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Vox pop: The delightfulness of Dashain

Dashain, the annual Hindu festival, holds immense cultural and religious significance for the people of Nepal and the Nepali diaspora around the world. Evana Manandhar of ApEx talked to three artists to find out how they celebrate this glorious festival

Vox pop: The delightfulness of Dashain

Rijan Maharjan, music producer

Dashain, the most prominent festival in Nepal, is deeply rooted in tradition and family values. It involves family reunions, feasts, and the exchange of new clothes and gifts. The Nakhtyaa feast, popular among the Newar community, brings families closer through card games, kite-flying, and quality time. Cleaning and decorating homes are essential customs, along with the worship of Goddess Durga. Swinging on decorated swings and temple visits add to the festive spirit. Preserving these traditions is crucial for younger generations to maintain their cultural identity. I believe it’s important to celebrate Dashain responsibly while cherishing its rich heritage.

Bibek Waiba Lama, singer

Dashain is a time of great cultural significance, and it’s wonderful to be a part of the celebrations through music. I enjoy doing household chores, and helping my family with things that need to be done around the house. Dashain is also the time when I get to connect with my audience on a deeper level, invoking emotions and nostalgia through the power of music. I get to narrate the festival’s deeper meanings, emphasizing the victory of good over evil, through my songs. My role as a singer during Dashain celebrations is not just about singing songs; it’s about being a cultural ambassador. I aim to evoke emotions and nostalgia, educate the audience about our cultural heritage, and create an immersive experience that brings the essence of Dashain to life. It’s a privilege and a responsibility that I love.

Shakshi Singh Bhandari, actress

The festival begins with a collective effort to clean and decorate our home, creating an atmosphere of purity and festivity. I actively engage in the ritual of preparing Jamara, meticulously caring for the barley seeds, and ensuring their growth during the festival. The most cherished moment is the tika ceremony. I also love singing traditional songs and dancing with friends during this time of the year. The essence of Dashain lies in family gatherings, where I bond with my loved ones, and relish in stories, laughter, and the scrumptious traditional meals that are an integral part of the celebration. Throughout these festivities, I keenly observe and participate in various rituals, respecting their significance. Whether it’s the solemnity of worship or the joy of community gatherings, Dashain is a time when I can wholeheartedly embrace my cultural roots and showcase the diversity of our traditions.