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Sithi Nakha: A Traditional Cultural Festival for Environmental Conservation (My WED 2014 Celebration)

by | 18-06-2014 17:44 recommendations 0

Sithi Nakha is a traditional indigenous cultural festival of the residents of Kathmandu Valley and nearby districts like Kavre, Makwanpur etc. Sithi Nakha falls on sixth day of the bright half of the month of Jetha (MAY/JUN). It is celebrated at the onset of the rainy season. People believe that the rulers of water Nagas (Snake) leave the wells for other destinations, as the water reduces because of the driest period of the year. So during this period time, the Local Newar community cleans ponds, rivers banks, historic importance stone spouts, and dug wells in their locality as festival of cleaning water sources. It is perceived as ?Local Nepali Water Day?and ?Environment Festival? of the Newar community in valley.


This year it occurred on June 4. Marking Sithi Nakha, Government of Nepal the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has decided to organize a two-day nationwide clean-up campaign on June 4 and 5 with the theme ?Clean Village and Clean City, Only Wish of All Nepalese ?with a view to encouraging people to act on environmental degradation at the local level which was concluded by marking the World Environment Day 2014.?Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea level?.


The Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force, Political parties, Civil society, Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Local Youth clubs, Mothers groups, Social organisations participated in the clean-up program of all 35 wards in Kathmandu district. ?The KMC office, coordinated with more than 300 youth clubs, schools and other groups, where nearly 50,000 people participated in their cleanup campaign.? Said Hari Kunwar, Chief of Environment Department of KMC.(The Republic Media, 2014).

 

 I participated in the following city cleanup program from Patan, Lalitpur. From Saugal Stone Spot the cleaning program was started. Chief District Officers, Lalitpur Sub Metropilitan Officials, Social Organizations, Civil Society and Local from Thapahiti, Hakha, Mangal Bazar, Sundhara more than 1000 enthusiastically participated in the program. We cleaned up Sundhara (Golden) Stone Spouts, Sugal Spout, Thapahiti Spouts. After the program I went home to celebrate the Ritual festival at home. We eat typically a Newari Dish  called Bara( Wo: in Newari) made of maas, black lentil, and mugi, kidney beans, kasu, small peas ground, which highly contain proteins. This day it the major food for the day. Neighbour, Relatives, Friends are called to mark the festival.

 

So I celebrate my World environment Day 2014 a day before on June 4, celebrating traditional festival and cleaning our water resources of community area before monsoon. I am pleased that government addressed and emphasis this festival nationwide for people participation for environmental conservation.

 
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18 Comments

  • says :
    Thank you christy lee for supporting us all in the every environmental activism. :)
    Posted 27-06-2014 17:03

  • says :
    @Abhishek, Thank you! I look forward learning more about festivals of Nepal :D
    Posted 26-06-2014 13:54

  • says :
    Thanks arushi for your wonderful view and comment.
    Posted 21-06-2014 10:45

  • says :
    Muhammad Miqdad: thank you
    Posted 21-06-2014 10:42

  • says :
    Nice report :)
    Posted 21-06-2014 05:44

  • Arushi Madan says :
    Thanks for introducing Sithi Nakha by such an interesting and informative report. Glad to know that such a cultural festival exists which has environment protection/cleaning water cources as it's objective. Pictures of after and before are evident of the fact that there is dire need of such events. Pond looks soooo clean after the festival. It's really appreciable that every segment , every force, every department (as you mentioned) participated in this festival.
    Posted 20-06-2014 17:15

  • says :
    This festivals is the indigenous knowledge that has been adapted from 12th-14th century in valley. So valuing this indigenous knowledge with the modern technology for preservation of culture and nature will be a sustainable practice.
    Posted 20-06-2014 12:02

  • says :
    Thank you christy lee for our view and comment. i will be writing more on the festival and it linkage toward nature and people perception.
    Posted 20-06-2014 10:54

  • says :
    Thank you rohan. People are motivated and trying to conserve the culture and it ascent toward environment. So this festival is also being seriously observed as the water resources like pond, spouts, well are drying and dysfunctioning at the time of need which was providing the service 24 hour* 7 week *365 days. to people of valley.
    Posted 20-06-2014 10:45

  • says :
    Wonderful! Thank you so much for introducing Sithi Nakha for us. I liked the concept of the festival a lot to appreciate water source. I always learn a lot about Nepal's environment and tradition through you :)
    Posted 19-06-2014 16:44

Rohan Kapur

  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Abhishek, this is the true sprit you have shown on WED in Nepal. Many congratulations to you for you & your team's efforts in cleaning Sundhara Stone Spouts, Sugal Spout & Thapahiti Spouts. This will surely motivate others to carry on cleaning the pons etc. as is the ritual in Nepal in this season.
    The local press also covered it well.
    Best wishes for your festival.
    Keep it up.
    Posted 19-06-2014 14:48

  • says :
    Your right pratap , i am also hopeful for its post conservation.

    Yes pratap as i went through the research conducted on the spout,researches had agrees the availability of the water from these spouts, well, and ponds are feasible if properly managed and tapped. I am unsure that government is concerned about the function of this spouts but while taking to the municipal officers they are positive toward it.

    So, In my point the proper investigation of the channeling of the spouts is to be established via government agencies then the actual problem from source to service can be identified.
    Posted 19-06-2014 14:10

  • says :
    You participated in a very meaningful event Abhishek. It is overwhelming to see that government is now valuing the cultural practices and acknowledging the ancient wisdom/ Sithi Nakha is celebrated on the driest day of the year that helps in cleaning the water resources very easily. People are looking for conservation of these resources, that is a good part and support from the government is icing on the cake.

    May the conservation of these spouts continue post June 4 as well.

    But my major concern is if water will flow in these spouts? is government looking to clean these spouts only or ensure the function of it- that is water supply as well?
    Posted 19-06-2014 13:38

  • says :
    http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=76182

    http://www.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=76353

    http://www.thehimalayantimes.com/fullNews.php?headline=Marking+Sithi+Nakha+to+clean+localities&NewsID=415940
    Posted 19-06-2014 10:58

  • says :
    yes Ishwora this in indigenous festival that is adapted by the the native inhabitants of valley water security.
    Posted 19-06-2014 09:41

  • says :
    Burton Thank you very much.....
    Posted 18-06-2014 23:23

  • says :
    Thanks Abishek for sharing about the historic importance of Sithi Nakha festival. I also believe that any religious activities are logically related with nature conservation.
    Posted 18-06-2014 22:42

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