Indigenous Hayu people facing difficulty to find life partners

Hari Kumar Rai, Gaighat, Feb 12 (RSS): An ethnic Hayu community residing in various places across Udayapur district is facing crisis in finding life partner within the district. 

The Hayus are the Kirant tribe speaking their own language. They are mostly animist by religion. Hayu community is one among the 126 castes and ethnic group in the country. It is also a marginalized one.

There are altogether seven households of the Hayus- five at Udayapur Sirbani of Katari municiplaity-10 and - two at Sukaura of Triyuga municipality-16 in the district.

Earlier, there were two clans of Hayus in Udayapur-Balunglocha and Kamalocha, according to Tej Bahadur Hayu of Sirbani. He said, "Before, there was no issue cultivating matrimonial alliance within the Hayus community but lately, all the young men and women in the district fall under the bloodline."

Inter-caste marriage is still forbidden among the Hayus while marriage within the blood relations remains a taboo. Traditional belief apart, different medical studies showed that marrying within a family tree can lead to genetic abnormalities in offspring.

An elderly Hayu at Katari Sirbani, Panchaman Hayu, explained, "The Hayus come to Udayapur from Ramechap. Forming marital alliance within the Hayu community here was not so difficult as there were two types of Hayus. But lately, most of all fall within the bloodline."

Badri Hayu of Sukaura said that they had migrated to Udayapur from Makawanpur. They had formed matrimonial alliance with the Balunglocha Hayu in Udayapur but now those Hayu youths cannot get married with their matrilineal families.

However, the new generation of this community has gradually begun inter caste marriage, because it started finding their partners in other caste as well. So, it has been the issue of concerns for old generations who are fearful of the extinction of this community, said Badri Hayu.

Sixty-year-old Kamala Hayu of Sukaura said her daughter chose her bridegroom from another caste, but she succeeded in finding her daughter-in-law from the same community in Sindhuli.

Another Shankar Hayu viewed the old generations are visiting outside the district to find a partner for their daughters and sons because they want to protect their ethnic identity.

According to Nepal Federation of Indigenous and Nationalities, Udaypur Chairman, Keshab Magar, presently there were only seven Hayu households in the district with around 55 members. 

Ramechhap, Makwanpur, Sindhuli, Kavre, Okhaldhunga and Bhojpur are the major provenances of the Hayu people, as they said. Agriculture is the traditional means of livelihood of this community.

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