As the vibrant colors of Dashain light up the streets of Nepal, I find myself in a faraway land, disconnected from the warmth of my homeland. The vibrant red tika on the forehead, the melodious strains of the dhaa and damaru, and the scent of marigold garlands all seem so distant from my current reality in the Gulf. The festival that once brought my family together now feels like a distant dream, an echo of laughter and love that resonates in my heart, reminding me of what I am missing.
In the Gulf, where the cityscape glitters with skyscrapers and luxury, I am but a small cog in a vast machine. The work is demanding, the days are long, and the homesickness is an ever-present ache. Dashain, the grandest and most significant festival in Nepal, is not just a series of rituals and traditions; it’s a feeling, an emotion that binds families and friends in an unbreakable bond.
I close my eyes and imagine the familiar sights and sounds of Dashain. The melodious tunes of traditional songs, the aroma of delicious delicacies wafting through the air, and the laughter of children playing with their newfound Dashain toys. It’s a scene that I have witnessed countless times before, but this year, it’s merely a vivid memory, an intangible vision that flickers in my mind.
The joy of receiving tika and jamara from the elders, the blessings that follow, and the tight embraces of loved ones – these are the moments I crave, especially during this festive season. The joyous atmosphere back home, where every corner is adorned with lights and decorations, is a stark contrast to the muted celebrations in my foreign abode.
Despite the technological wonders that connect me to my family through video calls, the virtual presence cannot replace the physical closeness. As I see my loved ones on the screen, their smiles are bittersweet reminders of the distance that separates us. The void left by their absence is palpable, and my heart aches with longing.
Dashain is not just a festival; it’s an affirmation of our cultural identity and a celebration of our roots. Being far away during this time is like being adrift, disconnected from the very essence of who I am. The camaraderie, the love, and the sense of belonging that Dashain brings are things I yearn for, but they remain just out of reach.
In this foreign land, I find solace in the company of fellow Nepali workers who share similar sentiments. We gather, not in the grandeur of our homeland, but in the humble spaces we call our own here, reminiscing about the Dashain of yesteryears and hoping for a reunion in the years to come. Our shared stories of longing and nostalgia create a bond that transcends the physical distance, reminding us that we are not alone in our yearning for home.
As I light a small diya, far from the grand oil lamps that illuminate every Nepali household during Dashain, I send my silent prayers across the miles. I pray for the well-being of my family, for the happiness of my friends, and for the prosperity of my nation. I may be distant in body, but my heart beats in rhythm with the traditional drums of Dashain back home.
In the midst of this longing, there’s a glimmer of hope. A hope that, one day, I will be able to return home for Dashain, to embrace my loved ones, to partake in the festivities, and to create new memories that will last a lifetime. Until then, I hold on to the cherished traditions in my heart, knowing that the distance cannot diminish the love I have for my homeland and its vibrant celebrations.
Dashain, for me, is not just a festival celebrated in Nepal; it’s a feeling that resides within me, no matter where I am. This Dashain, whether we are in the Gulf, the USA, Europe, or anywhere else far from home, let us celebrate with gratitude and a profound sense of unity. In the face of adversity, the spirit of Dashain endures, proving that our bonds are unbreakable, our love is unwavering, and our home is wherever our hearts find solace in the company of our fellow Nepali brothers and sisters.