Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Virtual Tihar Celebrations at Gurkha Wing (Mandalay)

12th December 2020

Virtual Tihar Celebration at Gurkha Wing (Mandalay)

Tihar, also known as Dipawali, is a five-day festival. It is originally celebrated in Nepal and India by Hindu religion and is one of our main festivals, after Dashain.

Each day consists of different celebrations, known as; Kaag Puja, Kukur puja, Gai Puja, Laxmi Puja, Govardhan Puja and followed by Bhai Tika.

On Dipawali family members gather and celebrate together by eating Nepalese food, dancing, drinking, playing taas (card games) and singing. However, due to unfortunate circumstances this year, we had to adjust and celebrate our festival differently this year. Which led us to celebrate virtual through digital application.

Under the supervision of Corporal Nabin Pahim Limbu, Rifleman Dinesh Garbuja and I had to organize the event. When we first heard that the Tihar celebration this year was to be cancelled, we were deeply saddened and took it upon ourselves to plan and host virtual bingo for all the serving members at the Infantry Battle School (IBS). However, we decided to transform it into a virtual Tihar celebration with more interesting events added.

The event would take place on the 15th November, a day before Bhai Tika and included Duesi/Bhailo competition within the Gurkha Wing (Mandalay), raffle draw, Rangoli competition for the families and bingo to mark the end of celebration.

Virtual Tihar Celebration at Gurkha Wing (Mandalay)
Virtual Tihar Celebration at Gurkha Wing (Mandalay)

Each department displayed their own creative ways of playing Bhailo whilst maintaining the COVID safety measures. Each Bhailo performance was entertaining in their own way and gave blessing to the viewers. In return the viewers offered money for their well wishes. We had the external guest as the judges for the Bhailo competition and with close competition with Support Platoon, Company Headquarter emerged as the winner.

Immediately after the Bhailo, we proceeded to start the raffle draw. Both the names and the prizes were handpicked from a bowl to announce the lucky winners. Our Didi’s and Baini’s (sisters), showcased their talent by displaying beautifully designed Rangolis at their houses. Welcoming the Goddess Lakshmi to offer prayers for her blessings and good fortune.

Then it was time for the bingo. Throughout the game we could see that everyone was on the edge of their seats, very excited and anticipating what numbers would come up. It satisfied us to see the delightful faces of everyone, as it showed that they were having a good time. Despite the difficult times, with the right mentality we were able to adapt to new changes and overcome the challenges in order to keep our festival alive.

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