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97 Tamang Organizations Preparing for Sonam Lhochhar Celebration



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Tamangsaling Autonomous States is Their Goal


Tamang leaders at the press conference. Photos: Sangmo

Kathmandu, January 21, 2008- Tamang organizations are all set to jointly celebrate this year's Sonam Lhochhar/Lhosar, New Year. It is the biggest and the main festival of the Tamang community, and they are organizing many programmes starting on January 25 throughout the nation and, of course, in Kathmandu Valley.

It was announced on Monday at a press conference at the Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikutimandup in the capital that 97 Tamang organizations and associations are joining together to mark this year's Lang Lhochhar (Ox Year) with great fanfare and joviality.

It was also announced that an alliance of 957 members Lang Lhochhar 2845 Brihat Mul Samyojag Samiti has been formed under the coordination of Nepal Tamang Ghedung's central chairperson Dhan Bahadur Tamang.

Breifing the press, President of Nepal Tamang Ghedung, Dhan Prasad Tamang said the unity among Tamang organizations is essential to celebrate the festival in a grand manner and to achieve Tamangsaling Autonomous State with the right to self-determination in an easy way.

"Tamangsaling is the dream and aim of all Tamang peoples. The rights of the Tamang Nation have been destroyed and seized in many ways, therefore, to re-establish those rights, the issue of Tamangsaling has been raised." stated Tamang.


Photos: Sangmo

At the programme, the committee plans to present a memorandum on the immediate declaration of Tamangsaling Autonomous States to Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal.

The committee is responsible for organizing a Grand Lhochhar Cultural Rally and Cultural Festival at Tundikhel on January 27.

A week long celebration kicks off with an interaction programme on" The History of The Tamang community and Its Social Issues" on Magh 12 (Jan.25). It will be followed by a motorcycle rally on Magh 13(Jan.26), a cultural rally and several other cultural programmes and Lhochhar functions on Magh 14 (Jan 27), the main day of Lhochhar celebration. There will be a friendly football match between Tamang artists and mediapersons on Magh 18(Jan 31) and on Magh 29(Feb.11) Lhochhar Closing Ceremony at City Hall.

Programmes scheduled for the January 27 include the Lhochhar Cultural Event and Festivals inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal. The day will include a public demonstration for Tamangsaling Autonomous State and an exhibition of the ancient Tamang skill of horseback warfare as well as Tamang 'Mhane naach' and other special cultural demostrations.

'Lho' means Year and 'chhar/sar' means New. Thus, Lhochhar/Lhosar means New Year. The Lhochhar is based on lunar calendar.

This year Tamang peoples are bidding goodbye to Jiwa (Mouse) Year and welcoming Lhang (Ox) Year on 14 Magh. Lhochhar is observed by other Nepali indigenous groups on different dates. The Gurung community celebrates Tamu Lhoshar, the Tamang people mark Sonam Lhosar and the mountainous Sherpa people observe Gyalpo Lhoshar.

Tamang from all walks of life residing in various regions of the country celebrate this traditional cultural festival Lhochhar in their own ways in high spirits. However, the common practices include exchanging best wishes among friends, families, and relatives along with dancing, singing, performing religious work and feasting.

This year they are demanding a five-day national holiday for Tamangs during Lhochhar celebration and declaration of Tamangsaling Autonomous Region.

At the press conference, National Tamang Federation's chairperson Shyam Tamang, Nepal Tamang Ghedung's general secretary Kumar Yonjan, Rastriya Tamang Ghedung's chairperson Bir Bahadur Yonjan, musician Pradeep Bomjan, members of Tamang Ghedung's Dawa Lama and other Tamang personalities were present. The organizer answered queries put forth by journalists.

There are altogether 12 'Lho' in a Tamang calender where each 'Lho' is repeated once in every 12-year cycle. The Lhos are named after birds and animals.


-Sangmo Yonjan- Tamang in Kathmandu



   
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