The Daughter of a Kamtiya

September 13, 2017

“My father was a Kamtiya. He was employed by the Kings of Kathmandu and Nepal. He was ordered to look after their land in return for a small piece for himself. People knew him in the community. Mother tells me, when I was very young, he roamed the villages to find a husband for me. And with him he carried a stick, which he used as a measuring tool. He had marked the stick up to my height. And he would use the stick to measure the height of boys he liked in neighbouring villages to see if they were taller than me. In those times there was no comparing of ages. So that is how he found a boy for me. We were both very young when we got married. I do not remember much. After the wedding ceremony, I stayed with my parents until I became an adult. After a few years, when the boy’s parents started to get old, I was called and that is when I left my parent’s house to go live with my husband. The Gauna was a big celebration for my husband and his father and mother, but not for me. That day I cried a lot. But what can a woman do? In this life, I gave birth to 4 daughters who are all married now. They all live poor lives so I am still helping them with whatever I earn cleaning the nearby health post. Sometimes, I buy a few clothes for my grand children and sometimes some bangles for my daughters.” (Radha Devi Sada, Kanchanrup, Kanchanpur, Saptari)

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