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Dhimal Homestay in Jhapa Ready to VNY2020

Dhimal Homestay in Jhapa Ready to VNY2020
– Nepalayatimes

Dhimal Homestay in Jhapa Ready to VNY2020
Dhimal Homestay in Jhapa Ready to VNY2020

Jhapa – Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, a group of trained Dhimal homestay operators are running homestay programme at Dodhare Tole at Damak-3 in Jhapa district, the only one run by the Dhimal community in the district so far.

The Dhimal homestay could be one of the attractions for visitors as the country prepares to inaugurate the Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign on January 1, with the goal of welcoming 2 million tourists in the country in 2020.

Dressed in ethnic Dhimal costumes and accessories, all members of the Dhimal host family keep busy in hosting the guests who are keen to savour the cultural hospitality of this indigenous community.
The host houses are small in shape and size and are made of straw, mud and other locally available resources.

Majority of their guests are foreigners, mostly from Australia, Germany, the USA and the UK, who find an attractive alternative in a homestay to the city’s modern guest houses’ cosmetic hospitality. Each one-storey house in the homestay has a separate room for a single person.

While the vegan guests are served locally grown vegetables and fruits, the non-vegetarians ones like to feast on traditional Dhimal cuisine and its staples such as ‘Ghungi’, ‘crab’ and ‘Chichire’ (steamed rice).

Additionally, local chicken’s soup, pork and mutton roast and duck and pigeon’s meat cooked in local spices are also culinary attractions among the guests, domestic and foreigners alike, informed Shanti Dhimal, one of the homestay operators and Chairperson of the Dhimal Community Homestay Committee.

“The price for homestay is fixed at such that even domestic visitors in Jhapa would like to visit once to feel the different type of hospitality in our homestay, gushed Shanti, informing, ” We charge Rs 400 for a room and food costs Rs 300-Rs 400.”

Shanta further said that apart from the Dhimal delicacies, the guests mostly like the cultural performances, mostly performed after dinner.
Among the 36 indigenous communities enlisted in Jhapa district, Dhimals were recently declared by the Damak Municipality as the ‘first indigenous communities’ to inhabit Jhapa.

Rural Tourism activist Arjun Karki explained that with the increase in outbound domestic tourists and awareness about homestay programme, the charm of Homestay began to grow.”
He said, “In view of Visit Nepal 2020, we have begun identifying places to run more new homestay programmes and re-operate those shut down in the past.”

As the federal government is preparing to observe Visit Nepal 2020 beginning from January 1, 2020, and throughout the year, the local government, as well as the local communities in Jhapa district, have also plans and programmes up their sleeve to attract as many as domestic and external tourists.

Acknowledging this, the ‘Indigenous Community Dhimal Homestay‘ in Jhapa district identified the operation of homestay in their communities as one of the attractive tourism products and been running the Homestay programme and plans to expand similar programmes in other Dhimal settlements across the district too.

The homestay was first introduced in Jhapa district at Bahundangi, Mechinagar-in 2011 on the occasion of Tourism Year 2011. Owing to various reasons, the programme could not be run for a long haul then.

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But recently the Province No 1 government introduced the Homestay Operation Prodcure-2075 BS through which it aims to bring in more and more tourists in the Province and thereby uplifting the marginalized community and preserving the culture, traditions and natural heritage of the Province that are on the verge of extinction, according to Nepal Tourism Board, Kakadvitta Office Chief, Susmita Dahal.

When it comes to Dhimal, their population in Damak, as per the 2011 census, was recorded at around 15,000 and their settlements were only found in Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari in the then eastern region.

Amid this, the construction of Dhimal cultural museum figures among the priorities of the local, provincial and federal governments as well as the Dhimals themselves, according to Dhimal Cultural Museum Construction Committee Coordinator Lok Bahadur Dhimal.”A total of 10 million has been provided by the three-tier governments in a bid to preserve the Dhimla cultures, customs and traditions.”

“The Committee is also committed to facilitating more Dhimal Homestay to come into being and host as many as visitors during the Visit Nepal 2020 and even after,” chimed in Committee Coordinator Lok Bahadur.

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