Tue, 20 Aug, 2019

Dashain Away From Motherland

By Ruby Shrestha

Picture Courtesy: Nikita Gautam

Either with a hope to study in what most regard as a better educational system or to earn a prestigious life for family or to fight the unemployment in one’s own country, a majority of Nepalese fly abroad. According to Nepal Institute of Development Studies, at least 2.2 million Nepali population (which covers almost 10% of the entire population) are abroad, excluding the ones who go to work illegally. The number is increasing every day. Those Nepalese aren’t allowed to return to their homeland on every special native occasion since they are either bound by the foreign policies or by their own situation abroad (lack of money, routine of university and so on).

However, many say, “Nepalese have a great adaptability”. Hence, though they do not get an opportunity to return to their homeland to celebrate revered Nepali festivals like Dashain with their family, they have a taste of such festivals in foreign land with Nepali brothers and sisters, and even with some foreign mates.

Some dedicate a small portion of their room to perform religious activities such as growing Jamara, worshipping Durga, while some organize puja in a temple or their own home, where they invite all the Nepalese they know. They then put tika on each other as they would do in their hometown; though they’re not able to get tika from their parents, they try to get the feel of Dashain by putting tika on their friends or some other Nepali strangers, who they consider as their own when in foreign land.

[caption id="attachment_8982" align="aligncenter" width="627"]dashain Picture Courtesy: DWIT News[/caption]

Moreover, in universities abroad, there are a group of students forming an association representing their country. There are associations of Nepali students as well. Such associations organize festivals on revered occasions such as Dashain, in which all the students are cordially invited. This year, in Colby Sawyer College (New London, New Hampshire), a group of Nepali students called “Nepali Samiti” organized Dashain festival on October 23rd, in which they served Nepali foods and performed native performances. Next up, Nepali Students Association of Troy University (Alabama) organized Dashain Festival 2015 on October 24th. They too offered traditional Nepali foods, and performed native music and dance. This shows that Nepali students are not laid back when it comes to promoting their culture and festivals. They unite to help foreign students experience Nepali foods, Nepali music and Nepali dance forms.

Everyone outside the country certainly feels some amount of sorrow since they’re unable to celebrate festivals like Dashain with their family. However, they do not let go off any opportunity at hand to celebrate such festivals in every way possible. They do not forget the essence of such festivals and put efforts in promoting it even outside their motherland.