Written by Andrea and Valeria, AWASUKA volunteers:
We started this week celebrating Tihar, a celebration that lasts only a week not like Dashain, the former religious festival we held for 15 days.
Every day was different from Tihar, the first day is the KAG Tihar where crows are worshiped and blessed by people leaving food outside the home for them. All this because it is said they bring luck!
The second day Kukur Tihar, dedicated to the most loyal friend, the dog; they put red ticas and garlands made of flowers around his neck. They do this because they say that dogs can see the danger coming and death.
The Gai (cow) and Laxmi Puja Puja is the day for the cows, they are blessed in the morning.
People paint traces in their houses in the main entrance simulating the entrance of the goddess Lakshmi, who brings happiness and luck money.
On the fourth day Goru Tihar and Mah Bid the attention will outweigh the cow dung, very important in Indian culture and the daily lives of residents who use it to everything from the finished floor , lights up the kitchens.
All the houses are decorated with a beautiful mandalas, candles and colored lights, we had a Christmas in advance. Another tradition is that at night many young children go from house to house singing the song of gods, very similar to Bhailo the singing girls, although nowadays everyone in group singing and dancing to borrow money and sweets.
The last day, Bhai Tika, sisters put a tica of seven colours to his brothers to wish them a long life and prosperity are also offering food and nuts, they give them money in return.
This is how we celebrated this week in Tihar, making Yama Raj happy, because he judges our vices and virtues after our death, and his soul will treat accordingly.
Among middle of so much celebration we had time to continue working, Thursday we made another trip to Hetauda to buy more plastic for the ground and thus end up covering the entire surface of the office, an A4 printer to work with amendments we do the plans for the new prototypes and technical communities work with agility.
We’ve been twice in Jyamire Suping, where we have found more candidates to join our program AWASUKA. Here people help without expecting anything in return, thanks to a guy we met crossing one of the bridges to get Suping, we could understand many of the families affected by the earthquake, since many do not speak a word of English; but with gestures and smiles we understand without speaking the same language.
So far we have visited the houses that need to be rebuilt are made of stone and mud, most of the materials needed to rebuild the house already have: they reuse of the old stone house and a lot of wood of the house in ruins, another point in our favor is that many families have already bought new “Jasta” (plates) with which they have created their own emergency shelters, they sometimes brought the plates on foot through impossible roads. Monica helps us to recognize the pathologies they identified in the journey that many houses had suffered. With her we continue working!
Suvha Ratri! (good night)