Nepali-ethnic Bhutanese communities across the globe celebrated Dasain, one of biggest Nepali festivals, with various programs, our correspondents reported.
According to our correspondent Deepesh Subedi, resettled Bhutanese in Boise city of Idaho gathered together to celebrate Dashain in one of the apartment complex play ground that began with the Durga Puja today.
Arjun Pradhan from Minnesota reported that the festival was marked by Durga puja followed by receiving Teeka and cultural function in a Local School Hall in Minnesota. The function started with the chanting of Durga Bhawani’s mantra by Upendra Pyakurel where almost 600 Bhutanese showed their participation.
Bhutanese in Texas observed Dasain festival with a cultural show followed by Community Durga Puja held yesterday. Our correspondent reported that Bhutanese resettled in Texas received Teeka today.
Bhakta Ghimire reported that Bhutanese people in Buffalo City of New York observed Dashain by performing Puja yesterday followed by receiving Teeka today. Organized by Buffalo Hindu Samaj, almost 450 Bhutanese participated besides the local organizations and settlement agencies in the city.
Kazi Gautam of BNS further informed that Bhutanese community in Syracuse also marked the Dasain 2067 BS celebration right from the first day of Nauratha with the grand celebration of Durga Puja that continued for nine days.
“It is very important for us to keep alive our tradition and culture, and pass them to the youngsters”, told Sashi Kharel, one of the active members of the Durga Puja Celebration Committee. Bhutanese in Syracuse also organized cultural event amidst a crowd of over five hundred people, including Bhutanese, Americans and the people from other refugee communities.
“This is one of the unique groups of people with an extra ordinary culture that you seem to be committed to preserve”, said the Mayor of Syracuse Stephanie Miner further adding that the Nepali food is amazing.
In California, Bhutanese community organized Durga Puja yesterday and received Teeka from elders in each city of resettlement today.
Our correspondent Nandita Khanal reported that Bhutanese Community in Arizona performed nine days Durga pooja at the BCA office. Teeka and Jamara were distributed to Bhutanese on the tenth day in Phoenix. Meanwhile, a cultural program was organized at the park with more than dozens of items including solo songs, group, single and dual dances.
Khem Khadka of BNS informed that a cultural show rocked Raleigh in North Carolina, which was organized to mark Dasain festival. One hundred plus Bhutanese including the representatives of settlement agencies showed up during the program.
Meanwhile, Bhutanese in Alaska celebrated this year’s Dashain as a joint event yesterday organising various cultural programs.
According to chairperson of Bhutanese Community in Alaska, Hari Prasad Kafle, representatives from resettlement agency and various related organisations also took part during the festival function.
So far around 100 Bhutanese have been resettled in Alaska.
According to Pasupati Timsina, Bhutanese people in Atlanta city of Georgia leased their own building as a Spiritual Centre and organized Durga Puja where six Pundits recited Durga Saptasati for Seven times. The Ceremony which started at early morning was attended by more than 300 Bhutanese people besides Indian and Nepalese Community members.
Dhruva Mishra and RB Wagley in Richmond informed BNS that Bhutanese based in Virginia has observed Durga Puja successfully with the distribution of Tika and Jamara to every house hold today morning. During the event, Pundits chanted chandi and performed Bhajans and Arati.
Sudersan Gautam informed BNS that that a cultural show was organized at First Congressional Church at West Spring Field in Massachusetts, which resettled Bhutanese along with prominent social workers and employers and people from various walks of life showed their participation. Quoting Hari Khanal, president of Bhutanese Society of Western Massachusetts, Gautam further informed BNS that a get-together predominated by culturally motivated by songs and folk dances kicked off around at the church hall.
According to Suraj Budathoki, Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire organized a social program where Mahanowami, one abrity chandi path, Vaajan kirtan were performed for about three hours. Around 100 Bhutanese participated in the program.
BM Dhakal from Kentucky reported that Bhutanese families in Louisville city gathered in Village Manor Apartment complex where three days’ Durga Pooja was observed which was organized by Bhutanese Society of Kentucky followed by bhajan and kirtan at the end of each day. Similarly, in Lexington City, Dashain was marked by getting blessings from parents and putting Teeka in individual apartment complex.
Our Ohio correspondent Shiva Chamlagai reported that Dasain festival was greatly celebrated in Cincinnati city. Chamlagai quoted Devi Dahal as saying that a few families gathered together while most of the resettled Bhutanese put teeka on their own house.
Celebration in Canada
Our special correspondent in Canada, Yadap Neopany reported that Nepali-ethnic Bhutanese in different parts of Canada also couldn’t remain aloof from celebrating this year’s Vijaya Dasami.
According to Indra Timsina of BNS, in Ledth Bridge, Alberta, people organized cultural programs, and received teeka from elders. They also hold potluck party where around 225 Bhutanese in were present.
According to Madan Giri, , the local government in Charletown city declared holiday for three days to the Bhutanese residing there so that they can participate in their greatest festival. People also organized parade in the city, besides receiving teeka from elders. Nepali-ethnic Bhutanese in Newbrunswick received teeka from Pandit Chet Nath Osti in his own apartment.
Gopal Kafley from Quebec City reported that the Bhutanese Nepalis there organized cultural programs where they shared Nepali foods to the native Canadians. Canadians also added pleasure to the program by participating in singing Nepali song. Pandit Chandra Neupane granted teeka to the senior personality Padma Lal Koirala , who then blessed other people with teeka and Jamara . Meanwhile, Bhutanese in Newfoundland celebrated dashain in their own apartment performing Durga Puja . The Hindu temple in St. Johns provided clothes to the elderly people and they shared teeka with each other.
Celebration in Europe
BNS correspondent in Norway, who reported the celebration in Europe, where Bhutanese dwell, reported that Bhutanese people living in different parts of Europe have observed Dashain festival amidst different functions.
Ram B Chhetri from The Netherlands informed BNS that about 100 newly resettled Bhutanese observed Dashain in their temporary apartments in transit centre here in Amersfoort.
“Some Bhutanese here participated in a Dashain Saanjh organized by Himalayan Parivar yesterday”, told Durga Giri from Germany further adding that a small Bhutanese population here celebrated in their own apartments today.
Meanwhile, Jit Maya Rai in Denmark reported that Bhutanese here observed the occasion in their own apartments. In the meantime, some Danish families experienced this typical celebration in the apartments of Kausila Bhandari.
“I explained them the importance of this festival and the meaning of receiving teekas from elders”, said Bhandari.
The resettled Bhutanese in England also marked this year’s Vijaya Dasami in the same manner as in other European countries.
A small group was present at the apartment of Pandit Tara Nidhi Niraula in Ashton, Manchester (England) to receive teeka and Dashain wishes from him. The “Nauratha” (Nine day observation) was observed as per the Vedic rituals. It is learnt that they also kept up with the culture of using “Jamara”. Niraula informed BNS that he recited “Chandi” in the name of all the Bhutanese.
“The guests were served with bitten rice, milk, banana and “Dhakane”, added Niraula.
The combination of these food items is a typical food served during Dashain. This is the first Dasain celebration of the resettled Bhutanese in England as the first batch got resettled in England on August 2010.
Reports obtained from different parts of Norway showed that about 170 Bhutanese and some 80 Norwegian guests gathered in a cultural hall in Kopervik in Rogaland County Municipality in Western Norway for “Dashain Celebration and Cultural Programme 2010”. Young and growing Bhutanese and Norwegian artists rocked the floor with varied Nepali dance. “Sangini”, a typical Nepali music among other revealed the tragedy faced by the Bhutanese people explaining about their long journey from Bhutan to Norway. Special Nepali food added flavor to the program.
The Bhutanese people in Alta, Northern Norway also organized cultural programme and collective teeka ceremony when this report was being filed. As per the information given by Ram Baniya in Alta, about 60 individuals were present in the hall to observe the program.
Babu Ram Baniya from Vadsø, a place in Northernmost Norway informed BNS that the celebration took place in their own apartments while Dilli Ram Sharma in Eastern Norway is waiting for Collective Teeka Ceremony scheduled for tomorrow.
Celebrations in Australia
Aussie Bhutanese also celebrated Dasain with various programmes in different States of Australia. In Adelaide, Bhutanese Association in South Australia organized a community gathering at Salisbury where elderly members offered Tika with blessings to the younger ones. They entertained themselves with songs and dances.
In Sydney, Tasmania and New South Wales, resettled Bhutanese put Tikas and organized various other community functions.
In Albury of NSW, Bhutanese set up Durga and organized community gathering for Tika and cultural presentations that included dances and fashion shows.
Albury City Council and other service providers sponsored the function. They are also joining the folks in Melbourne for the mega event to mark the anniversary of their resettlement scheduled for October 23.
Dashain in camps
Our camp correspondents reported that several celebrated this year’s Dashain as the last before getting resettled in various countries.
Resettled friends and relatives financially supported those in camps for celebrations and other related expenses.
However, for many the Teeka ceremony was not much significant due to family separations by resettlement.
Also, fewer crowds of people were observed in all camps as over one-third of camps’ population has been already resettled. However, cyber cafes and telephone booths remained extra-loaded during the festival.
Kazzi Gautam, TP Mishra , Tri-Bikram Adhikari, RN Pokhrel, Khem Khadka, Ichha Poudel and Ramesh Gautam contributed during the preparation of this report.