NACC Organizes Vibrant Newari Cultural Event, Ya Mahri Punhi, in Manassas, VA

Enepalese Published on: December 28, 2023

Newari Tradition Brings Together Community in the USA: NPPA, NOA, and NECC participated

Enepalese Reporter-
Manassas, VA

The Nepali American Community Center (NACC), with an energetic festivity that bridged cultural divides, spearheaded the organization of “Ya Mahri Punhi”, a festival celebrating Newari heritage in Manassas, Virginia. The occasion was brought to life through dynamic exhibits and interactive activities highlighting the richness of Newari customs. This attracted a varied assortment of attendees from all walks of their community.

Organized by NACC, the festival served as a dynamic hub for sharing diverse cultural experiences, uniting people of different origins in the Nepalese American diaspora. The cultural atmosphere inspired audiences and the traditional Newari and Nepali customs offered an exclusive and captivating experience as well.

The initiation of NACC towards promoting cultural awareness, collaboration, and unity was displayed during the gathering where community participants celebrated the rich heritage of Newari culture. The event effectively instilled feelings of camaraderie while also recognizing the variety inherent in Nepali American customs, successfully highlighting their unique contributions.

The Nepali American Community Center (NACC) has embarked on a crucial initiative to renovate its temple and community center, calling upon members from diverse backgrounds to join its ranks.

The Ya Mahri celebration was a compelling demonstration of NACC’s renewed commitment to promoting cultural diversity and community involvement, underlining the significance of honoring heritage within our diverse society in a collaborative way with many Newari organizations, stakeholders, and faith-sharing people. The triumph of Ya Mahri Punhi this time mirrors NACC’s continual push for inclusiveness while safeguarding the Nepali community’s distinct ethnic wealth in America.

The Nepali American Community Center (NACC) organized the Newari heritage festival Ya Mahri Punhi in Manassas, Virginia. This vibrant gathering blurred cultural lines and put on display an elaborate illustration of Newari traditions while attracting a varied mix of community participants.

NACC has been spearheading the vibrant Newari festival for the last three years, with significant input from Bina Khadka Lama, NACC’s vice-chairperson, and Sabina Shrestha, a devoted volunteer of NACC. Govinda Mainali who plays an instrumental role in advising the team at NACC was chairman of this event.

The celebration was colored by a blend of cultural exhibitions, encompassing classic Newari and Nepali melodies delivered by local virtuosos like Anish Khasha, Manish Shrestha, Shuganda Shrestha, Nishiki KC and Hridayash Shah. Spectators were enthralled with mesmerizing dance displays in the Newari and Nepali styles performed skillfully by Ovi Kc, Sapan Raut, Prashamsha Adhikari, and Safal Chalise among others.

Mr. Yagya Man Shakya, the erstwhile President of the Newah Organization of America (NOA), orchestrated a mesmerizing Nepali Kauda Dance display that became one of the evening’s standout events. He treated spectators to an array of traditional dances and rhythms earlier by representing Nepal at the World Culture Festival in America’s capital Washington DC on October 1st, 2023.

Prominent guest speakers such as Nepa Pasa Pucha Amerikaye (NPPA) president Manohar Shrestha, NPPA’s vice president Shanti Shrestha, the Newah Organization of America (NOA) president Mahindra Pradhan, Nepal Education and Culture Center (NECC) president Saroj Prajapati and Virginia delegate Michelle Lopes Maldonado extended their gratitudes on the Ya Marhi festival.
On the occasion, being proud of NACC’s diversity initiatives, and with inspiring speeches they reiterated their commitment to supporting NACC’s cultural programs, and to working with NACC in the future for similar causes.

The meeting venue of the Wendym Hotel was generally offered by Govinda Mainali and Mandira Mainali. The “Ya Mahri” Newari food preparation contest saw high-spirited engagement from young contenders. Among them were Sanaya Gyawali and Suave Suwal who stood out in their age brackets to win the competition.

The festival’s success was largely due to the tireless efforts of a committed volunteer group. This included individuals such as Nilam Prasai, Arun KC, Arjun Shahi, Surya Devi Shrestha, Sangita Malakar, Krishna Parajuli, Sanskriti Lama, and Bina Khadka Lama, and Chandra Lama, Sunita Subedi, Gunaraj Luitel among others who significantly contributed to this accomplishment.

Organizers Bina Khadka Lama and Sabina Shrestha offered their heartfelt thanks to local pioneers, guests, volunteers, and the media team. NACC is eager to broaden its cultural endeavors as per Bina Khadka Lama and this expansion aims at integrating an array of Nepali tribal and ethnic communities in the USA into its future initiatives.

As a final message, Prem Poudel, who serves on the NACC board of directors, invites all Nepali Americans residing in Northern Virginia to join and actively support NACC’s refurbishment initiatives. Additionally, Guna Luitel played a key role as both Media Coordinator for the NACC and Advisor at Enepalese by ensuring that significant media attention was given to this event.

The triumph of the Ya Mahri Punhi festival exemplifies NACC’s dedication to promoting harmony and recognizing cultural plurality among the diverse population in the USA.

NACC, a cornerstone in fostering cultural unity within the community, is actively working on building renovation projects aimed at enhancing its temple and community center facilities. This vital project seeks to create a more welcoming and functional space for community members to gather, celebrate, and engage in cultural activities. The NACC team is expecting to finish their renovation work in about one year now.

As part of this effort, NACC extends an open invitation to individuals from different walks of life to become members and actively contribute to the materialization of this renovation project. By joining NACC, community members not only financially support the enhancement of facilities but also play a crucial role in preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage shared within the Nepali American community.

The call for membership underscores NACC’s commitment to creating spaces that foster a sense of community, cultural pride, and shared identity. As the organization works towards the renovation project’s success, community participation becomes an integral factor in shaping the future of NACC and its role as a cultural hub.