Tag Archives: Pasni

Pasni party for Chhori

After the pasni puja was over, the next big day was the party day.

Chhori is so blessed to have so many loved one come to visit her after her birth. So I wanted to invite everyone for the celebration and to share the day with us.

As with other celebrations, I had many ideas that I wanted to execute for her special day.

So I started planning for the big day months in advance. I wanted a big enough venue that served good food and had great ambiance. After a very tiring search, we finally found it.

The next part was to find a good baker to bake a special cake for Chhori and a photographer who could capture the special moments. Once everyone was booked, I started on the entertainment. I wanted to put on a few performances so I asked few of my friends and they agreed to dance and sing on the day. Altogether, there were going to be 5 dances and a song and I was performing a dance with my sister in law as well.

I always liked dancing but I haven’t performed since high school so I was excited and scared at the same time. We practiced for almost a month every other day and though we were not very good in the beginning as the days passed and we practiced more, we got better and better. I was really happy with where we were headed.

In the meantime, we also designed place cards and arranged the table sitting. It took a while but when everything were done, I was super excited for the day.

On the day of party, I went to the beauty parlour to do my hair and makeup. It took almost 2 hours to get ready and I was happy with the result. I had ordered a special lehenga saree and that was what I was wearing. AS was also looking really handsome in his new suit and bow tie.

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Chhori also had a special dress made for her in a boutique in Nepal by her grand ma which I loved a lot. She looked absolutely gorgeous.

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Once we were all ready, we went to the venue. It was decorated, nicely.

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The cake was also already delivered. We placed all the place cards in the right places and were set for the evening.

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It was early and the photographer was there as well so we spent an hour taking photos before the guests arrived. He took great photos of us as well as with my parents and brother.

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As the guests arrived, the place stared to fill up and food and drinks were served.

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It was so much fun catching up with friends and family after a while. Chhori was an absolute angel and was behaved so well.

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After a while Chhori was bit tired and I let her sleep for a while so she would be fresh and happy for the cake cutting.

As to our schedule, it was time for some entertainment and first up was me and my SIL. I felt nervous like as if it was my first time on the stage but once the music started the fun took over the fear. We both were more relaxed and started our performance.

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Before we knew it, the songs came to an end and I was glad that everyone enjoyed it too. We were showered with applause when we left the stage. I am so glad we captured the performance on video.

After our dance there were more performances that evening by my friends. I am so grateful that I have such a great family and friends who invested their time and energy to make Chhori’s pasni such a memorable evening.

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As I looked around, everyone was enjoying the evening and I could see that the guests were relaxed and mingling well.

While the performance was on, entree was served and after the performance, it was time to cut the cake. Chhori woke up just in time for that.

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The baker did a great job with the cake. It was what I had imagined and looked amazing. I, AS and Chhori cut the cake together. Amazingly, when we gave Chhori a piece of cake, she loved it so much that she started munching on it and we were pleasantly surprised. She loved the sweetness and she looked so cute with cake all over her face.

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After the cake, the dance floor was opened and every one joined us on the dance floor for hours to enjoy the evening. It was so much fun for all of us.

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In the meantime, dinner was served and everyone enjoyed the food and the dance and before I knew it, it was close to midnight and party was coming to an end.

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I am so happy the evening went as we planned and everyone enjoyed it. They told us that they had an amazing time and loved our organized celebration.

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We got some beautiful photos and videos from the day so when Chhori grows up, she too can enjoy watching her Pasni ceremony.

Hope you enjoyed the photos and the post as much as we did the occasion.

Take care everyone,
M from nepaliaustralian
XOXO

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Pasni Puja for Chhori

There are many milestones once you have a child and Pasni is one of those big milestones in Nepalese culture. It was one I and AS, were really looking forward to once we had Chhori.

I read somewhere that you just need to have kids and they will grow up so fast and that seemed to be very true in our case already. Time has flown by and Chhori is already over 5 months and ready for her Pasni ceremony.

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The Pasni ceremony is also known as the rice feeding ceremony or Weaning Ceremony. I tis also called Annaprashan in Sanskrit which literally means grain initiation. It is the first time the baby is fed solid food. In Newari it is called Macha Junko.

AS parents sent us the sait, the auspicious day and time, for the pasni after consulting with an astrologer in Nepal. Once we knew the date, both of us were busy preparing for it for the next few weeks until the ceremony. As we are in Australia, everything needed to be arranged by AS and me and it kept us busy. If we were in Nepal, there would have been other family members who could have lent a hand.

I am just glad that we could buy everything we needed for the ceremony easily in Sydney. We also book the same priest who performed Chhori’s Nwaran.

Finally the big day arrived. I woke up early that morning and got ready in my red dupatta sari. The last time I had worn the dupatta sari was during our wedding so I was feeling special already. In the meantime AS got Chhori ready in her new clothes and we waited for the priest. My mum also made sagun. apungo and halwa for the puja.

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At 8am, the priest arrived and stared drawing mandap for the puja. He began the puja with AS sitting at the mandap and after a while asked me to join as well. Then Chhori joined us later, sitting on my lap and the puja continued.

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The first step was to worship Lord Ganesh and the sukunda and all the gods. He chanted mantras and blessed Chhori’s puja outfit and ornaments. The outfit was made of red silk (Taas) embroidered with golden threads and there were gold ornaments like a chain, earrings, bangles (with gold dragon on the ends) and silver anklets (kalli) to keep the bad omens at bay. Some of the ornaments were from my parents and some from AS parents.

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We then changed Chhori into her new outfit and put the kalli and bracelets on her and the ceremony continued.

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Next it was time to give Chhori the tray which had a book (symbolising learning), jewels (wealth), a pen (wisdom), clay (property), food items (a love for food) as well as a mobile phone (after instruction from priest) symbolising a computer genius 🙂 to Chhori.

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It is believed that the first thing the baby touches determines her future path and career. In our case, Chhori first grabbed the book and then the mobile phone so we are hoping she will like computers like her parents.

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After that, it was time for the big moment, Chhori’s first solid food. Normally in Newari culture, we have Thya Bu (a big plate with rice, eggs, yogurt, wine, fruits, roti, meat, fish, vegetables and much more) as the first meal but as we were here, it was near impossible to follow that tradition so we used Kheer (rice pudding) instead.

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My mum made a special kheer for Chhori with lots of milk boiled longer to make it softer. Everyone fed small portions to Chhori using a sliver bowl and a gold coin. She seemed to like the sweetness and kept asking for more; enjoying her first solid food.

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Then the priest blessed the baby and the puja was over but there was still more to come.

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The next step was to take the baby to a nearby temple, which for us was round a thirty minutes’ drive. We all hopped into the car and went to the temple in time for the aarti ceremony.

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After the aarti, the priest blessed the baby and then, my brother who is the mama (maternal uncle in Nepali) took the baby and went around the temple following tradition.pasni (18)

Chhori was so happy to be out seeing all the lights in the temple.

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Once we returned home, it was time for Sagun. My mum had prepared all the necessary items and I am so grateful that she was here with us. I can’t imagine what we would have done without her.

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First my parents put tika on the foreheads of AS, me and Chhori. Then they gave us clothes, fruits, rotis and other gifts.

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It was followed by Sagun to us and everyone present. This concluded the morning ceremony for the pasni.

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For rest of the day, we had our close friends and family coming over to bless Chhori and to celebrate the day. By the time everyone left that day, it was almost midnight.

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It was great day for us to see our daughter growing up and starting to eat sold food. My parents were really pleased to witness their granddaughter’s big day.

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In the next post I will write about the party we had for Chhori’s pasni celebration.

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Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Nwaran for Chhori

I know I am posting this late because Chhori is already a month now.

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Nwaran was performed when she was 11 days old.

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Nwaran ceremony is also known as Machabu Byakegu in Newari. 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.

Typically, a priest is invited to perform the ceremony at home, and divines the child’s lunar horoscope from his birth details, as the mother is still recovering at home with the child. Until the mother and child are ‘purified’ (from past birth etc. in the religious sense), they should not visit the temple.

For the occasion, I wore a red sari which was specially brought from Nepal by my mum for the occasion. It was a cotton sari which is what new mums are supposed to wear for the occasion.

As soon as Chhori was born, we booked a priest for the ceremony and he gave us a list of things that are required for the day and everything was ready when he arrived at my place at 8.30 am on the day of the ceremony.

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The main ceremony was conducted in the balcony of our apartment.  Before the priest arrived we had cleaned and mopped the place. So, when he arrived, he started making a Mandap on the balcony. Once it was ready he asked AS to come and join him for the Puja.

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He had all his books of mantras and it took more than an hour for the first phase of the Puja to finish. It involved lots of mantra reciting from the books and lots of different Pujas to God, with candles on the Mandap.

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Then he asked me and Chhori to join the Puja. He chanted more mantras from the book. Then he asked me to perform Puja to the sun. Then he put tika on Chhori’s forehead and gave him a piece of paper which had details required to make her Jaata (lunar horoscope chart).

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Then my SIL took Chhori for Surya Darshan, i.e. to let the sunray fall on her as a blessing. Then the priest put Tika on AS, me and rest of the family. He also put Janai (holy string) around our wrists.

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After the ceremony, the priest left and the family function started. My parents, with the help of my brother and SIL, had prepared lots of trays of gifts for us and Chhori. It included sari and other gifts for me, clothes for AS and lots of clothes, toys, and manchester for Chhori as well as trays of sweets and fruits.

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The special thing required was special sliver bowl and spoon which my mum has got from Nepal.

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My parents put tika for AS, me and Chhori and gave us blessing and gifts. It was really nice and special to have all my family here for the occasion.

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Till  next post take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhaithi for Chhori

First of all thank you everyone for lovely message and sorry for not posting as frequently as before but as you can imagine I am too busy feeding, changing nappies and looking after Chhori that there is no time for anything else. If there is any spare time, I would love to sleep but sleeping for long periods of time seems like a distant dream right now.

As you all know there are lots of rituals in Hindu culture when one has a baby. Now with Chhori, we want to follow all the rituals as well even though we are not in Nepal. The first ritual we performed is called Chhaithi.

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Chhaithi ceremony is performed when the baby is six days old and takes place late in the evening.

For Chhaithi, the fufu (baby’s dad’s sister, or the baby’s paternal aunt) will need to bring some koseli (gifts for the baby) which includes fruits and sweet along with a new pair of clothes for the baby. She will also bring a notebook and a pen.

In our case, as AS doesn’t have any sister here, the ceremony was performed by my SIL.

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So to start the Chhaithi, my SIL sat with Chhori surrounded by 12 tea light candles (traditionally we use oil lamps) and one more candle was lighted for god.

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According to tradition, there is a belief that on the 6th day after the birth of the child,  Vidhaata (Goddess of destiny) would quietly enter the house around midnight to pen the destiny of the newborn. Traditionally the mother of the newborn lights a lamp and this lamp along with a pen and paper given by fufu are placed on a wooden plank for Vidhaata to write the future of the newborn.

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After my SIL finished performing the ritual, everyone else in the family performed the rituals by giving Chhori money and gifts. Then I gave my SIL gifts and she gave the baby back to me.

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After the ceremony when the Chhori went back to sleep, we placed the notebook and pen next to the bassinet along with one of the candles.

I prayed to the Goddess that she be given a bright future with a healthy life.

This concludes the first of many rituals my Chhori will have in her life.

Till  next post take care everyone,

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Nirbuni for my nephew (second birthday)

I swear it feels like yesterday that I told you I had a new man in my life (my li’l nephew) and gosh it has been two years now. Even though he was born in 18 July, we celebrated his birthday on 26th of July which was determined by his birth chart and our own Nepali calendar.

Since his birth, he has given joy to everyone including his parents, us, my parents and my sister in law’s parents. When he was visiting last month to Nepal, he was the apple of the eye and was spoiled rotten by everyone.

Strangely, for reasons unknown and out of traditions handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated by Newars. When a child is born, he will have chhaiti, nawaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni in Newari.

According to tradition, we make Yomari every even birthday (2, 4, 6, 8, 12) until a child turns 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses).

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During Nirbuni, a big puja is performed and the child is given a garland made out of two yomaris. The child is also given tika and sagun and prayed to ward off evil spirits from the child’s body. If we were in Nepal, relatives would come along with gifts and sweets for the kid. Therefore, this birthday was a big deal for us.

We started Saturday making yomari and sagun. With the help of our cousin it was done and then the puja started. My nephew was good during the puja as he sat on his dad’s lap while I perform the puja.

Nirbuni  (12)I am not expert on performing the puja but this is what I did.

  • First I gave Nasala, a few drops of water, in the palm of the right hand of my nephew to sprinkle some into his mouth and the rest over his body for purification.
  • Then I put tika on Lord Ganesh with water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder as well as a plate of sagun in front of him.
  • Then I gave water, rice, flowers, and vermilion powder to my nephew to worship the Lord Ganesh and also to all the God and Goddess by throwing the rice towards the ceiling.
  • Then I placed tika on his forehead and put a flower on his head.

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  • Then I placed the Yomari mala followed by flower mala.

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  • After that I put bits of rice, radish, coins, cucumber in a small container and poured them on his head. This is believed to take all the evil spirits away from him. I did this three times.

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  • Then,I gave Sagun to him. For Sagun, you put a plate of egg, bara (lentil cake), meat (chicken), a piece of giner and fish in the right hand and yogurt in the left hand.

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  • Once the process is finished with my nephew, I gave tika to the rest of the family, followed by sagun.

My parents and my SIL’s parents were on skype watching the ceremony. They were happy to watch all the ceremony even though they are so far away.

I also took tray of fruits, biscuits and a three piece suit for him as a birthday gift.

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He looked really adorable in the suit.

Nirbuni  (5)Then there was a party in the evening. I did the decoration and was happy with the result. It was a fun party with lots of kids.

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The house was chaotic in a good way for the rest of the evening where kids ran, laughed , danced and played.

Nirbuni  (3) Nirbuni  (2)We had a nice cake for him and the food was catered so everyone enjoyed the day. It was such a fun day and the little man was very happy with all the attention and gifts.

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On Sunday, I baked cupcakes for him to take to his childcare to celebrate his birthday. The childcare request simple individual cupcakes so I baked them myself.

Nirbuni  (6) Nirbuni  (4)Overall, it was a great nirbuni celebration for my nephew.

Wishing little man all the happiness of this world.

Take care ,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Janku (Pasni for older people)

In Newari culture Janku (also known as Buda Janku or Pasni, different from pasni for baby  ) is a celebration when a person reaches a certain age. If it’s a couple, the date is determined by the age of the husband and the couple will celebrate the Janku together irrespective of the wife’s age at the time. If it is a single person, then it is according to their birth date.

There are five Jankus performed during the lifetime of the person if s/he happens to live to be 106 years old.

The first Janku is when a person is of 77 years, 7 months and 7 days where they are worshipped as an aspect of the sun. This is called BHIMRATHAROHAN where the grandsons carry the person’s chariot on their shoulders and visit temples of god and goddess.

The second Janku is at the age of 83 years, 4 months and 4 days where they are worshipped as an aspect of the moon. This is called CHANDRARATHAROHAN as it is believed that a person has seen 1000 full moons in their life and their prayers are directed towards the moon.

The third Janku is performed at the age of 88 years, 8 months and 8 days, which is called DEVRATHAROHAN and they are worshipped as an aspect of god. This time too the grandsons pull the chariot and visit temples. While entering to home the persons chariot is entered from the window of the house.

The forth Janku is at the age of 99 years, 9 months and 9 days, which is called DIVYARATHAROHAN.

The final one is at the age of 105 years, 8 months and 8 days old, called MAHADIVYARATHAROHAN.

Janku is celebrated at such defined ages for two reasons. “Newari texts mention that the particular ages for the ceremonies mark inauspicious times in a person’s life, times when even the smallest hurdle might pose a serious threat to one’s life. The various rituals are performed in order to please particular deities to help the person overcome those problems”.

Before the invention and availability of modern medicine the average life expectancy of the people was 60 to 65 years and reaching the age of 77 and beyond was like getting a new lease on life. The second reason for a Janku is that after their Janku ,they are considered as god or goddess and the title of Thakali is given the as they are one of the senior members of the community.

Few weeks ago, my Ma (maternal grandmother) celebrated her second Janku. I wish I was in Nepal for that as I missed the first one too but I am so glad to see that she has one great grandson with her.

My Ma has four kids, one of them being my mum and all of them are married. She has 10 grand kids and 6 great grand kids but unfortunately all of the grand kids live overseas so it was so rare for a great grand kid to be around during that time.

Luckily my brother, SIL and nephew were visiting Nepal and they were there to celebrate the big occasion.

During each Janku, the person is dressed like a bride or groom and takes seven steps before getting on the Rath (chariot). The sons and grandsons carry them on the chariot take them around town with family and relatives following the procession.

Women shower them with flowers and vermilion powder and when they reach their home they are given Sagun wishing them a long healthy life.

All the relatives and even distant ones visit them to receive their blessings and have a Bhoj (party) after the completion of all the rites and rituals.

Till next time, take care

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

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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