Archive for May, 2011

Playing with kukuris

The mother in me gets nervous when I see a grown man playing with knives:

(the late) Hajuramaa’s brother

All the more so when I see a six year old girl:

Sharpening a pencil


But at least it’s for a good cause:

Doing homework and being adorable


Soti lunch break

Some things I saw during my walk to and from Soti that aren’t highway signs:

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New Passal

At long last, the plague of dal bhat is over. It isn’t that I stopped eating it – I still have it for lunch every day, and it’s grown on me to the point that I actually get hungry for dal bhat. But in the past week, the menu in Sundrawoti has grown significantly thanks to the opening of what we call New Passal.

The couple who runs New Passal always maintained a storefront where I bought onions and tomatoes, but while we were away in Bandipur they finished construction and opened for business. Where the old passal’s dinner menu was approximately eggs, instant noodles, chapatti on special request, and dal bhat, the new passal’s menu is considerably larger. Eager for business and eager to please, they so far seem quite happy to cook just about anything we ask for, including chow mein, aloo poratha, sel roti (bread that somewhat resembles a large, thin doughnut), and fried rice. And dudh chiya (milk tea) at New Passal is three rupees cheaper to boot.

Also fun: the passal didi is quite pregnant. When we asked her what month, she told us tenth. She went to Charikot Hospital Wednesday and will remain there until she delivers. I’m excited to complete the Sundrawoti circle of life, but honestly, also a bit concerned about what that might mean for my dinner plans.

Speaking of hajuramaa. As I sit in bed writing, I keep imagining that I hear the whine of a mosquito in my ear. This is, of course, ridiculous: I’m not in Kalimati. Instead, it’s the blowing of a conch as part of a ceremony I imagine is being held to commemorate three weeks since the passing of hajuramaa. The conch is, indeed, a curious choice of ceremonial object for a landlocked ethnicity like the Thami. I imagine a Thami reaching the ocean and thinking to himself, this sounds just like a conch shell.

Bandipur weekend

I didn’t take a huge number of pictures in Bandipur, but here are some of them:

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And I think that makes five posts from our weekend trip to Bandipur. Done, I promise.



Newari culture

Bandipur is a Newari town, built in typical Newari style. I believe an hour of the Bandipur seminar was devoted to Newari history, culture, and architecture, but I missed it while working on the TCC proposal (more on this forthcoming) and drinking the world’s greatest lassi. So I will substitute facts I know about Newaris in lieu of substantive information:

Newari is one of the largest ethnic groups in Nepal
The Kathmandu Valley is predominantly Newari
Dolakha is considered to be the birthplace of Newari culture

A syllogism will serve in place of additional facts:

Upama’s last name is Shrestha
Upama is Newari
Therefore, we can conclude that a list of Newari names is somewhat more interesting than a list of Thami names

Similarly, I will substitute pictures I took in Bandipur in lieu of actually saying anything enlightening about Newari architecture:

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Pancake Bihana

Last week, we instituted the tradition of chocolate banana pancakes for breakfast on Friday morning (Sukrabar Bihana)*. Quite obviously, this is the greatest idea of all time. Also obvious, I only have pictures from preparation because after that, I had more important things to worry about.

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Unfortunately, this great tradition lasted for exactly one week before we had a Friday too busy for pancake breakfast (namely, today).

*Really, is there anything more appropriate for a day named Sukrabar than chocolate banana pancakes? Really?