of any pain and stiffness. And my grandfather, a traditional healer, used to make concoctions using the castor oil to cure ringworm infections.

Castor seeds by Flickr user budak. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The oil, used widely in shampoo, soaps, cosmetics and massage oils, helps fight signs of aging, moisturises skin, reduces skin pigmentation and acne, promotes hair growth, prevents premature hair greying and conditions hair among other benefits.

So, isn’t it sad that we’ve left cultivating this useful plant?  


Linseed

Linseed oil has always been neglected. In the terai, people take it as a poor man’s replacement of mustard oil. However, this oil has plenty of benefits. And linseed has been termed as a superfood in the West.

Flax (Linum usitatissimum) or linseed by user Peter O'Connor aka anemoneprojectors. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

People in the terai, especially the Tharus in the Eastern Nepal, still use linseed powder to garnish some curries like jackfruit, bamboo shoots and ghonghi (water snails). Without the linseed powder the curry is tasteless for them!

Though considered a poor man’s dietary intake, the medical science has confirmed that the linseed oil or the flax seeds protects from osteoporosis. It is also considered as a laxative and a hormonal balancer.

The oil also relieves inflammation and pain. That’s why you can see old people still resorting to linseed oil massages.

Linseed cultivation is so easy that you just need to sprinkle the linseed in the paddy fields when the rice starts to flower. The linseed grows well from the moisture remaining in the field and just few months after the rice harvest, you can harvest the linseed crop. And it has been cultivated since ages in this way.

So, let’s continue cultivating it and start using more linseed powder and linseed oil in our diets!

Wild linseed

This wild variety of linseed is still grown in the terai, but by limited farmers.


The lesser known sibling of linseed. A native variety, it is still cultivated for its long black seeds which are a bit different from brown and smaller linseed. While the linseed flowers are purplish blue and the plants are small and frail, this variety called 'bonchikna' (a vulgar word though in Nepali) in the southern plains yield oil which is much viscous than regular mustard and linseed oil. It's still used for cooking purposes but not preferred over the former ones. More research is needed to find out its benefits. Though lesser known and less preferred, it's a joy to see fields of these beautiful flowers in the southern plains of Nepal during the month of November! --------------------- #native #linseed #terai #Nepal #beautifulflower #picoftheday #teraidiaries #travelblog #instapic #flowers #oilseeds
A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on
 

Sesame

Though the sesame has been tagged as a purity material – a must offering to Shani Dev and other gods in Hindu mythology, it is being cultivated less and less these days.



A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on
 

Chamomile

Chamomile is a recent addition to the list of cash crops being grown in the terai. Currently grown only in the Mid and Far Western Nepal, farmers need to spread its cultivation even in the Eastern Nepal. 



A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Weave your own basket from kans and sikki grasses

The sikki grass (vetiver grass - Chrysopogon zizanioides), once found in abundance near water sources, has been vanishing and with it is declining the art of basket weaving from the golden splinters. And due to the easily available plastic containers, the basket weaving out of kans grass (Saccharum spontaneum) is also on the decline.

Vetiver grass (c) Forest and Kim Starr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
Sunset through Kaash (Kans Grass) by Flickr user Abhijit Kar Gupta. (CC BY 2.0)

Whenever I travel to my home in the southern plains of Nepal, the kans baskets (they call it dhama in the Tharu language) hanging by the roof always haunt me. All these baskets were woven by grandmother who passed away recently. Since we have been lowering our involvement in agriculture and storing the food items in sacks and drums, these beautiful baskets have been left useless. And the only thing I can do is, stare at them!

Kans baskets hanging by the roof in my house.

Tharu and Maithil women from the southern plains of Nepal have been weaving baskets of all shapes and sizes from the kans grass since ages and the art has been passed from one generation to another. The mothers and grandmothers have been teaching the young ones to weave baskets out of kans, considered useless and sikki, regarded pure.

So, how do they weave these baskets?

Once I sat with my grandmother and she showed me the basics of this craft. Let me share it with you.

First, all you need to do is collect the kans stems before they flower (they call it gabaha in the Tharu language). Take out the flowery filaments and leave the stems to dry. Since the stem is hollow now, it can be wound into any shape and size.

Kharhi, the base material for weaving basket.

Now trim the upper and lower parts of the stem. They can be used as the base material to wound the kans stem around. Also make sure to collect the kans grass from an earlier stage, before they start bearing flower inside. The stalks are usually hard at this stage and can be used as the base material for the baskets. People also use fistful of kans grass from this stage as a broom.

Soak the gabaha in water so that it becomes flexible. A rudimentary tool you’ll need besides the grass is a takuwa – a needle like equipment with a rounded end to hold on while weaving a basket.

Takuwa - a needle like equipment used to weave the basket.

Take a fistful of the kans grass and coil the gabaha around it. Then swirl it to give a round shape binding the framework with gabaha. And take the help of takuwa to make holes in the structure and put the gabaha inside the holes till it takes the shape a conical basket like the one in the below picture. Later you can add the base to this basket.

A basket without a base.

Keep on weaving and you’ll get a basket like the ones hanging by the roof in my house.

Now you must be curious how Tharus weave so beautiful baskets (called pauti and dhakiya) that are displayed during the Tharu festivals like the ones on the heads of these women from Sunsari district.

Tharu women holding sikki baskets (c) Madan Chaudhary/Tharuwan.com

It’s simple like weaving the basket from gabaha. First, you need to collect the sikki stems and tear them apart into two equal splinters and leave them to dry. Once dried, you can apply colours of your choice to them.

Now repeat the process of weaving a basket from kans grass. Soak the coloured sikki splinters in water and take a fistful of kans grass as base material. Then with the help of a takuwa wind the colourful sikki splinters around them. Slowly, your basket starts taking shape. To create the beautiful colourful patterns on the basket, you’ll need to coil the coloured sikki splinters on the basket with the help of a takuwa. But you’ll need to practice a lot to create those beautiful patterns.

Good luck with the weaving!

Read: A basket of nostalgia

Monday, December 12, 2016

Have you heard about these medicinal plants from the southern plains of Nepal?

Millions of medicinal and aromatic plants remain undiscovered, unknown and unused in our jungles and some even grow in our backyard. Most of the herbs used by shamans and witchdoctors are still not known to the outer world. While the old medics are aging they prefer not to share their knowledge with the young generation. And the sad part is – the young generation never takes these medicinal plants seriously. For them, popping the allopathic pills is much easier and effective than crushing the leaves and stems of obnoxious smelling medicinal plants and gulping the bitter juice. However, these plants are known for their healing properties and the good thing about them is – they don’t have any side-effects like the drugs made in the factories, except for few cases.

This October-November I tried convincing the shamans in the terai, the southern plains of Nepal and requested them to share their secrets. Achhai Tharu, a local shaman was happy to share his knowledge with me and he even took me to the places where he had secretly hid the magic plants!

Let me share the benefits of the medicinal and aromatic plants that he showed me.

Jethmal

Native basil. It has completely different and strong aroma. Resembling 'tulsi', the common basil, it has lot more medicinal properties. I met a young guy whose jaundice was almost incurable but drinking water left overnight with a handful of this herb made him healthy once again. Achhai Tharu, a local shaman said, "Soak the leaves and parts of this herb overnight and drink the water in the morning, it will keep your diabetes at bay." He also added that if you keep a bunch of this herb in a pot of water, it will turn the water into a medicine --- a frozen, colourless liquid. It cools the water if you put a little bit of this herb into it. When I asked its name, he said, "We call it jethmal." --------------------- #nativebasil #jethmal #maps #medicinalandaromaticplants #herbs #Nepal #ayurved

A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on


Remedy for rabies

Right medicine to prevent rabies. Talking to shamans and herbalists in the southern plains of Nepal was an eye-opener for me. We hiked together to find medicinal plants that they've been using to cure different ailments since ages. This herb is applied to the wound caused by dog bites and also works even when bitten by wild animals like jackals and monkeys. Just crush it and apply the juice to the wound. It heals and prevents rabies. But they've been advising the patients to go for vaccination also in case a mad dog bites. Just to be sure. But the old man seemed to have forgotten the name of this plant. The nature has provided cure for every disease, we just need to identify the right plant. Isn't it? ----------------- #herbs #rabies #Nepal #medicinalandaromaticplants

A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on


Kalpnath


Now let me tell you a bit about some of the herbs that grow everywhere, in the fields and even in your background.

Dulfi

Have you seen this wild herb? Called dulfi locally in the southern plains of Nepal, this aromatic plant has a special significance during Dipawali, the festival of lights. The cattle owners grind these plants (Leucas aspera), filter the green juice with a piece of white cloth and administer it to the cattle. It's really tough to make the animal swallow this strong smelling juice. So, with the help of a long but narrow container made from bamboo twigs, the juice is poured into the nostrils of cattle. When I asked about its benefits, a farmer said, "It keeps the cough, cold and fever at bay." Interestingly, this plant extract is used to treat scorpion bites in the Philippines. And the flower juice can be used to treat sinusitis, headaches and intestinal worms in children! ------------------- #medicinal #aromatic #herbs #sinusitis #headaches #cough #terai #Nepal #leucasaspera #dulfi

A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on


Dhutoor

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Try eating these native veggies before they become extinct

I’m not a vegetarian but I love vegetables. And whenever I get to the southern plains of Nepal, I try to savour some of the native veggies. Especially, I yearn for that particular taste of these veggies cooked by the Tharus. The use of powdered linseed to the bauhinia leaves and drumstick beans and adding of baking soda to ‘naf’ leaves gives that ‘different taste’ to these vegetables.

However, in spite of being tasty and nutritious these veggies might become extinct. One of the main reasons of these varieties becoming extinct is simply the neglect of the young generation and the onslaught of hybrid veggies.  

Now let’s talk about these native veggies. Leave your comments below if you have not heard of these. 

Jhauwa
This native bean was found everywhere only a few decades ago. However, due to the itchy outer layer and the difficulty to cook, only few people grow this – and that too is limited to few climbers growing on its own in the farms.

Neglected but nutritious. This native variety of beans is on the verge of vanishing. Called 'jhauwa' in the southern plains of Nepal and 'kauso' in the hilly areas, these beans are tasty but you need to be cautious while plucking them. The outer coat of these beans is itchy and that's why it is used by the swindlers to snatch away the possessions of travellers. They throw the itchy powder over the travellers and while they start itching, the thugs run away with their belongings. To eat these beans you'll need to boil them first and peel the outer coating. Then you can cook the rest just like any other vegetable. Be careful not to eat too much of these beans. It causes dizziness. But it is full of protein and nutrition. Not a time to neglect these beans any more! ------------------------ #neglectedbutnutritious #beans #jhauwa #kauso #terai #Nepal #vegetables #picoftheday

A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on


Pindar
These wild vegetables are getting scarce as the forest area is decreasing. Its trees are hard to find in the jungle these days and mainly brought to the markets by the firewood collectors and cattle grazers.



Munga
The drumsticks, in spite of manifold benefits, are rarely grown in a commercial scale.



Naf
The ‘naf’ leaves resemble the hollyhock leaves.



Koilar
The bauhinia or ‘koilar’ flowers are eaten widely in Nepal but their leaves are seldom eaten elsewhere except in the terai. Since the flowers and leaves need to be sourced from the nearby community and national forests, this delicious vegetable is not found in the market all the time.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Shama Chakeva – celebrating the brother-sister relationship in the southern plains of Nepal

With the changing times, the festival celebrations are changing throughout the world. And so is the state of ancient festivals that are on the verge of vanishing. But thanks to few enthusiasts, they are keeping the tradition live!

I am talking about Shama Chakeva, an important festival reminding the dedicated brother-sister relationship that was celebrated widely in the southern plains of Nepal both by the Tharus and the Maithils.

Though the grandeur of the festival is on a decline, few groups have been promoting it in different districts of terai.

This year, however, I was lucky to observe the little girls celebrating this festival.

Here’s how the Shama Chakeva festival is celebrated.

The sisters make clay statuettes of Shama, Chakeva, Sathbhainya, Chugla and a dog among others (characters mentioned in the story of Shama Chakeva).

Clay statuettes of Shama, Chakeva, Satbhainya among others.

Every night, they put the statuettes in a nicely decorated bamboo basket, put the basket on their heads and sing songs blessing their brothers and abusing the wicked Chugla. They gather at different houses and sing these songs till the full moon day.

Girls carrying their clay statuettes in bamboo baskets and women singing songs of Shama Chakeva.
Taking the Shama Chakeva to nearby pond.

The next day, their brothers help build small temple like floating baskets. Then the brothers and sisters gather on the bank of a pond and put the statuettes in the floating baskets after worshipping them and offering ‘prasad’ to them.

Displaying the clay idols on the bank of pond before offering prasad to them.

Displaying the clay idols on the bank of pond before offering prasad to them.
A little girl doing her final pooja before immersing the idols into water.

The statuettes are finally immersed into water. The children burn the moustache of Chugla and break the idol into pieces so as to punish the wicked Chugla.

Immersing the clay idols into water.

Here’s a short story on how the festival started.
 
Was lucky to observe the Shama Chakeva festival celebrated by sisters for their brothers. This little girl is feeding 'prasad' -- an offering to her clay idols before submerging them into water. The sisters make clay idols representing different colourful birds, Shama, Chakeva, Satbhainya, Chugla, and Brindavan -- the important characters of the story -- take them through the village alleys while women sing songs about Shama Chakeva, and finally immerse the idols into water. The story goes like this -- Shama was Lord Krishna's daughter married to sage Charudatta. Chugla made false stories about her making Krishna furious and thus turning her into a bird by his curse. When Charudatta gets to know about it, he worships Lord Shiva and also gets turned into a bird and both live happily as Chakeva and Chakevi. But Chugla lights fire to the forest to kill them. However, with God's grace it rains and both are saved. When Shamba, Shama's brother gets to learn about this after returning from Gurukul -- the school of earlier days, he worships Krishna and is able to make him happy and gets the blessing 'your sister will return on Kartik purnima -- the November full moon day'. From that time this festival is thought to have started. --------------------- #shamachakeva #terai #Nepal #festival #Tharus #maithils
A photo posted by Sanjib Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on

Interestingly, the migratory birds start descending from Siberia and far-off places to the terai from November. And among them are the ruddy shelduck called chakheva!

Can you relate this with the Shama Chakeva being celebrated in November and Shama and Charudatta turning into birds?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

The dying tradition of painting evil eyes on the door entrance in Dashami

As Tharus embrace modernisation, many of their traditions are vanishing. And if not preserved on time, the young Tharus won’t even get to know about them!

Here’s one of the traditions of painting ‘Dain Jogin’ – an evil eye on the first day of Dashami in Eastern Nepal.


The evil eyes are replaced by these red and white patches on the seventh day of Dashami.

In the seventh day of Dashain, called Saptami, the evil eyes are replaced with these red and white patches of rice flour and vermilion. If you watch carefully, there are seven rows and seven columns of these patterns -- denoting the seventh day. These patterns are made by a wild plant's pods that I'll be posting later. These patterns are erased after the festival ends. There's an interesting connection to painting these patterns. Sangita Tharuni says, "The evil eyes are erased and replaced with these colourful patterns since the Goddess Durga gets her nayan (eyes) on this day." All the clay idols made during Dashain get irises in their eyes on this day. After this the idols are complete and are demonstrated for public viewing and worshipping. ------------------- #Dashain #tradition #terai #culture #tharus #easternnepal #graffiti #Nepal #beliefs
A photo posted by Sanjib Kumar Chaudhary (@sankuchy) on

The pod of the plant that is used to create the red and white pattern is called ‘sakhari bakhari’ in local Tharu language. Thanks for identifying it @shankarian!