The Newah Organization of America (NOA) celebrated Nepal Sambat 1131 commemorating national hero Shankhadhar Sakhwa on Saturday, November 27th, at Kemp Mill Elementary School in Silver Spring, Maryland. About 250 Nepalese residing in the Washington, DC and Baltimore metropolitan area enjoyed this special ninth annual gathering. One of the first Newah albums of Mr. Sanjeep Pradhan,"Chhagoo Deyya Laykoo” was also released on CD at the event. This is the first ever Nepal Bhasa Album released outside Nepal.
NOA President Mr. Rajesh Shrestha welcomed the chief guest Ambassador of Nepal Dr. Shankar Sharma, organization representatives, media representatives, and all attendees. He extended greetings to all on the occasion of Nepal Sambat 1131. Mr. Shrestha also highlighted the background and the mission statement of NOA and presented its activities and the achievements over the past two and a half years.
1st Past President and advisor of NOA Mr. Beda Pradhan greeted all the guests on the occasion of Nepal Sambat 1131. He discussed the significance of Nepal Sambat and Sankhadhar Sakhwa and how he relieved poor citizens by paying their debts.
Ambassador Dr. Sharma thanked NOA for the invitation and expressed that NOA has been a helpful partner with the Nepalese Embassy in Washington, DC to promote the cultural heritage of Nepal.
Newah priest Mr. Basav Rajopadhyaye briefed the audience about the Dashain and Tihar celebrations in Nepal. He also reminded the audience that Nepal Sambat and Mha Puja are not same. Nepal Sambat is celebrated on Mha puja because it is an auspious day and because Sankhadhar Sakhwa made people debt-free around that time.
NOA 2nd Vice president Mr. Balaram Joshi pointed out to the audience that NOA is not here to celebrate Nepal Sambat only. The Executive Committee of NOA decided to celebrate this day in memory of Sankhadhar Sakhwa.
NOALC chairman Mr. Ishwor Rajbhandari showed a visual presentation to the audience about NOALC’s annual Mha Puja celebration, which was very interesting.
NOA First Vice President Mr. Ganesh Kayestha expressed his sincere thanks to all the volunteers and participants for their continued overwhelming support.
Special thanks go to NOA secretary and Cultural Program coordinator Mrs. Babita Shrestha and to Ms. Sushanki Chaudhari, Ms. Akanchhya Tamrakar, Ms. Kerisha Singh, and Ms. Ruby Shrestha for hosting the lively cultural program. The cultural program featured songs and dances by local artists including a special Newah dance and song by the students from the Newah Organization of America Language Center (NOALC) students. The Manjushree dance by Mr. Shyam Khadgi, and many more dances by other young and talented local artists; Sukriti Silwal, Gita Subedi and Aayusha Khanal. Mr. Sanjeep Pradhan sang a song from his just-released CD. Mrs. Sarishma Amatya, Mr. Samir Manandhar, Mr. Sunil Chaudhary, Mr Yaman Shrestha, Mr. Raju Lama, and very own local Mirage Band entertained the crowd with their lively songs. Participants enjoyed the home-cooked delicious traditional Newah feast (Bhoy) prepared by many dedicated volunteers. Finally, NOA president distributed certificates of appreciation to all Emcees and cultural program participants.