By Dilip Kulung
At the end of February, my people start preparing for the change in season. We gather firewood to cook meals and Himalayan bamboo to roof our homes. We build sheds for our pet animals and collect cooking items like salt, oil and sugar, which we cannot produce ourselves. Once we have collected and managed all necessary items for the approaching Summer, those that are physically capable head to the Everest region in search of a trekking job in early March.
The Kulung, one of Gurkha clan, are famous worldwide for being warriors of strength yet poor by wealth. You can guarantee that a Kulung will be smiling despite their hardship and the huge weight they carry on their shoulders while on the Everest trails. The ancestral home of the Kulung people is called the Mahakulung, which lies in the lap of Mount Everest. I love my home and honestly believe it looks like a piece of heaven in the summer season, surrounded by green farming lands and rolling hills.
In Spring, most parts of the Mahakulung look dry, but some parts are decorated by Himalayan blooming flowers like Rhododendrons and Orchids. Because Spring season is not too busy for farming, some of the Kulung women can be seen knitting traditional clothing on a large loom outside their houses. Anyone who is physically able is most likely on the Everest trails at this time. Only children and the elderly remain at home.
During Spring, my people bring their pet animals from the jungle to their field because it creates good dung manure for farming. You will hear people on the fields and at the sheds singing traditional songs in groups or by themselves. Hundreds of warbling birds join in adding to the joy.
By May, the Mahakulung valley looks green again as millets, maize, potatoes, wheat and barley mature. In June and July, Mahakulung looks so green as this is Summer season for us. My people are so busy during this time doing agriculture work. The Kulung will come back from the Everest trekking trails to assist their family members with their farming activities.
The Mahakulung has countless natural resources provided by our hilltops and worldwide known snow-capped mountains, from our meadows to our dense forests, including many important medicinal plants. But unfortunately, this area remains highly isolated from modern-day facilities. It’s time for more people learn about our piece of heaven.