Dashain Tikka 2010

Another Dashain has come and gone. It was a good one this year. Good food, good friends, good blessings/wishes, good music, good dancing, and I finally won some taas money ;)

P’s brother U came to visit from Philadelphia and on Sunday morning some friends came over for a morning “family tikka.” P prepared the jamara…

Nice and yellow. Although I left the jamara out all day because I figured it was the last day of Dashain, and it turned green really fast... (it's supposed to be yellow)

… and the tikka (vermillion powder, yogurt and rice). The oldest in the house gives tikka to the younger people…

P gives me tikka

After P was done, the next oldest gave tikka…

KS giving me my second tikka

Finally I gave tikka to a few of the younger people…

I give tikka and blessings to D

Then we had a nice breakfast feast, before cleaning up the kitchen to start round two of cooking for S-di and M-dai’s tikka and party. I did my part and represented both the “American” (by making salad and apple crisp) and “Nepali” (by making rice and mattar paneer) aspects of our household in the cuisine department.

In the past few years, M-dai usually gave tikka since he is the eldest in our community, but this year S-di took charge. I later found out M-dai quietly decided not to give or take tikka this year as an activist measure, since as I noted before his ethnic community did not traditionally celebrate Dashain, but was at one point forced by representatives of the king. He was inspired by recent articles in Republica.

S-di giving P and I our tikkas and blessings for the year

Other party guests with their tikkas...

And of course, there was lots of food...

After tikka and eating, the guitar and drums were taken out and various Nepali folk songs were sung and danced to…

And we rounded out the evening with a bit of taas– not marriage, but “flush” which is another betting game kind of like a simpler version of poker. Although I wasn’t the big winner, I did alright, and finished with more money than I started out with :)

So Dashain this year was a lot of fun. P and his family have started talking about having us go to Nepal next year for Dashain. P hasn’t been home for a Dashain in ten years, and it will be our first Dashain as a married couple. I would love to see the festival in Nepal and take tikka from his family. It’s hard to take off time from work, especially during the school year, but maybe I’ll try…

Hope you all had an enjoyable Dashain! Any good stories? Good tikka blessings/wishes? Fun moments?

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12 responses to “Dashain Tikka 2010

  1. Is Dashain the same as Navrati? I only ask because Navrati has just concluded here. The papers here always say that Navrati is a predominatly Gujurati festival although the only times I’ve seen any of the pooja related to it have been with Sindhi friends.

  2. Hi CY,
    Hope C can allow me to answer your question. Since you are talking about Navratri, which most of the North Indian celebrates. It is the same as Dashain. Navratri is not just Gujarati Festival, but the way it is celebrated, it is different in different parts of India. For example, in Gujarat, they do Garwa and Dandia whole night for continuous nine nights, but in eastern and northern part of India, people do fasting or put Kalas in their home and offer Prayer to the God. Also, in this part of India, we put the sculpture of idol in big pandals and then at the end of nine days generally tenth day, idol is taken for immersion in a procession. I have never seen the sculpture of idol part in Gujarat. So, I think it is more in North and East and North east part of India. This festival is also referred as Durga Puja/Dusshera in Hindi.
    So, all the words describe same festival whether it is Dashain or Durga Puja or Navratri.

  3. Not just Northern India, Navrathir/Disshera celebrated in Southern India as well.

  4. look at all that food!!! btw, KS did a good job with putting tika the right way. I usually put it the same way that P does, but found out that the right way is to put it with your hand faced up. it’s a little uncomfortable and i don’t know why that’s the right way….

  5. The most interesting part which I found is the diversity of the same festival. In India, the taas or poker, that is there mostly during festival of light (Diwali/Tihar) time. In India, festival of light is celebrated with Goddess of Wealth and so people play these Taas etc which involves monetary wealth. I am wondering if C or some Nepali Folk can speak about tradition of playing Taas during Dashain….There must be something related to culture why people play taas duing this festival…

  6. Hello! I have been a reader of yours for a while now ( I am currently dating a nepali, and your blog has truly been helpful!) and I must say, it’s nice to finally comment! This past weekend I participated in my first Dashain party/tikka. It was truly a wonderful experience, despite my nervousness at the beginning as I was one of the only non-nepali people attending. However, the music, the food and of course, the friends soon eased my nerves. When it came time for the tikka, I was pretty excited since it was my first time to receive one. By the end of the party, nearly half of my tikka had fallen off due to my hand unconsciously assuming it was something that shouldn’t be there. Haha, I suppose the first time is not always a charm. The event was attended and organized by the nepali student body of my college, so it was nowhere near the celebratory grandness that I am sure they are use to back in Nepal. Despite this, everyone enjoyed the festivities and I certainly know everyone enjoyed singing and dancing together to nepali songs. Because gambling probably isn’t allowed on campus, we played bingo instead. The bingo was pretty engaging, haha. Everyone quickly became competitive for the prizes which consisted mainly of sweets and for some reason, a bag of cotton balls and a thing of ear swabs. I am still confused as to why those items were present, haha. Overall, from my perspective, it was a great deal of fun and I am looking forward to the next celebration and to next year’s Dashain as well!
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us! It is always an enlightening and enjoyable read :)
    Happy late Dashain!

    • Welcome E! Great to hear you had a nice Dashain! Bingo is a great idea… blending American culture with Nepali! ;)

  7. Thanks to everyone who helped clarify things for me!

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  10. How do you make tikka? I will have several students from Nepal here for Dashain and want to help them celebrate …

    • There is a red powder that you can get at Indian grocery stores, generally you can mix this red powder with a little mushed banana and raw rice. If you don’t have the red powder and need to improvise, you might be able to use a little food coloring to dye some flour red, let it dry, then mix it with the other things. The flour idea isn’t anything official, just a thought. Good luck with your Tikkas! Tikka day is Thursday. Vijya Dashami :)

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