The Newah Organization of America (NOA) successfully hosted the 22nd National Convention and Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday May 27, 2023, at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, Maryland. The event was well attended by a large number of audiences from Nepalese and Newah communities in the DMV area. The program was broadcasted live by the media partner-Enepalese.com, simultaneously streaming on NOA’s Facebook page. This year NOA’s convention theme was “The Role of Media in Communicating, Broadcasting, and Promoting Newah Culture, Tradition, Heritage, Language, and Beyond, highlighting the crucial role of media in preserving and advancing Newah cultural values.
The convention commenced with a lively parade featuring traditional music performed by Mr. Yagya Man Shakya Jr., Mr. Aditya Shakya, and Mr. Jayambu Ranjit on the Dhimay and Bhusya Baja instruments. Following the procession, the esteemed guests were warmly welcomed from the graceful Pancha Kanyas: Ms. Arya Tara Shakya, Ms. Riyanna Tuladhar, Ms. Vedah Karma Shrestha, Ms. Alisha Shrestha, and Ms. Jazmine Kayastha. Serving as exceptional emcees, Ms. Mila Shrestha and Ms. Lalita Maharjan formally introduced and extended greetings to the special dignitaries and distinguished guests.
NOA President Mr. Yagya Man Shakya graced the event as the Chief guest while Mr. Keshar Man Tamrakar, Academic and Senior Vice President of World Newah Organization-USA Chapter as Keynote Speaker. Additionally, Mr. Season Shrestha, a former member of World Newah Organization (WNO) served as a Guest Speaker. All dignitaries were respectfully requested to take their seats on the dais. Unfortunately, H.E. Dr. Shridhar Khatri was unable to attend the event due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts.
The 22nd AGM began with the ceremonial lighting of the traditional Twadhaba, officiated by Mr. Keshar Man Tamrakar. The process was facilitated by Ms. Haribaba Kayastha, with assistance from Ms. Sumeetra Ranjit. Ms. Mahima Shakya, and Ms. Meeli Amatya Dhaubhadel presented badges to dignitaries. Additionally, Ms. Chhaya Malla Pradhan and Ms. Sunita Shrestha honored the distinguished guests with Khada.
The national anthems of America and Nepal were beautifully sung by Mr. Joyal Ranjit and the NOA-LC students- Ms. Vedah Karma Shrestha, Ms. Roseeta Shrestha, Ms. Jazmine Kayastha, and Mr. Aditya Shakya respectfully. Their rendition was truly captivating. Following this Mr. Mahindra Man Singh Pradhan, NOA’s 1st Vice President, and Executive Member Mr. Sugandha Shrestha delivered a mesmerizing performance of the Newah Jagaran song, enchanting the audience with their talent and passion.
Mr. Mahindra Man Singh Pradhan extended a warm welcome to the distinguished guests, NOA founding members, advisors, NOA past presidents, representatives from various organization and participants, expressing sincere gratitude on behalf of NOA for their continuous support. He conveyed heartfelt appreciate for their contribution.
Mr. Udaya Shrestha, the General Secretary of NOA, welcomed all dignitaries and participants and provided an overview of the various annual activities conducted during 2022-2023 period. He also highlighted the NOA-LC (language center) program and emphasized the significance of the Jagat Sundar Byonekthi (NOA-JSB) scholarship program, which was initiated in 2009 and has consistently received support from the NOA community members.
During the event, Mr. Divakar Dhaubhadel, the NOA Treasurer, presented the annual financial report for the year 2022-2023 providing transparency and accountability.
Mr. Ram Lal Shrestha, the NOA Chapters Coordinator and the past president, introduced and emphasized the importance of NOA chapters, specifically highlighting the chapters in Florida , Seattle, New England, Northern California, and Southern California. He stressed the significance of uniting the chapter’s activities in order to strengthen the common goals and objectives of NOA as a whole.
During the live broadcast, Mr. Rajendra Shakya, the President of NOA Florida Chapter, extended greetings and congratulated the current Executive Committee (EC) team for successfully completing their term. He also highlighted the various cultural and social programs conducted by Florida Chapter in the past year.
Similarly, Mr. Shrestha highlighted diverse cultural, social, and literary activities organized by NOA Seattle Chapter, NOA Southern California Chapter, NOA Northern California Chapter and NOA New England Chapter showcasing the vibrant contributions of these chapters.
A new edition of the magazine “LASKUS 2023” was officially launched through a joint effort by the distinguished dignitaries and guests with assistance of Ms. Sita Shrestha and Ms. Rama Maharjan Shakya. It was a moment of great honor for NOA to unveil the book titled “Gijimiji Dhwo” by Jana Kavi Durga Lal Shrestha.
NOA also bestowed honors upon graduate students who were the children of life members and had recently graduated during the school year May 29, 2022, and May 28, 2023. This recognition was conveyed through the presentation of Certificates of Excellence, symbolizing NOA’s appreciation for their remarkable achievements. The coordination of this recognition was efficiently executed by Mr. Divakar Dhaubhadel and Mr. Navin Mohan Ranjit, an Executive Member of the organization. The following individuals were honored:
Ms. Urusha Shrestha–Masters
Ms. Kriti Devi Shrestha– Masters
Mr. Kritesh Krishna Shrestha– Masters
Ms. Princy Sindurakar–Bachelors
Mr. Jwoyal Ranjit– Bachelors
Mr. Pranav Shrestha– Bachelors
Mr. Neeraj Rajkumar Shrestha– Bachelors
Mr. Kabindra Raj Suwal –Associate
Ms. Mala Pradhan–High School
Mr. Ayush Joshi– High School
Mr. Bidwottam Ranjit– High School
Mr. Yagya Man Shakya- NOA president announced a special award of Appreciation to Mr. Krishna Charan Shrestha one of the founding members of NOA. This recognition aimed to honor and acknowledge Mr. Shrestha’s exceptional contributions and unwavering dedication to NOA. Mr. Shakya expressed profound gratitude for Mr. Shrestha’s pivotal role in preserving, promoting and practicing Newah culture, transition and heritage in the United States.
Similarly, Mr. Season Shrestha, the immediate past president of WNO extended warm greetings to all the dignitaries and participants and congratulated NOA for organizing 22nd AGM. He wished them continued success in their future endeavors. Mr. Shrestha expressed gratitude toward NOA for playing an exemplary role in preserving and promoting the rich culture, heritage, and various festivals of Nepal. He emphasized that the Newah culture and heritage belongs to all people of Nepal and should be celebrated by everyone. Additionally, Mr. Ramesh Man Munikar, 1st Vice President of WNO Nepal Chapter exchanged greetings and shared his valuable insight during the event.
Yagya Man Shakya extended a warm welcome and heartfelt gratitude to all the distinguished guests for their active participation in the event. He provided an overview of the annual activities undertaken by NOA and highlighted the achievements and recognition the organization has received during his tenure. He urged everyone to continue their unwavering support to NOA and emphasized the organization’s crucial role and responsibility in preserving, promoting, and advancing Newah culture, heritage, tradition, language, arts, music, and various festivals. This responsibility extended not only to the DMV area but also to a global scale.
Mr. Shakya expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the dedicated team that worked tirelessly day and night in the release of the LASKUS magazine. This team included individuals such as Sanjeep Pradhan, who contributed to the captivating cover page, Kiran Ken Ranjit, who ensured efficient coordination and timely delivery of the magazine, and Prabin Tamrakar for his valuable coordination efforts. He extended a special thanks to Chief Editor Mr. Udaya Shrestha and the entire Executive Committee (EC) team for their remarkable contributions.
Furthermore, NOA’s 2nd Vice President, Mr. Rajesh Lal Shrestha, expressed deep appreciation for the participants, volunteers, speakers, and performers who made the event a success. He also acknowledged the significant contribution of Mr. Bishwa Raj Thapa from eNepalese.com for providing live coverage of the event. Mr. Shrestha further recognized the support and financial contributions from THV media team, Himalayan Elderly Care, Classic Diamond, Air Zone Travel, Pen Bouquet, and Fenwick Beer & Wine, whose support played a vital role in the success of the event.
Special gratitude was extended to the emcees, Ms. Mila Shrestha and Ms. Lalita Maharjan, for their outstanding hosting throughout the event. The efforts of Curry Place Restaurant in providing delicious food catering were also acknowledged. Mr. Sugandha Shrestha was recognized for his contributions in setting up the DJ sound system. Additionally, Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, MD, was thanked for generously providing the venue for the event. The photographer, Samridh Shrestha from Photo Bank, was appreciated for capturing the memorable moments of the occasion.
Furthermore, the Keynote Speaker Mr. Keshar Man Tamrakar, eloquently emphasized “The Role of Media in Communicating, Broadcasting and Promoting Newah Culture, Tradition, Heritage, Language and Beyond”. He expressed deep gratitude to NOA for providing an exceptional environment that allows for the preservation and advancement of Newah Heritage not only in the USA but also across the world. This concludes the first session of the formal ceremony.
The second session commenced with a remarkable presentation by the talented youth, Mr. Abhi Dhaubhadel, who shed light on the significance, benefits and ritual value of the New culinary delight “Samya Baji” .
Following his presentation, a panel discussion on “The Role of Media in Communicating, Broadcasting, and Promoting Newah Culture, Tradition, Heritage, Language, and Beyond” took place. Dr. Roshan Lal Shrestha skillfully moderated and facilitated the discussion. The panel included distinguished individuals– Mr. Keshar Man Tamrakar (Keynote Speaker), Ms. Babita Pradhan Shrestha (Light and shadow), Mr. Prabin Tamrakar (Nepal Bhasa Times), and Mr. Rabindra Shakya (The Himalayan Times). These media representatives from various outlets engaged in a comprehensive discussion on the challenges encountered in promoting Newah culture and heritage, as well as the significant opportunities available through media channels in today’s world. The talk program received high appreciation from the audience, with active participation and interactive discussions. The enthusiastic participants also had the opportunity to ask questions, creating an engaging and inclusive session.
Mr. Yagya Man Shakya, in the presence of all the dignitaries, bestowed the honor of NOA membership upon Mr. Tamrakar. Additionally, several newly joined NOA life members were announced and honored with life membership certificates. The list of these newly joined life members is as follows:
Mr. Bamdeva Gautam & Mrs. Sumitra Aryal
Mr. Krishna & Mrs. Ram Laxmi Koju Lakhemaru
Mr. Manohar & Mrs. Anjali Shrestha
Mr. Nabin & Mrs. Pranita Shrestha Shakya
Mr. Prasaya & Mrs. Rishna Shrestha
Mr. Rajesh & Mrs. Sabina Tuladhar
Mrs. Ramita Shrestha
Mr. Sunny & Mrs. Kabita Shrestha
Mr. Raju & Mrs. Shilu Joshee
Similarly, Mr. Shakya also presented plagues to all the sponsored organizations/vendors of NOA that have been supporting NOA in many events. The entities that received plaques are listed below:
As the current term of the NOA Executive Committee has come to a close after three years of serving, the three-member Election Committee, duly formed under the prevailing NOA Constitution of 2001, announced the official election results. The Election Committee was chaired by NOA founding member Mr. Daya Ratna Shakya, with members Mr. Ratna Kaji Shakya (founding member), and Mr. Ram Lal Shrestha (past president). Subsequently, an Election Committee Member administered the Oath of Office to the newly elected President, Mr. Mahindra Man Singh Pradhan, as well as to all the newly elected members of the NOA Executive Committee for the term of 2023-2026. The list of the newly elected members is as follows:
Mr. Mahindra Man Singh Pradhan- President
Mr. Rajesh Lal Shrestha- 1st Vice President
Mr. Divakar Dhaubhadel-2nd Vice President
Ms. Babita Shrestha- General Secretary
Mr. Markandaye Man Singh Pradhan- Treasurer
Mr. Nabin Mohan Ranjit-Secretary
Mr. Sugandha Shrestha-Member
Ms. Rama Maharjan Shakya-Member
Ms. Ramita Shrestha-Member
The newly elected NOA Executive Members, Mrs. Rama Maharjan Shakya and Mrs. Ramita Shrestha, expressed their excitement in joining NOA and their eagerness to contribute towards achieving NOA’s mission.
The formal program concluded with a thank-you note from the newly elected President, Mr. Mahindra Man Singh Pradhan. He expressed his commitment to diligently work towards preserving, promoting, and practicing Newah culture, heritage, language, and beyond, in accordance with the NOA constitution. He also requested continuous support from everyone and emphasized the importance of nurturing love for the organization.
Mr. Pradhan also announced the addition of new members under the following categories:
Member At Large:
Public Relation & Collaboration: Ms. Mila Shrestha
Media and Philanthropic: Mr. Anil Ranjit
Public Outreach: Mr. Rajesh Tuladhar
Advisors to the President:
Mr. Ishwar Rajbhandari
Mr. Udaya Shrestha
Dr. Roshan Lal Shrestha
The second session of the convention started with a cultural program. The program was delightful and diverse, hosted by the charming duo Ms. Rajshree Shrestha and Mr. Anish Khasha. The show began with a captivating performance of the Khadga Yogini Charya Dance, presented by the talented trio Ms. Lochani Tara Shakya, Ms. Samidha Shrestha, and Ms. Lujala Ranjit. This ancient historic dance was choreographed and narrated by Mr. Yagya Man Shakya.
Following the mesmerizing dance, an educational song titled “Kaapi Kalam Samaudai Jau” was performed by the Nepali Pathshala of Maryland. The performance featured Aarohan Shivanshu Karki, Aadhya Siddhi Karki, Aditya Shakya, Divyan Raj Pandey, Ishika Gharti, Evika Gharti, Niket KC Shrestha, and Vani Kamal Aryal. The lyrics were written by Samagy Aryal, and the composition was by Sudip Shrestha.
The program continued with another splendid Nepali folk dance called “A Bhena Yo Saala,” performed by the talented duo Ms. Shristi KC and Ms. Suhana Shahi from KC Dance Center of Virginia.
After the dance, the stage was graced by the renowned singer Mrs. Rani Shakya, who captivated the audience with her popular songs. The energy of the event continued to soar with an attractive group dance performed by the talented and gorgeous ladies Ms. Sunita Amatya, Ms. Pratima Shrestha, Ms. Subha Rajbhandari, Ms. Romila Shrestha, Ms. Galina Pradhan, Ms. Punam Shrestha, and Ms. Bhawana Pandey. The mesmerizing dance on the popular song “Fulbutte Sari” was beautifully choreographed by Sunita Amatya.
The program took a charming turn with an amazing dance performance on the upbeat mashup songs “Nacha Firiri” and “Oh Dai Cha,” presented by the young and talented duo Ms. Jazmine Kayastha and Ms. Vedah Karma Shrestha. Their performance brought energy to the stage. The dance was nicely choreographed by Ms. Mila Shrestha, adding an extra flair to their performances.
The evening continued with melodious and entertaining songs by Mr. Binti Gurung, Mr. Roshan Rajak, and Mr. Manoz Singh, who enthralled the audience with their musical talents. To add to the enchantment, there was a mesmerizing fusion dance performed by the dynamic duo of Ms. Lochani Tara Shakya and Ms. Samidha Shrestha, set to the song “Sachika China Sapah Hina.”
Adding to the vibrancy of the cultural program, another captivating group dance was performed by the gorgeous ladies from the EC spouses and NOA’s close friends’ group. They showcased their skills in a lively and engaging dance to the popular Newah song “Lika Woya Jita Dhala Won,” choreographed by none other than our own Yagya Man Shakya. The talented dancers included Ms. Anu Joshi, Ms. Babita Shrestha, Ms. Chhaya Malla Pradhan, Ms. Sunita Shrestha, Ms. Sumeetra Ranjit, Ms. Ranjita Shrestha, Ms. Mahima Shakya, Ms. Rama Maharjan Shakya, and Ms. Meeli Amatya Dhaubhadel. The flawless moves and graceful choreography added a delightful touch to the overall program, composed by Mr. Yagya Man Shakya.
The renowned Basement Band from the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) region took the stage and delivered an outstanding performance, entertaining and thrilling the audience with their renditions of famous Newah and Nepali songs. With their semi-live music, they created a vibrant atmosphere that resonated with the attendees. The Basement Band’s lively tunes kept the crowd engaged and captivated throughout their performances.
To conclude the program on a high note, Mr. Sugandha Shrestha took the stage and truly rocked the hall with his non-stop and energetic Nepal mashup songs. His captivating performance had the large audience on their feet, dancing and enjoying themselves to the fullest. Mr. Sugandha Shrestha’s talent and charisma created a memorable experience for everyone in attendance, leaving them with an exhilarating end to the cultural program.
The 22nd NOA convention was a remarkable event that not only provided a platform for engaging discussions and interactions but also offered lively and diverse entertainment throughout the evening. The festivities continued as the attendees relished a delicious dinner, adding to the overall enjoyment of the event.
With a plethora of captivating performances, talented artists, and memorable moments, the cultural program left the participants with wonderful new memories. The combination of informative sessions, cultural showcases, and entertaining performances made the convention a truly enriching experience. Appreciation certificates were handed over to all participants by Yagya Man Shakya and Mahindra Man Singh Pradhan
Newah Organization of America July 28th, 2023
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