Game Of Highland Folks


I had no translator to explain the events in the village. That's why I briefly described them without any business slant, in natural colors, in an atmosphere created by the people of the village themselves.

 In order to really understand the everyday life of the villagers living in the mountains, it is worth seeing and experiencing without any hypocrisy or prejudice, as pure as nature itself, where these people live.

Just leaving Kathmandu Valley, the road to Rasuwa Distritct leads along the River Trisuli that meanders behind every bend make you admire its magnificent banks. Especially in the period when the flood waters have not yet subsided and the river's surroundings are full of spring freshness and it is particularly strong.

Intoxicated by the aroma of nature, it takes you into oblivion, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, and after an eight-hour drive you reach the Chilime Village, surrounded by mountains.


 It is something special that makes the mountain valleys magically silent. It cannot be compared to the noise of rushing mountain rivers. Suddenly generated winds early in the morning, which dispersed the thick swaths of fog in the valley.

It is a bracingly joyful human voice, flowing across the mountain village at the end of the week. In a small Himalayan valley, people are happy after hard work is done.

Nothing is pre-prepared or negotiated. They are brought together by one single thought—to have a rest. They come as they are, every day. Someone has a new piece of clothing to show off. Someone has something to tell about the events in the neighboring village.

Intense negotiations are in full swing, for which there is no time when the hands are full of work.

Old people get together and discuss rumors, which is a pleasant topic, like honey on the tongue. The young ones find their pranks in hide and seek and disappear for a moment away from parents' eyes. In the true sense of the word, with the rise of the sun, everything started to heat up, and I was involuntarily tempted to find out what would happen next.

Envy can really take over when we see man-made happiness and joy, and how affectionate and true it can be. What is more is that it is a self-made home show without any modern communication systems. Consider that the show only required a few clothing attributes - the rest is up to you. Not for the pleasure of someone, but for themselves.

In this way, the village people spend the weekend on the slopes of the Himalayas.

Everything starts with a hearty snack, as they say, to strengthen the power. The basic product is rice with dried meat. Children receive a piece of cookie or other snack that is either home-made or delivered in plenty to the local shops from neighboring China.

Observing the behavior of men and women who sometimes disappear behind house corners and then return with strange manners, one can guess that alcohol (roxy) could be used, and in pretty large quantities. It is made of rice, is distilled, and can be used as a light alcohol. The latter, which is not filtered, contains many harmful impurities. For someone, it is like having breakfast instead of tea. This is not unusual in harsh mountain conditions, especially in winter.

So, when everyone is well fed and in a slightly inebriated condition, the gathering begins. The women get together and loudly discuss what tricks to use so that they can disperse the men one by one and then tie someone up. Men gather reluctantly, however, secretly watching women, wondering how to capture them suddenly. Nepali women work hard; they cut firewood, carry heavy burdens, and in terms of strength, sometimes they are equivalent to men, even surpassing them. You can see the true power equality of the two genders while watching the game.

The rules of the game are very simple. It is open to people of all ages. However, it requires dexterity and a little courage. Basically, there are two teams, men and women. Each of the teams tries all kinds of trickery to lure someone out of the opposing crowd and then tie them with a rope. 

This forces both teams to make hasty defensive maneuvers to protect their comrades. The men were stealthily approaching the women in the crowd when suddenly, by shouting, they rushed into it and tried to capture some of them. They use both rope and long scarves. 

Deft Manoeuvering 

MBy deftly manoeuvering, she sometimes manages to tie together a number of women at the stake. However, women face a stiff resistance that sometimes turns into a counter-attack, and men need to seek shelter and return to their starting positions. If someone is tied to a stake, it is ridiculous and they should be shamed for being clumsy. During the game, the atmosphere is quite combative.

Strong women cast men out like sacks of chaff. After intensive capture, both teams are tired and agree on a ceasefire. Men rush to use respite and disappear behind the house corners. Meanwhile, women gather and discuss what measures to take to strengthen their positions.

Youth rejoice with the older generation demonstrating agility, maybe more with erotic overtones. However, at this age, everything is allowed.

The boys, with a deft maneuver, throw the scarf like a lasso; it wraps around the girl's waist. At the right moment, the boys grab the other end of the scarf, pull it a little, and the girl is trapped.

Also, girls are not far behind boys in prowess.

The guy bent himself as quick as an eel. The girls could not grab the guy and tie him up. With screams, they began to tickle the boy and attempted to remove some of his clothes, but in vain. The guy was impossible to subdue.

The same thing happens with adults. Too intoxicated with alcohol, the overestimated balance of power sometimes leads to a bravura fight. Sometimes women prevail.

Around lunchtime, when both of them are exhausted, it's time to sit down at the dinner table. At this moment, all anger is forgotten. Likes meet dislikes, someone gets a bigger portion of rice, someone less... But that's not the end of it. After a short nap, everything resumes with redoubled force. And so, until late in the evening, both sides capitulated, overcome by exhaustion.

It was quite strange that no one even noticed the presence of the photographer.

(The author is a photojournalist)

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