Nepalese expats mark 20th International Day of the World’s Indigenous
Peoples by hosting a colourful cultural event. By Usha Wagle Gautam
The Non-resident Nepalese Federation of Indigenous Nationalities — Qatar (NNFIN) celebrated 20th International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at a function held in Holiday Villa Hotel last week. Attended by more than 500 participants, including community leaders, businessmen and expatriates, the theme of the event was ‘Bridging the gap: Implementing the rights of indigenous people’.
Ganesh Prashad Dhakal, acting Nepalese ambassador to Qatar, Maj Hamad Mohammed al-Muhannadi, community police, Lieutenant Riyadh Ahmed Mohamed, Maha S Elnashar, director of Center for Cultural Competence in Healthcare and Nihas Abdul Majeed, media researcher in Public Relations Department were among the guests at the programme, chaired by NNFIN president Binesh Tamang.
Various organisations of Nepalese communities in Qatar — Nepal Magar Society, Tamu Society, Tamang Society, Tharu Society, Sunuwar Society, Newar Pucha, Tharu Welfare Society, Kirat Rai Yakkha Sakha, Limbu Society, Sherpa Society and Kirat Yakthung Chumlung joined NNFIN to celebrate the 20th edition of World’s Indigenous Peoples Day.
The programme kicked off with Nepalese anthem and was segregated into three events.
During poetry session
co-ordinated by Narendra Yeveng Limbu, more than 50 poets recited verses in Nepalese language and their mother tongues. Among the recited poems, those of Mosko Purna Hank, Bikram Chatanchil Rai, Purna Kanchha Gurung, Raju Sunuwar, Prabin Rai, Mangal Limbu, Chandra Sher Rai, Bishnu Maya Sunuwar, DN Magar and Pinki Magar were declared as top 10 finalists by the panel of Titha Sangam Rai, Hemanta Pardeshi Limbu and Bhanu Sunuwar. They were awarded with certificates. Most of the recited poems dealt with lifestyles, customs, melancholy and culture of Nepalese ethnic communities, natural beauty and reminiscences of poets’ homeland.
Nihas Abdul Majeed made the audience aware of traffic rules and safety measures. He provided tips to the participants on how to cross the road safely. He said that one should be cautious while crossing the roads in dark and poorly lighted streets, to use helmets while riding motorbikes and to abide by the cultural rules of Qatar.
According to Majeed, urinating and spitting in public areas, sketching on public walls and taking pictures of people especially women without their consent are strictly prohibited in the country. “People breaking the above mentioned rules will be punished as per the law irrespective of their nationalities,” Majeed said.
Likewise, Lt Ridyadh said that Ministry of Interior (MoI) is trying its best to make all the Nepalese community aware of the traffic rules. He said that Nepalese expatriates need not be afraid of the Qatari police if they had not committed any mistakes. Acting ambassador Dhakal said that attending awareness programmes at community forums helps expatriates in becoming better residents.
The concluding session was replets with various cultural dances presented by Nepalese organisations. Jhakri and Hurra dance performed by Ramesh Magar, Babin Rai, Bijaya Magar, Mohan Magar, Pinki Magar and Kanchan Rai was presented by Nepalese Magar Society. According to Ramesh Magar, one of the dancers, Hurra dance is widely performed in Nepalese festivals like Dashain. Hurra dance has peculiar beats and tunes associated – it mainly comprises a lyrical debate between two groups of boys and girls.
Chumlung dance, presented by Kirat Yakthung Chumlung-Qatar, was performed by dancers Alima Limbu, Januka Magar, Anju Rai, Sohit Limbu and Sukh Bahadur Limbu. Chumlung dance was performed in beats of dholak, ethnic percussion instrument, and dancers singing rhythmically in rows. Artists of Kirant Yakthung Chumlung — Kanchan Rai, Padam Rai, Parbin Rai, Jerry Rai and Dhiraj Rai performed Sakela dance in traditional attire.
Tamu Society offered traditional Tamu dance with dancers Parmi Tamu, Anita Tamu, Gora Tamu and Krishna Tamu. Nepalese Tamang Society showcased a performance by Kiran Lama, supported by 12 artists. While performing artists offered traditional cuisine — breads, pickle and yogurt to all. Artists of Nepal Sunuwar Society — Dilip Sunuwar, Jayakanta Sunuwar, Bhakta Bahadur Sunuwar, Bil Sunuwar and Purna Kala Sunuwar performed a 25-minute dance on which they enacted the role of farmers.
The programme was hosted by Debraj Rai and the welcome speech was delivered by Siya Ram Chowdhary of NNFIN.
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