Nepalese ambassador to Qatar Dr Suryanath Mishra (second from right) poses after being honoured by
Tamangs during their new year celebration
Tamang expatriates from Nepal recently celebrated 2,848th Sonam Lhochhar (Dragon Year) at a function in Doha recently.
 Ambassador of Nepal to Qatar Dr Suryanath Mishra was the chief guest. A number of prominent community members attended the function.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr Mishra said Nepal is a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual country apart from being the country of Mount Everest.
Tamangs are one of the major indigenous groups of the country, who have a distinct culture, customs and traditions. The community’s contributions to promote tourism in the mountainous regions were also praised by the envoy.
The Tamang Sonam Lhochhar (New Year) is one of the colourful festivals of Nepal. A day’s holiday is also declared in Nepal to mark the event, said the ambassador.
While thanking the organisers, Dr Mishra made an appeal to community members to obey the laws of Qatar.
The ambassador also extended an invitation to other communities to make efforts to understand the customs, culture and traditions of Nepalese expatriate communities, in a bid to promote tourist flow to the Himalayan country.
The meeting had the participation of the chairman of Nepalese Non Resident Indigenous Groups Man Bahadur, chairman of Tamang Society Sanwas Limbu, Tamang Lhochhar co-ordinator Roshan Tamang and many representatives of  Nepalese organisations.
This is for the seventh year that the Lhochhar cultural programme has been organised in Qatar, said international co-ordinator of Tamang Society Binesh Tamang. “Tamang Selo dance is a famous and exciting form of dance among Nepalese cultural events. Every year we organise Lhochhar in co-ordination with the Embassy of Nepal in  Qatar,” he said.
At the meeting, ambassador Dr Mishra was felicitated by the organisers in honour of his services to the Nepalese community in Qatar. “Dr Mishra is leaving Qatar next month after a stint of four years. Dr Mishra has enhanced good diplomatic relations with the government of Qatar and has also worked tirelessly to create more employment opportunities for Nepalese expatriates in the country,” the Tamang Society said in a statement.
The Tamangs who are a  major indigenous group also have a unique tradition of counting the year with 12 different symbols of creatures.
The system of counting is done once in a year, and it has been inherited. The community has bid farewell to what they referred to as the “Cat year” and have welcomed  Dragon (New Year) Lhochhar.
The Lhochhar is a combination of two words in Tamang literature: Lho which stands for year and Chhar for new.
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