Gaijatra loosing aura among Salyan Newars
SALYAN: The cultural festival of Gaijatra celebrated by the people of the Newar community is losing its sheen in Khalanga, the headquarters of Salyan district, which has a sizeable Newar population.
This situation has come with the migration of a large number of Newar people to Kathmandu, Nepalgunj, Dang and other urban areas from here.
The Newar community here celebrated Gaijatra festival in the typical Bhaktapur style as they have come here from Bhaktapur.
“Gaijtra used to be a great occasion in the past. People would prepare for the festival and collect materials required for the festival one month ahead of the festival. People from far away villages would come to see the colourful Gaijatra processions in town,” reminiscences 80-year-old Juddha Bahadur Thapa.
However, Thapa says this is no longer the case now. “Neither do the relatives come from far and wide for the festival nor the festival has that shine of yore,” Thapa added.
There were hundreds of Newari homes in five places in Salyan including Khalanga and Srinagar. But the number of families has dwindled in the last few years due to out-migration. RSS