Tag Archives: kathmandu

Travelling with toddler

First of all sorry for disappearing for so long, I think I have never not blogged for this long since I started blogging.

We went on a holiday to Malaysia and Nepal and somehow I was so busy that even though I drafted a few posts, didn’t have time to publish them. But now that I am back, I will write all about our trip and Chhori’s special birthday celebration in Nepal.

But let me first share my experience in general about our travel with Chhori. As I have mentioned in my posts before, I was bit nervous about such a long flight with Chhori. Even though Chhori has been on a plane before, the longest she has travelled is around 4 hours and she was great on that but it is a different story when it came to travelling to Nepal. First of all, we had to be on two different planes with a total time of 14+ hours and on top of that as she was under 2 years old and we didn’t have a separate seat for her.

We flew from Sydney to Malaysia during the day and that 9 hour flight was the worst of the entire trip. As it was day time, Chhori slept for only an hour and the rest of the time we had to entertain her. We had a tablet full of movies and rhymes for her and also a lot of snacks but it was a very hard job. She was OK for the first few hours and then she started getting bored. She would move from my seat to AS’s and we had to try our best to make sure she was busy so she wouldn’t cry.

At one stage, she wanted the whole seat to herself so she evicted me from my seat and I ended up on the floor in from of the seat.

AS couldn’t stop laughing and luckily as we were allocated seats with good leg room I had room to sit on the floor.

Chhori also played peekaboo with a couple behind our seat. She would stand up and say “boo” and sit down again. I hope they were amused and not annoyed.

In Malaysia, she was great as we went to different tourist spots every day and she enjoyed the new environment. She loved the fact that she didn’t have to sit on a baby seat in the car anymore and she enjoyed the freedom. Above all she enjoyed the fact that mummy and daddy were with her 24/7.

The flight from KL to Kathmandu was better as it was only 4 hours and she was OK most of the way. The worst part was when we landed and we had to wait for immigration and customs and the airport was bit chaotic.

Chhori is only 2 years old but I know for sure that she loved Nepal. In Kathmandu, we spent most of our time in AS’s home and she loved it there as she had her grandparents, uncles and aunt and cousin to play with her.

Every morning when she woke up, she wanted to go to the living area straight away because she knew there will be someone to play with her. She really enjoyed the company of her relatives and was really happy to play with her cousin.

We took Chhori to visit many of our relatives and she did really well. She was social and affectionate and very well behaved most of the time. She really made us very proud.

I am sure she would have been very happy to stay longer in Kathmandu but our holiday ended shortly after we celebrated her birthday and it was time for us to come back.

I was a bit worried about our flight back but luckily for us, it was better than the journey to Nepal.

On our flight from Kathmandu to Malaysia, we had an empty seat next to us so Chhori was happy to have her own seat. It did make our journey less stressful. From Malaysia to Sydney, we got a bassinet for her and she slept most of the flight even though she was a bit big for it. I was happy to have a peacefully sleeping baby which allowed me to rest and eat my meal without worrying too much.

I was so happy when we landed in Sydney because even though I loved our trip, the flight there and back was bit tough. I think if a child is over a year old and it is a long flight, it is a good idea to buy an extra seat for the child as it will be really helpful and gives you a bit more flexibility.

Take care everyone.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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Chhori’s first Tihar

Tihar, the second biggest festival for Hindus after Dashain, was from 28th Oct to 1st Nov this year. Please click here to know more about the festival.

This year was Chhori’s first Tihar celebration so I wanted to make sure she had a great memory of the celebration.

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Tihar is celebrated for five days and here are some photos from our celebration this year.

  • Kaag / Kag (crow) Puja

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  • Kukur (dog) Puja

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  • Laxmi Puja and Gai (cow) Puja

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  • Goru Puja,Gobhardan Puja , Mha Puja and Nepal Sambat

As my parents are here this year, it was great to have a whole family celebrating Mha puja.

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  • Bhai Tika

Chhori does Bhai tika to my nephew. It was so cute to see these little ones performing the ritual.

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Hope everyone celebrating had great Tihar too.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Bollywood fundraiser concert in Ashburn, Virginia for Nepal earthquake victims

First of all a big thank you to Deepa, one of my regular readers, and all the organisers for organizing a fund raiser concert in Ashburn, Virginia for Nepal Earth Quake Victims.

If you are anywhere near Ashburn, VA on 5th June 2015, please go and support the event. It will be a fun night with lots of songs and dances by local artists.

Admission is free but please be generous and donate for a good cause. Rajdhani Mandir will make a one to one match for the first $10,000 raised. All proceeds will go to earthquake victims of Nepal and believe me every penny counts.

Details of the event

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Date: 5th June 2015

Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Venue: Clubhouse Lawn at Loudoun Valley

              43100 Barnstead Drive

               Ashburn, VA 20148

Thank you everyone once again.

A heartfelt plea from my friend

As most of you are aware a major earthquake struck eastern Nepal, the second one in two weeks. Over a hundred people were killed and more than 2,500 injured.

AS and I are lucky that all our close relatives survived the quake but not every family was so lucky. Here I am sharing the story the family of my friend’s first cousin. The family lost everything in the earthquake, their house, their business which was their only source of income, and above all their father.

“The earthquake that struck Nepal on 25th April claimed my father’s life. I still regret that I wasn’t home that day. My sisters were able to pull my mother out of the house and all my sisters managed to get out alive but my dad couldn’t.” – Sujan Malla (My friend’s cousin)

I know most of you have already donated to one cause or another to help Nepal but today I am requesting you to donate $5 if not more to this family and help my friend build a house for a family who have lost everything. I know skipping coffee for a day is not a lot to ask for.

I promise I will keep you posted how we go with the fundraising and once the house is built; I will definitely share the good news.

Here are some words from my friend.

My uncle’s family was a normal and simple Nepali family with a father, mother and kids. They were leading a simple joyous life running a family business “Newa Bamboo Kitchen”. Despite the mother’s poor health, the family was happy and always there for each other.

Suddenly the earthquake changed everything. The family lost the father, their only house and their business in one day. Now they are living in a tent with no source of income and an uncertain future.

When I saw the posting about the quake in the social media, I was worried about my uncle as he was already old and sick too. I tried to get in touch with the family but had no luck. After three days, I got in touch with my cousin and the news devastated me. I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to lose a family member and to lose the house and the property that generated the only income to sustain the family.

There isn’t much I could do other than being sad and feeling sorry. I had few sleepless nights wondering how they must be bearing the pain. I couldn’t really be at ease and determined to try and raise some fund to give them a little relief from their burden.

So here I am requesting all of you to help this family. I know, you must have donated some way or another but I still request you to kindly spare 5 dollars for this family. Maybe we can cut back on some of the stuff that we don’t need right away. Monsoon is coming to Nepal soon and it is heart wrenching to even imagine how they will survive without help. Government help is slow to arrive and hard to get so we are the only hope they have.

Please click here and donate whatever you can.

I would like to thank you for reading this plea. Please help me share this link to spread the word amongst your friends and family.

Thank you,

Sunanda Dongol

Please HELP and PRAY for Nepal and its people

First of all thank you everyone who contacted me with concern about my loved ones in Nepal. My and AS immediate families are safe but there thousands out there who need our help.

I am sure most of you are aware that Nepal has been hit by 7.9 magnitude earthquake on April 25, 2015 and there is widespread devastation across the country. The death toll, approaching 2,000, continues to rise as search and rescue efforts are underway in Kathmandu and across the country. People are still trapped under collapsed buildings in Kathmandu, and there is no way to accurately guess how many are in need throughout the other cities and thousands of villages at this time.

The Kathmandu as I knew has changed forever as hundreds of buildings have collapsed including many homes and many of Nepal’s ancient and iconic temples and monuments.

The immediate need on the ground is for medical support, search and rescue, emergency shelters and food and water among many other things. As the days, weeks and months go by and after the humanitarian needs are addressed, Nepal will need to begin the healing and rebuilding process.

Countries like Australia, England, India, China, America, Canada, Israel, Germany, Japan and many others have sent  search and rescue teams as well as much needed aid. But people of Nepal need every possible help to recover and rebuild so I am requesting each of you to please donate generously and spread the word.

Please click the link below and give whatever you can. I know every dollar will count and people of Nepal will forever be grateful for the help .

Thank you all for your support. Please keep Nepal and the people from Nepal in your prayers. Though shattered and shocked may God give the people of Nepal all the strength and courage to get through this most difficult of times.

P.S.: Please be careful when you donate and make sure every dollar you donate is going to the right place. Beware of deceptive people/organisation who may be taking advantage of the situations.

Dahi Chiura Ceremony

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had my baby shower but I was waiting for my parents to arrive from Nepal to do a traditional baby shower, also known as Dahi chiura ceremony in Nepali or Dhau-baji in Newari.

In this ceremony, the mother-to-be’s family comes to feed Dhau-baji (yogurt and flattened/beaten rice) and brings Sagun and lots of food along with gifts for the mother-to-be as well as the unborn baby.

My parents have arrived in Sydney now so I am extremely happy as I will have a helping hand to look after the little one for the first few months. I could not imagine how I would have managed if they were not here.

Last weekend, my parents along with the help of my brother and SIL organised the Dahi Chiura ceremony. It was a traditional ceremony with the ladies all wearing saris.

Dhai Chiura (14)

My mum made Yomari and sagun (bara, boiled eggs, chicken and fish) for the occasion and bought some sweets, fruits and cakes as well. They also bought clothes for me along with jewelleries as well as things for little one.

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It was a family affair with just me, AS, my parents, brother, SIL and my little nephew.

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For the ceremony, my mum followed the followings steps, if anyone wants to know. It might be different for different cultures but I believe the basic will remain the same.

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  • The ritual started with my mother worshipping Lord Ganesh in the Sukanda. She put tika made of vermillion, rice and yogurt and flowers on Lord Ganesh..
  • Then she put tika for me and AS.
  • Then she gave us the gifts of fruits, sweets, clothes, and jewelleries.
  • This was followed by Sagun and then the main event of dahi chiura, where everyone feeds me dahi chiura.
  • Everyone was given Sagun and sweet as well after this.
  • Thus the main event of dahi chiura is was conclude.
  • Cake is normally not a traditional inclusion for dahi chiura but we had one so I and AS cut the cake together

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For many reasons, the dahi chiura ceremony is one of my favourite celebrations for our coming daughter.

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In addition to normal family dahi chiura, the pregnant mother is often invited by her relatives to eat meals with them. I had invited many of my family and friends who were pregnant to my place and done the same ceremony so it is my turn to be invited to my close friends and family’s place for the dahi chiura ceremony as well.

It was really nice of all of them to get involved making me and the baby feel special. Here are some of the pics from various occasions of dahi chiura. I was spoiled with lots of blessings, yummy foods and lots of useful gifts .

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I am so glad that we are keeping Nepali traditional alive living so far from home and I want to show all these photos to my daughter one day and explain the traditions and culture.

Hope you enjoyed the traditional way of Nepali/Newari baby shower.

Take care,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO 

Naming the baby

It sounds like a simple task but after getting pregnant, I have found naming a baby to be a most difficult task. Since the day we found out that I am pregnant, we have been going through the same conversation over and over and still haven’t found that PERFECT name we both love and like.

Until we found out the gender of the baby, we decided that it would be wise to wait. We did not want to wreck our brains for both girl and boy names.

We thought we had ages, well, several months actually to come up with something splendid but finding out the gender of the baby didn’t really help. I will be holding the baby in my arms in a months’ time and we are still nowhere close to finalising the name.

I was named using both my parents name so is my brother. My name starts with the first syllable of my dad’s name and ends with the last syllable of my mum’s while my brother starts with the first syllable of my mum‘s name and finishes with the last syllable of my dad’s. Also AS starts his name with his dad’s initial. May be because of these reasons, I definitely want the name of our baby to start with “M” or “A”.

nepaliaustralian

Seriously, before I was pregnant there were so many names that I loved but one by one all of them got eliminated for one reason or another. Most names were eliminated because someone we know has a baby with that name in recent years, the perils of coming rather late to parenthood, and it didn’t feel good to call our baby by the same name.

Because we are thinking of a name from the Newari language, which is meaningful and easy to pronounce in Australia, our choices are limited. When I research online, the top search come from my own blog page and there are far and few in-between other names we found in other pages during the search. We are searching and waiting for that ‘stand out’ name and it is discouraging that we can’t seem to find it.

I know in some cultures, the first grandchild is named after the grandma / granddad. Sometimes I think, that is a great solution, as you don’t need to think about names but how many George, Krishna or Mary can you want in a family?

One of my friends, who has two kids, told me that you just name what feels good at the time and in a few days’ time, the name and personality blend so well with the baby, you can’t think of calling him/her anything else. I am sure it is so true because I can’t imagine being anyone else but M. But deciding on that one name is what we are struggling with. Sometimes, I feel as if we are thinking too much and that is the reason the task seems so difficult.

I have asked my friends and family to help us out but so far I have not received many choices. I had some of them send me links to the most popular names of 2014 but it didn’t really help as they are all English names with no Nepali/Newari meanings.

Australia’s rules on baby names are among the most liberal in the world as it is so multicultural. Pretty much anything goes as long as it is not deemed offensive. The only rule is you need to register the name of the baby within 60 days or there is more complication to register afterwards and costs $174.

I have read the news where parents tried to name their kids Benson and Hedges or Fish and Chips , poor twins, or celebrities who have baby named like Apple or Blue or North.

I really don’t want to give my daughter a weird name which will taunt her whole her life. I am just looking for a simple and sensible name.

We still have to make the decision on the name, at least one which we both agree.

Please feel free to suggest names here and I will be very grateful. You never know we might like it and name our daughter with it. Also wish us luck that we will finalise the name before the baby arrives.

Take care,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO