Cacti, brunch in Lazimpat and a cool paper on indigenous technologies

I was sitting on the roof of my friend Molly’s house the other weekend enjoying a lazy Saturday brunch when conversation turned to the topic of cacti. Molly’s landlord has a particularly impressive and lethally spiky specimen on the roof. Us videshis had noticed on our travels that a lot of Nepali homes have a cactus or two on the roof and we were wondering if there was any particular reason why, or a story behind this. Someone suggested that they were there as lightening conductors, being full of water etc. But we have still not got to the bottom of it. If any of my Nepali readers know if there is a particular reason for this, do let me know. Maybe people just like cacti.

Eli-bhai sent me over this article, Indigenous Technology Knowledge in Nepal, from the Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, which is well worth a read for an outline of some traditional uses of plants for water harvesting, pest control and other ingenious things.

Eli-Bhai, Molly ko ghar ko cactus: Probably the most bizarre photo I have ever taken.

Regarding plants being used to ward off lightening, the author writes:

“Similarily, in Bhagwati temple, a sacred place where animals are sacrificed, shrub with sharp razor edged leaves, popularly known as tarabarphul are planted. It is believed that this shrub prevents damage to houses from lightning.”

We are still no further on the cacti-on-the-roof question, but will ask next time we come across one. 

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4 Responses to “Cacti, brunch in Lazimpat and a cool paper on indigenous technologies”

  1. funny that – just yesterday i was wondering why we have a cactus plant on our rooftop…. will ask mummy dear, she’ll know!

  2. Do let us know 🙂

  3. while u r doing that research pls also find out why all govt offices in nepal must have a desk with glass on top and business cards etc strewn between desk n glass, why ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is such a popular expression on the walls of nepali schools, why all NGO-working men must carry a laptop style black case and why the obsession with sirak? (i’ve seen nepalis take them all over the world inc darfur) the closest i got to an answer about sirak was ‘sirak is sirak’ 🙂

    i just got ‘hamra hajuraama’ and i know two of the grandmas! making me nepstalgic innit.

  4. hehe all so true! I will add this to my list of things to research…

    You KNOW two of the grandmas from Hamro Hajaraama?? Which ones?

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