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Update form Nepal Part 4

Meeting Bashundhara and Meengma

I have to admit this blog has given me more than what I had expected. And this time in Kathmandu I was able to meet two of my fellow bloggers Bashundhara from Nepal mero maya and Meengma from iScribble.

I met Bashundhara with her better half and it was so nice to have a great conversation with someone who I have never seen and met before. The only common platform we had was our blogs but we still felt like friends who had know each other for so long. Thanks guys for the momo :). And all the best with everything.

Bashundhara

I also met Meengma with his better half and again I was surprised how comfortable I was with both of them. We had a great conversation and a good time together.

I hope to meet all of you again.

Spending the day with my MIL

AS I mentioned before, I am at my parents’ house now but I still meet my in-laws from time to time.

The other day I went shopping with my MIL as she wanted to buy me some stuffs. It was a great day out. We stopped at a pote shop as well as many other places.

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Then we went to a restaurant for lunch where we had pizza and momo. Finally we went back to AS’s home and spent more time together.

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I am so glad to have MIL who understands me and tries her best to make adjustment for me in her life. I do understand that there is a generation gap between us and it is not easy all the time but I am glad that she is trying her best and I am doing the same as well. Happy to be part of my new family.

Visiting the dentist

It is my ritual to get my teeth cleaned and checked every time I come to Nepal. After the wedding it has been even easier as AS’s cousin and her husband are both dentists. But this time I did a big mistake and left the check up till the last minute. And unfortunately this time I have to do more than just the cleaning of the teeth. One of my teeth has decayed and if possible they wanted to do a root canal but due to lack of time, I am just getting it filled, Hope I won’t have any problem with my teeth in Sydney.

Being sick

We have been so careful about food and water in Nepal to avoid getting sick. Also we are taking wheatgrass juice as well as supplements to make sure that we are not sick and in bed for days so we don’t waste our limited time in Nepal.

Unfortunately even with all the care, the other night I became really sick. That day I had lunch at my mum’s friend place and dinner at AS’s house. So for the whole day I didn’t eat anything from outside but still my tummy was unhappy and I vomited at night. I was so scared as I kept on vomiting which looked like food poisoning and it was making me weak.

As it was the middle of the night I was alone in my bathroom and had no energy to even call my parents. Luckily, my dog was with me and he kept on barking when he saw me sick that my mum came to check. I was so glad to have my mum’s care but I was really missing AS as well.

my dog

Love you mum so much and thanks for nursing me back to health. And lots of hugs to my dog who loved me so much too.

I am fit and fine now but I was really scared for a while when I was vomiting nonstop.

Inviting in-laws for dinner at my house

As I keep on saying, a marriage is Nepal is not just between two people but it is between two families. So it is normal for the families to invite each other over for a meal.

My parents had invited my in-laws for dinner the other day and we had a great time. My BILs also joined us and it was so nice to see both the family enjoying each other’s company. They do meet often when we are not it in Nepal as well.

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Celebrating AS birthday in Nepal

I always wanted to celebrate AS’s birthday in a special way but last few years we were never in Sydney to have a lavish birthday party for him. AS’s birthday falls at the end of December and we always have a holiday around that time and so we are away from Sydney. I always feel guilty that I celebrate my birthday with a bunch of friends invited while his last two birthdays were celebrated by just the two of us if we don’t count the random strangers in the restaurant.

But this year he had a very special birthday and I am really happy about it. First of all we were in Nepal during his birthday which made it extra special.

On 28 December, me and AS went to a restaurant called Transit and celebrated his birthday. It was a special dinner for both of us and we indulge in snacks and pizzas. They had a live band playing some nice classic English songs so we had a great time.

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As the owner of the restaurant was someone I knew, I arranged a surprised cake for him and he was really happy. It was just a piece of his favourite double chocolate cake.  Also he got complimentary drinks on the house. And that was just a start of his birthday celebrations.

Celebrating AS's Birthday

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As I have mentioned many times before, Nepali calendar is different than English calendar. In Nepal, birthdays are not celebrated by date but by teethi (according to position of moon and planets). So he had his teethi birthday again after a week of his birthday as per the English calendar. That day, we celebrated his birthday in the traditional manner.

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His mum prepared puja and sagun for the birthday. In the morning, he sat down and his mum performed the janmadin (birthday) puja. First gods including Lord Ganesh were worshipped. Then, tika was put on AS’s forehead as blessing. It was followed by sagun (egg, bara, chicken, fish) and gifts from his family. It had been more than a decade since AS got to celebrate his birthday according to Nepali tradition so it was a happy moment for all of us.

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That evening, we had ordered a cake. So with his brothers and parents we cut the cake. It was his favourite rich chocolate and we all loved it too 🙂

Then, we went to a restaurant, 8 degrees with his family to enjoy the rest of the evening. The place was not too busy so we enjoyed our time there. The food was flavoursome. It was a great day for AS as he was spoiled with gifts and wishes the whole day.

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Then the next day, we went out again to celebrate his birthday and this time with my family. We took my parents, my brother, SIL and little nephew for lunch to celebrate in a Newari restaurant called Falcha. The food was hot and spicy there but all of us were happy to enjoy each other’s company. My nephew enjoyed his outing as well. We had a good time and my parents and my brother also had a gift for him.

treat for my family (1)-tile treat for my family (2)

Overall I am super happy since AS got to have a great birthday in Nepal. I also spoiled him with many gifts and I feel good that he enjoyed his time here in Nepal with our families.

I wish him all the best for rest of his life. Love you dear.

Update from Nepal Part 3

Skinny and photogenic

90% of the people I meet in Nepal told me that I am too skinny and I need to put on some weight. I am not underweight so I am happy with it and as you all know I try very hard with exercise and healthy food to maintain my figure but most people in Nepal have their own ideas about my weight.

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In the beginning I used to get annoyed about it but now I am so used to it that I ignored all these comments with a smile :). Also if you look around Kathmandu, most gals are either similar weight like mine or even skinnier than me so I have no idea why they think I need to put on weight. I have a feeling being married is one of the factor.

Anyway I am learning to just ignore and concentrate in good eating habit no matter what people say. Also AS is on my side telling me I am OK and we just need to concentrate on being healthy. I am very happy to have such a wonderful hubby who understands me so well. But I think he has an ulterior motive as well. He doesn’t want me gaining weight and buying more clothes as I won’t fit into my current ones then 🙂

Most of the people especially from AS’s side has seen me only during the wedding. That time I was a bride so I was fully made up in the traditional attire. After the wedding, lot of his relatives added me on their Facebook. So that is the only way they have seen me in causal dresses.

Anyway, I have heard from lot of his relatives that I am photogenic. I am not sure I should take that as a compliment or not. I am just wondering because, normally I think photogenic means I look good on photo but at the back of mind I was wondering, does that mean I don’t look good in person.

Anyway I got that comment from many people so just sharing what’s on my mind here 🙂

Maghe Sankranti

According to Nepali calendar, it was Maghe Sankranti (1st of Magh) a few days ago.  Please click here to read more about this festival.

As I am married now, I was invited to AS’s grandparents house to celebrate the festival with my in-laws. AS missed the occasion but I was glad I was there as I got to meet all his relatives again.

As I mentioned in my post, this day we eat laddoos (sesame seeds candy ball), chaku (molasses), ghee (clarified butter), sweet potatoes, yam, khichari (mixture of rice and lentils), ginger and salt  and green leaf spinach. So a big feast was ready in the house when we got there.DSC04802DSC04800DSC04799

First his grandma put mustard oil on our head and blessed us then we all enjoyed the food. It was fun catching up with my new family.

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After a few days of Magh 1, AS’s Mama (Mum’s brother) also invited us for Maghe Sankranti. In Newari culture normally, daughter’s family invites SIL, daughter and their kids after the festival as nakhatya (festival invitation in newari) to celebrate the festival.

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I got to meet more family members in this function as well. As you must have guessed,there was a feast prepared which included laddoos, chaku (molasses), ghee (clarified butter), sweet potatoes, yam, khichari, green leaf spinach and many more  dishes. .

Ma fussy chu ( I am fussy)

Sometime words have two different meaning in different languages and I got caught into that recently.

The other day I was in a departmental store trying on few make-up items. The sales gal was doing her job well convincing me to buy something so in reply I said, “ Ma fussy chu ( I am fussy), so let me think about it.” But she understood completely different thing.

Fussy (pronounced Fashi ) means con in a gentle way in Nepali language. So she thought I was telling her that she tried to con me into buying something else. For a minute I didn’t understand her reply as it was out of context when she said, “Don’t worry I am telling you the truth” but after a while I understood that she thought I thought she was conning me into buying something different.

Now I think before I say something as it might have a different meaning here.

Pasni Party

While AS was here we were invited to a Pasni of one of our friends’ kid along with my parents. They live in Sydney near us but they came here to host the function like my brother. It was nice to go to this function and enjoy Nepali way of socialising. I met a few friends and relatives in this function because in Nepal, somehow everyone seems to be related. 🙂

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Wedding party experience

I am writing this as my own experience and have no intention to disrespect any caste.

As I have told you in my post here, Nepal is a country of four castes and thirty six sub castes which means all of these castes have their own tradition and rituals.

I am from Newar caste and in our culture wedding parties goes till late at night. It is common to see Newari party starting around 6 pm and finish at 12 midnight but other castes like chhetri or bhaunu may have wedding parties that start in the afternoon and finish a bit early like 6-7pm.

One of my friends (a chherti by caste)  had invited me for his sister’s wedding. He asked me if I needed a physical invitation card but I said it’s OK as I didn’t want to bother him. So I went to the party hall where he had told me in that day with one of my cousins.

When we reach the hall, the hall was almost empty so I thought either I mix up the day or the venue. But as I entered, I saw my friend. It was 7 pm at most but there were only a few people left there. Even the bride and groom had left as they had to travel few hours to reach their home.

He informed us that the party was almost over. I was a bit embarrassed because I didn’t know what to say. I had tried to contact him earlier to find out the details but he was unavailable as he was flying in from the US the same day. Even my mum had reminded me to check the time but I just assumed that it would be same as ours but I was so mistaken.

I was happy to meet my friends after a while but it was a bit embarrassing situation and for the first time in my life I reached a party when it was almost over.

Latest update

I am having a great time with my parents. I am spending lots of time with them talking and having a great time. We have been to many temples around Kathmandu which I will post details of later. I am really glad that I extended my 2 weeks holiday to spend with them as they are very happy to have me here and I am very happy to be here.

I still miss AS a lot but I will be seeing him soon. We talk on the phone or Skype everyday so I am happy to be in Kathmandu in my birth home.

Take care everyone till my next post.

Makka Ku

We are still celebrating our wedding after more than 1 and half years. I am still a new bride wherever I go :). While I was living at my new home a few weeks ago, my mum following tradition and sent a Makka Ku (pronounced ‘mock-ka ku’).

Makka ku is a newar tradition in which during the first winter after the wedding, the bride’s family sends some items which are necessary for winter to the groom’s home. Makka means olden style charcoal heater but these days instead of makka, electric heater is sent to keep the newlywed couple warm during the winter, along with a full set of warm clothes for the bride as well as fruits, rotis, blanket, electric heater etc.

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As we were in Sydney during our first winter, this winter was perfect time for my parents to follow the rituals for the Makka Ku.

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My aunt, my cousin along with my brother came to my new home with sweets and roti like anarsa, fini, laakhamari, ladoo, saun papdi, fruits: like oranges, mandarin, bananas, sugarcane, apples, masala: like cashew, almond and chocolates along with snow peas, yogurt, peanuts, sari, pashmina shawl, shoes, bag, electric heater and a blanket.

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It was a great day for me as I was so happy to celebrate our wedding again as this was one of the best decisions of my life and I am very happy to see both the family very happy with our union.

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It was a good time for both families to meet and chat. My family came and sat down with my MIL, AS and BIL and had a good conversation. They also checked out our wedding album which my MIL had made for the house.

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I had baked blueberry muffin that morning for tea so we started with tea and muffins and it was followed by Nepali feast for my aunt, cousin and brother. My MIL cooked the feast and I was the helper all morning in the kitchen preparing for the day.

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After lunch my family left and Makku Ku was concluded. As I told you before, in Nepalese wedding the bride is always the winner and it was true for this function as well as I got a full set of new outfit :).

For details and photos on our wedding functions please click the following links.

Namaste from Kathmandu

Finally I am in Kathmandu now. We had a fun time in Bangkok about which I will write in detail when I get time :). It was really hot and humid in Bangkok. From the extreme hot weather there I am now in Kathmandu where the weather is really cold.

The flight to Kathmandu was very emotional for me; I was really happy but anxious at the same time. It was a short 3 hours flight so it went really quick. Almost half the plane was full of Nepali people returning home so I could hear people speaking in Nepali from all direction. It took a while for me to adjust mentally as it is not common in Sydney to hear so many people speaking Nepali at the same time.

Almost 2 hours after take-off we entered Nepal and I could see the beautiful Himalayas. It was so nice to feel the beauty of the place. The snow-capped mountains and hills looked magnificent.

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But as we got closer to Kathmandu, I could also see a layer of smoke just above valley blurring my view to the beautiful panoramic mountains. It is so sad to realise that Kathmandu is really polluted these days.

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As we got closer I could see some villages with small houses and large fields and then suddenly, there were houses everywhere. I knew we were in Kathmandu then as the view was only of houses after houses. Finally we landed in Tribhuvan international airport.

The airport hasn’t changed a bit from our last visit. There was a queue to clear the immigration and then we took the luggage and were out. I was not expecting my parents to pick us up as I mentioned in my last post but as soon as I came out, I saw my dad waving at us. I was really happy to see him. It was a good surprise from him.

At the airport, the place looked really chaotic. I am not sure why they don’t manage the place properly. There were so many cars and taxis parked everywhere. There were drivers haggling people offering rides and then there were lots and lots of people I am not sure doing what.

My in laws were still on the way when my dad called them so we waited for a few minutes. It was nice to see all my in laws including my BILs coming to pick us up from the airport. We hopped into the car and made our way home.

From airport to home (AS’s home) was not a bad ride but I got to witness Kathmandu’s chaotic traffic and the pollution. I reminded myself that I will be fine and just need to take care that I drink good water and food so I can enjoy my holiday without getting sick.

My dad also came to AS’s home with us and stayed for lunch so it felt good to see him. After that he left and we spent some time with the rest of the family. They all liked their gifts and were happy to see us in Nepal.

My MIL had already prepared lunch for us as well so I had my first meal in Nepal which was rice, goat curry, cauliflower curry and the yummy lapsi ko achar. It was nice to eat home-made food after many days of Thai food in Thailand.

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Lapsi ko achar

After lunch I went to my house with AS. My FIL dropped us there which was really nice of him. I took all the gifts I had brought for my family with us. Mum was already back from work and dad was home as well.  My brother, SIL and little nephew travelled to Nepal from Australia a week before us. It was so nice to see all my family. My nephew is looking so good and cute. I saw him after 10 days.

We spent some time with them and it was time for me to go back to my new home. My FIL picked us up again and we were back to my new home.

It was our first night here so all the family members were waiting for us. We all sat together in one room having a good conversation. It was nice to see AS spending quality time with his family and they welcomed me into their home with open arms.

We went to bed around 11pm but my body was still in Australian time so was really tired.

Finally I am in Nepal with our family. Will keep you posted from Kathmandu.

Take care everyone and hope all the Christmas shopping are done  🙂

Bhuhari is going to Nepal

Bhuhari means daughter in law in Nepali.

As per our plan, I have booked my flight to go to Kathmandu, Nepal for mid of December.  I know I have been back form my Europe trip not long ago and l haven’t finished blogging about places we visited in Europe but it has been more than a year since we went to Nepal so, it is a perfect time to go again. We will be using our Christmas and New Year break with our annual leave to accommodate this holiday.

We will be going via Bangkok and will be stopping over for 4 days to do some sightseeing , some shopping and meeting AS’s family . We had been to Thailand before but I will be really nice to go again and meet AS’s new niece. She is so cute.

While in Nepali, my nephew will have his Pasni ceremony as well so we have a celebration and a holiday with our family. My brother, sister in law and nephew will be travelling there before us.

I always like to book my holiday in advance so I can look forward to the day and that keeps me going. I am always very eager to go to Nepal and I am this time as well but I have some fear of all the changes I will face.

This time, going to Nepal will be very different for me than ever before. This will be first time for me to go to my home town as a Bhuhari. It may sound strange in western society but life after marriage for Nepali women is very different than here. Lots of things do change which I haven’t really felt because I am in Australia but that will affect me while I am in Nepal.

Every time, I go to Kathmandu, my parents would come to pick me up at the airport but I am not sure what will happen this time. Because I am meant to go to AS’s house (my new home) from the airport. I am thinking to tell my parents not to come to the airport to receive me as I don’t want them to go home without me but instead am planning to go and visit there on the same day in the evening.

I will have to divide my time between two houses this time and I have no idea how I can manage that easily.

Going to Nepal always meant waking up late, not exercising , being spoilt my parents with yummy food , going out and meeting my friends and relatives, a short break to somewhere with my parents and lots of relaxation.

But I am not too sure I can keep this attitude in my new home.  I think it will be very rude to wake up at 8 am and go to kitchen where my MIL will be preparing breakfast for everyone. We have help but still she likes to do lot of things herself. Don’t get me wrong, as I have mentioned before as well, my MIL is very understanding and caring lady but still I can’t be spoilt the way my mum makes me when I am with her.

I am not too sure how I need to plan my days as there are lots of pending invitation we need to attend this time form AS families’ side. As it is a culture in Nepal to invite newlyweds for dinner after their wedding, we got lot of those invitations after our wedding last year. But as we had only 4 days after the wedding, we declined them and told everyone that we will be visiting them next time when we come back to Kathmandu. That means most of our evenings we’ll be dining out either at AS’s relatives’ house or mine’s.

Even in terms of clothing, I don’t know what I will be expected to wear. Like I mentioned in my post before, married women in Nepal dress differently after their wedding. So I am sure I can’t dress however I want. I don’t really mind wearing Sari and Kurta while I am there but it will be mid-winter so I am not too sure how easy it is going to be. Even a year after the wedding I will be a newlywed buhari so I need to learn all the right manners :).

I am sure with all the confusion and anxiety I am still going to have a great time with my two beautiful families, just thinking about it makes me bit anxious sometimes though. There is still a long time till I land in Kathmandu but I can’t wait to write about my experience and Nepal  from Kathmandu  🙂

Dashain ko Nakhatey

Dashian is almost finished now. Today is the last day of Dashain and the celebrations are over until mid-November when we celebrate Tihar.

After Tika, last five days of Dashain are celebrated by visiting relatives and getting tika and blessing from them. As far as I know, in Chhetri and Bhaun culture, they normally visit relative to get blessing on Dashami itself. They don’t need invitation for tika so they go to the  their elders’ house and get blessing. That day is a big day for them as they get to meet lots of relatives.

But in Newar culture, we cannot go to anyone’s house until we get an invitation. If a daughter is married, she won’t even go to her parents’ house until the invitation arrives. This invitation is called Nakhatey in Newari. Normally relatives consult each other so so that the Nakhateys don’t fall on the same day and everyone gets to attend all Nakhateys.

Going for the Nakhatey is a big part of Dashain for Newars in Nepal. I remember growing up going to houses of my relatives to get tika, blessings and daskchhina (money). It was a fun filled affair with lots of yummy food as well as money to collect.

In Sydney as well, we had a few Nakhateys. We were invited to AS’s cousin’s house as he is the eldest of AS’s relatives in Sydney. We had tika and Nepali food. I wore my sari and got into a festive mood. We got tika from AS’s cousin and we also put tika to his younger cousins.

We also had tika from my Dai , his wife and we put tika to their daughter.

So my Dashain for this is over 🙂