The festive season in Nepal has just ended. First Dashain, then Tihar and then Chhath; the whole country observed significant exuberance in markets, buildings as well as people’s daily life. Tihar, also known as Deepawali, is the festival of lights. Symbolizing brightness and victory, Deepawali lasts for five days. The fifth day, also the last day of Deepawali is called “Bhai Tika”. On Bhai Tika, in literal translation sisters put “Tika” on their brothers’ forehead as a way of expressing gratefulness for the protection they provide to them. The Tika comprises seven colors, hence called as ‘Saptarangi Tika’ (Seven-colored Tika) in Nepali. Along with tika, sisters also offer garlands of Marigold or Chrysanthemum, sweets, dry fruits and special dishes for them. It is believed in Hinduism that Yamaraj, the God of death comes for the brothers, while the prayers of the sisters save their lives. This time we decided to celebrate Bhai Tika with our lovely students in Internship Nepal.
On BTika, there is a particular time specified as perfect for beginning the ceremony. That date is followed by everyone all around the country. This year it was announced at 11:53 A.M. So that day first we finished the family tika between Nasib and Muskan. Simultaneously, our interns were on the queue excited to receive tika for the first time. There is a general belief that brothers sit down on a porch to receive tika facing east, while sisters stand up and circle a territory by dropping oil.
So our students were seated in the same manner, while the family observed all the norms and traditions before putting tika. Then one by one, tika were put in respective foreheads along with garlands and sweets which were managed beforehand. Laughter and flashes surrounded the room. Such tremendous power is possessed by Nepalese tradition and the uniqueness of festivals; whichever part of the world you’re born in, you get to enjoy it just as much as we do here.
All in all, Tihar ended with such ecstasy that although the festival isn’t going to be here until next year, everyone was thankful they got to become a part of it. A picture here of our wonderful family does not at any cost, suggest otherwise.