The Newah Organization of America (NOA) successfully completed its 7th Annual Yenya Punhi (Indra Jatra) festival on Sunday, September 10, 2017 in Maryland (near Washington DC) on the presence of more than 800 respected & diverse community members, various organizations and media representatives gathered from noon to five o’clock evening. The crowd enthralled to witness this festivity event, authentic Newari Cuisine with indigenous food, the Lakhey (demon) Dance, the Pulu Kisi (white elephant aka Airavata) Dance, Astamatrika dance, Dabu Pyakha (road show), the statue of Akash Bhairav display and a symbolic local Kumari.
NOA was proud to bring the community together to preserve and promote Newah culture and heritage in the United States. The crowd participated from different states Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, (DMV) Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia and from Nepal at the scenic Black Hill Regional Park in Maryland. Miss Kate Shrestha was designated as this year’s Kumari and annual authentic pyramid-style Samay Baji was displayed during event. The crowd enjoyed various traditional cultural presentations such as Astamatrika Dance, dabu pyakha (roadshow) depicting Yenya Punhi (Indra Jatra) festival coordinated by NOA Executive Member Mr. Yagya Man Shakya, Newah Priest & Scholar Mr. Basav Rajopadhyay and NOA General Secretary Mr. Mahindra Pradhan. NOA 1st Vice President Mr. Pushkar Prajapati served as emcees and conducted the program of day.
NOA President Mrs. Babita Shrestha welcomed H. E. Nepalese Ambassador Dr. Arjun Kumar Karki, Economic Counselor of Embassy of Nepal Mr. Kailash Raj Pokharel & their families, all community members, representative from various organizations and media representatives. She also expressed special thanks to the NOA’s present Executive Members, founding members, past presidents & their families, all community members for delicious homemade food contributions, financial donations and all volunteers for their tireless effort to make this event grand successful. She also extended thanks to the Past President Mr. Rajesh Shrestha (Pulu Kisi donator to NOA) and 2nd Vice President Mr. Sushil Lal Shrestha for coordination of Pulu Kisi, Secretary Mr. Divakar Dhaubhadel for Samay Baji Display, Executive Member Mr. Udaya Shrestha, 2nd Vice President Mr. Sushil Lal Shrestha, Executive Member Mrs. Meena Pradhan for Food Management, Treasurer Mr. Rajesh Lal Shrestha for Venue & Raffle Sales. President Mrs. Shrestha also extended thanks to Newah Priest & Scholar Mr. Basav Rajopadhyay for annual Yenya Punhi (Indra Jatra) festival roadshow, Mr. Baikuntha Man Shrestha of NAMLO Events Management for Akash Bhairav Statue and other traditional display, NOA Executive Member Mr. Yagya Man Shakya for Astamatrika, Lakhey dance, DJ sound system and all outstanding volunteers involved during presentations.
Nepalese Ambassador Dr. Karki congratulated NOA for successfully organizing 7th annual Yenya Punhi (Indra Jatra) festival and expressed appreciation for the role in preserving and promoting Newah culture and heritage in DMV area. Mr. Ramesh Munikar, Indra Jatra committee member of Nepal has briefly shared current Indra Jatra situation & government assistance in Nepal and Mr. Krishna Joshi recited one of his poems in Nepal Bhasa during the event. NOA Founding members and past presidents were also recognized during the event for their dedications and contributions.
The crowd highly enjoyed this year’s Yenya Punhi Road Show presentation, Concept and Direction by Newah Priest & Scholar Mr. Basav Rajopadhyay, Assistance and Narration by General Secretary Mr. Mahindra Pradhan, performed by Ms. Samira Shrestha, Mr. Shiva Raj Joshi, Mrs. Lalita Maharjan, Mr. Navin Mohan Ranjit, Mr. Medhavi Ranjit, Ms. Lochani Tara Shakya, 2nd Vice President Mr. Sushil Lal Shrestha, Mr. Roshan Lal Shrestha, Mr. Manu Pradhan, Mr. Abhi Dhaubhadel, Mr. Bhidutam Ranjit, Mr. Sugandha Shrestha, Mr. Jim Shrestha, Mrs. Sunita Shrestha, Mrs. Chhaya Pradhan, Mrs. Meeli Dhaubhadel, Mrs. Anju Joshi, live music Dhimey & Bhusya by 1st Vice President Mr. Pushkar Prajapati and Mr. Bikrant Shrestha of NAMLO Events Management. As well as another dashing Astamatrika Dance ensemble, Concept and Direction by Executive Member Mr. Yagya Man Shakya, and performed by Executive Member Mr. Yagya Man Shakya, Secretary Mr. Divakar Dhaubhadel, Mr. Jayambu Ranjit, Mr. Kijan Man Shakya, Mr. Kohil Man Shakya, Ms. Sunita Amatya, Mrs. Mila Shrestha, Ms. Lochani Tara Shakya, and Ms. Mala Pradhan.
Continuing the tradition of Yenya Punhi, crowd was gratified with local Kumari blessing, interaction between Pulu Kisi and Lakhe, recreational games including chasing, teasing & running away from Lakhey and Pulu kisi. NOA extended thanks to Mr. Bijay Thapa of ENepalese.com and Mr. Khem Bhattachan of DC-Nepal media for covering live cast of event, Mr. Shreejan Tamrakar of Maryland Ka Hami Nepali & Sanosansar Hamrosansar, representatives of different local organizations World Newah Organization (WNO), Nepa Pasa Pucha Amerikaye (NPPA), Nepal Education and Cultural Center (NECC), Mr. Ashesh Dangol for capturing the moments as official photographer, Air Zone Travel and Classic Diamond & Jewelry for sponsoring event T-shirt, Raffle prize contributors Aero Nepal Travel, Clay Oven Restaurant, Chutney Restaurant, Curry Place Restaurant, Delhi 6 Restaurant, Royal Nepal Restaurant for a gift vouchers for raffle winners.
The Yenya Punhi celebration was very festive, and NOA extends sincere thank to all who stretched well into the day and ended with a lot of wonderful memories. The event concluded with raffle games. Please visit NOA’s website at www.newah.org or follow us on Facebook or on YouTube to see photos and videos of this event.