Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Man Turns 86 Lets Celebrate

On the streets, there was a lot of dancing and singing among a large group of locals.  Of course, this drew my attention over.  I sat and observed what looked like a family to be engaging in ritual ceremonies and dancing.  The women are mostly wearing red saris and the men are wearing their traditional Nepalese hats. 
I speak with the young boy and they say they are celebrating the birthday of their grandfather who turned 86. In Nepal, there are celebrations once people pass eighty years old and it also involves an alignment with the moon.  They move from the store front to the street and place the 86 year old man into a chair in the back of a pick up truck.  The close family members all pack in sitting around the man and the rest of the family members follow behind the truck.  I am recording a video following along the lovely lady invites me to dance.  I put down my camera and join in engaging in my favorite dance moving THE HANDS. I love this dance-it is just like Rajasthan-same same, but with a Nepalese kick to it. 

It is super hot outside and I am carrying my main bag with my computer, which is very heavy.  I still have not showered from the crazy bus ride and I want to go in the shade.  I am ready to say good bye and the boy says, “Stay with us, we are just going to make a rounds around the lake and come back.” I decide to follow this truck along dancing and chanting“Jai” and throwing our hands up in between the music.  I team up with on beautiful lady who is full of life.  We just keep dancing around each other in circles.  Everyone is watching and complementing my dancing, which I just think I look like a fool, but I am glad they like it ha!

Each person receives a blessing from the old man(I never got his name so excuse my poor reference).  He puts the red clay like substance on their forehead and gives them a piece of banana.  People are laying scarves around his neck and the old man tears up.  He is so adorable, so thankful, so alive-so beautiful to witness. I begin to tear up just watching these real, lively interactions.  Flowers are being thrown up in the air and sparkles of some sort. The route around the town is only a 3 kilometers, but it feels like a lifetime with the heat and my heavy bag, pants, and long sleeved wear, but it was all 120 percent worth it. 

Everyone was dancing with their spirits ALIVE. The men were playing the instruments following the truck with the women dancing in between.  This Nepali culture reminded me a lot of India with the various rituals and celebration with family. This lovely family and community of friends were so welcoming to me and I felt just like a family member.  They invited me for the continued pooja and Prasad(food) after the celebration. 

As I am dancing around, a short man about 5’3 appears on a scooter wearing a vest, traditional hat, and small glasses.  I am entertained by his cute nature. He follows along in the parade and asks me where I am staying.  I tell him I am currently staying in the bookstore ha! He says, “You can stay with me and my wife.”

And this is how I met my new family of Pokhara...two people I just adore spending quality time with….

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