In the official Nepali language, the word “हरियो” (pronounced “huriyo”) means “green” while the word “नीलो” (pronounced “nilo”) means blue. In the following experiment, conducted during community meetings held by the dZi Foundation, I set out to test the hypothesis that the interpretation of the color green (हरियो) in Khotang is not necessarily the same as my own. Although the experiment was performed during daytime, the lighting conditions were poor.
I gave plastic beads of 5 different colors– red, green, orange, blue, and purple- to 42 residents of Dipru village of Khotang district. (More than 42 people were present in the meeting.) Each person got roughly the same number of beads of each color. I asked each to put a green (हरियो) bead into a container, without consulting with others, and without letting others know of their choice of color. 37 of the participants put green beads in the container, 4 put in blue, and 1 put in a purple bead.
I repeated the experiment in Mauretham village of Khotang with 12 residents of the village under similar conditions. (Again, more than 12 people were present at the meeting.) 11 of the participants put green beads in the container, and 1 put in a blue bead.
The experiment provides evidence that the color "huriyo" (हरियो) refers to a wider range of colors in the communities of Khotang than it does to me . It does not, however, speak to whether or not the people are able to distinguish the colors blue and green.
Below are attendance records from the meeting in Dipru:
Below are attendance records from the meeting in Mauretham: