Fashion or culture?

KATHMANDU: The streets are filled with women and young girls decked in green, red and yellow bangles as well as mehendi these days marking the arrival of Shrawan (the fourth month as per Nepali calendar). It is the month when women fast and Shiva is worshipped every Monday. For some, this tradition carries a cultural and religious significance, but for many it is just following the trend.Our female college students too have started to immerse themselves in the fervour of Shrawan. As such they are seen in these colourful bangles and dark mehendi even in their colleges uniforms.

Fashion and culture

While some educational institutions tend to restrict their students from putting accessories like bangles and mehendi, there is no such restriction in Sharmila’s college. “We are studying in the Bachelor’s level and we are not barred from wearing bangles or mehendi. Except for the sound produced by the bangles at times, it won’t disturb anyone. So, there is no need to restrict students from wearing bangles or mehendi,” she opined.

But Nirmal Bajracharya, Lecturer at Nepal Commerce Campus, Minbhawan views it differently. “We should follow our culture, but in the name of culture such distractions should not be brought to colleges. Those wearing bangles in class distract the concentration of all students due to the sound produced.”

That is why “it would be better not to wear bangles or mehendi being a student. It might create indiscipline in class as girls in the class tend to compare their mehendi or bangles. Meanwhile they keep on talking about where to go to put mehendi and where to buy bangles which distracts other students and the entire class is disturbed. It also affects the one who is wearing bangles as bangles come in the way while writing,” Sudan Gautam, a student of Class XII at Ambition College, Baneshwor opined.

However, Ashish Dhital, a Class XII student at Millenium Model College, Chitwan takes it in the positive way. “It is good that young generation is interested to follow our tradition even though they are doing it for fun and fashion. Many of our traditions and culture have disappeared because the young generation is not interested. So I don’t see anything negative about girls following the tradition,” he stated.

Explaining further Bajracharya shared, “It is good that young girls are interested in their culture which helps to preserve the age-old culture. But one should first know why they are following it and its significance. Moreover, before putting on mehendi, it is better to know whether it has any side effects on skin or not.”