Khasi Bazaar

In the US we have turkey for Thanksgiving, and some people have ham for Christmas, but in Nepal when it’s time for Dashain only one kind of meat will do—khasi ko masu—goat meat.

In preparation for the main day of Dashain, called Dashami—tikka day– P, his dad, his dad’s friend (“Uncle”), and I went to the Khasi Bazaar [Goat Market]. The market consisted of the sidewalk on both sides of the road filled with roped up tarp tents and lines of goats tied to strings and posts. A second part of the market was down a small alleyway where goat pens where stuffed with goats. Small weighing stations consisting of a metal cage for the goat, counter balanced by a platform and heavy metal weights were scattered throughout the market so customers could buy their animal by the kilo.

Before we got into a taxi to go to the market I asked P’s dad what kind of goat we were looking for. “About 30-35 kilos, long legs, not too fat, brown in color, because brown goats are nice to look at.” We found goats of all sizes and colors—black, white, spotted, brown. Daddy at first seemed displeased. He said that these goats were from the Terai [plains of Nepal bordering India], he could tell because of their long ears, and they seemed to be too fat. “Not good,” he said, “We don’t eat the fat.”

We circled around the market for a while, and finally settled on a goat that they had spotted earlier. It was a darker brown goat with even darker brown, almost black, streaks, and small horns. The goat was untied from its post and Uncle picked it up to test its weight. Then the goat was ushered into one of the metal cages for an official weigh in. P’s dad haggled the price, and the goat was ours.

I took its rope and gently led it out of the market saying, “Aao khasi, aao.”[come goat, come]. I wanted the goat treated nicely since it only had a few more hours left of its life. We found a taxi and opened the back hatch and loaded the goat in the back so that it was standing behind the back seat and on top of the spare tire. There was just enough space in the back section of the taxi for the goat, almost like the space was designed for goat travel. P’s dad, myself and P sat in front of the goat on our way home. I pet its head to make it feel more relaxed.

When we got home the goat was unloaded and brought to the back of the house to eat some grass. P and I pulled up clumps from the ground and put our hands up to the goat’s mouth and he happily chewed. After a few minutes P’s dad lead the goat inside the house and two people—P’s dad pulling the string from the front and “Uncle” swatting at the goat from the back—led the goat upstairs to the roof.

The goat was tied in the corner and Mamu give it leaves from the cauliflower she was cleaning for Dashain meals, and we gave it a large pan of water. It bleated a few times then settled down in the shade.

Khasi is thakai.” J Phupu said [goat is tired].

When I pass the goat on the way up to the second roof top (above the kitchen) where P is flying some changa [kites] I feed the goat some more cauli leaves.

Tomorrow the goat will be cut up for Dashami meat, some going to Uncle, some going to P’s relatives, and the rest eaten for the holidays. Daddy said in the morning he would take the goat to the butcher to be killed, cleaned and to have the larger sections of the goat separated (head, thighs, mid-section, etc), but that he was going to Uncle’s house to get a khukuri knife so that they could cut up the larger sections from the butcher into smaller sections.

“You will see, tomorrow.” He said.

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7 responses to “Khasi Bazaar

  1. Hated going to Goddess temples this time of the year because the floor will literally be red with blood. They used to cut a goat in my dad’s parents house as a part of the festivities and they used every part of the goat — made a curry out of goat brains :S
    I feel so bad for those goats, they look so cute! But they are also delicious. ;)

    • P joked to one of his younger cousins, “let’s have a vegetarian Dashain this year.” and she defiantly said, “No khasi! No way! That’s not Dashain!”

  2. LOL now I see where your FB post was leading…P.’s dad doesn’t like goat fat? I love it as long as the goat isn’t gamy in taste. I hope you enjoy the festivities :-)

  3. I remember one of my friends being traumatised that she had to eat the goat that had been bleating at her the day before. That said, as a kid I wouldn’t eat the meat from the cows I knew :) The cows I didn’t know, well, that was fine!

  4. Isn’t it time you update your blog with new posts? :p

    • I have a million things to write about, but got too busy, and was too tired from traveling back yesterday… but I promise to write more in a day or two! :)

  5. There was a story in the papers here about a sheep who jumped from a five-storey building to escape the slaughter’s knife. Sadly the sheep lost (the story is actually quite disturbing as it does sound like it was butcher).

    http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/courts/sheep-jumps-from-five-storey-building-after-failed-slaughter-attempt

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