Nepal is among the most diverse countries in the world, in terms of ethnicity, culture, and language. There are 125 different caste/ethnic communities in Nepal. The Government of Nepal (GoN) has recognized 59 ethnic communities as indigenous nationalities through the enactment of the National Foundation for Development of Indigenous Nationalities (NFDIN) Act, 2002. Indigenous nationalities constitute a significant proportion of the total population throughout the history of Nepal but they have been always marginalized by the dominant groups in terms of political, economic, religious, traditional, and cultural opportunities.
Dashain is among the highly celebrated festivals in Nepal since considerable time frame, but since few decades different ethnic community-based organization is vocally stating Dashain as the imposed festival towards indigenous nationalities. It has been many years that such ethnic community-based organization has launched a movement to boycott Dashain. But lots of general people are still facing confusion on whether to celebrate Dashain or not. If not then what should be done during Dashain as almost everything gets closed during Dashain. Indigenous activists claim that Dashain is considered to have belonged to only Hindu religion followers, thus there is no ownership to the follower of others religion.
In such a conflicting and confusing state, we are organizing a dialogue with the goal and hope to understand Dashain better from the perspective of indigenous nationalities. We have the following speakers:
Dr. Damber Chemjong – Anthropologist
Mr. Krishnaraj Sarbahari – Researcher and Writer
Ms. Man Kumari Thada – Researcher