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Khotang, Tanahun In Bid To Promote Lakhey Dance
Lakheys are regarded as an Aaju Devata (the God of Peace) though they have a demon-like appearance. There are several kinds of Lakheys in the Newar community and these Lakheys are worshipped as gods because it is believed that they are the reincarnation of Lord Bhairav. It is also believed that Lakheys are the protector of the country and their dance performances protect the nation from evil spirits as well as diseases. The tradition of Lakhey dance dates back to more than 230 years ago. While most might believe that Lakheys and Lakhey dance only exist in the Kathmandu Valley, the tradition is spread across all Newar settlements in the country.
Mahotsav in Khotang Showcases Variety
Daman Rai, Khotang
With an aim to conserve the local tradition and promote cultural tourism, Yuva Udhyami Maanch Khotang organized the first ever Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Lakhey Mahotsav at Matikore Ground in Diktel on Saturday.
Around 5,000 people gathered for the program that had ‘Hamro Nagar Hamro Shaan, Hamro Sanskriti Afno Pahichan’ (Our city our pride, our culture our identity) as the slogan. According to the Secretary of Yuva Udhyami Maanch Khotang, Manoj Bajimaya, the Lakehy Mahotsav is targeted to spread awareness among the youths about the richness and vastness of Newari culture.
He shared, "Other than generating awareness among the youths, the Lakhey Mahotsav also aimed at developing brotherhood among the local people and economically develop the area."
The participating Lakhey dancers belonging to the Newar community came from various municipalities such and Khale, Somle, Dorpachuridada, Jalapa, Bueipa and Kharmi. Besides showcasing the Lakhey dance, they also performed Thakthuke dance and Ropai dance.
The event was a melting pot of different varieties of Lakhey dance performed in the local tunes and with exquisite traditional costumes. Dances from Kathmandu such as Bhairab, Kumari, Mayur and Charya were also showcased during the event.
The event was promoted by Khotang Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and supported by Diktel Bazaar Samajik Guthi. Moreover, the event also served as a fun-filled break for Khotang locals, who had worked hard for the second phase of civic polls, as per President of Khotang Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Rajendra Layalu.
Tanahun’s Gift to Future Generations
Shreehari Poudel, Tanahun
The Newa Khala Byasa Guthi organized a Lakhey dance competition in Damauli on Saturday with an aim to preserve and promote the authenticity of the traditional dance form.
The authenticity of Lakhe dance has been compromised gradually due to the growing trend of migration and changing forms of tradition. The authentic Lakhey dance performed at Newar Hatiya in Tanahun has become a rare sight. Organizer of the event, Rinesh Kumar Shakya, said the Lakhey dance competition was organized to conserve the authenticity of Lakhey dance.
A total of 33 participants from Tanahun, Lamjung, Gorkha and Kaski showcased their talent in the competition. President of the Newa Khala Byasa Guthi Samuha Damauli, Jun Kumar Shrestha, informed, “Lakhey dance has a scientific, spiritual and physical importance in the Newari culture. The competition aims at making youths interested in the dance form with a hope that they will carry forward the tradition in the future.”
Madhy Nepal Newa Khala Lamjung was declared the winner at the competition. The group received a cash prize of Rs 15,000. Changeli Newa Khala Changa and Deurali Newa Khala Kaski won the second prize of Rs 10,000 each, whereas Tanahusura Bhimsen Guthi won the third place and received Rs 5,000.
Meanwhile, Barbhanjyan Newa Guthi and Gajarkot Newa Khala won the consolation prize of Rs 2,000 each.