Tag Archives: good byes

Loving Nepali Culture and traditions

This article was published in +977 (a Nepalese Lifestyle Magazine in Australia) in June 2013 issue.

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I have lived in Australian for over a decade and I have to admit, I love Nepal, its culture and traditions more than the day I left her.

It is funny to remember how relived I was when I received the visa to come here. It was like; finally, I was going to be out of Nepal, far from all the stupid traditions and cultures to a new land where I could start all over again. Even though I was very sad leaving my family behind, I was really excited for the possible future. The preparation to leave the country was done with high spirit and positive attitude.

Finally the big day came. Before I left the house, in a traditional manner, my grand ma put a red tika on my forehead, and blessed me with sagun. I still remember the time I spent at the airport in Kathmandu. I was a bit teary eyed while bidding good bye to all the people who came to see me off. I realised that day that I had so many people around me who loved me. I had my parents, my brother, my relatives, my cousins, my school friends and my college friends, more than 30 people there wishing me well and saying their good byes.

Travelling in a plane to Sydney for the first time, I knew I was blessed with loved one but still at the back of my mind, I was happy about my decision about leaving Nepal and coming here.

The first few weeks in Sydney were really exciting as it was a new place, so much to see and explore. I got my first mobile phone and it surely felt like my dream country. But then reality hit me. For the first time in life, I needed to find a job. It was quite an effort to work, to cook meals and study at the same time. I was missing Nepal and home a lot. I convinced myself that the hardship was just temporary and once I got settled, things would change.

Things did change for the better after I got a job and started making friends but I still missed my family and Nepal a lot. I was surprised that I was missing my morning ritual in Nepal, going to the temples with my dad. I was missing my mum’s puja in the morning, the noise of the chaotic traffic of Kathmandu, the vegetables and fruits vendors’ calls selling their stuffs door to door, the sound of temple bells, and missing all the festivals. Being far from home, I realised and slowly started to value the culture and tradition of Nepal which I used not to like.

The first Dashain and Tihar away from home were really hard ones. Even though holidays were the best part of Dashain and Tihar in Nepal, I missed the tika and other religious aspects of these festivals. I also missed celebrating my birthday in a traditional way, tika with sagun in the morning and visiting many temples during the day.

As time passed by, I started embracing Nepali culture and tradition and started following it as much as possible. I started taking down notes of what happens in our culture and it was a joy to explain to people from other countries the different aspects of Nepali tradition. It felt so good to see their reaction when I explained what we do during our festivals, wedding, birth and death. I realise that our culture is so unique and old that it is worth all the effort to preserve it

I started celebrating Dashain and Tihar in full swing and having more family and friends here definitely helped to make it better. Even though I am from a Newar background, I joined my friends when they celebrate Teej and love every minute of it. Living abroad definitely has made me appreciate Nepal and its culture lot more than before.

I went to Nepal and had a very traditional wedding and I was happy to participate in a very elaborate ceremony over many days. Recently, my brother and sister in law were blessed with a baby boy and we made sure we followed all the traditional rituals here even though we are so far away from home. He had his Chhaithi and Nwaran here and we all went to Nepal to celebrate his Pasni with our loved ones.

These days instead of getting annoyed by the tradition and culture in Nepal, I feel inquisitive. I always want to know more why we do Ihi, Gufa , Bartamanda, Saradha, Pasni, Nwaran or any other ritual. I want to learn the legends behind our every festival and one day wish to pass this knowledge on to my kids. I want them to be proud of Nepal and Nepali culture. Even though I am not in Nepal, Nepal and its culture and tradition will always be in me and I hope to spread this love to the next generation so they can be proud of our heritage, tradition and culture.

Do you still follow your cultures and traditions?

Till next post, take care.

M from nepaliaustralia

XOXO

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From Kathmandu to Sydney

It is always hard to say goodbye and farewell but that is the reality of life. So with a heavy heart I left Nepal for Sydney.

I had an awesome time in Nepal and it was fun but it was time for me to get back to reality after 6 weeks of holiday.

Before I left I went and said my good byes to my grandparents in law. They were happy that I visited them before I left. As I mentioned in my post before, granddad is 94 and grandmum is 89 but both of them are still very healthy for their age.

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While having a conversation, granddad asked me why I was wearing Kurta Suruwal , not pants. My MIL explained to him that I normally do wear pants but out of respect for them, I chose to wear a traditional outfit every time I visited them. I was really surprised what I heard next. He said I should wear pants even when I visit them as it is comfortable and acceptable these days. I never expected to hear such a modern thing from him. He even went on saying to my MIL that she should wear pants as well as they are more comfortable than Saris or Kurta suruwal. So hats off to him for changing with time and having an open mind.

His one wish is to see a great grand son from us (he already has 5 great grand daughters) so asked us to come to Nepal with 3 members in our family and not just 2 the next time :).

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I also visited my maternal grandma and it was so sad to see her eyes full of tears while saying goodbye to me. She is 80 now and not as healthy as she would like to be. I really love her and wish she can be happy all the time.

As I told you before I did heaps of shopping for gifts before we went. I am pleased to let you know now that I was spoiled equally with heaps of gifts from everyone. I got a pendent with Ganesh, a bag, shoes, shawls and scarfs, earring, necklaces, titaura, sunnies, sukunda, and a cute teddy from my cousin. It was really nice to get all of those gifts as I feel loved and cared in return. 🙂 Also my MIL bought a nice sari for me as well as beads and some necklaces .Thank you everyone for making me feel so special.

The day before I was to leave for Sydney, I went to my new home from my parents place. Many people told me it is not necessary to leave for Sydney from there but I wanted to do the right thing by everyone so it was best to leave for Sydney from my new home. My parents were already sad from the previous few days before as I was leaving. I was the last one to leave after my brother’s family with my little nephew, then AS and now me. I told them to make sure and visit us soon so we can all be together again. So the afternoon I went to my new home, my MIL along with my FIL came to pick me up. It was a sad goodbye to my birth home but I knew that was necessary.

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Once we were at my new home, there were heaps of friends and relatives calling to wish me a safe journey. Also my cousin, aunty and few of my friends came over to say their good byes. I was distracted the whole evening and I didn’t feel sad . After everyone left and we had dinner it was 10pm. My MIL came to my room and the two of us chatted about various thing till midnight. It was really nice to have such a great time with her as we didn’t get lots of time with just the two of us. I feel blessed to have her in my life as I know how bad some MILs law can be.

The next morning I woke up early, finalised the packing and had breakfast. There were still some last minutes shopping left to do so my BIL was helping me with that. After a while my MIL gave me sagun and we left for the airport. On the way there, we picked up my parents and all of us headed to the airport.

At the airport, my mum put tika on my forehead and blessed me. I spent 20 minutes outside and it was time for me to go inside the terminal. In Kathmandu airport once you go in, you can’t come out. So after check-in and immigration, I was in the lounge all alone for 2 hours while my parents and in-laws went back home. I am so glad that my mum didn’t cry this time otherwise I would be crying with her as usual.

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From the airport, I called and messaged most of my friends and relatives while AS was constantly on the phone making sure I was ok and not crying. I felt really sad there but I didn’t cry. I really wished AS was with me that time but I knew I was going to see him in 24 hours.

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The plane took off from Kathmandu and I was in Bangkok airport after 4 hours. There I had 14 hours to kill before I would board my flight to Sydney so AS insisted on me getting a dayroom there and I am so glad I did. It was really expensive and they charged for every hour but still the rest was worth the money spent. The room was comfortable and cozy but the bad thing about the room was that I could constantly hear the PA system of the airport announcing various messages. I couldn’t sleep in the beginning so I went and got some cotton to put in my ears and finally I went to sleep.

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After a nice conversation with AS on Skype and a good sleep and breakfast I felt better when I boarded the plane for Sydney.

For the first time in many years I was unable to get a window seat so it was a bit annoying to stand up every time someone had to go to the loo. But I did manage to watch 3 movies before we landed in Sydney. I had an easy run with customs and immigration and finally I was outside in Sydney. It felt really good to be back as AS was waiting for me. It was nice to hug him after more than 2 weeks.

The weather was kind to me that evening as it was raining and cool after being super-hot for over 2 weeks. The temperature had gone up to 46 0 centigrade last weeks.

After a short drive , I was home after so long. AS had some food ready for us for dinner and home was in perfect shape . I was so glad to finally be back home but at the same time was missing family in Nepal. I went to sleep straight after a light dinner.

Today is my first day back at work. There were so many things from Nepal that I want to share with you in the coming days.

Till my next post take care everyone.