Bhairab, Lakhey and Dhimay Dance Performances at the Edmonton Heritage Festival 2017

इनेप्लिज २०७४ साउन २५ गते ७:५२ मा प्रकाशित

Bhairab mask dance, Lakhey mask dance, Dhimay dance along with other ethnic dances of the world were performed at the 42nd Edmonton Heritage Festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The Edmonton Heritage Festival that honors Alberta’s vibrant cultural heritage and diversity is one of the largest multicultural festivals in the world.  Nepal has been participating in this annual heritage festival since 2000.  This year, there were about 70 pavilions from around the world (including Nepal) that showcased culture and arts and served more than 500 ethnic food items.  The three-day long heritage festival was held at Hawrelak Park in Edmonton during the long weekend of August 5 to 7, 2017.  More than 450,000 people from various ethnic background attended the heritage festival during the three days.

Bhairab mask dance is an ancient mask dance performed by Newa people of Kathmandu valley and Pokhara of Nepal.  This mask dance is named after Bhairab, the god of strength.  This mask dance is performed during Indra Jatra festival.  Usually, this dance is performed in a group of twelve deities where Bhairab leads the group.  Lakhey mask dance is one of the popular and terrifying Newa dances.  This mask dance is accompanied by traditional music of Dhimay (a special drum) and Bhushyah (a pair of cymbals).  Lakheys are demons in Nepalese folklore and are believed to reside in the forest.  According to legend, a Lakhey falls in love with a young girl in Majipa of Kathmandu and starts visiting the girl in human guise.  But when he is captured, instead of punishing him, the locals offered him impunity and life with his lover as he promised to give up his carnivorous appetite and protect the children.  Dhimay dance is one of the popular traditional Newa dances of Nepal.  This dance is performed by Jyapus (meaning people with agricultural occupation) of Kathmandu valley playing the musical instrument of Dhimay and Bhushyah.  Dhimay is the most common and significant musical instruments of Newa people.  It is played in almost all ceremonial occasions.

In the Edmonton Heritage Festival, Bhairab mask dance, Lakhey mask dance and Dhimay dance were performed by local artists from Newa Cultural Society of Alberta (NCSA), a non-profit organization to practice, promote and preserve Newa cultural heritage in Edmonton, Alberta.  Meanwhile, NCSA was incorporated in April 22, 2013 under Societies Act of Government of Alberta, Canada.  Dr. Hemanta Joshi is the founding president of NCSA.