Yala Mahotsav 2008 - Festival With Motive

Venue: Lalitpur (Yala)

Date: Sep 2008 

Organizer:Samaj

 With the grand opening, “Yala Festival” which came along the months of plan and preparation, is broadening its way to number of visitors. As soon as you enter the Patatn Dubar Square you can see the picturesque gate standing tall inviting people to observe and to enjoy the vault of treasure of fine art, crafts, performances, exhibitions, fine cousins and live demonstrations in a minute of walk from there.

About 300,000 people were expected to visit the festival. Meeting the need and space for everyone to have an eye on everything on display and having a taste of things as per their preferences was not an easy task to accomplish. But it would not be wrong to say that the Mahotsab was well organized and little marching back and forth as you walk, saying sorry each time you step on someone’s shoe, and holding on hands to stick in group, eating form same dolcha  are some fun stuff that comes along with free entrance. The royal palace stands at the centre of the square, marked by the intersection of north-south, east-west connecting streets, is the place where the vividness of this festival can be seen expanded to other nooks of Patan too. The participation of the people and the composition of ancient affluent history is the uttermost charm of the celebration. There is everything that defines the Patan as the home of the finest Newar crafts since the time immemorial.   

Rush is everywhere but most of it was on the entrance of Keshav Narayan Chowk of Patan Darbar, which was built as the residential court of the Malla Kings. Inside the chowk, there are things on open display used in rituals concerning: pooja done under different occasions, marriage ceremony, bartabandha, feeding ceremony. From the grain they grow to vegetables, tools and utensil were also part of it.  The oldest Buddhist monuments of the Kathmandu valley is located on the periphery of the former medieval kingdom of Patan know as “Ashokan” stupa proclaiming the fact that there exist unity in diversity. The Mukha and other things concerning Buddhism on display enhance the cultural harmony that prevails here.  Dolls of life size captivating the very traditional moment of Kija Pooja, ceremony of 88years 8months and 8days and small dolls displaying the cultural attire of people for all over Nepal with the fascinating painting of greenery at the back was wonderful even to take a glimpse of since there is a long queue.

Photo exhibition and live demonstration are major highlights of this ceremony. Visitors making their way up in the museum, following the photos ranging for colorful one to black and white one soon turned into intriguing moment for all. Women in their traditional wear spinning the yarn, weaving the garland  out of chilies, making “Shukul” and men form the “Prajapati” caste where exhibiting their proficiency in pottery brought an honor to the time of history.  

The beautiful pieces of traditional metal crafts, the unique craftsmanship in wood and the bronze statue standing firmly on ground much taller and broader than normal 5 feet man were center of attraction. Just next to it were skillful artisans making the sculptures then and there. There concentration and devotion in work was clearly visible in their creation.   Virtually people by the late evening feels tired and hungry since the program starts early and then a day long walk, here the story is different, people were soothing their palate with newari cuisine like: bhay, yamari, wa, achar and enjoying the fashion show live or on projector. The audience was enchanted by the harmonious blend of ancient ritual, architecture and music. At the end there were souvenir shops to buy token of memory to take back home and to be gifted to our loved ones.

Bringing the community together and bring out their best with the team effort is really appreciable job that Jayapu Samaj has done. The main motive behind the program is truly commendable. They want to start with the museum with what they have collected in terms of money through ticket sell and stall charges and ancient possessions assembled form different communities.       

Sabita Shrestha 

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