Though I’ve been working here in Nepal for over twenty years, I’ve never managed to coordinate life to be in Nepal during the Hindu holidays. Upon booking our tickets, I already felt in the mood of a personal victory celebration!
Last month, immediately upon arrival, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Teej celebration by one of the artisan groups that we work with. Teej, I quickly learned, is a female-only holiday so I felt especially thrilled to be invited in the spirit of Global Sisterhood!
Like any woman in party prep mode, the first thing necessary to understand was proper party attire. Oh my! What to wear?
Ruby red or emerald green and the more sparkles, the more supreme!
So I was off on a Christmas-color Kurta shopping spree which felt appropriate since we are here to work on our Xmas collection and jumping straight into the spirit early was an inspiring help! Also, it felt like another small-world moment—Love and passion in red, and happiness and devotion in green–A cross cultural celebration of color–same, same but different!
So on the different side, it was time to find out what Teej, (short for Haritalika Teej) is all about. Little did I know that I was meant to fast for 24 hours in my holiday-cheer party dress! And all to honor my husband or husband- to- be? This holiday is celebrated to commemorate the reunion of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva. And so I danced and danced in the blazing heat of the afternoon, in the spirit of sisterhood, beads of sweat competing with my bindi and bangles for that sparkle supreme, and praying all the while for my beloved to equal the qualities of Lord Shiva Supreme! (I am truly hopeful)
It’s always wonderful to come together with the women in our global artisan community when we arrive to work in Nepal. It is however, something extra special to celebrate ancient cultural traditions, shared with such warmth and openness.
Let’s all aspire to share our traditions and bring a greater richness to those around us and remember that we’re all connected in this human experience and ultimately, a smile is the same in every language.