Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Who are Nepali Dalits?
The concept of caste has existed in South Asia for millennia. Though this socio-religious hierarchy had originated as a method of "division of labor", it has, in the modern age, served as a means of subjugation and disempowerment -- especially for the lowest strata in the caste system, the Dalit.Dalit means downtrodden, oppressed, and exploited. Though much of society rejects and ignores them - deeming them as "untouchable" - Dalits have fostered a rich culture and history. In the western world many picture Dalits as incredibly poor, helpless, and disenfranchised people. While there is some undeniable accuracy in this portrayal, it is incomplete. It is important to celebrate the heritage, culture, and accomplishments of the Nepali Dalit as they persist against all odds. (less) message form Ted Samuel