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Dashain Blessings, Piku, and The Day of the Girl Child

By Rhijuta Dahal/ @RizDh

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Photo Credit: Piku Poster

After taking a few days off, buying train tickets months in advance, I realised last weekend my Dashain was likely to be blocked. Ahhh, the perks of being born a girl in a Nepali Brahmin family. However, having not seen my family in months, I decided to trek to the colder and rainier part of England.

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Happy Teej!

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Photo credit: Wikipedia

For those of you who celebrate, wishing you a beautiful few days! For those of those of you who don’t celebrate, check out our past entries on the holiday.

  1. Why I Choose To Celebrate Teej
  2. Speaking Up & Teej
  3. Bejeweled & Hungry

*Are you celebrating this year? If so, how? If you are not celebrating, what are you doing instead?

 

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Traditions and Rituals

By Richa P

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Photo Credit: Richa Pokhrel

I wouldn’t call myself a religious person, perhaps someone who is spiritual. I mean I do believe in a higher being, but I am not sure  exactly who/what that is. I identify as being Hindu, more the cultural Hindu  than the religious Hindu. There is a difference between those two. However, after spending a month in Nepal, especially during the Dashain and Tihar festivities, I have been thinking more about traditions and rituals in families, societies, and religions. Continue reading “Traditions and Rituals”

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My Nepali Wedding

By Kanchan G

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(Photo credit: Kanchan G)

I recently married my long time boyfriend. We personally chose to do it courthouse style since we both fall under the category of “non religious people”. However, when my family decided to have a traditional Nepali ceremony, I wasn’t too thrilled. I expected it to be over the top, relatives and family friends I had neither met nor had little or no contact with to be there, and for me to partake in traditions I did not care for or relate to. I had always found weddings to be a bit over the top and just a way for people to show off lavish trends. All the stress and planning that is related to weddings isn’t all that alluring either. On top off all that we had decided to have the wedding during Dashain and only had two months to organize it.  During these two months me and my family fussed and planned on different details of the wedding. We found a local Hindu temple to hold the wedding ceremony, looked for multiple venues to host the reception, while doing all this from across the country of the wedding location. Most of the planning was done by my aunt and grandmother, which I was very thankful for, seeing how I did not have half the stress most brides do.

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The Mark of Dashain

By Manisha P

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(Photo credit: Tejaswee Shrestha)

“What is that on your forehead?”
“Um..it’s a part of what we do to celebrate Dashain

Of the many questions people ask me, that used to be one of my least favorite. It involved informing people a lot about my culture, even the parts that I was not even fully aware about. I don’t know why we put so much tika (forehead mark) to cover half the forehead. I don’t know why wheat grass is used. I don’t know why money is given as part of the tradition. I definitely don’t know why we eat goat (absolutely don’t like it). Continue reading “The Mark of Dashain”

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Why I Choose to Celebrate Teej

By Nibriti D

*The second part of the Teej series. The reasons behind why this author celebrates and what it means to her. What do you think about her reasons? What are your thoughts?

To me, Teej brings images of red saris, chadke tilharis, and dancing.  My childhood memory of Teej is of my mom doing puja and keeping her barta (fast).  My dad was gone during that teej for some reason so she had placed his picture next to the statues of the deities to complete her puja.  It has always been a fascinating festival for me, with all the chura(bangles), pote (beaded necklaces), and saris. All things that I could not participate in until later in life.

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Speaking Up & Teej

By: Rhijuta D

This week, we have a two part series  on the festival of Teej. Please share your thoughts as this is a festival that has varying opinions. Don’t forget to subscribe so you can get these discussion right in your inbox.

Last week, I sent my piece to my friend and my editor about Teej and Nepal, how the nostalgia I used to have of the festivities was now masked by the new middle class having elaborate parties and also being unclear on why women fast on this day. While writing the entry itself, I had done my most not to get carried away by my emotions and not sound too negative.  The Teej piece was just about my feelings when I was in Nepal around that time and because I do not celebrate, I stood out. During the process of finishing off the article, I had talked to my friends and few other people to get their opinions, some liked the festival for the sarees and the potays (beaded necklaces), some women wanted to fast for their husband,  and some felt forced too. Some women also said it was because they were Hindu so they would not question it as it is part of the tradition. I had concluded that entry by saying that maybe I am not Nepali enough to blindly accept this tradition, the same tradition I had fond memories of as a child and the same traditions I had not questioned when growing up outside of Nepal.

Continue reading “Speaking Up & Teej”