DHANKUTA, May 23: People struggle throughout their lives to build a house of their own. However, in Khuwaphok VDC of Dhankuta district, the elderly are not satisfied with just a house to live in; they also want to ensure a safe burial spot while they are still alive. This new trend is catching on among the elderly.
Dhan Bahadur Yakkha, 75, a resident of Khuwaphok VDC-3 in Dhankuta district has already provided for his own tomb and has been telling his family to make sure to bury him there after he dies.
“My relatives may not build a concrete tomb after my death,” says the septuagenarian. “So, I myself built my tomb. I want to be remembered even after death. My tomb will remind everyone of my existence.”
Tombs are generally built only after death. However, some elderly in Khuwaphok - like Dhan Bahadur - are building their tombs while they are still alive. They say they constructed the tombs because they want to be buried at places of their choice.
Dil Bahadur Yakkha, 78, a resident of Khuwaphok VDC-3, lost his wife three years ago. After building a tomb for his wife, Dil Bahadur constructed one for himself, too, by the side of his beloved´s grave.
Dil Bahadur´s relatives tried to dissuade the octogenarian from building his tomb. They believed that Dil Bahadur´s act would make him a laughing stock in the village. But a resolute Dil Bahadur did not change mind.
“My grandfather was very upset after my grandmother´s death,” said Kishan, one of Dil Bahadur´s grandsons. “We tried to convince him that building tomb before death would be against our culture and practice. But he did not listen to us and built his tomb.”
Dhan Bahadur and Dil Bahadur´s tombs have hollow place with open doors underneath. Their dead bodies can easily be placed there. They say a couple of people would be sufficient to bury their bodies.
Some elderly women have also built their tombs before their death. Maimaya Limbu and Jahanshwari Limbu, who hail from Khuwaphok VDC-9, have built their tombs near their deceased husbands´ graves.
The widows wanted tombs of their own after losing their husbands, according to Naresh Limbu, headmaster of Panchami Primary School in Khuwaphok. “In Khuwaphok, three people who built tombstones before their death have already been buried at the places of their choice,” says Limbu. “It is now becoming a new trend in our village.”