Monday, September 05, 2011

Teej

Hindus (particularly Brahmins and Chhetris in Nepal) recently celebrated Teej, an annual festival to celebrate when, in Hindu lore, the Goddess Parbati fasted and prayed fervently for the great Lord Shiva to become her spouse. Touched by her devotion, Shiva took her for his wife. Goddess Parbati, in gratitude sent an emissary to preach this religious fasting among mortal women, promising prosperity with their family So, on the ground, Teej is festival for women when they are free to dance and rest and have temporary relief from domestic duties.

On Teej, women typically dress in red, if they are married, and put kohl around their eyes.

When I arrived in Pokhara, several of the didis and a line of younger children were headed to a Teej festival. I tagged along and we hopped a bus to Lamachaur. The older children, it should be noted, have entered true teendom and did not deem the festival interesting enough for their attendance!

Then, after the festival, we had our own dance circle at Sam's House, initiated by the women, per tradition, and later a free-for-all where even your author contributed some spastic moves.

A few photos below....

First, there was a crowded bus ride to Lamachaur. Parbati sits in Manju's lap.

Asuna and Dipika.

Me and Dipa.

Arriving at the festival grounds.


In one corner of the festival tent, a group of older girls were organizing games, including musical chairs. Sharmila made the first cut.

Mina safely in an unoccupied chair.

Santosh would finish third in musical chairs.

A large dance circle.

Walking from our first festival to a second.

Parbati, who looks, adorably, like a Muppet.

Mamata, Sabita, Pushpa and Sarita.

Mina and the didis dance.




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