In May 2007, this celebration of kauda chudka song and dance, in Lower Gyaja village of Manakamana VDC in Gorkha district, helped me understand how Nepal’s urban dohori restaurants were trying to create a rural festival atmosphere.
It also led me to question strict separation between political songs and “regular” folk songs. The song posted here, “Ribbon in your Hair” (Ribbon Kapalaima), celebrates the coming of republican democracy to Nepal in its refrain, while also including improvised verses about love and everyday life.
Songs like this suggest that, political parties’ rhetoric of a separate sphere of political song aside, political changes are bound up closely with everyday living and loving, each affecting the other. And it’s these changes in everyday life that the groups in Gyaja found worth singing about.
[Transcription coming soon!]