Similar to traditional guthis, now-a-days we see many caste-specific guthis/organizations emerging among the Newars: Sesyo Samaj, Jyapu Mahaguthi, Kapali Samaj, Manandhar Sangh, Vajracharya Samrakchhan Guthi, Khadgi Samaj, Uray Samaj, and so on. I consider these organizations as important groups that have great purpose of preserving our diverse cultures, languages, and heritage, and for the purpose of welfare of their groups, among other things. Not all Newar people agree with me. There were/are Newars who viewed/view such emergence of modern guthis or organizations as “Newars’ being disintegrated and showing disagreement.” In my opinion, such organizations will help strengthen a particular caste-group in preserving their own heritage and traditional practices, and uplifting of their community. Who would understand in depth of the culture and heritage and bring out the best of and best for a certain population than by its own caste group? Thus, some people see these modern organizations as “kuchā-kuchā” (“pieces or disintegration”), but I see them as “kachā-kachā” (branches) of a tree. If each Newar caste has such an organization that works for the benefit of their own people, then each group will improve their status and will develop further in social, socioeconomic, and cultural areas, which eventually and collectively will make a strong “Newar” community. Besides, these organizations are encouraging their students who did well in SLC and other higher degrees by awarding cash and other prizes, recognizing the seniors who have contributed in various ways to their community, appreciating women’s work, having talent competitions, publishing journals and reports, organizing skill camps, helping the poor, and so on. One group in particular, the
Uray Samaj is also collecting the detailed population data by surveying each Uray household. The analysis of such data will reveal the strength and shortcomings of all nine sub-groups among the Uray group. In my view, this is an important work worth following by other caste organizations as well.
adminnewa July 14th, 2015