Cultural Diversity

The Valmiki landscape harbors vivid socio - cultural diversity. 'Tharu', a scheduled tribe, is the dominant community in the landscape. There are several theories on colonization of this community in the Himalayan terai. It is said that the community migrated from Rajasthan to the Himalayan foothills some 400 years ago. Their prime occupation is agriculture and staple food is rice. They are non-vegetarian and like chicken, pork, snails and fish. Gents relish liquor locally prepared from jaggary. Tharus speak Bhojpuri and worship Hindu deities. Ramnavmi is their main festival. They also maintain socio-cultural relationship with the Tharus of Nepal. Their population is around 2.5 lakh.

The scheduled tribes other than Tharu in the Valmiki landscape are collectively called Dhangar - which means retained labourer in Oraon dialect. Dhangar comprises of four tribes: Oraon, Munda, Lohra and Bhuiya. The 'Dhangars' were brought to this area as agriculture laborer from the Chhotanagpur Hills. Each Dhangar tribe has its own dialect and they observe their traditional festivals. Currently their population is around 0.5 lakh. Communities other than the tribes are called 'Bajiyan'. They are outsiders and involved in agriculture as well as small business in the villages.