Necessary human needs felt during the Dashain Festival; Beeing acknowledged, welcomed, seen and appreciated

‘Tika’; worn in the forehead, a gesture of welcoming us and acknowledging us as human beings and a ritual of blessing. All humans can experience change and adapting into something new to be a challenging time. We need to use our self-regulation, to cope with the change. While we all are living our lives we adapt into new situations continuously, but when something is over and a new chapter begins; people self-regulate by reflecting and recalculating. By living in Nepal we experience new things every day. Now when Dashain Festival is over it is time to summarize and reflect on our cultural experiences. What we have seen, and what we have felt.

Houses have been opened and we have been welcomed with receiving Tika

During the Dashain Festival and on other occasions we experienced getting ‘Tika’ in our forehead. Once again everyday life around us comes back to its liveliness as families are travelling back to where they live to return to school and work. With the ending of Dashain Festival we are left with the feeling of being acknowledged and being taken care of.

During Dashain festival we have been invited to people`s houses and included in participation of traditional rituals. One of these rituals is being welcomed by the eldest persons in the house with Tika in our foreheads. The Tika looks like a paste consisting of a mixture of red colour, rice and yogurt. The Tika has been combined with plenty of food. It has been a positive experience when people in our everyday lives in Damauli happily have included us and showed us their cultural way of celebrating Nepali Christmas. The inclusion we have felt have been of genuine nature. In such a way that we have felt appreciated as human beings with a focus on what we as human beings have in common. We do hope that foreigners coming to Norway also will be met with such inclusion in Norwegian traditions as we have here in Nepal. It is inspirational.

Let`s go more into depth about the Tika
- The 10th day of Dashain Festival: Elders give ‘Tika’ to younger

This day is called, “Bijaya Dashami”, and it is the day when elders put ‘Tika’ on younger relatives to bless them. For the Hindu it is usually in red but can also consist different colours and decorations. The size can be from a size of a little finger nail to a coffee cup plate. Earlier we have seen that the Tika is worn on a daily basis and also that it is worn in special occasions such as birthdays, celebrations and visiting holy places such as Temples. When given to guest and foreigners it is see as a welcome expression. Where they welcome you to a place and acknowledge you and see you with the greeting “Namaste” and then giving you the Tika. By wearing the Tika you are showing that you are honouring the Gods and it symbolise good luck and celebration.

So, by reflecting and by writing about our feeling from the cultural experience of Dashain Festival; we are now ready for the new challenges. Stay tuned for next update. Follow us on Facebook: Ola Ungdomsdelegat and Kathrine Ungdomsdelegat.