We have the same kind of blood

Berit Madsen
42 minutes


A sensitive and in-depth portrait of the daily life of Dalit the lower caste people or "untouchables" in a mountain village in West Nepal.

The village is inhabited by several Dalit castes - the Kami (blacksmiths), Damai (tailors) and Bhul (leather workers) among others, as well as some Thakuri upper caste households. We experience the relation between the lower and upper caste people and their reflections upon the caste system. Why there are two separate water taps for upper and lower castes respectively; why the father of a young bridegroom insists on finding a wife for his son from his own caste, and why Dalit are forbidden access to temples, restaurants etc.

As the film moves forward we get an understanding of the influence of the religious cosmology upon caste behaviour and the daily life as such. In many ways the Dalit live on the margin of the Nepalese society, but the film also shows the humour and strength of the villagers as they try to make a living in dignity.

Although filmed on one location, this documentary reveals important aspects of the caste system as it is practised in Nepal at large. In 1990 the practice of caste-based discrimination was declared illegal and punishable by law in Nepal. But the caste system still forms an essential part of the cultural landscape.


Berit Madsen
Suggested readings: 
Articles: "Stories from the everyday life of Dalit in West Nepal, 1-5", by Berit Madsen.