English Gunla Parwaa | Hamro Patro

The holy month of Gunla starts today, a traditional New Festival Gunla and its significance.

Presenting the content of the Gunla festival in your mobile companion, Hamro Patro. Here in Nepal, both the intoxication and the risk of rain are at their peak, and is the paddy planting finished?

As usual, news of landslides and floods construct major headlines with a tragic mortality rate. When the clouds rain like crazy, somewhere the stingy waters are staring ruthlessly flowing ahead with villages, hills, and dreams. Anyway, welcome to this month of the year and especially to the Gunlaparva which comes after the rainy season. During this Gunla month, the Gunla festival is celebrated exclusively in the Newa community and in some places  where the Newa community is predominant, including the Kathmandu Valley.

Talking of the Gunla festival, I would like to quote Swayambhu Mahapuran here today. Today's Kathmandu is the city that Manjushree built for his followers. Thus, the custom of chaitya service started by Manjushree in the early days of the Bagmati civilization, which started with the Swayambhu Chaitya at its center, is now known as the Gunla festival. According to the Nepal Samvat, Gunla is an important month. In the local Newa language, "la" means month, and "gun" means mountain and forest. According to Bikram Samvat, the period from Shrawan Shukla Paksha Pratipada to Bhadra Shukla Paksha Pratipada is the month of Gunla.

The celebration of this festival is found to be more spiritual and contemplative in the Buddhist families of the community. Since Lord Buddha and his followers lived in the same place without traveling during the rainy season, this festival is also considered as a confluence of rain and knowledge. Especially in the Gunla festival celebrated by the Newar community, there is a tradition of going to see Lord Swayambhu in the morning. Today, special music can be heard at the crossroads of the Kathmandu Valley, while the number of devotees visiting various monasteries, temples, and spiritual places are high.

 Bahidya: Swavanegu Newa: is a unique part of the culture where there are instruments and music first and then devotees march. Such Jhankis can be seen in abundance in the Kathmandu Valley. Dya: Thayegu is one of the special activities of today. Today, it is customary to make small stupas using raw black clay. In Kathmandu and Lalitpur, it is customary to carry a statue of Panjara, i.e. Buddha, and other saints, and khat (Chariot) representing God in the city, and to collect items such as rice, lentils from the community.

 The Buddhist way is a philosophy advocating balance where spirituality, including charity and peace, is highly valued. The statues of Dipankar Buddha and Pauva are special on this day, although Gunla is not just a one-day festival. This festival is celebrated in different ways on different dates of the lunar tithis.

 Let's draw the outlines of our daily routine in the open sky and clear clouds that come with the end of the rainy season. Good luck to all.

International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Leaving no one behind
 Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract is the theme for International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples of the year 2021.

Over 476 million indigenous peoples are living in 90 countries across the world, accounting for 6.2 percent of the global population. Indigenous peoples are the holders of a vast diversity of unique cultures, traditions, languages, and knowledge systems. They have a special relationship with their lands and hold diverse concepts of development based on their worldviews and priorities.

Indigenous people are called Adivasi in the Nepali language. 'Adi' refers to an ancient historical time, hence the people who have been living in a place for a very long time and have been cultivating the soil of that land for generations and have many original identities including arts and crafts are called AdiVasi.

 The context of this year's Adivasi diwas or the international day of the world's indigenous peoples is different due to the COVID 19 pandemic. There is another group of people who are worrying about the threat of pandemics, long before COVID: Indigenous people. They are very much connected with the natural world and traditional skills, they have long known that the degradation of the environment has the potential to unleash the disease, this also holds in the year 2021.

 Safeguarding indigenous people and their knowledge is the major issue today, their territories are home to 80% of the world's biodiversity and they teach us the balance of life and nature like no one else. The United Nations General Assembly on December 23, 1994, introduced the concept of celebrating August 9 as the International Day of Indigenous Peoples. The United Nations had earlier called for a decade from 1994 to 2004, including the Indigenous Decade for Action and Dignity.

 The UN logo for the day was designed by Bangladeshi artist Reban Dewan. The logo features two green-eared ears that surround the earth.

 With the development of human civilization and the beginning of migration, the density of immigrants has gradually increased and their identity, existence, different qualities, and customs have started to decrease.

 Indigenous peoples, who make up 5 percent of the world's population, make up 15 percent of the world's poor.

 The identity and presence of indigenous peoples from the polar regions of the earth to the South Pacific coast are declining as the later immigrant communities have been dominated by various sectors including occupation, identity, and settlement.

 Article 14 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples states that indigenous peoples have the right to establish and control educational systems and institutions appropriate to their culture, language, customs, and traditions. Various studies have clearly shown the huge disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous communities in terms of educational opportunities, development, and overall human rights facilities.

 Indigenous communities, who have been munching on nature for generations, are an ancient asset to the world, and maintaining their identity in the mainstream of development has been a major challenge for the world community. There are indigenous communities in most parts of Nepal, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural country, and they are rapidly trying to keep their identity, customs, and originality alive. Shockingly, things have not been able to continue and even the identity has been lost by changing their original surname.

 The bitter truth is that their presence in their place will be more beneficial to the world and the community than to the cities, settlements, and connected factories built by displacing and dislocating the indigenous peoples.

 A comfortable, simple, and developed society is the responsibility of all of us for the Adivasi community. Whether we are a non-Adivasi or Adivasi community, it is important to show the next generation a realistic picture of the society and a reflection of the origin of development. Happy Adivasi Day to all!

 Suyog Dhakal

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Hamro Patro - Connecting Nepali Communities
Hamro Patro is one of the first Nepali app to include Nepali Patro, launched in 2010. We started with a Nepali Calendar mobile app to help Nepalese living abroad stay in touch with Nepalese festivals and important dates in Nepali calendar year. Later on, to cater to the people who couldn’t type in Nepali using fonts like Preeti, Ganesh and even Nepali Unicode, we built nepali mobile keyboard called Hamro Nepali keyboard.