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24 hours with Mingmar- A rush to Yartsa

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Bring the bag! — Are you going to pick up there? Who would have seen this. I might have stepped on. — Many people might have walked over. People have been collecting yartsa gumbu for 15 to 20 years now. Previously, lot of yarsta gumbu can be found. But sold in cheap price. And now it is found less. But we get high price for it. Searching for yartsa means like searching for a lost needle! I think you understood what it means. Its very hard to find a lost needle, right? If we have an idea...to find a needle... ...we can use magnet like this, like this. But there is no technique like that to find yartsa. It cannot be found by doing mantra or by the rituals from priest. It can't be found by using magnet as well. Only if we see well, we can find yartsa. If not, then there’s no chance to spot it. Thats why its hard to find...OK. It will be impossible to come straight from home to search. We will get tired. Also we won't get much time to search. We would have to walk from our home to here. Then we have to give time to get back home. That's why we bring all things from home... ...like cooking utensils, clothes, mattresses, blankets. We are temporary shifted to highlands and pick them. Just because its easier and faster to reach for picking. In a country like Nepal where there is less opportunity for employment... ...whether you study MBBS or engineer or have degree. There's less chance of getting proper work. That's why our Nepalese brothers are compelled to go abroad to work. In foreign countries they are seen in dire conditions. Even if someone works in office, they might make lakhs in a year only. But yartsa gumbu can make lakhs in a month! So I think picking yartsa is more rewarding. And also... ... to find yartsa in such a hostile place where there is... ...no any other source of income is a big deal. For me 100% income comes from... yartsa gumbu. But it might not be same for other people who works in the office. I am the only one from our house to collect yartsa. Because my wife has to stay at home.. ...to look after three children. She has to look after fields too. Wheat, potato and mustard. Thats why i am only one from our house to pick yartsa. The price of yartsa is not consistent. Because of the businessman's trick. Sometimes they buy it at a low cost and sometimes at a higher cost. Some people sell it daily even without pealing the cover. After they return from the mountains around 4 or 5 pm. Khampa's are stood at the junctions waiting and asking us to sell yartsa to them. And we sell them fresh yartsas right there. cutie!....Stand up! Who hurt you?... You want to sleep? Cutie!... Don't cry. Kiss to papa! Tashi delek! OK. <i>(CHANTING BUDDHIST MANTRA)</i> Might smear your face. Keep on pouring. Pour more. Do you want to wash? I will pour water. OK! Are there any people walking? They might be coming from down below. — Oh! Down below? Shall we go there...there or there. Where shall we go? Today it snowed for no reason. Lets return. Its dark here… can't see clearly, right? <i>(TIBETAN SONG PLAYING FROM CELL)</i> Khampa is coming. — Huh! Hello! — Hello my business friend. Whats up? — I need to buy yartsa. How shall we deal?...do you want sell by sizes or altogether? Hello... this has not fallen from the sky. Look, my shoes got torn and my trousers too. I worked hard to find it. Give me Rs 2,255. Its actually 2,254. Forget one Rupees. Count them well. Don't complain me later when its not enough. 210...230...240. I don't have five rupees. <i>(TIBETAN SONG PLAYING FROM CELL)</i> Thank you! — Heat some water. —Shall i heat this one? Did you deal? Do i start first? — Yes. Shall i take this off? — OK Mingmar, it snowed! — Really! Oh! lot of snow! — Look here at snow! —OK, let's start. Show your cards. You are cheating too much. Alright! Turn off the lights OK. <i>(CHANTING BUDDHIST MANTRA)</i> Farter. Did you fart now. I have upset stomach. Come outside. Are you done doing toilet?— Done! Bring tea. — Wait. It snowed today! Yeah, lot of snow. ♪Good people gathered together brings happiness,♪ ♪Like flowers blossoming in the highlands of the mountain.♪

Video Details

Duration: 18 minutes and 11 seconds
Country: Nepal
Language: English
Producer: Rinzin Norbu Lama
Director: Rinzin Norbu Lama
Views: 95
Posted by: norbu on Dec 1, 2013

This video is a documentation of a day with Mingmar's life. At aged twenty-eight, is one of the yartsa gumbu harvesters leaving behind his wife, three children, one newly born baby boy. He walks up the mountain everyday from their stone summer shepherd hut, close to the snow line with his cousin and their young friend, Kumar, high with hopes of finding lots of yartsa-gumbu. They crouch and crawl all day crossing a mountain field in mulled silence, picking through blades
of grass and staring at the soil, until a lucky sole searcher lets out an excited cry as he lifts up a clump of earth and sifts out the yartsa gumbu. Its a 24 hrs lifestyle during Mingmar's yartsa harvest.

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