Capital

Bhaktapur to promote traditional dance forms

- Anup Ojha, BHAKTAPUR
Bhaktapur to promote traditional dance forms

Aug 8, 2014-

The Bhaktapur Sub-Metropolitan City (BSMC) is all set to promote traditional cultural dances by organising various forms of traditional dance competitions during the upcoming Gaijatra, a major festival celebrated in Bhaktapur, and has allocated Rs 1.2 million for the purpose. Nearly 2000 locals are expected to take part in various cultural and dance competitions to celebrate the unique festival which means procession as well as festival of cows.

According to Ram Mani Bhattarai, Chief Executive Officer of BSMC, the week-long dance competition will be organised from August 13, two days after the festival officially begins. The competition will conclude on August 19.

Last year, BSMC had spent Rs 1.1 million for the same competition. “We have been providing necessary funding to organise the programme in order to preserve as well as promote local culture and also boost tourism,” said Gautam Lasiwa, head of the Bhaktapur Tourism Development Committee (BTDC) Lasiwa said the municipality has been conducting similar cultural activities every month. “We invite local people to participate in the cultural events and also pay them if they perform in it,” said Lasiwa.

“What this has done is encourage people to learn more about their culture and tradition and has inspired the younger generations to preserve their heritage,” he added.   

In the last fiscal year, the municipality had raised around Rs 21 million solely from tourism in Bhaktapur. BTDC estmates that over 1,000 tourists will be in town to watch the competition for which hundreds of volunteers will be mobilised.

Tulsi Narayan Dandkhya, who is coordinating Devi Pyakhal and Maka Pyakhal dance forms in Galasi Pukkhu, welcomed the initiative taken by BSMC. “This initiative is indeed very praiseworthy as it is going to preserve our rich culture and tradition which have come under threat, ” he said.  

The competition will be evaluated in two stages - the first organised in Dattatrya temple and the second in Nasamana square. An array of cultural experts, traditional musicians, elderly people will judge various cultural competitions and select the winners. According to BSMC, it is also set to felicitate three elderly people who have made immense contribution towards promoting traditional Newari culture during the programme.  Besides that, the BSMC plans to set up an evaluating committee in various Toles (neighbourhoods) to promote the unique dance forms they boast.

Gai Jatra commemorates the death of people who have passed away within a year. Legends have it that the celebration of the festival was initiated by King Pratap Malla to console his grief- stricken queen who had recently lost her son.  The festival is celebrated all over Nepal,mainly by people of Newar community,and is marked as a public holiday.  

Published: 08-08-2014 09:28

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