08/29/2007, 00.00
NEPAL
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The great Hindu festival of ‘Janai Purnima’ celebrated in ‘secular’ Nepal

by Kalpit Parajuli
In a sign that a new page has been turned in the history of the country, Catholics and Buddhists take part in the festival, an event that signifies the search for eternal peace and the victory of good over evil.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Celebrations for the Hindu festival of Janai Purnima, the Sacred Thread Festival, took place yesterday in “secular” Nepal. On this occasion, wearing holy threads protects the faithful from demons and is a blessing for the earth. As a token of friendship, Buddhists and Catholics shared in the event, something which means that a new page in the history of the country has been turned.

During the celebrations people exchange red threads and rice grains.

For Navaraj Adhikar a devout Hindu, the “thread will save us from all kinds of evil powers and lead us to eternal peace and long life.”

“We don't mind [. . .] they celebrate in front of our Stupa,” said Sibuku, a Buddhist monk. “The doctrine, which we respect, is more important. We have a good relationship [with Hindus] and will continue to have it.”

A young Catholic woman also participated in the exchange of threads. “It is part of our culture as well. We all have some Hindu relative. Our dad is not Catholic but he joins us when we celebrate Christmas.”

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