Migrant workers take to social sites to celebrate Dashain festival

Dashain festival losing luster in the eyes of migrant workers.

Ramesh Bharati

October 8, 2019

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Migrant workers take to social sites to celebrate Dashain festival
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KATHMANDU: Sujan Bharati, a Nepali migrant worker based in Saudi Arabia, has not celebrated the Dashain and Tihar festivals with his family members for the last seven years.

Sharing his woes with Khabarhub, Bharati said he could not come to Nepal after his company did not grant him holidays for Dashain. He misses his home and family members more than before when Dashain festival approaches.

“I talk to family members by phone almost daily. It has been years since I last celebrated Dashain and Tihar festivals with my family members. At times, it feels, as if, I have been totally detached from our greatest festivals Dashain and Tihar,” said Bharati.

“Now-a-days it feels as if the vibrancy of the festivals is gradually wearing down as I do not miss it as much as I used to do previously. Maybe it’s partly because of decade-long foreign employment that I have been engaged in,” he comforts himself.

Bharati is a representative case. A large section of Nepali migrant workers toiling hard in the foreign lands has been deprived of Dashain and Tihar festival celebrations. Most of them feel that foreign employment has detached them from their cultural ties and Dashain and Tihar, the greatest festival of Hindu people.

“Now-a-days it feels as if the vibrancy of the festivals is gradually wearing down as I do not miss it as much as I used to do previously. Maybe it’s partly because of decade-long foreign employment that I have been engaged in,” he comforts himself.

Similarly, migrant worker Padam Puri from Taplejung does not have a different story. “Nowadays, I do not miss festivals,” said Puri, adding, “I am in contact with my family members almost daily. I ask how they celebrated Dashain and Tihar festivals. We then get a chance to look at the photos of celebrations posted by family members on social media.”

Social networking sites have become a means of connecting them during festivals no matter which part of the globe they live.

He reiterated that he does not miss the Dashain festival. “Previously, I used to miss the festival, badly. These days, I don’t miss it much. The importance of the Dashain festival is gradually wearing down since we came to a foreign country for employment.

Sumesh Ojha, who went to Japan on a student’s visa three years ago, has been deprived of celebrating the Dashain festival for the last three years. “The festival of Dashain is losing its charm to the migrant workers since they are deprived of celebrating the festival with their family members for a long time,” said Ojha.

Echoing Ojha’s views, Amar Limbu from Dharan, who works in the UAE, said migrant workers give more importance to work than the festivities. On our leisure, we organize a get-together with our friends.”

However, most of the Nepali migrant workers return home during the Dashain festival. But they do not get holidays from their companies’ owners. In some countries, Nepali migrant workers organize get-togethers and celebrate the festivals. They also receive Tika from the Nepali ambassador to the country where their company is based.

Social networking sites connect

Social networking sites have been a boon to those working in a foreign land and missing their family and friends back home.

They can talk on Viber, Messenger, and Imo and post their news and activities on Facebook instantly where they can immediately receive and pass on comments on the status.

Social networking sites have become a means of connecting them during festivals no matter which part of the globe they live in.

Ramesh Bhandari of Jhapa argues that social networking sites have added importance to the festivals of late. People can share their joys of celebrations and activities by posting their photos through social networking sites.

It makes them feel as if they are at home celebrating the festival with their family members.

Over 4 million Nepali people are currently outside the country for foreign employment, of which hardly 200,000 people come back home to celebrate Dashain and Tihar festivals, according to the government estimation.

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