Rom Bista, Nashville, TN
The Gurung families under the Bhutanese Community of Nashville initiated the celebration of Tamu Losar on December 28. 2014. Guests, friends and relatives from far and wide and all walks of life were invited. Some prominent Bhutanese singers and dancers who made all their way from different states amused and grooved the audience till the last.
The cultural program formally started at 1:30 pm in the school theater in John Overton High School, Nashville. It was a free show.
Moments before the show began, Naresh Dahal, one of the community’s frontrunners, outlined the relevance of Losar and the art of living in unity and diversity. He also stressed an outright need to respect and recognize beliefs of one another and in the meanwhile, not to forget the identity and common cause that binds all Bhutanese together.
Burgeoning singers like Mahesh Thulung, Kiran Gazmere, Lokesh Gurung, Saran Gurung and a few other local artists strutted with their melodies on tracks and oscillated the young and the old alike. Some beautiful Nepali and Hindi dances were also displayed in between the songs. At the end, Naresh Gurung with his local band stole the show.
Interestingly, given the considerable potential, stride and progress in the field of singing it is utterly comprehensible that Bhutanese communities in America do not have to necessarily buy non-Bhutanese songsters.
Tamu is another name of Gurung community and Losar means New Year. Tamu Losar is the celebration of Gurung’s New Year. The Tamu Losar marks the beginning of the Tamu Sambat or Gurung Calendar Year.
Gurungs divide time into cycles of 12 years (lohokor), to each year of which a special name is given, which is known as Barga (lho). Losar also heralds the change in ‘Lho’. According to the oriental astrological system, there are 12 lhos–garuda, serpent, horse, sheep, monkey, bird, dog, deer, mouse, cow, tiger and cat. Therefore, each year is marked by a particular animal and they are arranged in a single circle (on paper), closely following the Tibetan calendar with its’ 12 animals. In early days, when there was no calendar system, the 12 rotation system was used to calculate peoples’ ages. As Poush 15 marks the end of winter and start of spring, Losar is traditionally celebrated for three days doing banbhoj (picnic) too.