Discussion and Feedback Program on the Athpahariya Folklore and Folklife Field
Athpahariya Kirat Rai Society (AKIRAS) and Nepali Folklore Society (NFS) jointly organized a two-day discussion and feedback program on the achievement of the Field Study of the Athpahariya Rai folklore and folklife at the hall of AKIRAS, Dhankuta on 1-2 August 2006. The program that began after the breakfast at 8:30 morning was chaired over by Mr. Dhruba Kumar Chhara, AKIRAS Central Committee Chairman and emceed by Mr. Arjun Chhara, the Secretary of the AKIRAS District Committee. The Chief Guest of the program was Prof. Tulasi Diwasa, the President of the NFS, Kathmandu. Others guests invitees of the event were- Mr. Asta Bahadur Rai (Chhongden), Chairman of the AKIRAS District Committee, Mr. Gehendra Rai, Chairman of the City Executive Committee and the four members of the Field Study Group.
On the occasion, Mr. Sambhu Khatiwada, delivered a welcome speech on behalf of the Nepali Folklore Society, further highlighting the objectives of the folklore and folklife field study. Intending an effective feedback and meaningful discussion, the organizers arranged an introductory program among the participants. Following the introductory program, the Chief Guest of the program, Prof. Diwasa released an Athpahariya language bimonthly magazine Fungning, and a Nepali-Athpahariya dictionary prepared for the first time in the Athpahariya Rai history. At this juncture, Mr. Gehendra Rai and Mr. Indra Chhongden, the Editor of the Fungning shared their views. Likewise, Ms. Rajkumari Chhitlinge and Mr. Asta B. Rai also expressed their views on the efforts of preparing the Nepali-Athpahariya dictionary.
Addressing the program, Prof. Diwasa shed lights on the importance of promoting folklore adding that the Fungning, the magazine and Nepali-Athpahariya Dictionary will be catalysts to upgrade and promote the language and culture of Athpahariya in the entire region. Prof. Diwasa also appreciated praiseworthy efforts of the AKIRAS members while publishing the magazine and preparing the Nepali-Athpahriya Dictionary. He also thanked the community for their valuable supports to the members of the NFS field study group.
In the second session, the members comprising the field study group highlighted the achievements acquired during the period of study on folklore and folklife of the Athpahariya Rai. In this session, Mr. Amrit Yonjan, the Coordinator of the field study group presented a paper entitled "Athpahariya Folk Language and Folk Communication” while Mr. Luisang Waiba presented a paper on "Athpahariya Socio-cultural Folklife and Folkways." Similarly, Mr. Bulu Mukarung presented a paper on "Athpahariya Folk Literature and Folk Performing Arts" and Mr. Sambhu Khatiwada shared his views through his paper "Athpahariya Material Culture and Folk Heritages". On the occasion, various participants and key informants representing different walks of life and various villages shared their views on the outcome of the field study while the members of the field study group responded the queries raised by the informant participants. Having purposeful discussions and meaningful interactions over the information collected by the study team, the participants gave constructive and fruitful suggestions to the members of the field study group.
Mr. Dhurba Chhara who also chaired the second day session, said that the program, first of this kind, was fruitful and effective to promote the folklife and folklore of the Athpahariya. Mr. Gehendra Rai had greeted the guests and participants with his welcome speech. In order to make the session effective and interactive, the participants were divided into four groups. The participants of the programs had shared their knowledge, ideas and views among themselves. On the occasion, various folk dances, reflecting the vivid ways of folklife and tradition of Athpahariya were also performed.
Finally, AKIRAS arranged a concluding event wherein Prof Diwasa along with the 4 members of the field study group and cameraman Mr. Mohan Bikram Shah were felicitated with the Letter of Appreciation. On the occasion, the AKIRAS members also arranged a farewell program in honor of the NFS chairman and the field study group. Speaking in the program, Prof Diwasa, Mr. Dhruba Chhara, including others, had thanked the participants for their fruitful suggestions and praiseworthy supports.
First National Folklore Congress-2006
Nepali Folklore Society (NFS), known for the promotion and preservation of wide areas of folklore covering the various disciplines of social science such as sociology, anthropology, geography, linguistics, literature and architecture, grandly organized its First National Folklore Congress from 15-16 December 2006 at the library hall of the Nepal Academy, Kathmandu, bringing together the hundreds of folklore experts and scholars across the country.
The Congress witnessed a historic participation of hundreds of participants along with above 100 registered participants including folklore experts, university professors, doctors and lecturers from various disciplines of the society. The Congress underlined the needs to be explored in the diverse streams of folklore and also stressed on the holistic approach to study the people and places across the country. Including the inaugural and valedictory sessions, the Congress was divided into nine sessions entitled- Nepali Folklore and Folk-life Field Study, Folklore Gender and Power, Folklore and Folk Performing Art, Theoretical and Methodological Issues in the Study of Folklore, Folklore, Identity and Ethnicity, Folklore, Literature and Language, Folklore, Cultural Studies and Folk Practices which brought together a total of seventy exclusive papers on various topics.
The inaugural session of the Congress, held at the library hall of Nepal Academy on December 15, 2006 from 9:45-10:45, was inaugurated by the Chief Guest: Hon’ble Minister of Culture, Civil Aviation and Tourism - Mr. Pradip Kumar Gyawali and chaired by the NFS President Prof. Tulasi Diwasa. Delivering the inaugura