Tihar dawns in Nepal and the experience is more than just overwhelming!
While the whole of Nepal is abuzz with its own celebrations, Nepal’s indigenous Tharu community has a unique way of celebrating the festivals of lights.
During Tihar or Sohari, the Tharu village Bhangaha welcomes visitors with its unique cultural experience.
Meghauli Serai, a Taj Safari lodge in collaboration with & Beyond in Chitwan arranges village visits to experience the Tharu Tihar celebrations.
Besides experiencing the per-day Tihar celebrations, visitors have a good opportunity to learn about the Tharu culture and the history behind the celebration.
As part of the celebrations, Tharu women dressed in saris and adorned with silver perform the traditional Tharu dance at the village square.
Additionally, the people of the community adorn their homes with diyas and move from door to door singing traditional Tharu songs, Bhailo and Deusi.
Tharu people also give visitors the traditional raksi (rice wine), popcorn, cigarettes and sometimes even chocolates too.
Tharu Battle Against Poaching
These Tharu activities support a community’s conservation efforts to protect the regions Bengal tigers and Indian rhinos.
The Tharus lived in the region that is now known as the Chitwan National Park. Protecting parks and wildlife are an important task for these indigenous Nepalis.
Meghauli Serai & &Beyond look to the Tharu tribe for Community Forest monitoring, which is the buffer zone between Chitwan and Bharatpur.
The community is monetarily rewarded for its conservation efforts and uses the amount to improve farming productivity and Tharu lifestyle.
“We work together with local communities like the Tharu—support them in their livelihood needs and involve them in conservation activities,” said Siddhartha Bajra Bajracharya, Executive Director, National Trust for Nature Conservation in Nepal.
Beyond CEO Joss Kent explained that support for the Tharu and successful preservation of their surroundings are very much interrelated.
Moreover, participation in the &Beyond safari activities at Meghauli Serai helps Tharus who are majority of the resorts employees.