Corona Dashain: A unique experience almost after a century

'Who comes to receive Tika from a family in isolation'

Sabina Karki

October 30, 2020

4 MIN READ

Corona Dashain: A unique experience almost after a century

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KATHMANDU:  Dashain, one of the major festivals of Nepal, this time, has offered a unique experience to all the Nepali people.

The festival that falls in autumn, the time for celebration for most of the people in the agricultural country, is not only observed as the symbolic celebration of the victory of good over evil but is also enjoyed as a marvelous opportunity for family and social reunion.

The festival that started on October 17 will conclude on October 31 this year.

Generally, the temples of female deities, mainly various incarnations of goddess Devi, are the sites to see as every devotee wishes to please the goddess through various offerings for her blessings. The buses are crammed with home returnees and the people at home wait impatiently for Ghatasthapana, the first day of Dashain.

However, the Dashain this year turned unique in many ways. First, despite the immense faith in the culture and wish to bag blessings of peace, happiness and prosperity, the people did not crowd at the temples and shrines lest they would contract coronavirus.

Secondly, neither the parents at home expected their wards to return home from the work destinations, nor did they wait for the reunion. Rather they, with a heavy heart, asked their children to be wherever they are and stay safe.

The coronavirus terror forced some people to watch their wards’ tearful eyes from upstairs while  in home isolation.

The government has also requested all to keep in mind the impact of the pandemic provided the threat is undermined and has asked all to abide by the health safety standards during the celebration. The government issued a decree requesting people to celebrate the festival virtually.

Senior Culture expert centenarian Satya Mohan Joshi has also had a different experience of celebration this time. His house that used to be full of people seeking blessings from him has requested all to stay alert and observe the festival safely from home.

“Although no members of my family have tested positive coronavirus  yet, we have taken the precaution,” the senior culture expert told Khabarhub, “ this time we all members have set the self-quarantine as isolation. Who would come to receive Tika from the person in isolation!”

Fearing the mass celebration could pave room for pandemic spread, Joshi’s family has been in ‘isolation’ this time.

He informed that this time he has been in contact with his relatives virtually only.

“Unlike in the previous years when many relatives used to visit home and we used to celebrate eating various dishes, this time we celebrated with homemade dishes and offering blessings virtually.” Centenarian culture icon Joshi said.

He advised all to abide by health safety standards while celebrating festivals and other celebrations.

“Dashain is nearly over now, Tihar is now approaching.  We have to stay at home, should not travel haphazardly, as the travelers can turn to be the carriers of the disease,” he said, “those who are in cities better stay there and those in the countryside should stay there. Stay wherever you are, stay safe. The festival will come next year too, provided we stay safe for the years ahead.”

Joshi asked all to enjoy the festival differently this time, as such a situation is like an once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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