April 16, 2014

Naya Barsa Ko Hardik Mangalmaya Shubhakamana!

That's Nepali for "New Year Auspicious Best Wishes!"

This past Sunday marked the start of year 2071 in Nepal. It was also New Year's Day in Bangladesh and other Southeast Asian countries. Many countries celebrate the new year in March or April, coinciding with the beginning of spring. Jews and others celebrate the new year during fall harvest time. We picked the cold, dark beginning of January, when the weather is usually miserable.

Sunday here in Washington was the nicest day we've had this year, and well worth celebrating. So was Saturday, Nepali New Year's Eve. My housemates Nimesh and Bhawana were featured performers at a celebration Saturday night attended by hundreds of local Nepalis. They sang the Nepal national anthem to start the festivities, and later sang this lovely song:

Here are the star performers, close up:

My own years of late-night partying are over, so I didn't attend the celebration. Truth be told, I never cared much for ringing in the new year. But I really enjoyed the many New Year's Eve dinners at my pal Steve's house. After we devoured his gourmet offerings, it was understood we'd all depart long before the midnight nonsense.

My Nepali New Year's Eve at home had a very nice Nepal touch, since my friends Puru and Sara stopped by with their two girls . . . to recover from battling the mobs on the last day of the Cherry Blossom Festival downtown. Their daughters are terrific and smart young ladies who -- like all the young Nepalis I know -- will make terrific contributions to our country.

Last night, Nimesh helped transfer the video (above) from his Facebook page to my blog. This afternoon after work, Bhawana will drive me around on errands. If you would like to be similarly blessed in your old age, here's my step-by-step guide.

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