Caste System in Nepal

The Caste System in Nepal seems to be fading very rapidly, especially with the increase of tourism, contact with other countries and the influence foreigners have on local communities. By law, the caste system does not exist in Nepal, but changing a law is easier than changing an entire country’s perspective. Some people still abide by the system, some only adhere to it in certain aspects, and in some cases it does not affect locals at all. The caste system in Nepal is only in operation socially and even though the law states that there is to be no discrimination, it does still flow strongly through the veins of some communities.

To understand the Nepalese caste system, one must investigate the origins of the system and the reasons for its establishment. Before the arrival of the Aryans in the Indus Valley, the system did not exist. In order to control the community and the growth of their new settlement, the Aryans divided the communities into various groups according to what the leaders determined the skills were that certain groups possessed. This led to four general groups. The Brahmins were considered to be the intellectual individuals that could lead and educate. To protect the community, those individuals who were viewed as being strong and brave were included into the Chetris division. Traders, suppliers and producers were signed up under the Baishys division. The Sudras would include the rest on the community who were ordered to farm, manufacture, do laborious tasks and produce.

The Nepalese caste system was therefore derived from this first Hindu version. Within the caste system in Nepal the leading group is called the Brahmin, then the Kshatri, the Vysys and the Shudra. To be more specific in classification, Thagadhari, Matwali, Pani Nachalne Choichto Halnu Naparne and the Pani Nachalne Choichto Halnu Parne were created. These divisions further the classification of what is considered to be impure and pure castes. Many tribes do not pay attention to the system, as their values, culture, religions and traditions differ.

The caste system would also determine the status and social standing of the groups and limit most to what was expected of them and what their behavioral characteristics should be. Since the lift on discrimination against lower castes, many of these people have proved themselves to be capable politicians, successful businessmen and leaders of their communities. Although the caste system has not completely disappeared in some Nepali communities, many of the lower castes now have greater opportunities than their ancestors only one generation removed.