Bahun/Chhetris Of Nepal

Brahmin Family Doing Satya Narayan Puja Ritual inside Home

Bahun-Chhetris are among the leading majority of the Nepali population. They are also called Brahmins or Kshetris/Kshetriyas. They fall under the Khas-Arya group.

Khas-Aryas are an Indo-Aryan ethnolinguistic group indigenous to South Asia’s Himalayan region. It includes what is now Nepal and the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, and Sikkim. Brahmins, Kshetris, Thakuris, and Sanyasis, Nepalese citizens, are among the “Khas Arya”.

Since Bahuns and Chhetries fall under the same umbrella of the Khas Arya group, they have almost inseparable cultures and lifestyles. Stereotypically Bahuns are scholars. Chhetris, on the other hand, are popular as warriors. Chhetris had dominated high military positions and monopolized the military force at the time. The Thakuri clans of Chhetris are among the Nepali aristocrats and kings.

The distinction between the Bahuns and Chhetris are made based on the Hindu caste system. But there is not much difference among them. They are both Hindus and have the same rituals and festivals. Their moral values, as well as their social and political strength, continue to play a dominant role in contemporary Nepalese life.

Traditional Chhetri Bahun Attire of Nepal

Nepali is the mother tongue of Bahuns and Chhetris. This is an Indo-European language related to Hindi and other North Indian languages. Nepali, like Sanskrit, is written in the Devanagari script. It is a syllabary rather than an alphabet.

The literacy rate among Bahun men is far higher than the national average. Their historical role as priests and scholars required them to read sacred Hindu texts. Hence, allowing them to be more learned that others.

All Bahuns and Chhetris are Hindus and adhere to the majority of basic Hindu beliefs. Bahuns can serve as family priests. They can also officiate at shrines and temples and at major festival rituals. They are also in charge of all marriage rituals. They are usually present at religious events and read passages from the Vedas or other Sanskrit texts.

The thar (indicated as a surname) and the gotra are two types of clans. These clans belong to Bahuns and Chhetris. Thar is exogamous if a relationship can be traced, but Gotra is not exogamous. Although experts do not believe these systems are still applicable today.

People use sibling terms to refer to all first cousins. There is no generic term for brother or sister. Siblings have categories as either older or younger brothers or sisters. Unrelated people, including strangers, are addressed using kinship terms.

The Bahun Chhetri society is strictly patriarchal. Descent and inheritance are only passed down through the male line. Male also precede various traditional rituals. As per traditions, men are bread winners, and women are homemakers. This is not very applicable in urban Nepal. But it is still a norm in most Bahun/Chhetri households around the country.

Bahuns and Chhetris have major celebratory festivals of Dashain and Tihar. Dashain is Nepal’s most important national festival. The people of Nepal celebrate it for fifteen days throughout the country. Tihar, or the Festival of Lights, is held two weeks after Dashain. They both fall during the month of October or November.

These festivals need celebration with a lot of joy and socialization. People build tall bamboo trees for children to play with during Dashain. You can find youths playing cards and games like”langur burja”. These activities mark the Dashain festival.

The Tihar festival is also quite fascinating. Everyone puts up festival lights, candles, and Diya in their house. People cook special delicacies like sel roti. People cook various sweets to commemorate Tihar. People play a social event of “Deusi/Bhailo” which resembles trick or treating. Trick or treating involves the participation of kids in the west during Halloween. But Deusi Bhailo can involve people of any age group.

Brahmin kshatriya of Nepal

Bahuns and Chhetris are not known for their artistic abilities or interests. Music, dance, and visual and plastic arts do not have roots in Khas-Arya culture. They have been the domain of other ethnicities. Bahuns and Chhetris do not take part in these activities. Urban people might take part in arts, but it does not have any ethnic roots. Their simple, mostly unadorned homes reflect their lack of artistic inclination.

Rural Bahuns and Chhetris raise cattle and crops in terraced fields. Bahuns also serve as family priests. Chhetris serve in both the Nepal army and the British and Indian armies’ Gorkha (Gurka) brigades.

Both castes are well-represented in government, finance, and politics in urban areas.

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Ashish Niraula is a seasoned trekker and professional tour consultant based in the country of the Himalayas. He has over seven years of hands-on experience in the sector, which has helped fortify his knowledge and expertise to craft the most iconic and memorable adventure packages in the Himalayas. Ashish’s passion for traveling and the unwavering drive that always pushes him toward excellency, have helped him earn a reputation as a trustworthy advisor in the tourism sector.

As a traveling enthusiast, Ashish has explored all the major trekking routes of Nepal. With years of experience exploring the mystical Himalayas and professional engagement in the field, Ashish honed his skills to design the most iconic adventure experiences in the Himalayas that cater to the adventure palate of every traveler. From organizing the challenging treks to the rugged Himalayas with incredible thrills to facilitating culturally immersive experiences across the traditional settlements in the country, Ashish’s commitment to excellence shines through every aspect of his work.