Rai community has a rich culture, their community’ togetherness is unbelievable. They revered each other, share everything like a family. Like in this shown video; generally, if any family wants to cut his/her pig, buffalo, beef, wild animals, etc. then he/she invites their neighbouring households to share meat within the community. In the same manner, they prepare or prosecute pig in their own traditional pattern. After finishing their work, they fry pork meat (Chhokmasa/Bhutuwa) then they share pork meat (Chokmasa) with Umbak (homemade millet wine). Subsequently, they take a portion according to their need, (If meat is not enough for all then they divide as per their family members). Thereafter, they separate from there informing the house owner and say ‘Hasinchine Molo’ bye.
Name giving ceremony in Rai culture:
When a woman in a family conceive and gets pregnant, there is an important practice of cooking/incubation a millet wine (Umbank) in a name of the pregnant mother. Umbank is reserved for later use during the postpartum period for the naming ceremony. They perform a naming ceremony after 6 days following delivery for a baby boy and after 5 days for a girl. In this special ceremony, the senior female of a family member plays a role of a priest. Mostly within Rai culture, women will conduct this naming ceremony. The head woman briefs all the process and equipment needed to prosecute the ceremony. Simultaneously, we have to prepare Plough, Dhanuskada (Bow Arrow), Umbak, Hengma, cradle, knife, rooster, thread, etc. for boys, subsequently, handloom comb, Charkha, hen, cradle, thread, Combi (a knife), etc. for girls. Thereafter, the headwoman enchants the incantation to protect the child and mother from the devil.
Some steps to perform incantation;
- Have to kill a cock with enchanting ‘ Mamang hulla hangchhakokda saarima mamandane’
- Before entering inside the house, have to perform a spell with the Umbak spilling to the hot pot in the main door while mother and child enter
- Have to bind thread made rings around the waist, hands and legs
- Have to keep that made equipment in respective areas
- Combi and Karda should keep in the cradle
- Bamboo Cradle is made with different weaving pattern for male and female baby
Each above mentioned steps has own meaning while doing this process.
The reason behind process no II; the head or senior woman should pour Chhanuwa into the hot pot with the masala (spices) and oil. Meanwhile, an offering is done in the name of those who have deceased during pregnancy and we request not to trouble a newborn and a postnatal mother in our family.
The reason behind binding the thread around the waist and hands of a newborn is to indicate that from today neonates has come with a human before you were with god. And another reason is to measure the growth of a baby. Likewise, the pattern of the cradle will be ‘Raja, Ghar, Indra and Indra, Raja, Gharjam. That means Ghar and Indra for son subsequently, Raja and Ghar for daughter. In the same way, a knife is our crucial weapon. We have a strong belief that if we have a sword, then the devil afraid to come and attack. So, we have to keep the knife and combi in the cradle, if girl then Combi and boy knife, respectively.