Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Nepal specific discussions on culture, spirituality and the arts
Ganesha
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Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby Ganesha » Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:18 am

Every year Gaijatra is celebrated in Nepal. It gains a lot of media exposure and we have processions all over the country. All of us have grown up wth it and have fond memories of the dance, the parody and the "Yamaraj". But, what do we know about the history, the origin of the festival... How can Gaijatra be a tool to Nepal's solidarity.. Can we bring up some ideas here?!
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kazi
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Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby kazi » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:03 am

I was watching a video at: http://nnv.nepalnews.com/videoplay1.php?id=2739 about Gaijatra. According to the video, Gaijatra is celebrated by the Newar community around Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. This jatra was started by Raja Pratap Malla to console his wife at the death of their young son, and, show her that there has been deaths in many other families within the kingdom in the past year. There is also an entertainment aspect of the jatra in which people are perform theatrics and satire. Another important part of the jatra is that families dealing with death in the past year distribute goodies in memory of the passed.
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"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

AshaKoKiran
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Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby AshaKoKiran » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:08 pm

Unaware of the origin of Gaijatra, I as a kid always loved to be the part of it. Its a good source of entertainment. But, I always wandered why, only men were allowed to dance.
Mero desh mero PaheChan.

kazi
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Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby kazi » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:32 pm

That makes two of us. I did not know what Gaijatra was all about. With due respects to the cultural aspects, I thought that dressing up in funny attire and parading around with cows is silly. I still think its silly. But like you said, I always looked forward to the little Gaijatra edition published by the MaHa jodi. But on a serious note, people give alms in memory of the passed. According to some tales I faintly recall, the passed ones hold on the tail of the cow and the cow leads them to heaven.

To answer the original question in the thread, we have discussed the origin of GaiJatra, but what about *How can Gaijatra create solidarity?*
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

vaidehi
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Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby vaidehi » Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:47 am

It's true that Gaijatra is mainly celebrated by Newar community in the memory of their dear passed ones. During this as everyone knows, men dance wearing special clothes designed for them and visit those bereaved families. In the "jatra", they also decorate and march a cow (cow is an auspicious animal in the Hindu religion ), believing that whoever passed away will find mukti (which, some of today's intellectuals might find it silly). But this is our culture and belief.

kazi
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Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby kazi » Fri Aug 21, 2009 7:52 am

Vaidehi, I think you have been misinformed. Men in Gaijatra attire do not visit families of the bereaved. Rather members of the bereaved family join the Gaijatra procession. And, for the record, I am all for culture and tradition. But yet, I find things that do not make sense to me to be silly. Maybe there is reason, but I might not be aware. Like for example the "sati-pratha" does not make sense today. It might have made sense in the ancient days, but today it would be silly.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

Ganesha
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Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby Ganesha » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:40 pm

I am a bit uninformed about when the media started celebrating Gaijatra though with newspapers, magazines, TV etc, bringing up fun filled materials, lampooning of people and parodies...
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kazi
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Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby kazi » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:36 am

I do not know about the media's involvement in Gaijatra, but I have been told that satire and humor has always been a part of the Gaijatra tradition. This goes back to the days of yore when the queen had to be consoled and humor must have been one of the solutions.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.

kazi
Posts: 978
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:55 am

Re: Gaijatra - What do we know about it

Postby kazi » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:02 am

I was watching some clips on the Gaijatra entertainment and I was hit by an epiphany and a cold shiver ran down my spine and my blood curdled with silent rage.. a rage borne of desperation. All this laughing at the leaders' foibles, ranting and raving against the politicians.. I realize the joke is really on me.. I as a Nepali janata.. I realize I am the jester in the court of 601 questionably competent leaders and the 26 odd so-called ideological institutions are really are laughing at me. And yet, like a fool, I continue laughing at the jokes, merrily dancing to the tune of the pied piper of blissful Ignoramacity.

Who was the scientist who cried, ".. when will I cease to wonder, and start to know.." I think I know exactly what he meant.
--
"Mother and motherland are more precious than heaven." But that does not mean we must cling to our mothers. The least I can do for Nepal is to bring awareness among the Nepali people. And this Nepali forum is the platform for me.


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