Taboo: Strange Love
Premieres Wednesday 10P et/pt
by Kiran Krishna Shrestha
Marriage in Nepal and anywhere else in the world is a happy, colourful and exciting occasion.
Growing up in Nepal, we heard of child marriages but actually witnessing these little ones tying the knot were uncomfortable moments for me and the Nepa-laya crew.
As in funeral pyre, identifying characters was the challenge. Everyone knows it’s an illegal practice; therefore, convincing family members to open up and allow us to film was the greatest challenge.
The Dom people of Nepal live in slums and are traditionally cleaners, they make their living by cleaning streets, toilets, etc.
Ironically their jobs are to keep the cities and villages clean; they themselves live in extreme squalor. It seemed almost inhumane to us.
Spending days in the slum with animal and human waste and free flowing sewers, the crew worked in very difficult conditions. After a few hours no one cared what they were stepping into or where they were sitting. It became impossible to stay clean.
An even more challenging part of this shoot was the unexpected torrential downpour of monsoon rains on the night of the main wedding, our main shooting segment.
The older Gauna couple was comparatively easy, but it was extremely difficult to find a young girl who was not married, in fact anyone by the time they are biologically able to start a family, undergo this process.
But what struck me most and left the biggest impression from Taboo’s child weddings shoot, was the lack of literacy and awareness among the Dom community. It was as if they lived in a different century, not connected to reality. It truly saddened me and the crew, but ultimately, it was very interesting and a great learning experience.