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Who are the Tharutribals of the UP terai?

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    8th Dec, 2020


  • The Uttar Pradesh government has recently embarked upon a scheme to take the unique culture of its ethnic Tharu tribe across the world.

What is this scheme about?

  • It is about connecting the Tharu villages in the districts of Balrampur, Bahraich, Lakhimpur, and Pilibhit bordering Nepal, with the homestay scheme of the UP Forest Department.
  • The idea is to offer tourists an experience of living in the natural Tharu habitat, in traditional huts made of grass collected mainly from the forests.
  • It will encourage villagers to acquaint them with aspects of safety and cleanliness, and with the rules of the forest.
  • The intention is to put Tharu villages on the tourism map and to create jobs and bring economic independence to the tribal population.

Who are the Tharu people?

  • The community belongs to the Terai lowlands, amid the Shivaliks or lower Himalayas.
  • The Tharus live in both India and Nepal.
  • In the Indian Terai, they live mostly in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar
  • Most of them are forest dwellers and some practice agriculture.
  • Members of the tribe survive on wheat, corn, and vegetables are grown close to their homes.
  • A majority still lives off the forest.

What is about Tharu language, food, and culture?

  • They speak various dialects of Tharu, a language of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, and variants of Hindi, Urdu, and Awadhi.
  • In central Nepal, they speak a variant of Bhojpuri, while in eastern Nepal, they speak a variant of Maithili.
  • Tharus worship Lord Shiva as Mahadev.
  • Most Tharutribals consume alcoholic beverages, and some eat beef.

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