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Newa Culture and Heritage
Newa people are indigenous people of Kathmandu in Nepal. Malla Kings were Newa Kings in 11th century. King Jayasthiti Malla, who ruled from 1382 to 1395 AD, introduced different group of people in Newa society according to the profession. These groups of people are now in different profession. The following are the group of professions:
Health sector - Vaidya (Doctors), Engineering - Nakarmi, Painters and artists - Chitrakar, Edible Oil maker - Manandhar, Agriculture sector - Maharjan, Dyers - Ranjitcar, Gold Smith - Shakya, Copper, Bronze and Brass Smith - Tamrakar, Carpenter - Stapit, Meat and fruit vendor - Shahi, Flower vendor Malakar, Sweet Vendor - Rajkarnikar, Businessman - Shrestha, Tailor - Jogi, Banker (exchange of currency) - Sarafi, Priest - Bajracharya, Traders - Tuladhar, Barber (kind of beauty parlor) - Napit, Laundry-woman - Rajak. Cleaners - Kuchikar, Butchers - Khadga, etc.
There is system of trust to preserve their professions. With the trust system the profession skills are taught and transferred to new generations.
This system has good and bad aspects. Good in the sense that certain group of people has sense of responsibility and development of their skill for generations as such the sculpture and beautiful temples in the cities developed and preserved. Newa food is considered very good and testy. The system of serving food at the time of ceremony is very scientific. The Newa drinks are the best. Newa songs and music are very popular. Newa clothing is unique in style. Haku Patasi for women, black saree with red border, which is popular dress among Newa farmers, is famous for all Newa cultural programmes. It is worn upside down V shape on the back exposing half calves of women's legs.
Gold and silver ornaments made by Newa gold smith are very beautiful. Some of items made of silver particularly are Anti (Newa whiskey pot), Karuwa (drinking water pot) and worshipping items. Gold ornamnets for women are equally beautiful. Newa handmade shawal, Pasmina, is one of the most demanding items of export from Nepal. Newa script is unique and registered with UN at the time of Nepal membership. Nepal became UN member on 14 December 1955.
The bad aspect of this system is that certain group felt their profession is superior to the others. As an example Priests are considered as higher ranks. Cleaners and laundry groups are considered lower level. Some are even considered as untouchable.
Now this system is fading away. People are not stick to their traditional profession.