Monthly Archives: May 2012

Nwaran and Pasni

As you must have noticed by now, Nepali people have lots of celebrations and functions. When a baby is born there are many celebrations as well.

The first ceremony is called Nwaran (analogous to baptism ceremony). It is also known as Machabu Byakegu in Newari. It takes place on the 11th day. This ceremony is performed to give a birth name to a child according to his/her lunar horoscope, this is usually not the name by which he/she will be known. This ceremony is normally small and celebrated amongst close family.

Then there is Pasni ceremony which is also known as rice feeding ceremony or Weaning Ceremony. This ceremony is also called Annaprashan which in Sanskrit term, literally means grain initiation. It is the first time the baby is fed solid food. It is called Macha Junko in Newari.

Pasni is normally held after 6 months from birth for a baby is boy while if it is a baby girl, it is held after the fifth or seventh month. The day and time will be fixed after consulting a priest/astrologer.

As I have attended a few Pasnis lately, I am sharing the photos and procedure of Pasni here.

The ceremony begins at home. On the morning of Pasni, the baby will be showered and wrapped in a towel for the ceremony to begin. The Fufu (Babies dad’s sister) of the baby will hold the baby during this ceremony. Normally Fufu and other women in the family wear red sari.

Special Pasni dress

kalli

The place where the ceremony is to be held is cleaned and all the required ritual puja plate and food are arranged. Then the elder lady of the family will start the puja with the help of the priest. The first step is to put tika on the forehead of the baby, then the baby is given a special outfit, usually made of red velvet and embroidered with silver and golden threads. Gold and silver ornaments are also given to the baby, like heavy silver anklets (kalli) carved with dragon at both the ends to keep the bad omens away from the baby as well as gold bracelet.

Once it is handed over, the baby is dressed in this special outfit and the ornaments and further ritual starts. First the baby is given dubo ko mala (a garland of holy grass). Then it is followed by puja and symbolic feeding of kheer (rice pudding) or the first bite of solid food. The baby is then offered all kinds of foods to taste from Thaa bu (a plate which has eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, Roti, meat, fish) .

Thaa Bu

Baby will be also offered a tray of stuffs like books symbolising learning, jewels symbolising wealth, a pen symbolising wisdom, clay symbolising property, food items symbolising a love for food (There can be anything symbolising a career. A friend of mine had stethoscope symbolising a doctor) and it is believed that depending on what the baby pickes, it will determine his/her future career. Family and friends have a great time cheering the little one while he makes his choice.

Baby trying to pick a object during pasni ceremony

There are lots of food and gifts given to the child from his/her mother’s family. It will also include Sagun. Sagun typically consists of a boiled egg, smoked fish, a bara (pan-fried black lentil patties), haku chhoila (smoked buffalo meat) and aila (wine) and ends with dhau (yogurt). Also all the family and relatives bless the baby with gifts or money. It’s a beautiful and elaborate ritual.

Sagun

After that maternal uncle (mum’s brother) carries the baby to the nearest temple so the baby can get blessing from the gods. In front of the temple, the baby is fed with some Prasad (offerings) and this will conclude the ceremony.

It is an occasion for celebration, and family and friends are invited to attend. These days Pasni ceremonies in Kathmandu are very lavish and are held in party function rooms much like a wedding ceremony. The guests, numbering in their hundreds bring gifts for the child and party late into the night.

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Midair post

Right now I am 35,998 feet above the ground and flying at 571 mph towards Dubai from Sydney. The flight is 14 hours nonstop and there is still 6 hours and 30 minutes to reach Dubai.

When I am work, eight hours seems so long sometimes but sitting in one place for 14 hours is proving to be a challenge for me right now. In the last seven and a half hours, I have watched 2 movies had 2 meals and wrote 2 articles but time still seems to crawl. I know I am going on a holiday but the air time seems to make me a bit tired.

One of the reasons why I feel so tired is because I boarded the flight at 6am which means we needed to be at the airport at 4 am and consequently we woke up at 3 am. I always tend to forget that when i book an early morning flight, like 6 am, i need to wake up really really early. We slept a bit late last night as well so I had only 5 hours of sleep.

Our baggage check and boarding went smoothly and after the night of packing, I have only 20 kilos in my luggage :), Emirates allows 30kg for this trip but our tour allows only 23 kgs. I think I deserve a pat in the back either way :). I just hope I won’t regret taking out most of my summer dresses.

We are going to land in Dubai at 2pm local time. We have arranged an airport transfer so I hope to be in the hotel by 3 pm. Then one of my friends is going to pick us up for some sightseeing and shopping. I really need to make sure that I have the energy for all that as he has made a special effort to organize all this for us. Then at 10 pm tonight I am going to be on top of the world, I am serious. We have booked a trip to the top of Burj Kalifa, the tallest building in the world. I am waiting to be mesmerized by the view.

I have a million things in my mind right now about Dubai. I recently watched mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and almost half the movie was shot in Dubai.

Dubai, as you all may know is an amazing city and I am looking forward to being amazed by her. From the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa to the only 7 start hotel, from manmade islands like the Palm and the Map of the World to indoor ski resorts to Ferrari World. I want to see the musical fountains and to go on a dessert safari. It seems like there is so much to do there and we have such limited time.

Ohoo and how can I forget the amazing shopping experience I am going to have.

I will report some more as I experience it and as I can. Wish me luck and hope the trip will go as planned without any mishap.

This post was written on the way to Dubai and published after 2 days.

My dream holiday!

We are leaving for our dream holiday today. Right now I am in the airport with my hubby, all excited to board our plane. It took almost 6 months of preparation – booking flights, accommodations, tours and visas but finally the day has come. We will be away for 4 weeks and going to several countries. I will give you guys updates wherever I can otherwise there will be many post coming out of this trip after I am back in Sydney.

Till then take care everyone 🙂

Dangi Update

Dangi tries out his new golf clubs

Dangi got a brilliant present this morning – his own custom built golf clubs from golfclubs.com.au.

He was quick to give them a go, commentating to everyone on how he went with each shot and grinning away especially once he got the driver in his hands and smacked it down the long Nova corridor!

Team Joel chat to Dangi, the world’s shortest man

Team Joel’s Laura Bunting, Lakyn Heperi, Sarah De Bono, Prinnie Stevens, and Ben Hazelwood put Nova’s ‘Dangi Fever’ t-shirts on and chat to the man himself – Chandra Bahadur Dangi.

Using Sid Lama to translate, Dangi told them all about his village, the music he enjoys (folk music), and his recent visit up Centrepoint Tower.

He had them laughing when he referred to Sydney as a “very nice village”, and quickly shook his head when Lakyn asked him if he had any tattoos.

But his best line came when they asked what he had done this morning. He replied he “got up, brushed his teeth, and took a shit”! That’s our Dangi!

Dangi signing autographs

Chandra Bahadur Dangi is the world’s shortest man and the boys from Universal Music, are big ‘Dangi Fever’ sufferers, so wanted to get the t-shirt signed. They said it was going straight to the pool room!

Dangi goes up Centrepoint Tower

The world’s shortest man Chandra Bahadur Dangi, his nephew Dolakh Dangi, friend Sid Llama and Wippa all went to the Centrepoint Tower on Wednesday.

There was a 4D movie (fourth dimension is the feeling of movement) and so Dangi wacked the glasses on to get the full experience of animals flying at his head! Seeing he had no electricity in his house in Nepal, we think that was a pretty amazing experience for him.

We had a really clear day so Dangi got to see those amazing Sydney views. He had never even seen a skyscraper before he came to Australia so going up an observation tower was another new experience for the 72-year-old.

World’s shortest man Dangi goes to Bondi Beach

It was the first time the 72-year-old from Nepal had ever been to a beach, and Bondi Rescue’s Hoppo was there to say hi (or make sure he was OK!)

Dangi’s here for ‘Five Days of Dangi Fever’ with Fitzy and Wippa which finishes with a big live show from Opera Bar on Friday morning.

Dangi sees fish for first time at Sydney Aquarium

On Tuesday, Chandra Bahadur Dangi, with his nephew Dolakh and friend Sid Llama visited the Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour.

Dangi has lived his 72-year life entirely in Kalimati, a remote village in Nepal, so it really was an amazing experience for him.

Dangi in Sunrise morning show

News, photos and video courtesy of http://www.novafm.com.au

Packing nightmare

I have been to many holidays and done all the packing on my own but I have never been this stressed just before a holiday.

To start off with, it has been busy at work which means I have to finish a long list of things before I go. On top of that we are flying out on a weekday at 6.30 am. I am working until the day before so all I have is a few hours after work to sort millions of things.

Last weekend, we decided to start packing so we would have less hassle at the last minute. I packed all my summer clothes and was so happy to see that the suitcase was not too stuffy and quit light. I am one of those persons who don’t know what “light travel” means. I shop wherever I go so I end up carrying luggage to the weight limit of the air carrier.

Anyway I thought I would have an easy few days before we fly out but luck was not on my side. Yesterday we decide to check the weather for the places we are going to just to make sure that we were packing for the right weather. I was disappointed to see that most of the places we are going to will be under 20 degree Celsius if we are lucky, otherwise it is going to be below 15.

One of the main reasons I picked this time of the year to go away was to avoid the winter in Australia but most importantly, the places we are going should have had the end of spring and start of summer, perfect travel time. But I didn’t realise that the weather of the rest of the world is different toAustralia. Here spring and summer are quite warm. So I was packing according to that but to my dismay last night I had to repack everything. I took half of my summer dresses out and instead I had to put in sweaters and jackets. Yes, you guessed it right. Now the suitcase is so bulky that I can’t zip it up!

I’m now waiting for my husband to finish his packing so that I can transfer some of my stuff into his suitcase. Guess I should say that, that is one of the perks of being married. We can share luggage space (I mean to say, I can take his share of luggage space as well 🙂 ).

We were up till late last night and I woke up early this morning and now my head is pounding. God I have never felt this bad before I travel, ever.

I am hoping everything will go well and this holiday will go as I planned. After all this is my dream holiday that I have been planning for a long time.

Things are changing

If a few years ago someone had suggested that we spend my day off cooking, I would have laughed my head off but to my surprise, last week I took my RDO (roaster day off) and that is exactly what I did.

As my husband was working that day, I had a friend come over. We didn’t have much planned so we thought it would be a great idea to try some new dishes. So we came up with a four course menu for the day.

It was

  • Aloo chop with golbheda achar 
  • Lentil soup
  • Chorizo and tomato couscous
  • Fresh green beans with pan fried mushrooms
  • Chocolate mud cake with ice-cream

Surprisingly the food turned out yummy even though we tried some of the recipes for the first time. They were all easy and quick to make so I am sharing the recipes here.

Aloo chop with golbhera achar (click here for recipe)

Lentil soup

Ingredients

  • 200gm brown lentils
  • 2 litres chicken or veggie stock
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee (can be replaced by butter or oil)
  • 1/ 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Thickening cream (optional)

Steps

  • In a large saucepan, heat oil and add turmeric powder and crushed garlic.
  • Once garlic is brown, add tomatoes and onion along with cumin powder and salt. Fry for few minutes.
  •  Now add lentils and stock and combine all ingredients. Bring to boil, then simmer until lentils are soft, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • If you have a pressure cooker, press it for 5 whistles instead.
  • Add thickening cream if you want to add flavor.

 

Chorizo and tomato couscous (from Coles website)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Moroccan Seasoning Mix
  • 400 g can Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 250 g  Broccoli Florets
  • 1 1/2 cups Couscous
  • 1 cup Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 2 Chorizo Sausages, sliced
  • 1 Onion, chopped

Steps

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium. Cook chorizo for 1-2 mins each side, until golden. Remove from pan. Cook onion in the same pan for 3-5 mins, until soft. Add seasoning mix and stir until fragrant.
  • Add tomatoes, stock and broccoli. Bring to boil and sprinkle over couscous. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 5 mins, until liquid has been absorbed. Using a fork, stir through parsley and chorizo, fluffing up grains as you go.

Fresh green beans with pan fried mushrooms (from Coles website) 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, (from pantry)
  • small brown onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 300 g cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 500 g green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

Steps

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened and lightly browned.
  • Cook the green beans briefly in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender and vibrant green.
  • Remove the beans with a slotted spoon and add to the mushrooms with the thyme. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a serving platter.

Chocolate mud cake with ice-cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cups hot water
  • 250 g butter
  • 200 g dark cooking chocolate
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoon chocolate topping
  • Ice cream to serve

Steps

  • In a saucepan over low heat melt together, butter, cocoa, chocolate, sugar, vanilla and hot water.
  • When cooled add flour and eggs and mix well. The mixture will be very runny.
  • Pour into a lined 30 cm cake tin and bake at 150C for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out.
  • When cool sprinkle with icing sugar.
  • Pour chocolate toppings on the slice of a cake in the plate and serve with ice cream.

You may also like :

*Momo *Bhogate Sadekoo *Chicken chili

More update on Dangi

Dangi settles into his Sydney hotel room

Fitzy and Wippa picked Dangi, the world’s shortest man, up from the airport then took him to his hotel.After a big grin for the boys, Dangi then settled back onto his king size bed that will be his home for the next five days as Fitzy and Wippa show him around Sydney.
At 72 years, Dangi is the world’s shortest man, and speaks no English. He had never left his remote village in Nepal until he was discovered as the world’s shortest man in February this year.

Dangi’s first interview with Fitzy and Wippa at Nova

Dangi, the world’s shortest man at 54.6cm, arrived in Sydney Sunday night to a hero’s reception from more than 100 fans, and Monday morning he came into the Nova studio for his first interview live on air.

Dangi’s nephew Dolakh helped him up into a special seat in the studio, and Sid Lama was translating.

It was a special feeling as Dangi told the boys about his remote village in Nepal, the 11 people who live in his small house and what life has been like since he was discovered as the world’s shortest man in February this year

Dangi’s first day out in Sydney

After arriving on Sunday night, Dangi got his first taste of Sydney on Monday, with tour guides Fitzy and Wippa by his side.

Dangi’s morning started at the Nova FM studio for his first live radio interview with Nova breakfast hosts Fitzy and Wippa.

Then it was on to the iconic Sydney Harbour, where there was a huge contingent of media waiting to speak to him and take his photo.

Next was Wild Life Sydney at Darling Harbour, where Dangi (along with nephew Dolakh and friend Sid Lama) got up close to a possum, koalas, kangaroos and even a snake which didn’t please him much! He also had a chat with Melissa Doyle from Channel 7’s Sunrise, so look out for that tomorrow morning.

Dangi gets up close to Australian animals

Dangi spent his first day in Australia getting to know our unique animals at Wild Life Sydney in Darling Harbour.

He wasn’t too sure about the possum but seemed to be keen to pat the koala and kangaroos.

Once he was through all his media commitments that is!

News, photos and video courtesy of http://www.novafm.com.au