Asia-Pacific, Nepal, Opinion

Dashain Festival in Nepal Redefined

What comes to your mind when you hear the word Dashain? Probably, the Malashree Dhun starts ringing in your head, taking you back to those childhood days when you would spend whole day flying kites – counting the number of chaits you’ve made in a single day-and enjoying whole night playing cards hoping to scrounge every single penny in your friend’s pocket. But is it the same today? Do we still remember that the festival of Dashain is meant to enjoy together with friend and family, rather than alone?

Dashain Modernized?

I was rummaging these questions in my mind and finally, did I come to a conclusion that since the past few years Dashain has taken a new look. In other words, I see a modernized and a redefined Dashain.

Today too, the people enjoy Dashain (Who says they don’t?). But the way they celebrate has utterly superseded those old school ways. Instead of enjoying by playing cards, people get gratified by counting the number of likes and wows in their photos of “playing cards”. Instead of refreshing themselves by flying kites in the open air, they kick their heels high on winning trophies in the raid in their newly installed mobile games.

Dashain ping
Teens having fun with a Dashain ping

Past, Present and Future

Yes, gone are the days when colorful speckles of kites used to conquer the cloudless skies above your house. Gone also are the days when the open ground nearest to your home used to be filled with people waiting for their turn to swing on the Dashain Pings. All these happened, as far as I can remember, within the last ten years (probably these changes used to occur to me too, but I cannot remember this happening so fast).

At this pace, I see Dashain even more redefined in the decades to come. After twenty or thirty years, I see people sitting in their cozy rooms, in front of their new laptops, putting tika to their relatives on their laptop screens. With the presence of popular gaming apps like Teen Patti, we don’t need to worry about the extinction of the tradition of playing cards. Kites, not to be forgotten, will definitely be present but limiting themselves as mere decorations in hotels and restaurants.

Old or New Dashain?

Moreover, places like Whoopie Land and Fun Valley will supplant the people’s liking towards Dashain ping. Now the only thing that remains is the family gatherings. For that, I firmly believe that an eight hour sleep with a sweet dream of getting together with your connections will do the job.

It depends on us if we really want to enjoy the Dashain festival in its original way or to redefine it and forget its true value. If we want to celebrate Dashain the way it should’ve been then it’s the right time to turn off the router, switch off our mobile phones and spend plenty of a good time with our friends and families. Who knows if in the coming year we will be able to meet them or not!