Friday, November 25, 2016

Nepa Chhen celebrates Thanksgiving Day in Portland

Rabin Man Shakya
Advisor, Nepa Chhen, Portland.

This year's Thanksgiving dinner was organized by Nepa Chhen, a non-profit community organization of the Nepalese Portlanders, at Nekusing Memorial Theater (US West Coast Taekwondo Hollywood) in Portland amidst a program on Thursday, Nov 24, 2016.

This, probably, was the first Thanksgiving potluck dinner organized in the community level in the history of Nepalese diaspora in Portland, and the program was attended by about 40 Nepalese Portlanders.

Among them were the members and activists of Nepa Chhen, Nepali Association of Oregon and NRNA-NCC-USA Oregon Chapter.

Nepa Chhen's president Rajesh Maharjan honored Neelam Pradhananga (Australia), founder and global coordinator of 'Clean up Nepal' and Sajan Chhetri (California), volunteer emergency response coordinator at DirectRelief,  by wrapping Khada on them.

In his welcome remarks, Daya Shakya, advisor of Nepa Chhen and vice president of World Newah Organization said:" Thanksgiving dates back to 1621, the year after the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts, determined to practice their dissenting religion without interference and the indigenous Indians taught them how to grow corns and other harvests."

Addressing the gathering and making a presentation, Neelam Pradhananga of 'Clean up Nepal' said:"The problems and challenges facing our environment are often so complex and overwhelming that it is only natural for us to think about it for a while, shake our heads at the perceived inadequacies and sweep the problems under the rug - out of sight, out of mind."

Neelam went on to say:"With Nepalese cities facing unchecked urbanization, inadequate solid waste management services are becoming even more glaringly obvious."

Speaking on the occasion and making another presentation, Sajan Chhetri of 'DirectRelief' said: "Our organization is committed to spending 100 percent of the remaining Nepal donated funds on our Nepal response. These funds will be used to strengthen Nepal's healthcare infrastructure, specifically focusing on the provision of services to the most vulnerable people in society, and help to prepare the country for future disasters."

Thanksgiving dinner almost always includes some of the foods like roast turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes,  green beans, pumpkin pie etc. Nepa Chhen's potluck Thanksgiving dinner had it all. But there was more than that: Rice, Baji, Aalu Achar, Lain Achar, chicken curry, chicken barbecue, Dhau and so on.

Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in the US and in Canada. Thanksgiving Day is the second biggest traditional and cultural holiday of the Americans after the Christmas. Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November, but majority of Americans take days of vacation on the following Friday to make a four-day weekend, during which they may travel long distances to visit their nearest and dearest.

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