Tihar marked across the globe
November 09, 2010: Hindu Bhutanese have marked Tihar, one of the biggest festivals, with various programs across the world, our reporters said.
Tihar, popularly called the festival of lights, was celebrated with festivities by the Bhutanese Hindus living in South Australia. Despite tight schedule in their jobs and studies, Bhutanese community members delightfully engaged in more festivities this year.
The festival had not been observed well in the past years due to fewer number of community members and feelings of loneliness in a new country.
Community members this year had formed over four deusi-vailo teams. Fellow Australians also joined these teams to celebrate the festival.
Resettled Bhutanese in some states in US organized public gathering to mark the festival while in most of the states the festival was observed within their houses, apartments.
Reports say, Bhutanese formed Deusi-Vailo teams in several states and walked miles to play in their fellow friend’s house.
Bhutanese community folks in Oakland, California organized a cultural program on the eve of tihar. Both Bhutanese and local people attended the function. Similar reports are received from Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Idaho and other states.
Similarly, Bhutanese in Canada also marked the festival with various programs. Some resettled Bhutanese there celebrated the festival in their own apartments while others formed teams and played deusi-vailo. Reports from Saskatoon and Quebec say the festival was celebrated with festivities. Children played the deusi-vailo.
Additionally, Bhutanese resettled in different parts of Europe – Norway, Denmark, Netherlands – celebrated Tihar. Reports from different countries say that deusi-vailo became a major part in keeping up with the long practiced culture.
The youths in Rogaland, Western Norway started Deusi-Bhaili from Friday evening which concluded late night on Sunday. There were two deusi-vailo teams in this region which successfully travelled to all four municipalities lying far apart where Bhutanese are resettled.
A group of some youths in Denmark organized deusi-vaili program.
“Though we were very few, we tried to preserve our culture and hand it over to the younger generation,” said Jit Maya Rai from Denmark.
The Netherlands observed a grand Deusi function. Many youths spontaneously started deusi-vailo from the apartments in the transit centre where newly arrived Bhutanese live. The function got concluded in a Dashain Tihar Special Program organized by Bhutanese Community in the Netherlands (BCN). A six-hour program organized by BCN in Utrecht, some 55 kilometer away from Amsterdam, the capital city, concluded with Deusi-Bhaili, dances and Nepali food.
“Many newly arrived youths participated with great interest”, said Dr. Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, president of BCN.
Small Bhutanese population in Germany observed Bhai Teeka as per the Hindu norms though no any formal Deusi program was organized here.
Similarly, Bhutanese in Torono in London celebrated Tihar with fun playing deusi-vailo. Community gathering was organized in Manchester, UK.
BNS correspondents in camps reported that exiled Bhutanese living in camps also marked the festival. Various cultural programs, deusi-vailo, among others were observed in different camps.
Tihar, also known as Deepawali – the festival of lights, falls in October/November.
Meanwhile, the Bhutan Media Society has launched ‘Online Deusi Dhamaka’ on the eve of Tihar festival with an objective to collect funds to continue its radio program, Saranarthi Sarokar.