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Kumauni people

Kumaoni/Kumauni
Languages
Kumaoni, Hindi

Kumauni or Kumaoni or Kumai(as said in Nepal) are people from Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, India. In colloquial language, people of Kumaon are also referred to as "Pahari".

They include all those who speak the Kumaoni language or any of its numerous dialects, living in the Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Pithoragarh, Nainital, Dehradun, Udham Singh Nagar, districts of Uttarakhand, India and Doti, Khaptad, Bajang region of Nepal.

History

British Raj

Almora Bazaar, c1860

The Kumaon Regiment, established at Ranikhet in 1917, still gets its recruits from the Kumaonis of the Kumaon division and the Ahir from the plains.[1]

There were widespread opposition to British rule in various parts of Kumaon. The Kumauni people, especially the Champawat District, rose in rebellion against the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 under the leadership of Kalu Singh Mahara.[2]

Language

UNESCO designated Kumaoni as language in the unsafe category which requires consistent conservation efforts.[3]

Culture

Festivals

After harvesting season people mostly relax, rejoice, dance and sing, and thus a festival is generated. At the transition of the sun from one constellation to another Sankranti is observed. Each Sankranti has a fair or festival connected to it somewhere in Kumaon. Fooldeyi, Bikhauti, Harela, Ghee Sankranti, Khatarua, Uttaraini and Ghughutiya are the most-observed Sankranties throughout the region. Other festivals have the bearings in the moon and thus the dates change frequently in the Gregorian Calendar. Basant Panchami, Shiv Ratri, Holi, Samvatsar Parwa, Ram Navami, Dashra, Batsavitri, Rakshabandhan, Janmastmi, Nandastmi, and Deepawali are some of the auspicious occasions.[4]

Dasshera or Bijaydashmi

Dasshera festival starts in Kumaon with the performance of Ramlila, which is itself unique as it is based on the musical rendering of the katha or story of Lord Ram based on the theatrical traditions set by Uday Shankar while on his stay in Almora. These traditions were further enriched by Mohan Upreti and Brijendra Lal Sah. Known as the Almora or Kumaon style, Ramlila has been recognised by UNESCO as one of the representative styles of Ramlila in India.[5]

Theatre

Kumaoni theatre, which developed through its 'Ramleela' plays,[6] later evolved into a modern theatre form through the efforts of theatre stalwarts like Mohan Upreti and Dinesh Pandey and groups like 'Parvatiya Kala Kendra' (started by Mohan Upreti) and 'Parvatiya Lok Kala Manch'. Besides this the famous Hindi poet,Sumitranandan Pant also hailed from Kausani , district Bageshwar.

Radio

  • Trans World Radio (USA) – 7320 Hz (Shortwave)[7]

Cuisine

Kumaoni food is simple and comprises largely of vegetables and pulses. It is highly nutritious to enable survival in the hard environment of the hills and cold climate.

Vegetables like potato (aaloo), radish (mooli), colocacia leaves (arbi ke patte, papad), pumpkin (kaddoo), spinach (palak) and many others are grown locally by the largely agrarian populace and consumed in various forms.

See also

References