Reimagining and Reviving Resistance: An Anthropological Study of the Limbu Community’ Chasok Celebration
Nepal is going through waves of political and social changes over the past several decades. There has been contentions and inequalities between marginalized communities and the ruling elites. Marginalized communities are often seen as ‘weak’, ‘powerless’, and ‘uneducated’. Yet, they are able to continue their struggle demanding equal social, cultural and political representation specifically by employing various strategies. This paper will present ways in which the Limbu community, one of the marginalized groups in Nepal has been able to rekindle and reimagine their culture and tradition to continue their struggle for their rights. This will be done by drawing from ethnographic research about the chasok-tanganm – one of their major festivals carried out both in Hong Kong and Nepal. In the paper, I argue that the nostalgic reimagination of chasok not only revives their increasingly disappearing tradition and culture but also links the community and individuals as collective political community within and beyond Nepal’s geographical boundary. This has been a critical for the community with its large diaspora experiencing disconnection and loss of culture and tradition and continuous political and social exclusion for those who are at ‘home’. I will further highlight how the chasok celebration, which is intricately linked with a form nostalgia, has helped deepen and amplify the Limbu community’s struggle in the contemporary Nepal – by making the community remember the past, reconnecting it to the present, and seeking answers to the deeper question of identity and existence in Nepal’s modern polity.