Tihar is a Nepalese holiday that is celebrated on a new moon night.
Tihar comes about two weeks after Doshain, yet another Nepalese holiday that celebrates victory over evil, the truth and blessings. Doshain is celebrated for 15 days and during the festival, different traditions are done, like the applying of tika, a mixture of rice, yoghurt and the red color, on the forehead. The tika represents respect to farmers and crops.
Tihar, also known as Deepawali, is a 5-day holiday and this past weekend, the Nepalese students’ community at MNSU, NeStCom, organized an event to mark both Tihar and Doshain despite the latter having have passed about 20 days prior.
They went around the community the previous night and knocked on the doors of the Nepalese around, sang and danced and in turn got fruits. That is a common tradition that starts of the event in their culture back home but they get money instead.
During this holiday, apart from worshipping goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, they also worship three main animals, the dog, the crow and the cow. They also decorate the house with lights and make it as colorful as they can.
Most of the attendees wore their traditional clothes. Dr. Deepak Sanjel from the Department of Math and Statistics was one of them. They decorated the room with lights and electric candles, to make it colorful as this is one of the main traditions of the holiday. They had “footprints” which were created with red petals that represented the goddess Lakshmi’s footprints, since they believe she walks there during Tihar.
The president of NeStCom, Yaman Pandey, started the event with a speech, welcoming everyone. It was followed by dances by the attendees and a guest Indian singer, Kreethana Shreekisha, wowed the audience with her vocals.
When it came to the food, the organization had asked the members to make food and bring it with them. This was a request since it was an easier option for them. The students did make their traditional meals like chicken curry and bamboo shoot with potatoes.
People were allowed to vote for the “best food” out of all the meals brought, although every meal cooked was amazing.
Header photo: NeStCom president Yaman Pandey stands in front of the flag of Nepal during a NeStCom event in the Centennial Student Union Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019 in Mankato, Minn. (John Shrestha/MSU Reporter)