By Rabin Man Shakya
State Education Director, NRNA-NCC-USA Oregon Chapter
In a bid to further popularize the Nepalese traditional dresses and give a general introduction of the attires of various ethnic communities of Nepal to the people of Portland, Oregon, the Non-Resident Nepalese Association, National Coordination Council USA Oregon chapter is going to organize a fashion show on Sunday, May 22, 2016 at Nekusing Memorial Theater, Portland.
This is the first time that a traditional fashion show -Nepal Ethnic Cultural Fashion Show- depicting dresses of various ethnic communities of Nepal is being organized in Portland.
The participants are to display costumes of various ethnic groups such as the Sherpas, Magars, Gurungs, Tamangs, Rais, Newars, Brahmins, Chhetris, Dhimals, and Maithili and Bhojpuris.
There is no doubt the culture of any country is reflected in the way of living and lifestyle of people. Traditional attires and apparels are an important component of the lifestyle of different ethnic communities.
In Nepal, there are different ethnic groups and communities which have its own customs, culture, tradition, food, utensils, ornaments, musical instruments and dresses.
Therefore, in economic terms, Nepal may be a poverty-stricken country, but in arts and culture there are reasons for Nepal to be proud of her cultural heritage and ancient arts.
Living in the same society, different ethnic communities must strive to preserve and safeguard their own culture and traditional dresses.
The fact that NRNA-USA-Oregon Chapter is organizing the Nepalese traditional and ethnic fashion show in Portland is a praiseworthy step in itself, but it is advisable for this organization to organize some more shows or festivals relating to Nepalese cuisines, utensils, ornaments, musical instruments, etc in the future.
I am, myself, a representative from the Newah community. Not being a fashion expert nor a trend analyst, I would say that it does not take an expert to understand the role and importance of preserving the attires of different ethnic communities. Any endeavor toward preserving, disseminating and displaying the rich and traditional attires of the ethnic communities is a welcome and commendable act.
The traditional attires of the Newah people is one of the richest parts of the heritage of the Nepalese culture. Tapalan, Haku Patasi, Sayan Kayeta, Parsi, Bhantalan and other ceremonial dresses are some of the distinct attires of the Newah people in the Kathmandu Valley, where traditional weaving was a part of Newah people's life in the past centuries.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of NRNA NCC USA Oregon Chapter Sunil Rajkarnikar says, "We are expecting to include all ethnic groups from Himal, Pahad, and Tarai to represent each group with costumes for respect of diversity among us."
Ms. Sita Rai of the NRNA-USA Oregon Chapter and Ms. Bidhya Gurung are designated as the coordinators of the fashion show.