Recording Oral Folk Narratives

The northern Himalayan districts of Bajhang and Darchula in far western Nepal bordering Tibet still have rich oral traditions that tell fascinating tales about human life and death, happiness and sadness, love and hate, along with rich details about societal customs, rituals, economies, cross border relations, and the hazards accrued by the difficult topography of the region. Like many oral stories today, threatened by the erosion of traditional cultural practices and languages, these stories are on the verge of disappearance and with the changing landscape of Nepal and the rise in the tendency of linguistic code switching, there is a strong possibility that younger generations will discontinue such oral traditions. The goal of this project, therefore is to record these folk narratives, engaging local youth in such endeavors in order to bridge the generational divides, and subsequently the publication of an archive, which will ensure the continuation of such longstanding traditions and stories.

August 2014-January 2015