Image for representation.
NUWAKOT: The Chairman of the Nuwakot Consumer Welfare Forum, Indra Bahadur Pandit, resided in Dupcheswor-7 Rural Municipality, Shikharbesi until 38 years ago.
However, he said he was still fresh with the past memory that people used to decorate the doors and windows of their houses with black stuff before the Dashain festival. He recalled that the houses decorated with red and yellowish earth looked like a woman wearing kajal makeup.
After climbing to the seat of the ancestral home, such breathtaking scenes have become a distant dream now, he said.
“The devastating earthquake of 2015 had displaced stone and mud houses. Several houses were built of concrete. The structures of the house are adorned with modern paint. You have to go to the village to discover the houses decorated with the natural color of the ground. Even it is very limited in our ancestral place,” he recounted.
When we remember Dashain, it obviously comes the image of the swing. The swings were set up in the Chautari with Bar and Peepal trees. There was a huge flow of people ranging from children to teenagers from different villages to enjoy the swing. Getting the ride was difficult.
But now the locally built Chautari have been demolished in the name of construction and stem widening. This has led to the gradual disappearance of our culturally rich swing, commented the head of the Water Resources and Irrigation Development Division, Hari Prasad Guragain.
“Road connectivity has reached almost every village. Indigenous structures such as Chautari have been demolished during road construction. The tradition of setting up swings in trees is about to die out,” lamented Guragain, a resident of Dupcheswor-5 Rural Municipality.
He further noted that the culture of collective social work and in-kind contribution has become nominal in the villages. The government budget was expected everywhere for small development works. We can improve our roads through our benevolent work.”
There was a tradition of planting special species of paddy for threshed rice which also reminds people of the arrival of Dashain. The smell of beaten rice used to make Dashain special. But now there is no cultivation of paddy of the Ghaiya species or use of tasty threshed rice.
However, people leaving the ancestral place for education and employment opportunities continue their culture of celebrating Dashain in their place of origin.
“Wherever our nuclear families reside, we return to our ancestral village to enjoy Dashain festivals,” said deputy district chief Bed Prasad Aryal, a resident of Syangja. He further explained that the festival and the village of Dashain are complementary to each other.
These concerns about Nepal’s biggest Hindu festival were discussed during a greeting exchange program organized by the Nuwakot District Coordinating Committee.