Pasa Puchah Guthi UK (PPGUK), London held the annual Mha Puja and Nepal Samvat 1139 new year celebration event on 11th November 2018 at Oakington Manor School, London.
In its 18th year running, the guests were traditionally welcomed by offering Sinha (tika) by Panchakanya as they walked past beautifully designed mandala. They were then handed over with Saga: which included samye-baji on traditional bwota (leaf bowls) and aila (traditional wine) in salincha (clay cups). Whilst executive members Suza Manadhar and Nhyoumila Tuladhar explained the importance of Mha Puja, Vice President Mrs Rukmani Manandhar welcomed all present at the audience.
The full house event with 330 attendees was auspiciously inaugurated by chief guest Mrs Janaki Manandhar, wife of PPGUK founding member late Mr Ishwor Manandhar. Mr Kumar Shrestha, president of Central Coordination Committee extended new year greetings to everyone present. Chief guest Mrs Manandhar released the annual magazine of Guthi which was in the form of a comic book based on the animated movie ‘The Legend of Shankhadhar’. She also released a Nepalbhasha poetry book written by Guthi’s General member Mrs Gyani Shova Tuladhar Newah. Mrs Tuladhar recited one of her poems to the crowd.
Cultural segment consisted of several traditional Nepali and Newah musical performances including those by child dancers Shailee Dangol, Preesha Shrestha and Jeeya Joshi, and dancers Bhabika Lopchan and Rashmita Darlami. The dances were followed by Nepali national anthem composed and performed by children of age below ten years – Aarush Singh, Oneek Singh and Sareen Shrestha who introduced themselves as “Kutah band”. The performance was followed by Newah national anthem.
PPGUK London President Mr Sanyukta Shrestha addressed the audience with the objectives of his executive committee for the next two years, and urged all members to continue supporting his team. General Secretary Mr Sandeep Shrestha and Sports Secretary Mr Sumeet Bajracharya, who introduced themselves as ‘Guthi Band’, sang a selection of popular Newah and Khasbhasha Nepali songs to entertain the crowd.
Yussouf Man Shrestha from United Newah USA, Texas, delivered a guest performance of traditional Kheen Baja and Dhimay Baja. He also delivered an amazing performance engaging and thrilling the crowd with his Lakhay dance. Veteran artist Mr Madan Thapa played soulfully on his Sarangi and sang a number of Newah songs. Popular actor and former president of PPGUK southeast London chapter Mr Manish Kumar Shrestha enacted an engaging Nepali drama with the artists of his Pratibha Nakshetra team.
A formal New Year dinner was served to all guests with traditional cuisines including Ta:Khaa, a kind of jellied meat. Dinner tables were named with 30 major Newah settlements from across Nepal where the Newah people historically flourished their cultural heritage. This also helped to familiarise people with the original names of many places and the way they would be written in Nepal’s original script ‘Ranjana’.
Towards the end, General Secretary Mr Sandeep Shrestha delivered a vote of thanks to all sponsors and supporters. Whilst the founding members of the Guthi Mr Mahanta Shrestha, Mr Arjun Pradhan and Mr Amrit Ratna Sthapit presented certificate of appreciation to all performers, President Mr Sanyukta Shrestha handed over traditional Masala-Pwo, annual magazine and New Year calendar to all guests on their leaving.
For photos, please click here.