Hamilton Nepalis to mark Bijaya Dashain tomorrow


On Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 5 pm at Sacred Heart Girls College, Hamilton East

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, October 21, 2023

The nine days and nights (known as Navratri) worshipping the Goddess energy of the Universe is a much-celebrated festival in many cultures with Hinduism at their core, and Nepali families in Hamilton and the greater Waikato region will come together on Sunday, 22 October 2023 for to celebrate ‘Bijaya Dashain’ (celebrated as Vijaya Dashami in India)

The event is scheduled to start at 5 pm at the Sacred Heart Girls College in Hamilton East.

The highlight of this year’s celebrations will be a traditional Nepalese dinner feast, which can be booked online. It will be followed by a variety of cultural performances, including a session on poetry, dance performances, and a special award ceremony.

The highlight of the evening for many will be the social dance, which will bring alive the fervour of the festival from back home.

Dr Diwakar Bhujel, President of the Nepal New Zealand Waikato Friendship Society told Indian Newslink that the Festival symbolises the victory of good over evil and inspires people to follow the righteous thoughts, actions and humble path of life.

“It establishes love and respect in society and brings kindness to people. This eventually contributes to peace and harmony of the society wherever the Nepali people live,” he said.

A traditional prayer platter to mark Bijaya Dashain Celebrations (INL Image)

About Bijaya Dashain

Being the most celebrated festival in Nepal, it is spread over ten days during which people fast for the first nine days and then commemorate the festivities on the tenth day with a feast with friends and family. The celebrations begin with the eldest member of the family who shares their blessings by putting red Tika (a mixture of rice, yoghurt and red vermillion) and giving gifts to the family’s younger members.

While the tika symbolises peace, jamara or Wheatgrass symbolises blessings from Goddess Durga. The festivities include many traditional sweets, Nepali delicacies like a traditional goat curry for some families and time with your extended family. Traditional swings are also put up for the festival, which is a highlight in itself.

The community in Hamilton

The Nepalese community has been thriving in Hamilton, with more than 400 members who regularly interact and plan community events for the region.

Dr Bhujel said, “Nepalese have brought their unique culture to New Zealand. This brings our people together and helps them celebrate the most important Festival in our culture even though they are away from their homes. Such celebrations help us to carry our cultural identity and practice the culture with glory which also enriches the cultural fabric of New Zealand.”

The Nepal New Zealand Waikato Friendship Society is dedicated to creating a prosperous, resilient, and culturally rich Nepali Society for peace and harmony.

Members of the Nepal New Zealand Waikato Friendship Society Bijay Dashain 2022 (Photo Supplied)

Based in Waikato, it aims to practice, preserve, and promote Nepali Culture in New Zealand. Anyone who loves to work together for the promotion of Nepali culture can be a member.

Dr Bhujel said, “On this auspicious occasion, our Society sends best wishes to all the people celebrating Bijaya Dashain for the most joyful experience in this festive season. We wish you the best of health, wisdom, prosperity, and fulfilment of all your righteous desires and goals. May Goddess Durga bless you all and empower you all to overcome the evil powers of negativities in your life and help lead you along a righteous path. We hope this celebration contributes to our vision of creating a society with peace and harmony.”

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Hamilton.

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