The Samdhis in intermarriages: A study of evolving marriage practice between Bahun and Newar
Endogamy is preferred and still prevalent among the Bahun and Newar in Nepal as in other communities. This practice is common for a variety of reasons from societal norms to commonalities in ritual beliefs and practices. However, intermarriage is becoming increasingly common that challenge and question traditional marriage practices. From a traditionalist standpoint, Bahun affinal system has experienced quite a lot of changes that are partly the result of intermarriage with Newars among others but also a result of other factors such as education, migration, and economic independence and capabilities. In addition to these, it is also the conscious acts and decisions of the people that have resulted in these changes.
This paper attempts to explore some of these changes that have occurred in rituals, relations between the affines along with the changes in the behavioural norms and status relations that had been long existent between maita and ghar among the Bahuns, and in doing so, argues that these changes are the results of the conscious acts of the participants rather than the mere result of change in relationship structure as a result of intercaste marriage.
This paper is based on the research carried out for the completion of Master’s degree in Anthropology. The research included a month-long fieldwork in September 2016 and case studies, key informant interviews and informal conversations comprised the major methods of data collection.