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Madhav Narayan Festival: Participation of hundreds of Hindu Devotees in a mass holy Bath Ritual in Nepal

The devotees take only one meal a day without salt and also take around the city of Sankhu barefoot worshipping at different Hindu temples

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Madhav Narayan festival in Nepal
A Hindu ritual, Pixabay

Kathmandu, Jan 12, 2017: The first day of the month-long Madhav Narayan festival saw hundreds of Hindu devotees in Nepal taking part in a mass holy bath ritual in the famous Sali River situated in the ancient town of Sankhu.

Devotees fast, chant hymns, meditate and take holy dips to pay tribute to Hindu Goddess Swasthani, who is supposed to bring good fortune to them.

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The devotees take only one meal a day without salt and also take around the city of Sankhu barefoot worshipping at different Hindu temples. Pashupatinath and Changu Narayan temples are must visits for paying tribute.

Daiba Shrestha, a local resident of Sankhu told PTI that “ This time a total of 205 devotees are taking part in the month-long festival by observing Brata, during which they take only one meal a day without salt”.

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The worshippers also spend time studying the religious book of Swasthani, which relates to the lives of the Goddess and Hindu God Shiva. While men pray for good fortune, married women pray for the well being and prosperity of their husbands and children, and unmarried women pray asking for suitable spouse.

prepared by Saptaparni Goon of NewsGram. Twitter: @saptaparni_goon

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Unique Cross-Cultural Experience In The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival

The Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF) will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience

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Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the Jodhpur RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The desert of Rajasthan is home to a plethora of folk arts, and public festivals celebrating these folk forms are growing by the day. One such event, the Jodhpur Rajasthan International Folk Festival (RIFF), in its 12th edition between October 10 and 14, will once again merge local folk sounds with global ones for a unique cross-cultural experience.

The Jodhpur RIFF, as it is called, takes place annually at the majestic Mehrangarh Fort, and is curated by Divya Bhatia, who feels music events or festivals are “among the few forums left that allow for a joyful, shared experience for all, irrespective of background or social standing. One needs no prior knowledge or understanding to lose oneself in the art form, he added.

Bhatia also gave IANS a sneak peek into the lineup of the upcoming festival. “We have a new thrust on original and contemporary writing in the regional traditions and will be exploring some new lyrics and poetry from Rajasthan and Punjab,” he said.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Folk, Festival, Culture
Colors of Rajasthan at the RIFF. Wikimedia Commons

The festival will also feature a collaboration between Rajasthani and Irish musicians and new work with Ballake Sissoko from Senegal, with the Authentic Light Orchestra from Switzerland and with the master of the Armenian duduk, Emmanuel Hovhannisyan.

Yissy Garcia from Cuba will be at the gala as first woman ‘Rustler’ — an artiste who collaborates with musicians of diverse forms. Ghatam maestro and Grammy-winning Vikku Vinayakram is also scheduled to perform, along with a performance by wonderful Punjabi singer Bir Singh, Afrobrat DJ Jose Marquez and some legendary Rajasthani music.

“Jodhpur RIFF recognises and celebrates our Rajasthani intangible heritage. Moreover, it creates opportunities and facilitates the judicious use of resources for the revitalisation of this heritage – providing inspiration, engagement and livelihood for traditional artists.

ALSO READ: A Visit to The Magnificent Junagarh Fort, Bikaner

“Today, because of the festival, our international collaborations and presentations across the world, Jodhpur RIFF has become the consistent single largest employer of Rajasthani folk musicians,” said Bhatia.

Does he find folk musicians stable and secure in their practice and livelihood?

“Folk musicians across India can do with much more stability and security. As listeners, I would encourage us to learn about them, discover them, buy their music, invite them to perform for us and attend all their live concerts,” he said. (IANS)