Friday, November 5, 2010


We're right in the middle of Tihar, the Hindu festival of light - also known in some other countries as Dipawali - and one of my favourite times to be in Kathmandu.

Unlike Dasain there's no sacrifices to be seen. The last two days have been celebrating crow (messenger of death) and dog (loyal friend and guide after death) worship respectively. Today is worship for both the cow (sacred animal in hinduism) and Laxmi (goddess of wealth). Today we're going to a friend's house to help in a ceremony to welcome Laxmi (and her wealth generating powers) into the house. Conveniently, at various points this includes eating lots of yummy food and lighting lots of candles. Tomorrow will be Bhai tika day (brother tika), where the whole family gather, eat more yummy food, and honour their siblings by painting multicoloured tika on their forehead.

You may be thinking at this point, why am I always talking about celebrating Hindu festivals if I'm working on a language spoken by Buddhists? It's a good question, and there are a number of reasons. The first is that one of my closest Nepali friends is Hindu. The second is that everyone here is pretty chilled and most Buddhists will, to some extent, celebrate Tihar. The third is that Bhuddists have only one really big party festival, and that's Lhosar (new years) celebrated in February, which I'll also be around for, but it's still a little way off. And, finally, because Tihar is so much fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment