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Title: Bel Bibaha Among the Newars and its Social Significance
Other Titles: SOCIAL TRENDS, Vol. 6, March 2019, p 219 - 229
Authors: Mangar, Ritu
Keywords: Newars
Pre-puberty ritual
divine marriage
widow remarriage
Issue Date: Mar-2019
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: The Newars are a fairly complex group, speaking Nepali and Newari, the two languages ofIndo-Aryan and a Tibeto-Burmese linguistic group, respectively. The Newars are the oldest among the communities that had settled down in the Kathmandu valley, long back and the majority of them still live there. The Newars distinguish themselves from the dominant Brahmin-Chettris, the Nepali upper castes, in terms of culture. The two important rituals, among many others, that distinguish the Newars from other communities are Ihi and Barha. These rituals, in the mould of “primitive” practice of nature worship, mark two critical junctures in the lives of women. The literal meaning of Ihi is marriage to a belfruit (wood apple) and it is a ceremony of immense social and religious significance to the Newars especially the females. The Ihi ceremony is looked at with high veneration by the Newars.The paper highlights the social significance of the ceremony, the rituals that afre performed, the reasons behind its practice and the changes that have come about with the passage of time.
ISSN: 2348-6538
Appears in Collections:Vol. 6 (March 2019)

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