Bhanu Jayanti in Hartford public library

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Hartford public library has not been a place for an ancient poet of Nepal, neither any of his literary creation. But in the last weekend it was a chosen place for celebrating Bhanubhakta Acharya’s 202 birth anniversary, where verses from Ramayana, the Hindu epic believed to have been translated by Bhanubhakta from Sanskrit to popular Nepali was recited aloud.

Jasmati Rai playing murchunga/Photo Subash Subedi
Jasmati Rai playing murchunga/Photo Subash Subedi

The Bhutanese community of Connecticut organized the event on July 25, though the actual date of the poet’s birthday fell on July 1, according to Nepali calendar. The event popularly termed as “Bhanu Jayanti” was put together jointly by OBCA, Hartford library, and Bhutanese community of Connecticut and supported by Bhutanese welfare community of western Massachusetts, Hindu Sanatan Sewa Samaj.

The event was marked by recitation of various sub-genres of Nepali poem: Haiku, Gazal, ruwai by the participants from US, UK and Canada.

Over the Skype, Dr. Khagendra Luitel of Nepali Department, Tribhuvan University
participated as guest speaker, with with highlights of poet Bhanubhakta’s contribution to Nepali literature relevant to all sections of Nepali populace, and across boundaries in the Nepali Diaspora.

High school graduates of 2015 were also honored in the program felicitating them with khada and certificate.

Another attraction of the literary program was resonating traditional Nepali musical instrument, Murchunga, by 75 years old Jasmati Rai. The vibration produced by a string held one end in mouth and played by a finger to produce rhythms is indigenous to Nepali music.

Poem recitation/Photo Subash Subedi
Poem recitation/Photo Subash Subedi

Speaking at the function, Shankar Dhakal, the president of Nepalese Association expressed his appreciation to the Bhutanese community of Connecticut and OBCA for organizing such events to promote Nepali language, literature, music and arts.
He also welcomed a greater degree of collaboration between Nepalese Association and Bhutanese community for such events of common culture.

CEO of Harford public library, Matt Poland applauded the Bhutanese community for bringing a rich linguistic and cultural heritage.

With inputs from Lachu Acharya, Connecticut

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