Sakela Sili contest held to mark Ubhauli

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, May 1:

The valley working committee of the Kirant Rai Students Union (KRSU) today organised a valley wide Sakela Sili (dance) competition to mark one of their major festivals Ubhauli.

The Kirant Rais have been observing this festival on every full moon day on the first month of the Bikram Era.

Some 12 colleges and Kirant Rai organisations participated in the competition. Groups of around 10-20 people were formed for the competition.

Kathmandu district working committee of the Kirant Rai Yayokhya (KRY) was adjudged

the best among the 12 participating groups.

Talchhikhel Preliminary Working Committee of the KRY was judged second and the third

position was bagged by the Kirant Rai Chamling Khambatem, Kathmandu.

Two groups from Khotang and Udaypur and the Ima (our) Samuha from Bhaktapur also took part in the event.

Member of the Rajparishad Standing Committee Parsuram Rai, who was the former vice-chairman of Rastriya Panchayat Upper House, chairman of KRY Kul Bahadur Rai and central committee chairman of KRSU Chandra Bikram Rai handed over trophies to the winners and certificates to all the participating groups.

Three experts on the traditional dance form Milan Chamling Rai, Shanti Rai and Purna Mukarung Rai were the judges.

The dance is a form of worship of the nature god before cultivation seeking favourable conditions for the crops to grow and praying for a good and bountiful harvest .

According to Basanta, the dance form holds great religious and cultural importance.

Organisers said the competition would not let the essence of the tradition fade but would create an awareness among people.

“Originality of the traditional dance has already faded with time and that should be revived,” said president of the valley working committee of the KRSU Basanta Rai.

He added, “This sort of competition, where dancers should strictly follow the traditional steps and style, would certainly help revive the dance form.”

However, young and emerging dancers see no change in the dance form.

A BBS first year student at Pashupati Multiple Campus, Deepa Rai, said “I see no changes in the dance form since I began dancing though the language has seen a significant change.”

She was representing the Kirant Rai Yayokhya (KRY), Kathmandu district working committee.