Association for Rural Development
Quality Education and Livelihood Support Programme
Date: 26th August 2022
Field: Bethanchok RM, Ward 2, 3 and 5
Name: Sajana Acharya
Designation: Gender and Child Development Officer
Event Title: Cultural Program and Exchange of Greetings on the Occasion of Teej
Haritalika Teej, which was traditionally only celebrated by Nepali Hindu women, is now cheerfully observed by all Nepalis. From Bhadra Shukla Ditiya to Panchami, there are four days devoted to this festival. On Teej, Lord Shiva is worshipped accompanied by dance and entertainment. Nepali women of various religions and castes have recently started to join in on the joyous celebration of Teej, which used to be observed freely and joyfully by only Nepali Hindu women. The majority of Nepal celebrates this event, although it is also observed in some regions of India.
A long time ago, according to Hindu Mythology, the king of the Himalayas had a lovely daughter named Parvati. Parvati was exceptionally bright and had a strong admiration for Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and creation. But the king took the decision to wed Parvati to the wealthy Vishnu. Parvati was able to leave the house and hide in the dense forest. She subsequently started living a hermitic lifestyle. Shiva was astonished to hear this and made the decision to verify her genuineness. In an effort to entice Parvati to marry him, he pretended to be the wealthy Vishnu and rode in a luxurious chariot to meet her. Parvati, however, remained undisturbed. Her tenacity so impressed Shiva that he revealed himself. Parvati married Shiva, on Bhadra Shukla Tritiya, fulfilling her desire at last. This is where the Teej Festival got its start.
This festival seems to represent communal cohesion, forgiveness, many social anomalies, and women’s social rights. It appears that Goddess Parvati also contributed to the establishment of women’s natural birthright to select a good husband through acts of penance, satyagraha, and nonviolent social protest. In this regard, Mata Parvati can be considered the first woman to advocate for the freedom and rights of women. Through this festival, cultural traditions, songs, music, and costumes have been conserved and promoted. Currently, Nepalis dispersed over the globe are considering Teej to preserve cultural identity.
On the 10th of Bhadra, on the premises of the Kshetrapal Mahankalsthan Temple in Mahankal (Bethanchok-3), greetings of Teej were exchanged, and a number of cultural activities were completed under AEIN, Luxembourg’s financial aid, and collaboration of the Association for Rural Development and Bethanchok Rural Municipality.
Objective of Event
To preserve the social independence of women through the Teej festival, bringing forth the hidden potential of women, combating the recent misappropriation of Teej, and creating culture.
Under the chief hospitality as a guest of Bhagwan Adhikari, Chairperson of Bethanchok Rural Municipality, the Teej greeting exchange and cultural event done with collaboration between the Association for Rural Development and Bethanchok RM-3 were accomplished. For the exchange of Teej greetings and many cultural activities, renowned singers from Nepal were invited as guests. They portrayed the issues and hardships faced by women while also spreading the idea of women empowerment via song.
Sita Thoker, a member of the Rural Women Vegetable and Fruit Cooperative Society Ltd., coordinated the exchanging of Teej greetings and different cultural events. Mansingh Khadka and Rojina Pariyar, folk dohori singers, performed songs as special guests on the program. As Teej is a celebration that celebrates women’s liberation, singer Rojina Pariyar wished everyone who was present a happy Teej and encouraged the women to put their problems and pains behind them so they may dance and sing with confidence. According to her, women need to be financially independent and vocal about injustice if they want to be empowered. In songs, singers Rojina Pariyar and Mansingh Khadka addressed the difficulties, hardships, and sorrows endured by women in society. They also offered entertainment by singing Teej songs.
Bhagwan Adhikari, Chairperson of Bethanchok Rural Municipality, who was present as the chief guest of the program, wished everyone a Happy Teej and appealed to the common women to celebrate Teej in a civilized and grand manner, not to develop it as distortion, but to preserve the culture. Another event guest and deputy chairwoman of the Bethanchok Rural Municipality, Tara Rana, congratulated all the women present on the Teej celebration program. Recently, Tamang, Magar, Dalit, and other women and men of other castes have joined Hindu women in celebrating Teej, renowned as the main festival of Hindu women. She stated that it is essential to view it as a festival for the common Nepalese citizen due to this fact. She said that in the past, women were limited to their homes and that once a year, at this festival, they would leave their homes to dance, enjoy themselves, return home, and sing about the injustices, pains, and sufferings they had experienced through songs that were related to women’s independence. And as a result, she said, women, today have achieved independence. She added that since women have brought about a number of distortions in the name of Teej, the festival should be observed as a positive celebration of women’s independence rather than in a demeaning manner and should be linked to women’s empowerment.
The women present in the program presented a single song and also sang a double. The program was attended by more than 500 women and men and was attended by Bimala Adhikari, President of Rural Women Vegetables and Fruits Cooperative Society Ltd., Bethanchok Rural Municipality employees, ward chairpersons, etc.
- The program was jointly authorized by Bethanchok Rural Municipality Ward Number 3 and the Association for Rural Development.
- Sita Thokar, a member of the Rural Women’s Vegetable and Fruit Cooperative Society Ltd. Share, led the program. Women’s leadership growth and empowerment grew as a result of her participation.
- The program has contributed to promoting and preserving Nepali traditions including Dashain, Tihar, and Teej.
Challenges and Learnings
- Although the program was scheduled to begin at eleven o’clock, it didn’t begin until after one. It has been discovered that going forward, the time should only be chosen based on knowing when the participants can be present.
A number of cultural events and the Teej greeting exchange have been successfully completed in Bethanchok Rural Municipality Ward No. 3 in partnership with the Association for Rural Development. Ward No. 3 provided kheer and vegetables as part of the program’s meal (dar), which was served to the participants. Such a cultural implementation plan appears to be very important in protecting Nepali festivals and conveying the idea that culture should be preserved rather than being disseminated falsely.
- Details of Participation in the Program
|S.N.||Group Meeting Date||Address||Meeting Content||Participation Details|
|1.||09/12/2022||Bethanchok-3, Dhunkharka||Teej program (Bethanchowk)||48||217||265||4||55||206|
- Details of the participants present in the program
|S.N.||Full Name||Org/Address||Designation||Contact Number|
|1||Kuber Dhakal||Bethanchok RM-3||Ward Chairperson||9841691517|
|2||Bhagwan Adhikari||Bethanchok RM||Chairperson|
|3||Tara Rana Timalsina||Bethanchok RM||Deputy Chairperson||9841532572|
|4||Prem Bahadur Timalsina||Bethanchok RM||Former Chairperson|
|5||Rajendra Bhandari||Bethanchok RM||Cheif Administrative Officer|
|6||Dil Bahadur Shrestha||Bethanchok RM-3||Former Ward Chairperson|
|9||Shreeram Phuyal||Police Station Dhunkharka||Assistant Sub Inspector of Police|
|10||Samjhana Shrestha||Bethanchok RM||Employment Coordinator|
|11||Sitaram Timalsina||Bethanchok RM||Health Department|
|12||Sujata Acharya||Bethanchok RM||Head of Women and Children Department|
|13||Sunita B.K.||Bethanchok RM 3||Ward Member|
|14||Charimaya Tamang||Bethanchok RM 3||Ward Member|
|15||Rita KC||Bethanchok RM 2||Ward Member|
|16||Ambika Kharel||Bethanchok RM||Small Enterprise Facilitator|
|17||Anu Karki||Bethanchok RM 2||Cooperative Member|
|18||Bimala Sapkota||Bethanchok 2||President of Rural Women Cooperatives|
|19||Bimala Gole||Bethanchok 5||Executive Member|
|20||Parbati Sapkota||Bethanchok 5||Cooperative Member|
|21||Radhika Ghimire||Bethanchok 3||Vice President of Cooperative|
|24||Rajkumar Shrestha||Bethanchok 3||Ward Member|
|25||Pavitra Shrestha||Bethanchok 3||Office Helper|
|26||Shubhadra Timalsina||Bethanchok 3||Woman|
|27||Bhakta Kumari Timalsina||Bethanchok 3||Woman|
|28||Sita Timalsina||Bethanchok 3||Woman|
|29||Ambika Timalsina||Bethanchok 3||Woman|
|30||Sharada Timalsina||Bethanchok 3||Woman|
- Pictures from the event