November 5, the Australian Nepalese Journalists Association (ANJA), presented the online philanthropic Deusi and Bhailo greeting program 2021 with Nepal based reputed cultural group team Indreni to celebrate Tihar, the second biggest festival of the Hindus. It was marked by fully entertaining and culturally meaningful Live Lok Dohari, music and dance.
ANJA vice president Neeru Tripathi coordinated the event chaired by ANJA President Rishi Acharya. It was held amidst the lively and encouraging atmosphere attended by the distinguished guests and participants. ANJA Secretary Saral Gurung set the tone of the program impressively. He said, “While the world including Australia is poised on the brink of winning the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, Nepalese diaspora in Australia has made an effort to connect the Nepaliness with the homeland by presenting the cultural entertainment and ritualistic dancing and singing performance at the time when we are celebrating our very important festival that symbolizes the victory of light over darkness or truth over falsehood. Though we want to celebrate it by visiting the courtyard of the dignitaries, community leaders and members, we are not able to celebrate it in real situations. But technology has brought us together to play online Deusi Bhailo. The extremely popular Nepal- based cultural group Indreni led by Mr. Krishna Kandel, and his team is going to assist us culturally and is going to make our program exclusively important. I on behalf of ANJA would like to thank all for their gracious presence and enthusiastic participation amidst their busy schedules. In addition to connecting to Nepal through art, culture and festivals, this fund-raising campaign aims to assist the Nepalese language journalists.”
Ms. Durapada Sapkota, the Acting Nepalese Ambassador to Australia as a representative of the embassy remarked, “I’d like to express my gratitude to ANJA for organizing the significant and encouraging program, and extend Shubha Deepawali, Nepal Sambat New Year 1142 and Mha Puja to all. It feels much happy to adjust ourselves virtually and celebrate the festival on our gadgets. We are also happy to tell you that we have already deposited some amount from the Embassy’s side. In these abnormal situations too, ANJA has worked in an extraordinary way. The ANJA journalists since its establishment and even before that have not only transmitted the true and factual information to the public but also delivered new things by independently and proactively digging out the truth. We consider that our collaboration with ANJA has so far been very successful and in the future too we would keep on collaborating with ANJA and this collaboration should be continued.”
Deepak Khadka, Honorary Consul-General of Nepal in New South Wales, remarked, “I would like to thank ANJA for putting in such a wonderful program together. This is not only the preservation of our culture but its promotion across the world. In the future through the zoom we should invite some overseas friends which will play a big role to promote our tourism. It feels great to see the glorious morning. Through our experience, we can contribute more in the future. The Australian political leaders are under the impression that Tihar is exclusively celebrated by the Indians. We must make efforts to make them change this mindset and convince them that it is the great festival of all believers in Hinduism which was originated in Nepal. We must work hard to establish our proud identity. ANJA deserves thanks for taking the initiative to lay the foundation stone towards this direction. As the old saying goes – Little drops of water make a mighty ocean, little Dakshina (ritual donation) will help the needy and hardworking journalists who have served the community keeping their lives at risk.”
Chandra Yonjan, the Honorary Consul-General of Nepal in Victoria received the Deusi-Bhailo team in his courtyard and shared, “Our proud cultural program like Deusi-Bhailo plays a vital role in preserving and promoting our culture in overseas too. I would like to extend best wishes to ANJA for the great success of this program organized to help the working journalists. I also would like to wish all Nepalese living across the world for their peace, happiness, and prosperity.”
Honorary Consul-General of Nepal to South Australia, Deepak Dhamala said, “I am proud to recall that I joined the first conference of ANJA held in Adelaide as a guest. This program promotes Deewali and tourism and we should promote this festival as Deepawali not as Deewali. Dashain and Tihar are celebrated in the Parliament of South Australia. I am very happy that ANJA invited Indreni which is my favorite cultural group. I am its huge fan as the team have been conveying mainly patriotic messages through their cultural program. I am curious to see them in our courtyards in the virtual platform.”
Ms. Niru Tripathi, the ANJA Vice President said in her welcome speech, “On behalf of team ANJA I would like to thankfully welcome to all the participants and the entire team of Indreni and all the participants representing various organizations. To continue the proud Nepalese art and culture in overseas and to promote fraternity and social goodwill in collaboration with the reputed team Indreni, we are giving priority to the chanting of Deusi-Bhailo and including the Nepalese folk songs and dances. We are coming to your courtyards to celebrate the online Deusi-Bhailo event. We are unable to visit you physically due to still active COVID-19 threat. So, we are celebrating it through zoom and thank you for accepting us or welcoming us and also joining our event to cooperate substantially to uplift Nepalese art and culture and help a noble cause.”
She added, “We are committed to using the collected money in the welfare and rights of the Journalists who have been serving through the Nepalese language. Through the collected money, we would like to use it for the professional development of Nepalese journalists and help them. Through this virtual platform, I would like to request all of you to setting aside our other work commitments, we are making efforts to connect the Nepalese community through Nepalese journalism and we have good reasons to believe that you have considered it admirable. If so, we have appealed to you to join us in this mega campaign through donations which will be used to help the Nepalese journalists across the world who have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The help will relieve their suffering and it will be a great contribution to Nepalese journalism. If we strengthen the fourth estate of the nation, we can make our country prosperous as we have dreamt of.”
The pioneering two distinguished personalities of Nepalese community Indra Ban and Dr. Narayan Pradhan also graced the event. Indra Ban put, “Thanks ANJA, Tihar festival was introduced before 15 in NSW parliament house by subcontinent and I represented Nepalese community in the capacity of the then NAA President. The politicians in Australia acknowledge that the festival of colour and light belongs to Nepalese too. It is our pride to see it growing bigger. ANJA deserves thanks that It has arranged a platform for the multicultural society’s one prominent festival.”
“In addition to connecting to Nepal through art, culture and festivals, this fund-raising campaign aims to assist the Nepalese language journalists”
The senior community leader Dr. Narayan Pradhan said, “May Goddess Laxmi fulfill the organizer’s goal. I would like to congratulate the team ANJA on organizing the commendable program, first of its kind. It reminds me of the time that of 16 years ago when I had an opportunity to receive a Deusi-Bhailo group led by Bhimsen Sapkota aka Acharya Rajan Sharma. Now its size and intensity are growing, and it is heartening to see many community organisations and members coming together to celebrate this great festival and promote our cultural activities.”
Bhimsen Sapkota, the admired litterateur and motivational speaker was assigned the vital duty of leading the chorus as the lead chanter. He recited a patriotic lyric in couplets. In his tunefully entertaining note he reflected, “As flowers are tied together on a cord to make a garland, the garland is created with the layering of flowers, the love for nepaliness joins us in a string. We have united voice and feeling. The love of the native country exists with the love for native soil.”
Nanda Gurung, NRNA Australia President shared, “Regarding the aforesaid issue I stick to Deepawali as it comes from Nepalese vernacular. We must take initiative to make the Australian government officials or politicians use the word Deepawali while they are addressing Nepalese community. As the representative of NRNA, Australia, I would like to say that ANJA deserves thanks for preserving and promoting Nepalese culture. We should work together to frame the issues and achieve our common goal. Though journalism, regarded as Fourth Estate, is much dignified, it is not rewarding. If ANJA is financially strong, the journalists can establish quality journalism and improve on investigative journalism to reveal truth and facts. It is our common responsibility to improve the standard of journalism and support those who have put themselves in danger and need financial help.”
Dr. Bharat Poudel the ANJA advisor and the senior journalist shared, “As our second generation is about to take over our generation in the foreign soil, for the first-time many Nepalese are virtually celebrating Deepawali in different parts of the world. Team ANJA has made a worthwhile effort to work collaboratively with the renowned philanthropic cultural group led by Krishna Kandel to make the program more effective. This is the second project of ANJA to assist the family of the journos. If we can help those journalists who have suffered because of confrontation or clash or are facing crisis, that would be a satisfying endeavor for the future of journalism in Australia. It would be reciprocal and complimentary too. I am happy to donate from my side too.”
NepaleseAustralian Association (NAA) President the renowned community worker, Dr. Madhu Pudasaini said, “I would like to pay tribute to Mahakavi Devkota who was born on this auspicious day. ANJA deserves thanks for the commendable work. Our one prominent aim is to make the second generation aware of the tradition and culture of our homeland and acquaint them with our proud cultural values and this program fulfills this very aim. We must teach our children the importance of Deusi and Bhailo, how they were originated and what are the purposes of celebrating them. I have noted specifically that in the message of the Prime Minister of Australia Hon. Scott Morrison, there is a word Deepawali.”
Dr. Shamser Singh Thapa, ANJA advisor and the distinguished lawyer said, “I would like to wish all the festive joy and success of the event. The second-generation Nepalese should enjoy the benefit of this event most. So, we should visually record this event marked by the unique cultural heritage of our homeland and show to them so that they would appreciate the essence of our glorious tradition.”
Jog Limbu, the senior community leader and FeeNCA vice-president said, “I would like to extend my best wishes to all. May the deities fulfil everyone’s wishes on this great festival.”
Krishna Kandel the leader of Kathmandu based Indreni Sanskriti Pariwar said, “On behalf of our team I would like to extend best wishes to all participants and viewers from Australia and in overseas and thank ANJA for bringing all Nepalese in Australia together through the inspiring and purposeful program and making us express our support for unity and solidarity. We are planning to make a common cultural house which will bind all Nepalese together to preserve and promote our culture beyond the national border too.”
The team which has been performing culturally for 12 years played virtual Deusi-Bhailo at the courtyard of Deepak Khadka, Chandra Yonjan, Deepak Dhamala, Nanda Gurung, Hemanta Kafle, the founding President of ANJA.
Rishi Acharya, ANJA president and renowned community volunteer concluded the event with a remark, “I personally and on behalf of ANJA would like to thank all for joining the program at a short notice setting aside some important festive moments. We are truly thankful indeed to all who have created this wonderful opportunity to celebrate our very original festival in overseas in everyone’s room even in the adverse circumstance caused by COVID-19. We are blessed in that we have been able to collaborate with the exceptionally reputed Indreni Sanskritik Pariwar which has remarkably campaigned to give a proud facelift to our art and culture through practical philanthropy. Hats off to the leader Krishnajee and the incredible team. I would like to thank ANJA vice president Neeru Tripathi who coordinated the event contacting the team Indreni in Nepal and playing the leading role of giving physical shape to this program, first of its kind. The team of ANJA general secretary Chiranjive Devkota, secretary Saral Gurung, treasurer Krishna Tiwari and EC member Prakash Humagain coordinated excellently which proved to be the key for the overall success of this event.”
He further said, “With the limited time for preparation, we managed to succeed in our aim. We are indebted to the unforgettable contributions of team Indreni led by Krishna Kandel which has been undertaking outstanding charity works through Nepalese folk music and cultural shows. ANJA and Indreni have got each other’s company. We believe that this campaign will make some arrangements for the Nepalese journalists who have suffered in this adverse circumstance and we have set the ball rolling with this event. We are boundlessly thankful to the donors Deepak Khadka, Chandra Yonjan, Deepak Dhamala, Indra Ban, Dr. Madhu Pudasaini, Bishnu Hamal, Tonnou Ghotane, Nanda Gurung, Shambhu Kandel, Surendra Regmi, Surendra Regmi, Nanda Gurung. Your donation will contribute immensely to enable us to fulfill our common aim. We would like to thank the Embassy of Nepal to Australia and the consulate general offices in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, the leading community members, those people and entrepreneurs who love journalism. is said that Kartikeya dan (Donation offered in Kartik) should be done which is very meaningful and it will grow a thousand more folds. We also fulfilled our another important aim of sharing festive greetings such as Deepawali, Nhu Dan ya Bhintuna, Nepal Sambat 1142 and Chhath with the Nepalese community through this event. Hopefully next year we will be able to come to your houses and celebrate it face to face. We will soon be in contact with team Indreni to talk about this fund-raising campaign and proceeding to advance this charity money.”
Also present on the occasion were the community campaigners, Lisa Khadka, Nirajan Gauli, Bishnu Hamal, Punam Pant, Ramesh Pandey, Dikpal Dave Pangeni, Khagendra Satyal, Takdir Adhikari, Choleswar Tiwari, Kamal Silwal and Raju Manandhar.