What is kukri/khukuri?
The kukri, or Khukuri (which is closer to the Nepalese pronunciation) is the distinctive curved Nepali knife that is synonymous with the Gurkhas & Npealese people. The Kukri is respected through-out the world for its fearful effectiveness as a close combat weapon but it is also an humble multi-purpose tool has been using in centuries in Nepal for everyday tasks. It is a symbolic weapon of the Gurkhas throughout the world, signifying the courage and valor of the bearer in the battlefield. It is a part of the regimental weaponry and heraldry of the Nepal Army and Royal Gurkha Regiment of British army and Gurkha Rifles in Indian Army. It is also used in many traditional rituals among different ethnic groups of Nepal including one where the groom has to wear it during the wedding ceremony. It is known to many people simply the ‘gurkha blade or ‘Gurkha knife’. It is well said that Bowie knife, stiletto, Scimitar, Roman sword, Samurai or Machete are some of famous knives of the world and have all played a great historical significance because of their cutting edge over other weapons but the most famous of them is the “kukri” …!!!
A Nepali boy is likely to have his own Kukri at the age of five or so and necessarily becomes skillful in its use long before manhood. By the time a Gurkha joins the army, the Kukri has become a chopping extension of his dominant arm. This is important because it is not the weight and edge of the weapon that make it so terrible at close quarters so much as the skilled technique of the stroke; it can claim to be almost impossible to parry. But it is important to remember that the kukri is a tool of all work; at home in the hills and on active service it will be used for cutting wood, hunting and skinning, opening tins, clearing undergrowth and any other chore. From this it is plain that there can be no truth in the belief that a Gurkha must draw blood every time before he may unsheathe his blade.