NOA Language Center Brings Children and Families Together to Celebrate Mha Puja and New Year
The Newah Organization of America Language Center (NOALC) organized its 7th annual Mha Puja (inner worship) celebration for families in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. This special occasion has been celebrated by the Newah people since the Vedic age. Ninety-two people came together for the festivities on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, the very same day as Nepal Sambat 1133.
The traditional Mha Puja celebration was hosted for the sixth time by Mr. Rajesh Shrestha and Mrs. Rohini Shrestha at their home in Woodbridge, Virginia. The very unique and auspicious ceremony was enjoyed by Newah families from the area. This event is designed to involve Newah children and teach them about Newah culture, traditions, and values. The Shrestha family began preparations in the morning, and many adults and children prepared and decorated the “Mandas” (mandalas). The Mha Puja began at 8:00 pm and ended at 10:30 pm.
NOALC Chairman Mr. Ishwar Rajbhandari kicked off the program by introducing Mha Puja to participants. NOA President Mr. Season Shrestha welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming and for contributing delicious foods for the Mha Puja. Newah priest Basav Rajopadhyay started the puja, going through step by step details, the importance of the Mha Puja, and why we celebrate it.
There was a traditional Sagan and Jho Bhoye (Newah feast) following the Mha Puja. The Bhoye was served on traditional Laptay and Bota (leaf plates and leaf bowls), which brought back memories and made participants feel connected to their origins and culture in Nepal.
The Newah Organization of America is excited to bring the community together to honor Newah cultural heritage and Nepal Bhasa.