A report on “10th Annual Mha Puja and Nhu Da (New Year Nepal Sambat) 1135 Celebration”

On 24 October 2014, Friday, Canadian Newa Guthi (CNG) celebrated its 10th annual “Mha Puja” and “Nepal Sambat New Year 1135” with different programs at Brampton Tower, Brampton. The “Mha Puja” program has been organized continuously by CNG for last ten years. The program was started by performing the Ganesh Puja and welcome address by CNG President Mr. Prakash Lal Pradhan. Mr. Pradhan also expressed the “Nhu Da Ya Bhintuna” (wish Happy New Year) to all on the eve of Nepal Sambat 1135. Nepal Sambat was started by a businessman Mr. Shankhadhar Shakhwa in 879 AD by clearing all the debts of the people of the Nepalese citizen when Nepal was ruled by king Raghav Dev. Mr. Uttam Makaju, Vice President of the CNG, spoke about the importance of Mha Puja and its procedures prior to start of the Puja. Mha Puja (worshiping own body), a unique Newari culture, is being performed within the family every year on the fourth day of “Yama Pancha” of Tihar festival. The puja is conducted for the peace of soul and good health for forth coming years. In order to continue this unique tradition and showcase Newari culture in Canada, CNG organized this 10th Mha Puja program 2014 to make people experience Newari culture in Canada too.

The puja was performed by Bageswori Shrestha, Riddhi Pradhan, Sabina Shrestha, Aruna Pradhan , Suman Rajkarnikar, Anita Shrestha, Sumitra Shrestha, Indira Shrestha, Asmita Awal and Anu Shrestha to all the participants (95) followed by Sagun with “Khen” (egg), “Oo” (Bara), “La” (Meat), “Nya” (Fish) and “Dhau” (Yogurt) symbolizing good health, happiness and prosperity. In addition, a plate of fruits, Masala (dry nuts and candy) and sweets were also offered to the participants of the puja. “Jajanka” a white round of cotton threads of many rounds forming a circle of many rounds with a small peace of red clothe, a connotation of creation, maintenance and completeness of the life, were also worn on the neck by the participants in the Puja. The Mha Puja and New Year Nepal Sambat 1135 program was made more enjoyable by the performances of Mrs. Indira Shrestha with Newari Jyapuni dance, Mr. Uttam Makaju with Newari and Nepali songs, Mr. Surendra Lal Shrestha with Newari Jyapu Baja “Dhime”, songs by Mr. Gobinda Ghimery and Mr. Rikesh Shrestha in the cultural program. In the meantime, CNG president Mr. Prakash Lal Pradhan distributed the Life Membership Certificate to Mr. Anil Bajracharya and Mrs. Sabitri Bajracharya, Mr. Vishal Burathoki and Mrs. Najuma Manandhar Burathoki, Mr. Jimmy Ghimery and Mrs. Purna Sristiy Ghimery, Mr. Bikram Manandhar and Mrs. Jimala Manandhar, and Mr. Shiva Gopal Shrestha and Mrs. Situ Shrestha. Dr. Tom O’Neil, Associate Professor at Brock University, shed light on the joint study program to be conducted by Brock University and CNG regarding the status of social, financial and health patterns among Nepalese living within Greater Toronto Area. Mr. Sajis Shrestha and Mrs. Niva Shrestha , a newcomer couple, expressed their happiness being able to experience Newa culture in Canada. They also thanked Canadian Newa Guthi for organizing Mha Puja. Last but not the least, General Secretary of the CNG, Mr. Bimal Man Shrestha delivered a vote of thanks to all the participants and also to all those who have prepared the delicious Sagun and foods. According to the comments of participants including non-Newar participants, the program went well and felt proud to be a part of the Mha puja celebration. To make this program a grand success, many hands had extended their support. So, CNG would like to express sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who have engaged voluntarily to prepare the “Sagun” and “Roti” by ”Guthiyar” (members) family; mainly Riddhi Pradhan (Bara), Santi Makaju, Sumitra Shrestha (Khe and Nyaa),Sabina Shrestha (Masala), Neelam Shrestha (Meat), Aruna Pradhan (Choumin), Kiran and Asmita ( Sel Roti) and Naresh and Mousami Tamrakar (Sweets ). CNG further mentions that without their kind and humble support, it would not be possible to organize such puja every year since its inception in 2005

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