Hanging with the locals

 

Any time you’re invited to someone’s home for breakfast, you take it, right? Well, I jumped at the chance, especially when I didn’t have to be at Bimla’s place until 9am.

 

Bimla (a teacher at the school I work at), her husband Krishna, their daughter Krishbina and niece Danmaya live in a lovely home, towards the end of a quiet road that backs onto the nearby hills. I rocked on up to their place, and in true Nepalese style, was told to sit down, did I want a cup of tea and no, I couldn’t help with anything!

 

Bimla set about creating a feast of epic proportions. Dhal, baht (rice), potato and egg curry, vegetable curry, fried potatoes (she knows I like the potatoes here!) and hot milky tea. I got to try everything as she made it too, so by the time breakfast was actually ready, I was already pretty full!
Bimla and Krishna are from the Newari cast and there are 3 days of celebrations on at the moment for them. Bimla dressed up in a fuscia pink kutha and we headed off to town to watch the celebrations.
One of the streets in Pokhara town had been closed off. Shiny, sparkly paper tied onto string crisscrossed the street forming a canopy over the street and homes. Kids screamed with excitement on a tiny ferris wheel, candy floss and angry bird balloons were for sale in abundance and crowds of people surrounded a large stage. It had a real carnival atmosphere and I was swept along in the excitement.
A dance competition was in its final day of shows. Groups from all over Pokhara performed traditional dances. The boys were dressed to the hilt in bright, full length costumes complete with headdresses and wings. The girls much more subdued in their red, white and black blouses, trousers, scarves, headdresses and ankle bracelets.

 

 

Musicians played live as the kids twirled, spun, jumped and stomped their way around the stage. It was stinking hot in the shade and I wondered how the makeup didn’t slip off the kids faces as they danced flat out for about 30 minutes.
We wandered just up the road to Bimla’s parents home where I got to meet 3 of her 5 sisters and her mum. Bimla is one of these bight, bubbly people who is always smiling and seems to know everyone. So although we only had to walk about 50 metres to her parents home, it took about 10 minutes as we stopped and talked to various nieces, nephews, her brother and half a dozen friends along the way!

 

Her mum and sisters are all a splitting likeness with big smiles, shining eyes and relaxed natures. We sat under the eave of the home and watched the world go by. I loved it! I was made to practice my Nepali…and I had to laugh to myself when I realised that most of what I know relates to food… I was invited into the home for tea and it also meant a chance to cool off under the fan for a while – such a relief!
 

 

As we were starting to walk home, another man Bimla knows stopped us and invited us backstage to where the performers were waiting. It was such a great opportunity to see the elaborate costumes and makeup up close and again I felt immediately accepted into the community group there.

 

 

I was amazed when I realised that 9 hours had disappeared…however it did explain why I was ready for a nana nap!!!

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