No Nava Durga Dance from next year

Madhyapur Thimi, Dec 18:

A cultural dance group, Nava Durga Devgans, who worship Goddess Durga and dance at different places during festivals in Kathmandu valley, has decided to put an end to the dancing ceremony at Thimi municipality of Bhaktapur, citing threats to their lives.

Every year, Nava Durga Devgans (NDD) from Nava Durga temple in Bhaktapur perform Nava Durga dance donning masks at different parts of the valley. The Nava Durga dance begins in Yomari Purnima from Digu tole in Madhyapur Thimi and last for seven days in Balkumari, Omana, Dathu tole, Layaku, Nagadesh, Bode, Chitrapur and other parts of the municipality.

The dance ends at Maru tole on the seventh

day with Nava Durga Puja, which is frequently performed during nights. However, this year the dancers returned to Bhaktapur on the third day after some hooligans pelted them with bricks and stones.

According to NDD, they reached Pabhu tole to rest and have food after performing puja and dance at different places but miscreants, who had attacked them on Sunday night as well, took their food and a scuffle broke out.

Talking to this daily, Narayan Man Banmala, a member of the NDD, said, “Vandals try to disrupt traditional dance every year, terming it meaningless. This poses a threat to our life and we are unable to continue to it though our culture is most important for us.” “We conclude the dance with a prayer for peace in the city, but we have decided to put the practice to an end.”

Goods offered during the worshipping ceremony are taken as holy ‘prasad’ and distributed among the local people. “Some hooligans snatched away the prasad,” said Banmala.

Raju Banmala, Naresh Banmala, Satya Ram Banmala, Ash Lal Banmala, Sundar Banmala, Aman and Bikash were injured in the clash. Seriously injured Sabin Shrestha was taken to Korean Hospital and later referred to Bir Hospital.