Category Archives: Culture

Teej: A Reflection on Social Changes

Dinesh Sharu

Dinesh Sharu

According to Hindu religious texts, Teej reflects the union of lord Shiva and goddess Parvati. According to Hindu mythological stories, Parvati practised a severely strict Vrata (a religious fasting) for 107 years to prove her devotion towards lord Shiva. Also, it is said that Parvati had reincarnated for 108 times to obtain Lord Shiva as her husband. Since, Teej is connected to Hindu religion, there seems a lack of strong base to find out the exact answer to address questions like where, when and how regarding its history. Yet, we can at least say that Teej entered in Nepal with the arrival of Hindus. In India, 3 types of Teej are celebrated in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab: Hariyali Teej, Kajari Teej and Haritalika Teej. However, in Nepal there seems no existence of Teej other than Haritalika Teej. On the third bright full moon day of Bhadra, women perform their rituals by praying Lord Shiva and Parvati, especially married women for the long life and prosperity of their husband and unmarried women/girls for a husband of a kind they wish. On the day, they do not take foods, not even water to practise their strict Vrata. Other than Vrata, eating ‘Dar’ and dancing/singing are also important aspects of the festival.

How Teej reflects the changing society?

Mainly, a brief attempt to analyze how Nepali society is changing or transforming through the analysis of several elements related to Teej and Teej itself has been made. An analytical description of social changes is attempted on the basis of especially following elements that directly concerns with Teej culture. Continue reading →

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स्वस्थानीः विभेदको सुरूवाती कथा

narayani_devkota

नारायणी देवकोटा

काठमाडौंमा महिलाहिंसा विरोधी प्रदर्शन जारी रहेका बेला हिन्दुहरूको एक महिना लामो स्वस्थानी व्रत माघ १३ गतेबाट सुरु भएको छ । महिला हिंसा र स्वस्थानी व्रत कथाको विषयलाई किन जोडेको भने स्वस्थानीको व्रत र त्यसमा पढिने कथा झट्ट सुन्दा देवीको कथाजस्तो लाग्छ । तर त्यहाँ न कतै स्वस्थानीको कथा छ, न स्वस्थानीको पूजा नै गरिन्छ । त्यहाँ कथा पनि महादेवको छ र पूजा पनि महादेवको नै हुन्छ । महादेवको पनि लिङ्ग -शिवलिंग) को पूजा हुन्छ । संसारमा जब मातृसत्ताको पतन भयो, त्यसपछि लेखिएको कथा हो यो । यसमा महिलाको व्रतको आवरणमा पुरुषको शक्तिको गुणगान लेखिएको छ । जुन लिङ्ग पूजाको असर आज पनि हाम्रो समाजमा जताततै देख्न बाध्य छौं । हरेक धर्म र समाजमा महिलाको स्थिति कमजोर होला । त्यो अर्को पक्ष हो, यहाँ हामी महिला नै कसरी लिङ्गको पूजामा लिप्त छौंं भन्ोरमात्र लेख्न खोजेकी हुँ ।  अहिलेका नेपाली महिलालाई धर्म गर्न र व्रत बस्नैपर्छ भनेर कसैले दबाब दिँदैनन् । यस कारण पनि महिलाहरू आफ्नो रहरले व्रत बसेका हुन् । यसरी रहरले व्रत बस्नेहरूले कतै आफूलाई कमजोर त बनाइरहेका छैनन् ?

माघ १३ गतेबाट धेरै महिला एक महिना लामो स्वस्थानी व्रत बसेका छन् । यसमा पढेलेखेका महिलाको संख्या पनि प्रशस्त छ ।  हिन्दु समाजमा जन्मेका महिलालाई थाहा नभएको र कसैले भनेको नयाँ व्रत र पूजा होइन, स्वस्थानीको । व्रत नबसेका घरहरूमा पनि स्वस्थानीको कथा वाचन गर्ने चलनले धेरैलाई यो कथा थाहा भएको हुन्छ । यो व्रतको नाम त स्वस्थानी परमेश्वरीको व्रत जुन नारी जातिको व्रतको नामले भनिन्छ, तर त्यसमा पूजा र व्रतचाहिं महादेव -शिव) को हुने गर्छ । Continue reading →

Jitiya, A Ritual of Tharu Women

Rina Chaudhary (22)rinachaudary

Nepal is a country followed with variety of culture and multiple diversity among them Tharu is considered as the dominant ethnic groups in Nepal. They are indigenous inhabitants of Terai, the narrow strip of flat and fertile land that lies between the mountains close to the border with India. According to Arjun Gunaratne, Their physical features indicate a Tibeto-Burman ancestry; but because of the proximity of the Indian plane their language is similar to Bhojpuri and Hindi, (a type of Indian language). The Tharus have unique rituals, festivals, and music, while their clothes and ornaments are similar to some ethnic groups of India. Tharues celebrate their own rituals and festivals. Each rituals and festivals have caries Tharu identities.

Jitiya is one of the most important ritual that is celebrated for three days. It is especially celebrated by Tharu women in Chitwan and Nawalparasi Districts of Nepal. Jitiya is a symbol of jit (victory). Jitiya falls on the month of Ashwin (September – October). It is celebrated for three days on Saptami (the seventh day of dark fortnight), Astami (the eighth day of dark fortnight) and Nawomi (the ninth day of dark fortnight). They takeBarta (fasting) for the good omen for their family and children. They do not only pray for their children and family but also they pray for collective well fare. During the period, women worship to god Bishnu, Shiva and Sun. However, Jitbahan is the main deity ofjitiya. The main part of the ritual, women worship the nature. Women take Barta and do not eat anything for a whole day. Women celebrate Jitiya by singing songs and dancing. Continue reading →