10 THINGS YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS DASHAIN
1) GET DRUNK AND ACT A FOOL
According to legend, for some unknown reasons, the police authorities have a keen lookout on the city in and around the festive season of Dashain. Hidden innuendoes aside, the Nepali Police authorities may be rightfully tightening the reins because the Nepali citizens do tend to go overboard with celebrations during this time of the year. So, don’t let the festivities act as an excuse to inebriate yourself to an extent where you make a fool of yourself and get yourself and the ones around you hurt.
Most importantly, regardless of how clear the roads are, avoid driving/riding drunk. If not for anything else, do it to avoid MAPASE.
2) EAT LIKE A PIG
You may be on vacation, but that does not mean that your body will pardon you for overloading it with the oily and unhealthy Dashain diet. Try and keep in mind that the extra serving of mutton accumulates over the days and cholesterol levels will shoot off the charts. It’s especially essential to stay in control if you are in the vulnerable group of middle-aged men (or women) who already have a high body fat percentage.
Your heart will curse you and you’ll curse yourself when the pants you bought for Dashain no longer fit you by the end of the celebrations.
3) GO OVERBOARD WITH THE GAMBLING
Dashain is a time when gambling is pretty well accepted and practiced. However, don’t end up selling off your watch, home, wife and kids to pay off your gambling debts. Gambling has the reputation of getting people to astonishing extents and it can end up badly for you.
It’s a good idea to set a limit to the amount of money you are willing to gamble away and call it quits when you reach the limit.
It may be fun and a cultural pastime during Dashain, but it may also be a slippery slope for some. So be wary of the adversities beforehand.
4) AVOID RELATIVES
You may not want to meet the annoying old hag of an aunt who by the twisted fate of god is your relative, but go get a tika from her anyways. Dashain may be the only time when you see some of your relatives so it shouldn’t be too hard to suffer their presence for a few hours. In a culture like ours where relations are put on such a high pedestal (no matter how fictitious they may be), avoiding relatives during tika may mean severing ties with them permanently.
5) OVERSPEND ON THE DAKSHINAS
Know your capacity when it comes to spending on Dakshinas. Don’t overshoot your budget just to keep face in front of the relatives by giving hefty sums as offerings with tika. If someone judges you on the basis of how much free cash you give them, then it is their problem not yours. Make sure your blessings come from the heart though, because that is what matters. But if you do have a little extra cash to spend, loosen the purse strings as you will be making the younger kids really happy.
6) BE CARELESS WHILE FLYING KITES
Flying kites is a traditional activity which is extremely enjoyable to those who do it. But because it is usually done from the roof tops, it can be a precarious location at times when adrenalines soar high. Keep in mind your surroundings when you fly a kite, choose a location where there are barricades that reach above your hips.
And if you have your kids, of smaller siblings flying kites, make sure there is adult supervision for them.
7) LEAVE THE HOUSE EMPTY AND UNATTENDED
Although criminal activities are low during Dashain, robberies are still prevalent during Dashain, especially because you tend to leave your homes to go to relatives (or back to your home town). Take proper precautions to make sure you don’t vall victim to any criminal activities.
8) DRIVE LIKE A MADMAN
The roads may be comparatively empty during Dashain, but that does not mean that the traffic rules cease to exist. Nor does it imply that the dangers of the road are completely nullified. In fact, the chances of unattended children running in the streets and people carelessly crossing the roads are high and you do not want to be the cause of a fatal mishap.
Dashian is the season to unwind and relax, so try and avoid work during this time for yourself and your family. But for some people they may not have a choice, and we do feel sorry for them.
AND WHAT YOU MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN
#1 FLYING KITES
You know Dashain is right around the corner when you start seeing kites in the sky. But did you know that its motif was to remind the gods to not send in the rains anymore? Someone should have tried that when we had to break out our canoes to get through Jamal in the downpours.
#2 THE SLAUGHTER
Animal sacrifices are the norm during this festive season and is believed to commemorate the mythical bloody battles between the “divine” and “demonic” powers. The slaughters symbolize the sacrificing of our “animal qualities”. Although it’s highly debated as to whether the senseless killings snub out the animal qualities or enhance them.
#3 RAW FACTS
With all that slaughtering, the meat has to go somewhere. It is estimated that the consumption of meat during Dashain — Saptami to Dashami— increases by seven times with a daily average intake of 28 gram to 212 gram per person. Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts need around 50,000 to 60,000 goats during Dashain.
The Dashain favorites: mutton covers 34 per cent of total meat demand of the capital and the remaining is fulfilled with buffalo, chicken and pork meat.
#4 CRIME RATES
It is a common trend for crime rates to drop during Dashain season. According to the police, social crime in the Capital during last year’s Dashain festival decreased by a whopping 52.38 percent. Let’s hope the tendency continues and we see a further decline in criminal activity.
#5 WHAT THE CLUCK?!
The recent culling of a large number of bird flu-infected broiler parent chickens is likely to trigger a shortage of chicken meat during Dashain, propelling traders to raise prices of other types of meat during the festive season. Even with the bird flu may no longer be a threat, compensating for the culling may not be possible within Dashain. The price of mutton has already increased to Rs. 750per kg from Rs. 700 per kg prior the bird flu. With the demand still increasing, it’s highly likely for the prices to further increase.
#6 BON VOYAGE!
It is estimated that almost 50% of the population in the Kathmandu valley leaves for different parts of the country to celebrate the festival. It’s no surprise the streets are so empty during Dashain.
#7 WHERE DID THAT SWING COME FROM?
Like the kites and tika, the tall bamboo swings are synonymous with the festival of Dashain. It is believed to be good luck and a requisite to get both your feet off the ground during Dashain, and most people get on the almighty swings.
The swings that seem to pop out of nowhere are actually set up by the Armed Police Force of Nepal for your convenience. But do take care when you get on one of these structures because some would argue that they are not the safest bets when it comes to safe swings.