TOPICS: A moment of meditation
I had to be a mute observer to a hot debate between two youth while commuting to Ratna Park from Maharajgunj a few days back. The topic hovered around the celebration of Valentine’s Day. It seemed to be quite in line with its celebration not only in the originating country but here in Nepal also. Looking at the way it sparks the keen interest of many, particularly the teenagers, a thought or two seems to have formed in my mind.
The celebration of Valentine’s Day in the context of modern Nepal has been looked at from various perspectives. There could be contemplation about the relevance of such an event out here. Frankly speaking, a majority who live in the countryside do not understand it on the one hand, and a vast majority of youngsters who
live in the urban areas are eager and enthusiastic on the other hand.
They stand in the opposite poles in their views about the day. Neither can we say it is a kind of cultural hegemony nor is it a kind of cultural assimilation. It is likely to be taken as a global celebration of a new cultural association of all spheres of life.
If we look at the current cultural world and analyze the day in the context of Nepal, it has nothing as such to glorify from the Nepali cultural perspectives. Mostly, Nepali culture is associated with religion, heroic events and season’s heralds. Some of them are deeply rooted in our long preserved traditional practices and values, which are very close and encompass our day to day practice just to ventilate our unwanted desires and suppressed desires and such cultures can be named as lok dohari and Balan and many more in varied forms. Dashain, Tihar, Teej etc are deeply rooted to our belief, and they have their own importance to unite the Nepalese people. However, the
celebration of the day like
Valentine has nothing to do than to pacify some young couples to go
to city pubs and restaurants and hotels. As with everything else, Valentine’s Day does generate more business associations. There are greeting cards and bouquets and flowers.
Called commodification of the global phenomena, it should not be termed as culture which has calm, sober, broad and unified perspectives. Let our own days be celebrated in a befitting manner than going after what belongs to others.