This Dashain is a completely new Dashain not because it has arrived after a year, but it is the first Dashain after Nepal turned federal democratic republic. Dashain is certainly trying to change after this achievement of our country, and we too should act responsibly to support the change. I am not talking about the changes in the same cliché topics such as slaughtering animals, but I definitely want to argue to change in slaughtering animals in the name of God. That really sounds superstitious. Moreover, Dashain should be changed that it becomes the festival of every Nepalese people irrespective of religion.
This article was published today (6th October, 2008) in THE KATHMANDU POST. Read the full article below.
PRADEEP KUMAR SINGH
The tone of my friend’s mobile reminded me that this Dashain is quite special as it was the first Dashain after Nepal turned federal democratic republic. Genuinely, this Dashain, including every Dashain, is a very eminent festival to each Nepali. We Nepalis are really known for our festivals and Dashain, being our national festival, has a great significance in our society and tradition. The festival has come once again with blessings, hopes and mostly changes. Dashain is certainly trying to be new and the change is indispensable with regard to time. However, with this new trend there are a lot of complications Dashain has been associated with.
Dashain is predominantly affiliated to religion and the lines between our traditions of religion and superstition are often blurred. Most importantly, the sacrifice of animals in name of gods and goddesses during Dashain appears totally superstitious and is not just unethical but even against animal rights. As this festival is frequently associated with such common issues of superstitious tradition it doesn’t make it appealing to many. Our national festival (Dashain) is our national pride and it should be changed so that it becomes an occasion of sheer joy.
Besides, Dashain is also a compulsion among many families. The main reason behind the cause is poverty, which arises from the fact that more than 43 percent of the people are under the poverty line. Dashain is also regarded as the festival of new clothes and good food (esp. meat) by many Nepalis. Even today in some poor families, Dashain is the only time when people will have new clothes for themselves and animal protein in their diet. And therefore it doesn’t provide any joy for people who cannot afford them. So Dashain should be changed and ought to be celebrated in a way in which everyone irrespective of rich and poor, every caste and creed can participate and enjoy.
In fact, the values of Dashain are gradually being eroded. Although change is necessary, people in the urban areas are giving up the prime values of Dashain. The modern way of enjoying Dashain and dwindling interest toward this festival has been a menace to the festival. The thirst for Westernization has made Dashain a less important festival and events like Friendship day, Valentines day, Christmas etc are gaining more popularity among our new urban generation. We must act right away and keep the significance of Dashain alive among all the people.
Above all, Dashain should be a festival of national importance and to achieve this, its cultural importance, rather than religious one, should be promoted This will surely promote unity and make Dashain a festival of all Nepali people. Moreover, Dashain should be more about sharing wishes and maintaining social harmony. Dashain should really be a festival of developing and strengthening family and societal relations.
Let’s try to change Dashain and make it a festival of every Nepali regardless of their religious differences. Happy Dashain to all!