LALITPUR: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari today said that the diverse cultures of a nation is its identity and the ‘most important property’ of the state. She also said, “The protection of a country’s cultures and traditions is the responsibility of not only the state, but also of every citizen.”
Speaking at the inauguration of the Nepal Mandal Dapha festival 1136 (Nepal Sambat) organised by the Dapha Bhajan Committee, she said, “All cultural experts, traditional actors, dancers, musicians, and those who have been contributing to protect their traditions must be honoured and supported by the government.”
President Bhandari also expressed sorrow over the damage caused by last year’s devastating earthquakes to physical infrastructures, the citizens’ psychology, and culture.
A Dapha Bhajan group ‘Nepa Orchestra’, the first traditional bhajan orchestra of Nepal comprising more than a hundred singers and musicians, performed during the programme.
Cultural expert and President of the Dapha Bhajan Committee Satya Mohan Joshi said the main objective of the programme was to introduce Nepali culture and traditional music to the world and have traditional music and dances enlisted as cultural heritage.
He informed that the Dapha Bhajan will run from today for the next six months.
More than 6,000 people are participating in the festival with nearly 250 Dapha groups from Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Kathmandu, Kirtipur, Banepa, Panauti, Dolkha, Jhapa and different parts of the country.
The long-running festival will be held every Friday and Saturday at Lalitpur Mall where participants will each be given 50 minutes to complete their performances. Within 50 minutes participants can sing as many songs they can. “Six groups will present their performances every day,” informed Joshi.THT