Nepal is a country rich in culture and tradition. There are a variety of religious festivals we celebrate which each carry their own significance, but amongst these Dashain and Tihar are the main festivals in which we celebrate with our friends and family. We celebrate Dashain for almost 15 days; the 1st, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th days are the important ones. The first day is welcomed following the rituals of ‘Ghatasthapana’ by worshipping the Goddess Durga for nine consecutive days. The 10th day is the main day, known as ‘Vijayadashami’.
This year in Brunei we celebrated Dashain across a two-week period. On Vijayadashami, the entire Battalion gathered for a Mandir Parade and received tika, jamara and blessings from the Gurkha Major. This year’s Kalaratri, the event famous for an evening of performances, fell on 8th October 2019; however due to the Battalion deployment on Exercise HIKMAT BERSATU we celebrated it on 18th October 2019. Kalarati this year was incredibly exciting for the Garrison as a number of famous artists came from Nepal came to perform for us.
Tihar is the festival of lights and the relationship between siblings. This is one of the most popular events in the Nepali calendar and is celebrated across three days. The first day is ‘Laxmi Puja’; on this day we worship the Goddess Laxmi and welcome her as she is believed to bring happiness and wealth to life. On this day, the Garrison gathered in the Chautari Restaurant for the Panditji and Gurkha Major’s Tihar messages and blessings to everyone. This was followed by ‘vailo’ games played by all.
Dashain and Tihar this year was exceptional; I was able to celebrate the festival in the same manner to my family in Nepal, and it is events like this which make 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles my home.
By Rifleman Tulsi Gurung, Int Cell, 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles