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Celebrating new hopes

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The time is rife for celebration. It is the time for harvest and the sky cleared of the clouds. Hindus all over, and especially of central Asia, celebrated the victory of good virtues over the evil power of devilish virtue.

The Bhutanese diaspora too celebrated Dashain festival in their new homes. In several cities of resettlement in US, Canada, UK and Australia, Bhutanese Hindus observed Durga pooja during the Navaratra. Reports from various sources suggest that there is zeal and motivation within the community to hand over these cultural and religious heritages to coming generations, wherever they live.

In Bhutan, Navaratra was observed full nine days with the recitation and prayer devoted to goddess Durga in the Hindu Temple of Thimphu. It is the official way to show that Hinduism in Bhutan is not under any restriction. On the ninth day, the ministers and high level officials did visit the temple to get the blessings of Nava Durga Bhawani. But, unlike the last year, the king is seen nowhere to observe the tika ceremony with the public.

It is usually a concern of fund crunch for the Hindu Samudaya of Bhutan to observe Navaratra offering prayer to goddess Durga in every temple located in the districts like Dagana, Tsirang, Samtse, Chukha and Samdrupjonhkhar. Although funding of dratshang and shedra (the Buddhist religious center place for monks) is a government undertaking, no such fund is channeled to other Hindu temples and religious learning places (pathsala) outside Thimphu.

But for the urban people who lived away from home, one day official holiday was not sufficient to reach home any way. Many employees have to take two to three days off from work and seek tika blessings from the elders. So the nine days of devotional prayer to Durga can well be pertained to increase of power of the government and not to well- being of people. No, it is not to give concession to Lhotshampa Hindus to celebrate the festival with families and friends at home.

There is still a stigma among the Lhotshampa living in north to put tika on forehead as they might get queer comments from the neighbors and passer-by.

5 COMMENTS

  1. What a non-sense article ?……. “There is still a stigma among the lotshampa living in north to put tika on forehead as they might get queer comments from the neighbors and passer-by” ? ? ?So the nine days of devotional prayer to Durga maa can well be pertained to increase the power of Government and not to well being of people ? ? ?
    We have tried to play all type of dirty games in the name of democracy,human rights and freedom of expression but failed.Therefore, please do not use this special occasion and name of Durgamaa in order to gain publicity.
    It needs to be mentioned that, all the lotshampas are not Hindu, we have Buddhist and christian too. and it is also learn t that large number of refugee has became follower of christian religion.. but half of them are genuine and half of the are fake..fake means just to enjoy support/money provided by fellow christian organization.
    Oh.finally..I would like to remind that, lotshampa living in the north and putting tilak on forehead is not a new thing in northern society and durga puja is being organized and performed by Hindu fellow citizen not by the government.
    Therefore, I fear that, the author of this article must be outsider and never visited Bhutan so far.

  2. I do not agree with the above article as a hindu resident from Thimphu. The author is without any objective and perhaps not matured enough. Be it the no of holidays or the expenses, willingness and participation on the side of the people is important to successfully implement any puja, we should not be so much dependant especially on social and community based programs. This articles is disturbing and can be also be fragmenting the process of social well being. We have to be positive. The real problems are amongst ourselves in view of fragmentations in our faith and practice.

  3. Dear frens,
    Atleast learn to appreciate some good stuff …. Truly speaking, the people of Bhutan so called Lhoshampa enjoyed dasara in an inexplicable mood and festive, where as dasara 012 seemed a long- lonely- tearful festival to the resettled Bhutanese people. Hope Tihar does not be the same.
    Always
    Chirang

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