Ghyah-Chāku Salhu (Māgha Sankrānti)

Ghyah-Chāku Salhu (Nepali: माघ संक्रान्ति [/ģĥjɔ-ʧɑkʊ. sɜlhʊ/] Nepal Bhasa: घ्यो-चाकु सल्हु) is celebrated on the first of Māgha (mid-January). In Nepal Bhāsā, Salhu typifies the first day of month, and what make the beginning of this month so special than other months every year are the festivity part as well as the marking of warmer weather – the gradual increase in the length of day and shortness in night. The day also marks the shift of the sun into Makara rāshi (Capricorn) on its astronomic path. So, it is also known as Makara Sankrānti.

The sun is believed to move apparently in the northernmost extremes leaving the southernmost extremes on this day. This is referred as Uttarāyanā, the excursion of the sun to the northward region from Dakshināyanā, southward region. Uttarāyanā is also called as Devayanā, and the Dakshināyanā’ is called Pitrāyanā. This is why, Makara Sankrānti is considered as the beginning of the day of enlightenment, prosperity, and restoration of health. Continue reading “Ghyah-Chāku Salhu (Māgha Sankrānti)”

Chhwô Pāŭ Kwā:

Chhwon Paun Kwa:

Chhwô Pāŭ Kwā: (Nepali: आलु-तामा; आलु डम [/tʃwɒ́ŋ pαυŋ kwα:/]; Nepal Bhasa: छ्वोँ पाउँ क्वा:) is a delicious soup made of beans, potatoes and other veggies served as one of the entrées in Newāh meals. It takes a lot of work to make this soup just right- a little bit tarty, spicy and thick. Making of this Kwa: has been modified over times. At present, it is widely known as Ālu-Tāmā or  Ālu-Dum among Nepalese people of all background and served everyday in local inns and pubs.

Nevertheless,  Ālu-Tāmā or  Ālu-Dumis coined words from people of Nepali language speaking background which basically means “potatoes-bamboo shoot”. I think this term does not grasp the core meaning of Chhwô Pāŭ Kwā: as its meaning has something other than simply potato and bamboo shoot. Chhwô Pāŭ Kwā: is a bamboo shoot-sour dish designated as a relish. Continue reading “Chhwô Pāŭ Kwā:”

योमरी फ्वोंनेगु म्यें

Yomari chāku, Uke duni hāku

योमरी चाकु, उके दुने हाकु

Byu mha: lyāsechā, Mabyu mha: budhichā

ब्यू म्ह: ल्यासेचा, मब्यू म्ह: बुधिचा

Tyosin tyo, Bakasin tyo

त्योसिं त्यो, बकसिं त्यो

Lātā pātā kunchā, Kulinchān tyo

लाता पाता कुंचा, कुलिंचा त्यो

ल्येंगु म्यें च्वो स्वयेत थन क्लिक यानादिसं

Dāpā Khî (दापा खीं)

Khin [/’xhî’/], a classical musical percussive instrument that is of a wooden hollow cylinder with membrane stretched across each end.  It is one of the classical music instruments used by Newāh in different occasions. So does it take different names as it is played in different musical settings, such as Yāka: [/jɑ’kɜ:/] Khin when single Khin is played; Joh [/dʒó/] Khin – a coupled Khin, Lāla: [/lɑ’l3:/] Khin, Desi [/dɛ́zi/] Khin. However, it is understood, in general, as Dāpā [/dɑ́pɑ́/] Khin which is the dominant instrument in traditional Newāh music. Continue reading “Dāpā Khî (दापा खीं)”

Yomari Punhi: Marking the End of Rice Harvest

Yomari Punhi [/jɔʳmə’ɾi: pʊ’nhɪ/] in crude meaning, is the “full moon of Yomari;” however, its factual meaning can be speculated from the compound noun, “Yo” means “like(d) “ and “mari” means “bread.” So, the term could be translated as “[I; as understood] like(d) bread.” Newāh people group alone commemorates this festival on the full moon, also known as Frost moon of the late fall in the month of December every year. The celebration of Yomari marks the end of rice harvest for Newā:(r)[a].

Photo Source:

Newā: make Yomari out of rice flour from the new harvest. They would wash rice with water until whitish color disappears from it. Then, it is dried in the sun for couple of days before they make it flour. The dough from the newly gleaned rice is used to make it. It looks like fig in shape. The broader part of the Yomari is wrought cylindrical hollow cone shape in order to fill it with teel [/ti:l/][1] and Chāku [/t∫ákú/].[2] Then, they are steamed. continue reading

A Brief Introduction – Swaniga:

"Swaniga: Kathmandu Valley"
Swaniga: Kathmandu Valley from googlemap

Swaniga: (Nepal Bhasa: स्वनिग: [sw0nigə] Nepali: काठ्माडौं उपत्यका) is a trilingual (English, Nepal Bhasa, and Nepali) blog that intends to inform its visitors/readers on unique culture, customs, music, and lifestyle of Kathmandu Valley.

Swaniga: name for Kathmandu Valley in original inhabitant’s language. This is the capital city of Nepal that still attests the brand of ancient civilizations of Asia. Swaniga: is also known as “the city of gods,” since thousands of shrines, more than 130 important monuments and temples have made it their home. The valley boasts of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the place of pilgrimage for many Hindus and Buddhists. Continue reading “A Brief Introduction – Swaniga:”