Friday, 1 December, 2023

Tea culture adds charm to Basantapur's allure


By Sushma Maharjan, Kathmandu, Mar. 31: Almost every other person you know will tell you that they can't get up and get going for their day if they don't get their cup of tea.

The fragrant leaves boiled in water and added with sugar and with or without milk have got everyone hooked to such an extent that unknowingly we have all been addicted to it for a long time.

It's not just rejuvenating and energizing, but tea is also a great excuse to socialise and a perfect conversation starter. The best place that the people are usually found sipping tea and relaxing probably has to be the Basantapur area.

The colourful melange of hawkers trying to sell their curio, people coming to meet friends, and tourists roaming the heritage area make it a perfect place to stop and rest for a while.

Basantapur is located right at the heart of the Kathmandu Valley, where we can see people of all age groups hanging out, sipping tea and chatting with their friends and resting. This place carries historic significance. It is enlisted in the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

The monuments, architecture and lively ambience of the area can refresh anyone. At every corner of this heritage site, we can see tea hawkers carrying tea thermos. Most of them carry both milk and black tea ready to be served in paper cups. Seeking their customers, they keep moving around the place. Some of them even keep asking the passers-by if they want a cup of tea. It is a story that Basantapur witnesses every day.

Basudev Thapa, 12, a student at Paropakar Adarsha Secondary School, Bhimsensthan shared his experience as a tea hawker, "I come here every day to sell tea around 6 pm. I prepare a thermos of tea at my place and come here. I sell around 20 cups of tea and earn Rs. 500 approximately." His family and friends have been supportive of him. He spends a certain amount of his earnings to buy stationeries like notebooks, pencils, and other necessities for his school and has been saving the rest of his earnings for his future studies.

"It has been three years since I started selling tea at Basantapur," said Renuka Subedi, 17, a student at Shree Shanti Sikshya Mandir Secondary School, Thahiti. She studies in grade 10. She said she came to Kathmandu from Dolakha in 2018. With a family of a father, a younger brother and a handicapped mother, she has to take care of them and herself.