Newah Organization of America (NOA) successfully celebrated “Yomari Punhi” program on Sunday, December 19, 2021 at the premise of Nepal Education & Cultural Center (NECC), 11650 Snowden Farm Parkway, Germantown, MD 20876 from 12:00 NOON to 5:00 PM. More than 50 guests representing NOA and NECC and other community members attended the program enjoying unique Newah delicacy steaming Yomari along with homemade traditional “Samay Baji”. Mrs. Saroj D Prajapati, NECC’s President with other Executive Members and family and Mr. Manohar Shrestha, President of Nepa Pasa Pucha Amerikaye (NPPA) with spouses were present to participate and support the program. The program was held on a small scale attended by the invitees only due to Covid-19 pandemic situation.
NOA has been celebrating “Yomari Punhi” program mainly to acquaint and promote the significance of authentic and unique Newah culture to the new generation kids along with their parents and other community members. This festival is very popular and widely celebrated in Kathmandu valley, other parts of Nepal, in the US and other countries among the Newah-Nepali residing communities. The name “Yomari Punhi” originates from Newah language where “yoh” means to love or to like, “mari” means bread dish, “Punhi” represent the full moon and signifies an authentic Newah delicacy. Steaming a confection of rice-flour dough conically shaped with fish-like tail top is carefully filled with sesame seeds mixed molasses (concentrated brown cane sugar) known as “chaku”, which means sweet in Newah language or with “khuwa” (ricotta cheese mixed with sugar). The “Yomari Punhi” is observed during the auspicious full moon day of December which symbolizes end of harvest season and the beginning of winter season. It is widely believed that Yomari food keeps us safe from the brutal cold and this festival conveys important cultural, health, agricultural and social messages to the society.
NOA president Mr. Yagya Man Shakya welcomed all the participants and gave a brief introduction and importance of Yomari Punhi festival followed by the live Yomari preparation, training and cooking session. Large enthusiastic participants including children prepared Yomari made of rice-flour dough with “chaku” and “khuwa” carefully steamed in the special steamer and witnessed the complete process of cooking. At the conclusion, steaming Yomari and delicious homemade “Samay Baji” was served.
On this same occasion NOA general secretary Mr. Udaya Shrestha also moderated a special short program and conveyed deep gratitude to all participants including NECC team members and marked an important highlight of a special announcement undertaken by the NOA team. NOA President Mr. Yagya Man Shakya first of all thanked all guests and participants of NECC team members, NOA team and specifically expressed deep appreciation to volunteers and NOA-EC members & spouses for delicious “Samay Baji” pot-locks and for other support to make this program highly successful. Mr. Shakya shortly briefed about the significance of “Yomari Punhi” festival then sincerely thanked NECC for the venue, congratulated NECC team leaders for acquiring new property and conveyed best wishes for the future endeavors. He also announced that the NOA team has decided to be a bonafide member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and enthusiastically cooperate and support the NECC organization. NECC President Mrs. Saroj D Prajapati expressed her sincere thanks and welcomed NOA organization to the board of trustees. She also briefly informed about NECC’s new property, ongoing progress, visions and unlimited potentials for the benefit of all community members. Mrs. Prajapati appealed to all participants to support and contribute to make NECC’s project successful.
The “Yomari Punhi” program was briefly broadcasted LIVE on the NOA’s and NECC’s Facebooks. NOA team sincerely thanks THV broadcast partners Mr. Rabi Shakya, Mr. Roshan L Shrestha for videos & photos, Mrs. Saroj D Prajapati, NECC president for video and their outstanding works.
Thank you and Subhaye
Newah Organization of America (NOA)
Newah Organization of America May 19th, 2022
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