MIDWAY: Loads of fun

With Tihar over, the festive season has come to an end after a month-long celebration period that kicked off on Ghatasthapana. The schools have reopened, offices are back to business and the roads, which wore a deserted look, are once again teeming with vehicles and pedestrians.

The one month was a period of relaxation. The festive mood was in the air. And the tendency was to take it easy. So the hustle and bustle that follows is a bit hard to cope with, at least for the first few days. Feasting, gambling and merry-making — and we put in the deep-freeze every worry we had in the world. This extended period of celebration comes as a refreshing change from the toil we go through during the past eleven months, whether we are students or job-holders.

But you might disagree. You may ask Nepalis have many other days of public holidays as festivals abound — almost every month of the calendar there is at least one such occasion. While that might be the case, many do not understand the significance of the various other festivals. Some may puzzle over the meaning of Shivaratri, for example. To the query I put to a lot of my friends, the majority were of the opinion that Lord Shiva must have done something “significant” on that day. Similarly, most of them were clueless about other important festivals like Shree Panchami, Janai Purnima, and Chatt.

This also holds a mirror to the indifference of our youths to their tradition and culture. One reason could be that the sheer number of festivals might have made it difficult for them to keep count. I’m sure we would come out first if we competed with the followers of other religions as to which religion had the largest number of festivals and festivities.

But one cannot forget the unforgettable saying “The more, the merrier”. We can go about our ordinary business in our own ways and enjoy life fully. Do we to embrace the materialism of the West and judge ourselves by its standards?

On the contrary, we Nepalis are forever adding to our list of holidays by adding foreign fasts, feasts and festivals. Today’s youth will lap up everything that turns them on. Come As-win-Kartik, they will throw every caution to the winds and go hammer and tongs at it to have loads of fun.