Tripping at a Nepalese Wedding: cultural exchange in a remote Nepal village
After spending the last year teaching English in South Korea, I traveled with my boyfriend David (also a Tripper) around Nepal, India, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, and Singapore. In Nepal, we met up with a Tripper named Tika.
Tika lives in Kathmandu and runs a trekking company called Adventure Mountain Explore. He kindly invited us to join him on a family trip to his wife's hometown (a remote village in Ghorka), to attend his brother-in-law's traditional wedding ceremony and celebration. It was an almost surreal experience. I had never pictured myself taking some of the craziest bus rides of my life to a wedding in a village that had previously been visited by only one other foreigner.
Tika's family and the villagers in his wife's hometown were incredibly warm and welcoming. I think we must have met every member of the community over the three days we were there. We stayed with a neighbor who I bonded with despite the language barrier between us.
The meal we shared the day after the ceremony was one of the most memorable I've had during my travels. We looked on as two goats were killed and butchered for lunch. As the meal was prepared for the entire village we played cards and drank Nepali tea with some of the local men and Tika. When lunch was ready they lined up plates in an L-shape on the grass for us to eat. We ate in shifts; when one person finished somebody else would come and fill their spot. Several women walked around giving second helpings of rice, mutton (goat) curry, and vegetables.
I don't think either of us have ever danced so much. The musicians, children, and women called on us to dance at every opportunity and we couldn't say no. Somebody would sing a short snippet of a song we named Jim Jim (not sure the real name) and then the trumpets would start and we would begin dancing. Watching the women of the village in their rich red clothes singing the Jim Jim song to us is one moment I will never forget.
I hope one day Tika and his family visit us wherever we settle down (somewhere in the U.S.?). In the meantime, David and I are continuing our travels and very much looking forward to our next Tripping adventure!
Want to know more about Danielle's adventures Tripping at a Nepalese wedding? Connect with her via her Tripping profile and follow her adventures via her blog. If you're in Nepal, you can Trip with Tika. Click here to connect with him via his Tripping profile and here to visit his trekking company site.