The Newah Organization of America (NOA) celebrated Nepal Sambat 1142 “National New Year” commemorating Founder and National Hero Sankhadhar Sakhwa on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the event was celebrated virtually in zoom. Participants around the world joined in zoom to felicitate and enjoy National New Year celebration uniquely named after the country Nepal. Large audiences have viewed the program on Facebook and e-Nepalese media platforms.

NOA Treasurer Mr. Divakar Dhaubhadel served as an Emcee and recognized and honored the presence of distinguished guests and cordially requested to be seated. Lists of outstanding guests present in the program includes Embassy of Nepal, Charge de’ Affaires- Mr. Kumar Raj Kharel, Keynote speaker-Lok Kabi Mr. RajBhai Jakami- Chairman of Jyapu MahaGuthi-Nepal, author and producer of many daboo dances, poem, songs and Newah activist, Guest of Honor- Mr. Madan Krishna Shrestha, legendary and renowned actor, singer, King of comedy and President of World Newah Organization (WNO)- Mr. Season Shrestha. Mr. Dhaubhadel heartily welcomed and conveyed gratitude to all participants including various organization’s leaders and representatives, media representatives, volunteers, technical support & broadcast partner-The Himalayan Vibes (THV), community members friends and families.

The Nepal Sambat 1142 celebration program officially began with NOA president Mr. Yagya Man Shakya by offering Khada and flowers on the portrait of Sankhadhar Sakhwa the founder of Nepal Sambat (Nepal Era). Newah Organization of America Language Center (NOALC) children then cheerfully sang the American national anthem followed by Nepalese national anthem.

NOA’s 1st Vice President- Mr. Mahindra Pradhan cordially welcomed distinguished guests, NOA founding members, Chief Guest honorable Charge de Affaires- Embassy of Nepal, Keynote speaker, distinguished Guest Speakers, NOA President and all participants including media partners and thanked everyone for showing support and presence to celebrate Nepal Sambat 1142 and importance of this National Era commemorating legendary Sankhadhar Sakhwa together.

Prior to the presentation of Keynote speaker Lok Kabi Mr. RajBhai Jakami, a beautiful group song on Sankhadhar Sakhwa shu kha (who is Sankhadhar Sakhwa) written and also sang together by Mr. Jakami on legendary Sakhwa was played. The song briefly highlighted the life history and achievements of philanthropist Sankhadhar Sakhwa. After the song Mr. Jakami conveyed heartfelt congratulations to all attendees on the occasion of Nepal Sambat 1142 and emphasized the indigenous Newah people have greatly contributed to maintain culture, tradition, heritage and language and are truly the custodian of Nepal valley. Mr. Jakami shared some wonderful photos, historic facts and mentioned Sankhadhar Sakhwa hailed from the indigenous Newah community and was an ordinary merchant of Maru tole who founded Nepal Sambat. It’s believed that he paid off the debt of all citizens of Nepal valley and introduced a new era of Nepal Sambat, proudly named after the country Nepal. He underlined that Nepal Sambat is based on the lunar calendar and is also known as cultural Sambat and continues to be the basis on which all festivals, rituals and religious celebrations are precisely followed and is connected to our identity. He also stated the Nepal government has rightfully declared Sakhwa as the National Hero of Nepal in honor and recognition of his contributions. He noted the first postal stamp depicting Sakhwa’s portrait was issued in his honor, shared historic photos of renovated Luku Phalcha (pati), his house Ilachen, Sankhadhar bridge Sankhadhar Park with his life size statue were named after him to recognize and commemorate his legacy. Mr. Jakami also cited some historical facts that suggest Nepal Sambat as an International Sambat since it was also used in countries like China and India. He revealed a Nepal Sambat app has been developed which provides information on various Newah festivals based on Tithi in Nepal Sambat along with English and Nepali dates. He is very hopeful that “Sankhadhar Sakhwa National Academy” will be established soon. Honorable Mr. Jakami also recognized and expressed gratitude to NOA in preserving, practicing and promoting Newah culture, tradition, heritage, language and identity in the US and organizing Nepal Sambat celebration and greeting exchange program despite the Covid-19 pandemic hardship.

Representative of Nepal Embassy to the United States, Honorable Charge de Affaires, Mr. Kumar Raj Kharel conveyed warm greetings on Nepal Sambat 1142 to all distinguished guests, participants and affirmed that Sankhadhar Sakhwa is a National Hero who has formed the National Era. Mr. Kharel also stated the recognition of Nepal Sambat as the Rastriya Sambat (National New year) and congratulated and praised NOA for working diligently to preserve and promote Nepal through Nepalese-Newah culture, tradition and heritage around the Washington D.C area.

Mr. Season Shrestha –WNO president cordially exchanged New year’s greeting of Nepal Sambat 1142. He encouraged everyone to campaign and celebrate Nepal Sambat as this signifies the country Nepal and contribute to preserve, promote and practice Newah language, culture and identity of Newah people around the world. Mr. Shrestha also shared information about an exciting on-going project regarding Google translation in Nepal Bhasa and appealed to all for support, participation and contribution to the process.

Guest of Honor and King of Comedy legendary famous artist Mr. Madan Krishna Shrestha heartily wished Nepal Sambat 1142 greetings to all participants and noted the high significance of this new Era and also requested each and every one to continue to celebrate it. He proudly mentioned that Nepal is a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural nation where everyone enjoys living in peace and unity. Mr. Shrestha also expressed sincere gratitude to NOA for continuing traditions of preserving, practicing and promoting Newah culture and heritage in the USA and pleased to be a part of this celebration.

NOA President Mr. Yagya Man Shakya welcomed all guests and extended warm greetings on Nepal Sambat 1142 and mentioned that NOA is working together with other organizations to achieve the goals to preserve & promote Newah culture, tradition and heritage in the USA. He also cited that NOA has established a tradition to continue commemorating founder of Nepal Sambat and national hero Sankhadhar Sakhwa since 2001. Mr. Shakya shared the various activities conducted by NOA and to promote Newah culture, language, tradition and identity.

NOA 2nd Vice President Mr. Rajesh Lal Shrestha thanked all attendees including Charge de Affaires, Keynote speaker, Guest of honor and the President of WNO, Special guests, representatives from various organizations, volunteers, all media partners, cultural program performers, volunteers and tireless efforts of NOA Executive committee members & their families. Mr. Shrestha conveyed a special gratitude to Mr. Rabi Shakya, Emcee Divakar Shrestha, Mila Shrestha for their outstanding support in running the program successfully and to Dr. Roshan Lal Shrestha -The Himalayan Vibes (THV) team for directing several videos of the dances and song including outstanding production design and broadcasting of N.S. 1142 celebration online, and last but not the least thanked e-Nepalese for live broadcasting the program. 

The program was broadcasted live in NOA Facebook page in collaboration with The Himalayan Vibes (THV) and popular media partner aired the event live in their platform as well. Second half of the program was entertained by wonderful cultural programs. Incredible Emcee Ms. Mila Shrestha hosted a lively cultural program featuring dances and songs.  NOA expresses deep gratitude to all outstanding, renown and popular singers from Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

Program began with a premier of a cover song- “Newa Jhi Newa hey juya” by Raj Kumar Joshi beautifully sung by NOA EC members and spouses followed by a graceful dance performed by Bishaka Shakya – winner of Newah Talent Hunt 2021.  Renowned singer Sanjeev Pradhan did a live song “Chagu meh la yegu”. Female singer Rani Shakya sang two beautiful songs “Kuchu kuchu mi” and “Uni Aauchan”.

Newah Organization of America, Language Center (NOALC) girls performed a dance on a lovely song “Wochu Galli, Thochu Galli” performed by Mala Laxmi Pradhan, Megha Joshi, Lochani Tara Shakya, Lujala Ranjit, Prisha Shrestha, Roseeta Shrestha, Vani Aryal and Vedah Shrestha. Popular singer Sagun Tamrakar (son of famous singer Late Ramesh Tamrakar) performed two songs, “Nylon Sari” and popular song “Laikuli Durbar du”. Beautiful and talented girl Vedah Shrestha danced on a song “Basanta” and talented Adi Shakya did a cover song “Maicha”.  From popular KC dance center of VA, beautiful and talented young girl Suhana Sahi performed a dance on the song “maile boleko chaina dhatera”.

Entertainment program continued with renowned pop singer Nalina Chitrakar with a live performance on the song “Siri Siri Fasan Jita” and exchanged New year N.S. 1142 greetings.  Popular singer Sugandha Shrestha sang a melodious song “Ta data makhanagu”. The cultural program was wrapped up with a dance from Palpasa Maharjan- Newah Talent hunt 2021 social media Winner. All dances and songs thrilled the audiences with mesmerizing voices, beautiful and flawless dances by our children.

NOA General Secretary Mr. Udaya Shrestha concluded the felicitation event by extending New Year’s greetings to all participants and Nepalese around the world and shared best wishes for Nepal Sambat 1142, a National Era named after the country Nepal. Mr. Shrestha mentioned that Nepal Sambat belongs to all Nepalese and should be proud of it. He also thanked distinguished guests, recognized contributions from the participants and performers for making the event very successful and announced an Appreciation Certificates to the outstanding cultural-musical performers, volunteers and media partners as a token of honor and gratitude. The program ended with lots of wonderful fond memories and unique experiences.

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May 19th, 2022

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