Thakali - Marriage and Family



Marriage. Marriage was traditionally initiated by capturing a bride with her informal consent, like the custom among some of the Himalayan groups. It is, however, the Contemporary tendency for young Thakalis to prefer arranged marriages in the Hindu style. The rule of postmarital residence is Generally patrilocal, and the youngest son tends to stay with the parents even after his marriage. In many cases, the elder sons go out and set up new families after their marriages (neolocal residence). Traditionally, divorce and remarriage were not encouraged but also not prohibited; today, however, the remarriage of widows is becoming somewhat unpopular among the Thakalis who have been brought up in the Hindu lowlands of Nepal.

Domestic Unit. The younger sons are apt to form extended families with their parents, but elder sons generally set up nuclear families in new localities after their marriages.

Inheritance. The property of the parents is inherited by the sons, but the younger sons obtain most of it.

Socialization. Traditionally, the socialization of the Thakali children was quite well balanced by a laissez-faire attitude and hard training systems in Thakhola. The shoben lava initiation ceremony used to be performed in Thakhola. A similar rite is also performed in the Hindu lowlands in a modified fashion under the Hindu name of a kumar jatra. As for the modern education of Thakali children, the parents have been very active not only in urban settings but even in Tukuche. Formerly, only the affluent families could afford to send their children to the elite schools in urban centers, but many families have now started to send their children to such schools both in Nepal and foreign countries.

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