Realities and Aspirations: Kabaddi Players in Far-West Nepal
The commercialization of kabaddi in India has created new opportunities for kabaddi players in Nepal. Meanwhile, many studies have shown that “afno manche” (one’s own people), which is usually associated with favoritism, as a cultural norm in Nepal has limited the opportunities for people at the marginality, including sports players. This paper discusses the aspirations and lived realities of kabaddi players in Dhangadhi, a city in far-west Nepal. Apparently, kabaddi players in this city are the typical players at the marginality. But their experience has profound implications for the changing caste- and gender-relations and definitions of modernity in Nepal. Their experience is explored by using a variety of ethnographic material collected through interviews and participant observation during two periods of fieldwork in Kailali district in the summer of 2015 and 2017. This paper focuses on the inclusiveness of kabaddi in various settings, which shed light on the meanings of tradition and modernity in Nepal.