Rajbanshi community is found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Bhutan. They are residing in the eastern region of Nepal. Rajbanshi is derived from Aryan and is also said to be from the royal race. Rajbanshi is also known as Koch. According to old times, their major occupation was agriculture. And still maximum of them are in farming and rest are involved in other works. Their tradition is of agriculture, dance, music, medical practices, song, the building of house, culture, and language. As they are more into cultivation they cultivate rice, pulses, and maize. They also eat rice and cereals more and prefer other vegetables especially fried potatoes. Though urbanization rising day by day they still follow a rural lifestyle. They preferably consume stale rice or Pantha bhāt. They are non-vegeterains so they consume a huge amount of meat. They eat goat meat and sheep meat too.
They have a ritual of sacrificing pigs in Ghordew puja, and ducks in Laxmi puja. Ducks and fish are also consumed by them but not in large numbers. Their traditional attire is Patani, Agran, Angsha, Chadar, Lifan, Phota, and many more such outfits are there. Chadar is an outfit that is tied on the chest and its length is up to the knees. It is worn by women of the Rajbanshi community. They still were traditional attires though the modern ones are available. Music is an inseparable part of the Rajbanshi community. The music they prefer are Bhawaiyya, Chatka, Chorchunni, Palatia, Lahankari, Tukkhya, and many more. They play different instruments like Dotora, Sarindra, and Bena, double-membrane instruments like Tasi, Dhak, Khol, Desi Dhol, and Mridanga, gongs, and bells like Kansi, Kartal and wind instruments like Sanai, Mukha Bansi, and Kupa bansi.
When a child is born in rajbanshi family then they have their own traditions. At the time of pregnancy, the mother isn’t allowed to do any work and there are restrictions on her food and all. After the child is born there is hair cutting and name-giving ceremony. Marriage in this community is divided into 3 parts. The first one is pre-wedding preparation which is also called Pantola. The second stage is Adhibas in which turmeric is applied to the whole body and then we have marriage rites. In the third stage, the main rituals are performed and their kulaguru is worshiped. And if a death happens in this community then the body is bathed and offered some rice and their favorite food with water. After that, the body is taken for cremation where the ladies and children aren’t allowed and then the last rites are performed. This is all about the Rajbanshi community.
-Article written by: Sakshi Agrawal for Land Nepal