Research Program in Nepal
Research is a creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.
There are special tours available for prospective students interested in the research of Nepalese ethnic casts Tharus, Gurung, Tamang, Cultural beliefs like Samanism and those interested in Nepalese art & craft, religion like Hinduism, Buddhism, and architecture in Nepal.
A tailor made program depending upon the interests of the guests is prepared. By accompanying with the local guide, guests can do a thorough research in the particular subject.
The Tharu people are an ethnic group indigenous to the southern foothills of the Himalayas; most of the Tharu people live in the Nepal Terai. The Tharus are recognized as an official nationality by the Government of Nepal. Tharu families worked under the system of bonded labour known as Kamaiya which existed in Nepal since the 18th century, following the unification of Nepal when members of the ruling elite families of Terai received land grants in those region and were entitled to collect revenue from those who cultivated the land.
The Government of Nepal outlawed the practice of bonded labour prevalent under the Kamaiya system in July 2000, which prohibits anyone from employing any person as a bonded labourer, and declared that the act of making one work as a bonded labourer is illegal.
The Gurung people, also called Tamu, are an ethnic group from different parts of Nepal. They believe that till the 15th century they were ruled by a Gurung King. When the British Empire came to South Asia, the Gurung people started to serve the British in regiments of Gurkhas.
Shamanistic elements among the Gurungs remain strong and most Gurungs often embrace Buddhist and Bon rituals in all communal activities.
The Tamangs are the indigenous inhabitants of the Himalayan regions of Nepal and India. The traditionally Buddhist Tamang are the largest Tibeto-Burman ethnic group within Nepal. Their languages are fifth most spoken in Nepal. Tamang people have complex marriage restrictions within the community.
Tamangs are highly respected as Buddhist Monks (priest) as rinpoche, khempo. In many Tamang villages, there is still a tradition of sending the second son to study Buddhism and preferably to remain in the Monastery, and serve as a Buddhist Monk throughout his life. Tamangs have also served as Gurkha soldiers (brigadier, colonel, IGP, inspector) in British Gurkha army, Singapore police, Indian army and police and Nepalese army and police.
Shamanism in Nepal is practiced mostly by people who have association with the Tibetan culture. The function of Shamanism in the Nepalese society is to please the bad spirits and cure the ill effects caused on Humans or animals by such spirits.
Ancient shamanic ceremonies in which the costumed shaman, aided by traditional drumbeats and dance, travel to seek the deities and sprits who assist in the healing work to be done. The rich cosmology of the Himalayan shamans fascinates scholars and healers alike. Sources of knowledge for divination, healing, soul retrieval and cutting the lines of ill fate are demonstrated and experienced.
Nepalese art and craft
Nepal is famous for its own kind of arts and crafts. Nepal is rich in traditional art, craft and architecture. The paintings, handicrafts and antiques of Nepal have their own significance and traditional importance. Nepalese art and craft has been strongly influenced by religious beliefs of the country. The art work of Nepalese artists are decorative, delicate and beautiful. The most typical forms of art are paintings and sculptures of Nepalese artists. The handmade Buddhists crafts and Thangka (Thangka paintings are very authentic traditional Buddhist cultural and religious artistic hand work of Nepal which reflects real Buddhism philosophy by its unique arts) are equally important part of Nepalese art and crafts.
The metal and wooden crafts of Nepal are equally important part of Nepalese art and architecture. There are many shops and store that sell handmade crafts, arts and paintings in Nepal. It is strongly advised to take necessary permit from the department of archaeology before buying and exporting antiques.
Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma (ethics/duties), Artha (prosperity/work), Kama (desires/passions) and Moksha (liberation/freedom/salvation. Some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions, then engage in lifelong Sannyasa (monastic practices) to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (ahimsa), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, and compassion, among others.
Buddha was born in Kapilvastu which lies in present-day Rupandehi district, Lumbini zone of Nepal. Buddhism is the second-largest religion in Nepal. In Nepal's hill and mountain regions Hinduism has absorbed Buddhist tenets to such an extent that in many cases they have shared deities as well as temples. For instance, the Muktinath Temple is sacred and a common house of worship for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Buddhist influences are prevalent in most aspects of Nepali culture to an extent that Buddhist and Hindu temples are shared places of worship for peoples of both faith so that, unlike in other countries, the distinction between Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal is not extreme.
Architecture of Nepal
Nepalese architecture is a unique strain of art and practicality. Situated in between the trade routes of India and Tibet and China, Nepali architecture reflects influences from both these cultural strongholds. The pagoda architectural tradition figures prominently among Hindu temples in the country. The pagoda architectural tradition as well, along with the Tibetan tradition of Buddhist architecture and the stupa in contrast is widely used among Buddhist temples throughout the country.
Architecture of Nepal are reflected by various kind of painting images, statue sculpture of deities, temples, monasteries, old squares and other monuments. In general traditional arts and architectures can be remarked as a fusion of both Hindu and Buddhist religion in Nepal. Especially Kathmandu valley’s squares, monasteries, surrounding areas’ various pilgrimage places, Lumbini, Janakpur and, world heritage spots are main evidences of Nepalese traditional arts and architectures.