February 18 , 2015
Trekking Agencies' Association of Nepal (TAAN) organized a cultural and fun-filled event named 'TAAN Lhosar 2015' in Thamel, Kathmandu, on February 17 to celebrate Lhosar – the New Year festival of different ethnic groups.
The program began with a colorful cultural procession. Different ethnic groups, mainly Sherpas, Tamangs, Gurungs and Magars, participated in the procession flaunting their typical attire and jewelries. They were playing traditional musical instruments like Madal, Tungna, Khaijadi and Damphu, among others.
The rally started from Tridevi Marg and passed through different parts of Thamel before concluding into a formal program.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Prakash Man Singh inaugurated the program by lighting a panas. Speaking at the program, Deputy Prime Minister Singh lauded the initiatives taken by TAAN to promote Lhosar as a cultural tourism product. "Cultural events like these in Thamel – the tourist hotspot in Kathmandu Valley – can help a lot in tourism promotion. This event can be a unique tourism product," he added. He also said there is a need to open Thamel round the clock to allow foreign tourists to enjoy nightlife to the fullest.
Similarly, Constituent Assembly (CA) member and former tourism minister Bal Bahadur KC said TAAN has united different communities by organizing Lhosar festival on a single date. "The country is in need of similar unity," he said, referring to call for formation of federal states on the basis of ethnicity. He also said tourism entrepreneurs should be able to promote unique Nepali culture and tradition in international markets.
Suresh Man Shrestha, secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, thanked TAAN for coming up with an innovative way of tourism promotion. "By bringing together different ethnic groups in Thamel for Lhosar celebration, TAAN is devising a unique cultural product. I request TAAN to organize this festival on a regular basis," he added.
Similarly, Pradeep Jung Pandey, president of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), promised TAAN all possible support for tourism promotion.
On the occasion, Sherpa community presented their traditional hat to former Minister KC as souvenir, while Tamang community presented their traditional cap to FNCCI President Pandey and Gurung community offered their traditional shawl Bhangra to Tourism Secretary Shrestha.
Hundreds of people, including foreign tourists, had gathered in Thamel to celebrate the festival. There were stalls showcasing traditional food of Sherpa, Tamang and Gurung communities. TAAN had provided food coupon worth Rs 200 to its member agencies on complimentary basis.
Earlier, delivering his welcome speech, TAAN 1st Vice President Kami Rinji Sherpa said the event was organized to spread the message of unity and promote Lhosar festival as a cultural tourism product.
Speaking on the occasion, representatives of different associations thanked TAAN for celebrating Lhosar festival in a noble way.
Ram Sharan Thapaliya, president of Thamel Tourism Development Council which was also the co-organizer of the event, delivered vote of thanks on behalf of the organizers.
Presiding over the program, TAAN President Ramesh Dhamala said the association decided to celebrate Lhosar festival, which used to be organized in star hotels in the past, to promote it as a cultural tourism product. "We will request more ethnic groups to join the festival next year," he added.
The second session saw cultural performance of different ethnic groups. Traditional dances like Syabru (Sherpa), Selo (Tamang), Maruni (Gurung) and Kauda (Magar) were performed at the program. Similarly, popular artistes like AP Sherpa, Roj Moktan, Abhinash Ghising, Nirmala Ghising, Himal Ghale, Mausam Gurung, Sanjaya Gurung, Bhimu Gurung, Reshma Sunuwar, Jyoti Magar, Bharat Sitaula, Sunil Lama, Arambha Tamang, Jayabir Tamang, Mingma Sherpa and Dorjee Lama, among others, also performed in the program.
TAAN Senior Vice President Keshav Pandey chaired the second session, which was moderated by 2nd Vice President Kul Bahadur Gurung and Yamju Sherpa.