The Summer Solstice has just passed and it’s a time for Udhauli Puja according to the part of Bhutanese culture. The Bhutanese Welfare Association in the UK Sunday conducted a Gurudham performed by three Jhankris.
Close to 9 a.m. in the morning, the community members from several cities gathered at Stamford Hall in Ashton, Greater Manchester. Some of the members, specially living in Ashton, constructed Thaan (a temporary temple where the Jhankris revere their Gurus and perform the ceremony).
Dilli Ram Pokhrel and Shiva Lal Dhimal, two Jhankris dressed up into their costumes and started the performance. After a short break, another Jhankrri Dik Bir Dhakal joined the duo and the performance continued for about six hours with a few breaks in between.
Several community members from different counties, present as audiences were seen chatting on several topics.
The topic they talked at length was taking the culture together in the new country along with integration and adjusting themselves in the new environment.
‘We have brought a new culture to the new home’ said Pandi Tara Nidhi Niraula, as he explained the reason why the event was conducted. ‘Our culture and tradition is our identity and should get continued in the best way possible’.
‘We made no sacrificial offerings but offered just fruits to the demigods’ told three Jhankris in the same tone.
The audiences were served with tea, juices and rice pudding.
Closing the event, Programme Director of the Association, Prem Giri, expressed gratitude to the community members who rendered support to make the Gurudham successful.
‘We are committed to preserve our culture and impart it to the future generation. The success of today’s programme has inspired us to do much better in the days to come’ said Giri.
He further added, ‘Each society is diverse in its culture and respect to any of its forms means growing every individual and society as a whole’.
The Bhutanese Welfare Association in the UK has been carrying out various religious and traditional events despite being one of the youngest diasporic groups compared to the Bhutanese communities in other resettlement countries.