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Childhood and Newar Tradition Chittadhar's Jhimacha - Nepalese Studies

Childhood and Newar Tradition Chittadhar's Jhimacha - Nepalese Studies

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Published by ShankerThapa
Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture

Childhood and Newar Tradition: Chittadhar Hṛdaya's "Jhī Macā" Author(s): Todd T. Lewis Source: Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 48, No. 2 (1989), pp. 195-210 Published by: Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1177917 Accessed: 19/11/2009 00:40
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR'
Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture

Childhood and Newar Tradition: Chittadhar Hṛdaya's "Jhī Macā" Author(s): Todd T. Lewis Source: Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 48, No. 2 (1989), pp. 195-210 Published by: Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1177917 Accessed: 19/11/2009 00:40
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR'

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Published by: ShankerThapa on Jul 15, 2010
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Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture
Childhood and Newar Tradition: Chittadhar Hṛdaya's "Jhī Macā"Author(s): Todd T. LewisSource:
Asian Folklore Studies,
Vol. 48, No. 2 (1989), pp. 195-210Published by: Nanzan Institute for Religion and CultureStable URL:
Accessed: 19/11/2009 00:40
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unlessyou have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and youmay use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=afs.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.
 Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture
is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend accessto
 Asian Folklore Studies.
http://www.jstor.org
 
Childhoodand NewarTradition:
ChittadharHrdaya'sJhi Maca
TODDT. LEWIS
ColumbiaUniversity
THETEXTAND ITSCONTEXT
A short book32pagesinlength, JhZMaca("Our Child")waspub-lished in1947byChittadharHrdaya,anative residentofKathmandu,Nepal.Its titleconveysthe author's intention thatthis bookguideNewarparentsintheir hometeachingandserveas afirstreader fortheirchildren.Becauseit is aliterarygenrenotoftenexaminedbyscholarsof orientalliterature andbecauseit isavaluablesourcebookthatrevealsmuchaboutitssocioculturalcontext,Ihave undertakenthistransla-tionof it.1Theremarksof this sectionbrieflysketch the historicalbackgroundofNewarcivilization andhighlightcertainimportantthemesinthetext. Theinterestedreaderdesiringmorein-depthcoverageof these
subjectsshouldconsult othersources
(ISHII
1986,1987;TOFFIN1984;SLUSSER1982;LEWIS1984).NEWARCIVILIZATION
TheNewars are aTibeto-Burmanlanguage-speakingethnicgroupoftheHimalayan regionwhose culture hearth area hasbeentheKath-manduValleyforat leastthelast onethousandyears.Based onveryefficientsystemsofintensive rice cultivation andtheprofitslocal tradersderivedfromtheirfavorableentrepot positionontrans-Himalayantraderoutes,Newarcivilization reachedahighlevel of artisticachieve-ment andculturalelaboration.From itsearliesthistoryonward,Newar culture hasbeenhighlyIndicized inmanydomains(GELLNER986).Protectedfromcoloniza-tionbythelowlandmalarialzones and theHimalayanranging imposing
Asian FolkloreStudies,Vol.48,1989:195-210
 
TODD T. LEWIS
barriers,the Newars createdacivilizationadapted largelyfrom northIndianpeoplesandculture.Livingtraditionsstillpreservemanyhistoricallyimportant examplesof ancientIndicart, architecture,texts,rituals,andfestivalcelebration. NewarBuddhismisperhapsthemostnotablesurvival,asitendurestodayas aseparatetradition adhered tobydistinctNewar castes.Nowin aminority,Buddhist NewarslivealongsideotherNewarspracticingShaiviteandVaisnaviteforms ofHinduism.Thisreligiousadmixture makes thepluralismandculturalcomplexityofKathmandu,modernNepal's capital, especiallystriking.The Newar line ofkingswasdeposedin1769bytheShahdynastyofGorkha,warriorcaste PahariHindus.ManyHindupeoplesfromtheHimalayanmid-hillssubsequentlymigratedinto theValleyandnow constituteaboutone-half of thelocalpopulation.Thesemigrantsmoved totheValleyperipherytoestablishfarms and to workatthenewgovernmentenclaves close to thecapital.Thisrulingline endurestoday, althoughfrom1846until1950asinglefamilycalled"Rana"controlledallstateaffairs.Rana rulepreservedNepal'sautonomybysealingoffthe nationfromoutsiders;theirdespoticrulealso leftNepal'srural hinterlandseconomicallybackward.From itsinception,the modernstate hasbeenstaunchlyHinduincharacterand dominatedby highcaste elites. Since1951,Shahgovernmentshavesoughttounifythemanynon-Indicpeoplesacrossthemodern stateby promot-ingNepaliasthenationallanguage.Althoughtheir homeland wasconquered,Newars wereinvolvedin the unificationprocessthat created the modern stateofNepal.Nowsurroundedbymodern stateestablishmentsandburgeoningsuburbs,theoldtowns-Kathmandu,Patan,andBhaktapur-haveremaineddistinctlyNewarsettlements.Dividedinto over ahundredcastesand fissured furtheraccordingtostrong loyaltiesto theirlocalities,thisethnicgroupis stillunitedbyacommonlanguageand acore culture.Newarcivilizationcoheresaround common traditionsthatarefound acrossthe KathmanduValley,and even in thesatellitetownsNewarsestablishedacrossthemid-montaneregionofNepal.Nar-rowlanesandcourtyardsofeverysizeorganize very tightlypackedsettlements.Theflagstoneandbrickstreetsareinterwoven withmanyHinduandBuddhistshrines,the mostnotablestyle beingthe woodenmulti-roof"pagoda"temple.Smallshopsinthemajortownslinethe chiefthoroughfaresandbustlewithtrade.Thebrickhouses,tile-roofed andtrimmedwithintricatelycarvedwoodwork,risethreeormorestories.Allelementscreatea traditional urbanaestheticuniqueinSouth Asia.The children'sstoriesfromJhiMacdgivethereader an intimate
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