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January 1: New Year or Topi Diwas?
Last year, Hari Bansha Acharya—a veteran comedian marked ‘Topi Diwas’ posting his photo in a Dhaka topi (Nepali Cap) on his social media account. However, this year his priority was centered on his upcoming movie ‘Dal Bhat Tarkari’, giving him a late reminder for the day.
“I only remembered the occasion when I saw people in the crowds wearing topis. I’ll definitely celebrate the day after I am done with my shooting,” he told MyCity. “Nepal is a multicultural nation. Topi, Dhoti and Bakkhu represent the cultures of the nation. We should make these occasions count and give equal importance to every diverse costume that reflects our solidarity,” he added.
While the rest of the world is welcoming the New Year on this day, it is a proud moment that the youth in Nepal share a mutual reason to gather and celebrate. As the new generation is being allured by the western culture, some activists are intending to preserve the Nepali culture by observing ‘Topi Diwas’ since 2014.
Donning Dhaka Topis, young Nepali men are attracted to the tradition as they aim to promote Nepali culture. Be it by posting selfies and wefies wearing Dhaka topis on various social platforms or hosting rallies and programs, Topi Diwas is well-received among the young people.
Marking the sixth Nepali Topi Diwas, youths and activists gathered at Maitighar early in the morning. They demanded for a national identity of Dhaka Topi and marched from Maitghar to Baneshwor. KP Khanal, aspiring social activist, was dressed in Daura Suruwal and Dhaka topi to observe the day at Maitighar.
“The essence of Topi and Daura Suruwal is slowly fading. So aiming to preserve the identity of Nepal, we’ve been celebrating the day, rather than observing New Year,” said Khanal. Like Khanal, Sitaram Dahal, 23, from Baneshwar also attended the event. Dahal said, “Cultural costume is what reflects our identity. So, to recapture the significance of topi, I am celebrating the day.”