Dashain is the grandest of all of Nepal’s festival. The festive mood pervades not only in the cities of the Kathmandu valley but also in the far off towns and villages. This festival also marks the end of rainy season and beginning of winter – the pleasant season of the year. Vijaya Dashami is a national festival so it is celebrated all over the country with equal enthusiasm and reverence.
Nepal is the only country in the world and has tradition of religious tolerance, which is truly amazing. So, in Dashain people worship mother Goddess considering her as subtlest force to eradicate evils and to arrive at truth and brotherhood.
Dashain is knocking on the doors of every Nepalese people. It is the one and only time when even a poor man shares his melancholy smile with his family, friends and neighbors. As the Dashain festival begins, the crowd at stores and stalls are apparently dense. Most of the shops and department stores are ready to lure consumers. Different schemes are introduced to increase the sales volume and hoping to get brisk sales. Different trade fairs are going to organize to give customers a unique short-term opportunity to make up for those lost times. But even after the restoration of people’s democracy, we even feel insecure as the government seems incapable to halt disgraceful situation in the country and it is sure to deprive the people of all the zest of the festivity somewhat. As it is, the hazy economy has spread a pall of depression over the whole nation. The disturbing situation generated by different loots and louts has further aggravated the miseries of the people.
The palpable sense of anxiety made by the events in the country over the last couple of years had forced us to reconsider whether to spend the saving amounts. But, comparing to the previous years, this time Dashain seems somewhat relaxed as we have dealt some political issues but even intertwined on main political issue. So, if we fail to unfold the main political issue before festival, we cannot predict what will be the situation thereafter. So, people have been feeling somewhat relaxed now but no one knows how long does it remain. On one hand, people have festive mood now and on other hand, they have anxiety over the situation happening after festival. The situation might be even more comfortable but it depends upon the political adjustment.
Now, the situation is even confusing. So, the peak of the country’s marketing season, Dashain would seem to be even tightening. But, Dashain is the biggest festival itself and marked as a time to eat good food and wear new cloths. It is observed throughout the country with emphatic enthusiasm. Goat meat and sweets are a most. Wearing new attire is the other important tradition. Even economically deprived people go for loans to buy new goods for the festival. It is the sense of festivity among Nepalese society. So, the consumers might not stop from spending on items like foodstuffs and cloths, which are the benchmark of Dashain festival.
This time it is obvious that the consumers are even not ready to make big decisions on buying. There will be a marked change in consumer behavior. From the bonus salaries, earlier people used to buy the fixed items like, TV, Refrigerator etc., but this time the scenario might be changed with essentials items only.
In previous year Dashain transactions were so poor due to heartrending situation of the country. The situation has been changed now but developed in another forms of disturbances. So, this time also, the mixed-up (Festivity and Anxiety) mood of the people will hamper the whole economic system. People are feeling very bad with the mysterious attitudes of both the Government and the Maoists. Because of the escalating mistrust between Government and the Maoists, the Nepali people are feeling a sense of a fresh blow in the form of another mayhem situation. But still the businessmen are hopeful that this year Dashain would be highly successful as Nepalese are not unfamiliar with such happenings and even the situation is far better than the previous years. That is why it will also be unfair to judge the present circumstances as being the defining moment. Thus, the businessmen are now hoping to welcome consumers to their shops on the eve of Dashain festival.
Dashain is indeed the festival meant to worship Durga in her various forms and manifestations. Durga, the mother of Goddess is called Shakti, which symbolizes dynamic divine energy. So, Shakti occupies a very special reverence in Hindu pantheon as destroy of evils. Legend of the festival has it that lord Rama, obtained a victory over Ravana, demon king of Lanka who was the embodiment of all evils. Lord Rama, the epic hero of Hindu epic Ramayana is worshipped as the incarnation of lord Vishnu, the second god, the preserver and as the protector of human virtues. His victory over Ravana is thus considered as victory over vices and sins and as such Dashain is celebrated as the day of victory.
This tradition of Dashain is observed all over the country. However, as with most other practices, this also has lost interest among the younger generation. Fewer young people are aware of the main essence of Dashain, which is also about getting together with the loved ones. The reason might be the declining number of joint families and the growing sense of individualism among us in the modern society. The festive season is noticed by the number of kites in the Dashain sky but now it is not as many as it used to be. It’s declining like anything and surely we blame TV or the collective lack of interest in anything old.
For most of the people the aspect of Dashain is still only the excitement and enthusiasm may be wearing new attire and buying household stuffs. Besides that they do not go for the essence of Dashain. So, now Dashain has just been limited to a time of eating good food and wearing new cloths.
Even now, we have been suffering from different fears. The peace and tranquility is even seemed hesitant. If the government becomes unsuccessful to stop felony and other loots and to permit the citizen to enjoy Dashain with full enthusiasm and admiration with Dashain flavor, the concern one will not only be perpetrating big injustice but also distancing themselves from the sympathy of the citizen. If the government fails to bring Maoists on peaceful settlement, then it cannot give any justification to stay in power. As such, we do trust they will pluck some courage and behave like real administrator and provide peace and security to the people so that people will be able to celebrate Dashain in a normal atmosphere.
Keeping up with the tradition of our own, I extend hearty greetings and best wishes to all the countrymen on the auspicious occasion of Vijaya Dashami.
May Durga Bhawani Bless Us All!