Fragrance of Kentuckian spring

Published on Jun 08 2009 // Opinion
By B. M. Dhakal

Spring in Kentucky is almost over now. It was quite normal for us to observe the spring blossoms but the Kentuckians celebrating Easter egg-hunt event this season is something new.  I felt quite glad to share our celebration of Saraswati Puja typifying the spring celebration with a cross-cultural orientation session at ESL school of catholic charities. 

Beginning of mid-March, the trees and bushes that were stripped of their foliages by snowy winter produced clusters of inflorescence. The flowers came in various shades- bright pink, white, creamy white, violet and of course the varieties of red. The beauty that spring brought to Louisville seemed a bridal decoration, that I could not resist adoring it. The inflorescences of all plants came in such a dense pattern that the branches had no feeling of nakedness any longer. By the end of April, flowers gave way to new leaves; few plants now have the mixture of bright flowers and green foliages. Back in Tribhuvan University in Nepal, I boasted of some hundred of botanical names during ecology and taxonomy practicals, which I surrender now.  My botanical knowledge of Nepal is nowhere here to help me identify any plant except Magnolia, Oxalis and Trifolium repens. I no longer have a place to try the flowers with taxonomical approach and identify them. It is needless too. 

Photo by B. M. Dhakal/APFAnews

Photo by B. M. Dhakal/APFAnews

Driving is what I ought to learn beginning from its scratch, and everybody else coming to USA. After taking four theoretical classes in driving, I arranged to learn it from a driving school. Taking three classes of two hours each, I prepared to take the road test and get a license.  But it was not without the extra driving practice. Brother Ram Adhikari  and Dilli Adhikari helped me to practice more on  driving skills. 

In spring, Louisville observes two festivals: Thunder over Louisville and the Kentucky Derby Festival.  On April 18, the US fighter jets flew criss-cross over Louisville’s sky to show their talents with all the might that they conventionally are built up to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnams or any where else. People gathered at the banks of Ohio river in downtown Louisville just to grasp the talent show of fighter jets that were employed to indiscriminately kill hundreds of people in middle east including the innocent ones. The roaring of jets, clamor of choppers and fireworks continued through midnight. The same day we assembled at Iroquois Branch library to see the entertaining Indian cultural show where we met some Indian friends. The show gave us a good idea of hosting a Bhutanese cultural show in future that Sophie, community outreach coordinator of the library, was encouraging all the time.

Then came the famous Derby festival on May 2. The Derby took place at Churchill Downs – the stadium secured only for Derby. It is an event comparable to the Ghode Jatra observed in Kathmandu with a local holiday. The horse race took for two days – May 1 and 2, but the actual Derby is considered of the second day only. Folks all over US gathered at Churchill Downs in their best of attire. The local television channels WLKY and FOX NEWS telecasted live from Churchill Downs. The difference in Derby and Ghode Jatra probably is in their history of origin.


Photo by B. M. Dhakal/APFAnews

Now it is our turn. We the Bhutanese settled in Louisville and Lexington met at a cultural program organized at International Christian Center, a church in Bardstown on May 9. It was an event to make the outside world know about Bhutan and Bhutanese, and particularly for the Kentuckians. We were quite excited by the overwhelming participation of both Nepalese and Indian friends, together with officials of resettlement agencies. It was an introduction of Bhutanese community to a larger world community. We are hoping to get similar platforms in the future to make the western world more acquainted on Bhutan and Bhutanese people looking through other lenses.