Dear Community Members, Jwajalapa – Namaskar,
Nepa Pasa Pucha Amerikaye (NPPA) is pleased to announce that the seventh IHI ceremony will be performed on Saturday, July 18, 2015, in Krishna Mandir (ISKCON), Maryland, USA. The IHI rituals will be conducted by renowned Newah Priest Mr. Basav Rajopadhyay.
IHI is the most inevitable and ritual ceremony in Newah Society to retreat Newah girls at the age of 5-11 years. IHI stands for a certain time and age. NPPA is delighted to reiterate that parents of five non-Newah girls participated in last year’s IHI ceremony and NPPA would like to renew the gratitude to them. NPPA always welcomes such diversity.
One of NPPA’s goals is to preserve Newah culture. In order to achieve this goal, NPPA requests continued support from the community members like you. NPPA appreciates and would like to thank you again for your participation in the earlier IHI ceremonies to make them great success. We request all of you to spread the word among fellow community members about the upcoming IHI ceremony. It is our culture and we all must strive to preserve it.
According to the religious and astrological belief, IHI is an act of giving a virgin in marriage, but it is not a physical wedding. The main images at the wedding – provided separately for each girl – are the bya (in Nepali, bel) which is the fruit of the Bel plant (binomial name – Aegle marmelos), and a golden image (or flat piece of gold with an image engraved on it). The bya fruit represents Lord Shiva and the golden image represents Lord Vishnu/Narayana, also known as Subarna Kumar. At the exact astrological time, called out by a priest, the father hands-over his daughter to the god as manifested by pressing her thumb against the golden image. The image is held against the bya, representing Lord Shiva as the witness to the marriage. This occasion, therefore, is popularly known as IHI (misinterpreted as Bel-bibah).
The principle behind this traditional practice is that a married lady should not be considered “widow” even if her husband deceases, because she was married to Lord Subarna Kumar at her pre-pubescent age. It is performed to prevent widowhood of Newah women. Thus, IHI ritual is the most important ongoing ritual prevalent in Newah culture.
Parents with eligible daughter(s), who are interested to participate in this traditional ceremony, please contact any of the following NPPA Executive Committee members for registration.
Mrs. Shanti Shrestha Mr. Manohar Shrestha
NPPA IHI Coordinator O NPPA General Secretary
301-385-2761 R 703-599-0469
[email protected] [email protected]
NPPA will arrange all the necessary logistics, which includes complete pooja materials, shirbindi and tikha maa (ornament) rental, mu dakshina to the Priest, video and photos in CD to each participant, food for 6 guests, and hall rental.
NPPA Executive Committee
Nepa Pasa Pucha Amerikaye (NPPA), established in 1991, is a Newah organization based in the metropolitan Washington, DC. The Nepa Pasa Pucha Corporation is a registered legal name of NPPA which is a nonprofit tax-exempt organization under the IRC Section 501(c)(3). Its primary mission is the preservation and promotion of Newah cultural heritage, traditions, and customs in the USA.