postheadericon Kuire Ko Kura: Why I love Dashain


Now that normalcy has returned to my village, and the whistle of the trash man can be heard once again, I thought it appropriate to reflect back on my newest favorite holiday – Dashain.

I just love how things shutdown, and for a few days or more, absolutely nothing normal is happening.

Now I have to admit, I don’t really understand what this holiday is all about - although from what I’ve read it’s a celebration of the slaying of demons - and I can really appreciate the thought of that.

The demons being piped into my home were temporarily slain when our Broadlink scratch-card expired, and there was no office open to restore the Internet or the steady flow of the demonic newsfeeds coming from abroad.

I could not even find the ghoulish tripe that passes for news these days in print form, as the newspapers of the capital seem to cease delivery during the festive season. For this, I am grateful.

The quiet in my neighborhood was such one could hear the clapping of two butterfly wings. Water pumps ceased that incessant whine, as no water was delivered. There were no loud twangs from that roving man that apparently fluffs one’s comforters with an instrument resembling a broken cello.

The televisions in my area even stopped pounding out Hindi numbers for a few moments, as apparently the signal from Star World was lost and there was no one left at the station to recover.

Now this is the holiday atmosphere that I remember growing up in rural America...where once upon a time during the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving or Christmas, all commerce stood still - unless it was related to food or gift-giving.

All that could be heard were family parties or church bells singing, and the play of small children in the street. The low roar of traffic was momentarily silenced, leaving only the bleating of lambs or turkeys awaiting slaughter.

Every business would close early or shut completely, leaving us, for just a short few days, to fend for ourselves. As a kid, I found this time when nothing happened absolutely magical.

But the holidays changed in America, and by the time I was a young man, the machine that sweeps all youth into it’s grown and growing cogs had ceased to slow down, even for a day. Now, a festival season in America means you move faster, as there are even more things to do then normal.

This is why I love Dashain. Perhaps the demons slain are the one’s in our own heads, driving us like mad forward and faster each year, furiously driving at what I have no clue. But watching a pot with some seedlings growing is something I recommend that all my western brethren do...if not once a year, perhaps twice.

It’s our mad dash to nowhere that becomes more noticeable when everyone stops in unison.

I feel for folks back in the old country, obsessed with the death of Michael Jackson, plagued by Blackberry outages, and with some now plotting wars with China and Iran. Who will be the next President, who will be the next laid off, who will occupy Wall Street and who will not...all obsessions that run and ruin so many lives.

Whereas back here in the village, after such a nice Dashain break, we have another short break coming up: Tihar! Again, I don’t expect fresh bread in the market, or anything services-related to work, but that’s just fine...it will be one more opportunity to listen to butterfly wings clapping before that hellish roar resumes again.

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Jiggy Gaton
lives in Kathmandu and is an aging technologist - has been since the days of Woodstock - so in the words of Roland The Gunslinger "he is from a world now gone by." However, Jigs is extremely up-to-date on all things tech and is also available for hire.
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