Long version - running time 9 minutes
The Gandharba people are an ancient caste of musicians that have historically earned their living from music, playing the Saranagi and other traditional Nepalese instruments. There are Gandharba villages in most of the seventy five regions of Nepal. Traditionally their craft of making instruments, playing, singing and dancing is passed on to younger generations through immersion in their musical environment. They went from village to village earning their living through their skills, providing entertainment and using music as a communications tool to relay both current and historic events.
The Gandharba people, like many others in Nepal, have been struggling to adapt to the social changes. Globalisation and modern technology have resulted in them losing their traditional place in society. In order to survive they spend months away from their villages to work in the streets of Kathmandu, playing music and selling their instruments, often earning only a few dollars a day. This impacts their families and the social structure of their communities. The Ganharba Restaurant project in Kathmandu is a social business that will provide a platform to empower the Gandharba people. This social business is a partnership between ‘Gandharba Society Nepal’ and a group of social entrepreneurs from Australia.