Paincho is like parma. They both mean giving (lending) and taking (borrowing) of something. The main difference between them is that paincho is related with goods in needs whereas parma is related to labor or services. Paincho is also a typical practice of Nepali society. In this practice, people in need of some goods or services take from somebody without any cost or interest as paincho and return it in due time. It is too mostly practiced in rural areas. It can be defined as giving the thing like rice, maize, money or any goods on condition that the equal amount is returned after the certain period of time. Such a practice is generally found in rural areas among close friends and relatives. This practice helps to fulfill the immediate needs of the people and also helps to strengthen their relationship, unity, and co-operation. Similarly, a culture of mutual help is also a positive part of this practice.
5. Dhikuti / Dhukuti
The literal meaning of dhikuti is a storage room. Dhukuti originally refers to ‘storage’. People keep or store grains in dhikuti. It is an ancient practice similar to a cooperative. It was in practice much before the inception of a bank and other financial institutions. People used to collect and used money through Dhukuti in the past. As a social practice, this concept is meant to collecting money or fund for specific purposes with periodical or one-time contributions from its members. A fund as a dhikuti is raised with the money so collected. The fund is used by its members turn by turn. Individual members can also borrow money from it at a minimum interest rate. As this practice is linked with money, there are chances of fraud or malpractices as well.
The aim of this practice was to collect money from a close community, relatives, and friends. The practice helped people to receive money on a monthly basis according to varying Dhukuti rules. The one who runs Dhukuti is called ‘Bhupa’. It is also called Dhikur in Thakali community.
Though it helped people to use money and to be unified in the past and even today it is in practice somewhere. It’s been disclosed as a fraud by the Nepal Rastra Bank as per Nepal Rastra Bank Act 2002. The Central Bank has urged the Ministry of Finance to declare ‘Dhukuti’ illegal due to the growing number of cases filed against the increasing business of this fraud. More often even ‘Bhupas’ disappear with all money collected or deposited.
Badghar literally means a senior citizen of a community. Badghar system is practiced among Tharu community of the mid-west and far west of Nepal. As a social practice, members of the community either choose/ elect or agree to pass on leadership according to age or seniority in the community. It’s mostly practiced in the Tharu community. Badghar is chosen or elected for certain period of time or may be for life if practiced hereditarily. A badghar is elected chief of a village or a small group of a village for a year. The election generally takes place in the month of Magh (January/February) after completing major farming activities. Badghar is seen as a guiding light or guardian in the community. Important decisions in the community are made under his leadership and guidance. It’s a way of practicing democracy in our traditional ethnic societies. The house which involves in farming has voting right for electing a Badghar. Thus, the election is based on a court of household count rather than a head count.
The role of the badghar is to work for the welfare of the village. The badghars direct the villagers to repair canals or starts when needed. They also oversee and manage fee cultural tradition of a village. They have an authority of punishing those who do not follow their orders or who go against the welfare of the village. Generally, a Badghar has a Chaukidar (watchman) to help him. With the consent of the villagers, the badghar may appoint a “Guruwa” who is the medic and chief priest. Badghar is the unpaid leader. As a token of respect, the community members may also help him in farming for a day free of cost.
Rodhi is like a social club mostly prevalent in the Gurung community. Rodhi Ghar is a practice of Gurung community. In ancient times, young Gurung and Gurungni would gather at a common place to carry out their business of wool but with the passing of time, the very same place turned out to be a place for amusement and entertainment as well and came to be known as Rodhi Ghar. At Rodhi, normally young people of the same community and interest get together to discuss or to undertake or to share or to enjoy issues or events of their interest. It provides a healthy forum for its members to share and exchange ideas, joys, and happiness.
The social practices mentioned above are only a few among many other practices prevalent in our societies. They are our common wealth and identities. Such practices are linked with our cultures, traditions and geographical conditions.
The young revelers who visit those Rodhi Ghar sometimes fall in love and get married. Marriages both arranged and eloped are recognized in Gurung community. Though Rodhi Ghars were typically found especially in the western development region but it has crossed the geographical boundary and such Ghars are found in Kathmandu valley and other major cities of Nepal. This practice is being commercialized at present.
There are some other malpractices in our society which must be controlled.
Article Emailed by Writer: Prakash Sapkota, Pokhara