The CPN Maoist chief, Puspa Kamal Dahal, Prachanda celebrated Dashain for the first time in 22 years. He took Dashain tika in his residence in Lazimpat. He also offered tika to his wife, Sita Dahal. Sita offered tika to her children, grand children and other relatives. According to the son of Prachanda, Prakash Dahal, Prachanda took tika from his mother’s maternal uncle.
Prakash wrote in his Facebook – “More than a religious festival, Dashain is an opportunity to meet the relatives, social gathering.” He adds, “We respect Dashain as much as we respect religion.”
Like the previous years, Prachanda however didn’t offer tika to anybody else expect his wife, Sita Dahal. Prakash said, “Like previous years, dad didn’t offer us the tika. We took tika from the mom’s hand. In the previous Dashain, we used to take tika from mom.”
Why now, what changed Prachanda?
Prachanda used to advocate against Dasain festival being a religious event, not good for the low income and low caste Nepali people. After starting civil war and making himself one of the most powerful person in the country, he has changed his stance on the celebration. Why is that? Why did Prachanda back up after more than two decades of not celebrating Dashain?
The biggest festival of Nepal, Dashain, has started on September 21, 2017. The first day of Dashain, Ghatasthapana is celebrated by Nepali all over the world. The 10-days worship of Goddess Durga has started in various temples and at homes in Nepal.
Let me go through the the major festive days of Dashain:
Day 1 – Ghatasthapana
The first day of Dashain starts with placing a water pot (Kalash) that symbolizes goddess Durga. The Kalash is filled with holy water and is covered with cow dung with some barley seeds added to it.
On the day, barley seeds are used to plant Jamara (wheatgrass). The plantation is done according to Hindu rituals and worshiping. Astrologers determine a specefic auspicious time to perform the ritual. It is believed that the goddess resides in the vessel (Kalash) during navratri.
The room where the ritual is performed is known as the Dashain Ghar where outsiders and women are not allowed, traditionally. In the past, it was a custom of a male family member, usually the head of the house, to worships the Kalash twice every day, once in the morning and then in the evening. But, these days, the discrimination has been ended and women are also allowed to perform the puja of the woman goddess, Durga. The Jamara plantation is kept in dark and holy water is offered every day to the seeds. By the tenth day the seed will grown to five to six inches long. The grass kept in total dark are yellow and is considered a sacred grass used with Tika on the 10th day of the festival.
Schools and colleges close for the festival starting Ghatasthapana.
After Global Films Award 2017 held a while ago, another Nepali film award is scheduled to be held on September 17. The award by Nepal Chalchitra Sangh, top 3 nominations were recently released. The award ceremony is scheduled to be held at Dallas, Texas.
A total of 45 movies, about half of the movies released last year, had applied to participate in the award. The nominations were prepared by evaluating the application. Here are the list of nominated artists and films. There are 16 different awards to be awarded to one of the following nominations.
Watch nominated movies:
Best movies nominations
- Purano Dunga
- Chhakka Panja
Another Nepali film award was held in the USA – titled Global Nepali Film Award. It was the second edition of the award. Like other awards held in Europe and USA, many film artists were denied visa. Those who had previous visa to the USA and those who got visa this year participated and won the awards. Such award winning actors include Anmol KC who got the visa this time. Actor Dayahang Rai and others were denied visa and didn’t become “best actors”. Similarly, actress Keki Adhikari was awarded Best Actress for her role in ‘Love Sasha’.
‘Chhakka Panja’ was awarded the Best Film award. Actress and director Deepa Shree Niraula became the best director for the movie. Actor Tika Pahadi was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award. Others awarded the Achievement Awards include Arjun Jung Shahi and Suwarna Chhetri.
The 6th NFDC National Film Award was held in Hyatt Hotel, Kathmandu. The best film award was awarded to ‘Chhakka Panja’. The movie was also awarded the best actress, best director and best comedy actor awards. The movie was nominated in 15 categories.
Best Actor award was awarded to ‘Jatra’ actor Bipin Karki. The movie was nominated in 11 categories. Another movie ‘Purano Dunga’ was nominated in 9 categories. The award titles have the names of the well known artists of the past. For example the Best Movie award is titled “Hira Sarbotkrista Chalachitra”.
Bollywood actress, Manisha Koirala, was the chief guest of the award ceremony. In the ceremony the artists of the Nepali movie industry had participated.
Only two of the award winning movies are released online now. Watch the Award winner movies:
The official list of the Miss Nepal contestants is yet to be released. I have compiled the list of contestants from unofficial sources.
Unlike previous years, the organizers chose 30 contestants to begin with and then they eliminated 10 contestants as they progress. The final 20 contestants will compete in the finale. I am compiling the list of 20 finalist contestants. The following list is the confirmed finalist according to the individual contestants.
I will update this post again after the official list is released. The confiremd contestants so far are:
- Rinku Bajracharya – Contestant number 2
- Priyanka Khadka – Contestant number 3
- Rojyna Shrestha – Contestant number 7
- Niti Shah – Contestant number 11
- Nikita Chandak – Contestant Number 14
UPDATE – Based on a photo uploaded by the official account of Miss Nepal in Instagram, there are 21 contestants including the daughter of the Miss Nepal choreographer Rachana Sharma Gurung – Amalia Sharma. It is interesting that there are two Rojina Shrestha and I am not sure which one is the contestant 7 – the Baneshowr one or the Mitrapark one. The previous unconfirmed list has to be :
- Ajyona Tamrakar
- Amalai Sharma
- Rojina Shrestha (Baneshowr)
- Rojina Shrestha (Mitrapark)
- Gyani Maya Baral
- Swostika Silwal
- Anusha Lamsal
- Ashima Baral
- Dristi Katuwal
- Urusha Adhikari
- Kritika Giri
- Barsha Pokharel
- Rakhcha Karki
- Anita Bhandari
- Manjari Singh
- Namrata Gurung
- Sahara Basnet
The 2017 edition of Miss Nepal beauty contest has started on April 19, 2017 with an orientation program in Kathmandu. The 22nd edition of the contest has 30 initial participants. The contestants this year included young girls from Kathmandu, Pokhara, Butwal, Dhulabari and Chitwan. One third of these participants will be eliminated before the 20 contestants are selected for the finale contest to be held on June 2, 2017.
Four Miss Nepal titles this year
In the past contests there used to be top 3 titles selected to participate in three different international beauty contests. This year, one more title is added to send a Nepali beauty to Miss Asia Pacific contest. To select the top 4, top 7 finalists will compete in the final round. In the past three winners used to be selected from the final round of Top 5 contestants.
For the first time in Miss Nepal contest, some of the contestants also participated in the audition remotely. The girls living abroad who wanted to participate in Miss Nepal also participated in the audition through Skype call. The organizers have told that they are expecting participants from Dubai and Hong Kong.
According to the organizers, this year’s Miss Nepal contest is going to be highly competitive because of the participants from the diverse professional fields. There are well known professional models, engineers, architects, entrepreneurs and girls from other fields. It is going to be tough for the winner to excel in such a diverse and talented contestant pool.
Nepali beauty, Ronali Amatya as won the Miss congeniality title at the Miss Eco International 2017 beauty contest held in Egypt from April 1 to April 15. On the last day of the contest, Amatya was awarded with the title.
Video report (update)
Miss Eco International 2017 winners
The crown of Miss Eco International 2017 title went to Miss Canada, Amber Bernachi from Ontario, Canada. The 27 years old beauty from Canada is the 1st runner-up to the Miss Universe Canada 2016. The 1.65m beauty, Amber Bernachi, was crowned the Miss International Canada 2016. Bernachi had also participated in Miss International 2017 held in Japan. She was one of the Top 15 in the contest. Amber Bernachi is a BA in Business Administration and a BA in Political Science graduate from the University of Windsor (Canada).
Box Office Film Club has annouced the nomintions of the nineth edition of Box Office Film Award in a program held in Kathmandu. The nominated artists were awarded with the nomination medal and certificate. The musical program also featured different singers and comedy actors. The final award is scheduled to be held in Toronto, Canada. The dates and the details of the award ceremony is yet to be confirmed.
In the award, 80 different movies released in the year 2072 were reviewed for the nomination. The 11-members jury included director Tulsi Ghimire, journalist Bijaya Rata Tuladhar, actor Dinesh Sharma, director Raju Adhikari, producer Subash Karki among others.
There were nominations in 46 categories including poster design to film halls. The categories overlap themselves. Almost every artists in the film industry have been nominated in the award. So, talking in details about all the nominated artists is waste of time and effort. So, I have just included the film and lead artists categories.
5 nominations of Best movies:
- Classic (Watch ‘Classic’ here)
- Prem Geet (Watch ‘Prem Geet’ here)
- Kabaddi Kabaddi (Watch ‘Kabaddi Kabaddi’ here)
- Pashupati Prasad (Watch ‘Pashupati Prasad’ here)
- Dreams (Watch ‘Dreams’ here)
5 nominations for the best artist
- Khagendra Lamichhane – Pashupati Prasad
- Dayahang Rai – Kabaddi Kabaddi
- Deepakraj Giri – Woda Number 6
- Samyam Puri – Luv Sab
- Rekha Thapa – Rampyari
– Watch ‘Woda Number 6’ here
– Watch ‘Luv Sab’ here
– Watch ‘Rampyari’ here
– Watch ‘Bhairav’ here
Till last year, top 3 winners of Miss Nepal contests used to represent international beauty contests. Starting this year, one more Miss Nepal will represent Nepal in the international contest. The fourth placed winner of Miss Nepal 2017 will now go to Miss Asia Pacific beauty contest.
Miss Nepal in Miss Asia Pacefic
Although the fourth place winner of Miss Nepal is going to participate in Miss Asia Pacific beauty contest this year, this is not the first time Miss Nepal had participated in the contest. That was the first international beauty contests Miss Nepal used to go before the agreement with the Miss world beauty contest.
The first Miss Nepal, Ruby Rana, (in 1994) participated in Miss Asia Pacific 1994 in Philippines. After Ruby, Miss Nepal 1995 Sumi Khadka and Miss Nepal 1996 Punam Ghimire also participated in Miss Asia Pacific contests.
The ex-princess and her daughters wore the royal looks in the Upanayan ceremony of the son of the ex-prince Paras Shah and ex-princess Himani Shah, Hridayendra Shah. (I talked about the event in my earlier post)
A video report:
The 14 years old young-ex-prince Hridayendra’s Bratabandha ceremony was conducted in a private function held at the residence of ex-King Gyanendra. Only the close relatives were invited in the function. As no journalists were invited to the ceremony, no photos or the videos of the ceremony were released.
I have collected these photos from various sources in Facebook.
To participate in the Miss Eco International 2017 beauty contest, Nepali beauty, Ronali Amatya has arrived in Cairo, Egypt. The beauty contest is scheduled to start on April 1 and runs till April 15.
Including the Nepali beauty, beauties from 80 different countries are participating in the contest.
Nepal in Miss Eco Tourism
Miss Eco International is an international beauty contest organized by LTCP Organization. The beauty contest with Beauty for Eco theme is geared towards the promotion of tourism and environment started in 2015 in Egypt. The first contest had participants from 60 countries.
In the 2015 edition the Miss Nepal Earth at that time, Prinsha Shrestha, had participated in the contest. The Miss Nepal organizer wasn’t happy by Prinasha’s participation in the contest and they had stripped her off the Miss Nepal Earth crown.
In the 2016 edition of Miss Eco International, Nagma Shrestha had represented Nepal. Nagma’s participation had been a successful participation as she had also won an award titled “Best Video Tourism”.
The bratabandha ceremony of the grandson of ex-king Gyanendra Shah, Hridayendra Shah was held at Nirmal Niwas on March 30, 2017. Media were not invited in the private ceremony. But, the son of Paras and Himani went to Hanuman Dhoka after the ceremony where the media had photo opportunity.
14 years old Hridayendra is the only son of ex prince Paras Shah and ex princess Himani Shah. If monarchy weren’t abolished, he would be in line to the throne of Nepal.
Baby King Concept
Hridayendra was dubbed ‘baby king’ by some political leaders in Nepal – arguing that he would be a better choice to be the king compared to former Crown Prince Paras Shah as Paras is not popular with the people. Paras was involved in a lot of misconducts and wasn’t thought to be capable of ruling the country.
In the third edition of Miss Chitwan beauty contest, held in Chitwan on March 24, 2017, Suman Gurung was selected to wear the Miss Chitwan 2017 title. After winning the crown, Gurung gets the direct entry to participate in Miss Nepal 2017 contest to be held in near future. (Application for Miss Nepal 2017 has recently been called.)
The third Miss chitwan, Gurung, was crowned by the reigning Miss Nepal 2016, Asmee Shrestha. Suman was selected from a pool of 28 contestants. After winning the title, Suman was awarded with Yamaha Fashino Scooter, cash prize and a free entry into Power House Gym.
The first runner up of the contest is Manisha Bhattarai, second runner up is Suvekshya Sharma, the third runner up is Sujita Neupane and Urusha Adhikari was selected to be the fourth runner up.
The application for Miss Nepal 2017 is open now. The eligible Nepali girls can apply for the most prestigious beauty contest in Nepal.
The seven perquisites for the application are:
- Single, never married, naturally born, female, Nepali citizen
- Virgin – they say that, the applicant shouldn’t have given birth to a baby
- Age 19 to 24. The cutoff date is December 31, 2017.
- Education 10+2 or equivalent.
- Height should be minimum of 5 feet and 4 inches (that is 164 cms)
- Attractive, in sound health and good moral character.
- Tattoo taboo – No tattoos on body