Off the shore
Celebrating Indrajatra with the NOA
Better Stronger Together
Rajiva Shanker Shresta
This time the first welcome note to come my way was from Ram Shrestha, Jwojolopa!! I have heard that you are coming to USA next week. Welcome to USA again. Please let me know how long you will be here!! I acknowledged it with Jwajalappa! Thank you for your kind gesture. We shall be there for some months this time too to meet friends and relatives. Best wishes. We had the opportunity to meet him when we all visited his place with Dipak Prasad Shrestha during our last sojourn here. That time too such a welcome note came home from Season Shrestha when he invited me to attend the 9th Convention and General Meeting of the Newah Organization of America and talk on The Newars in Sikkim that saw the launch of my book Newar: Hami Yastai Chhaun by its President Rajesh Shrestha. They had thereafter many prominent figures like Dr. Bal Gopal Shrestha, Prof. Manik Lall Shrestha, Devdass Manandhar besides stalwarts like the Living Legend Satya Mohan Joshi and Padma Ratna Tuladhar to share with them the forum on different fields they have contributed towards the Newar cause. Season Shrestha was then the General Secretary later to succeed Rajesh Shrestha making further remarkable contributions. Ram Shrestha is the present incumbent carrying forward with his team of dedicated fellow Newars the good works of his predecessors adding much vigour and strength to boost up the activities and raise a whopping $10,000/- aid towards the relief, recovery, rebuild of the Nepal Earthquakes 2015 victims through good efforts of their organization. Familiar with their great works as all aware of by now, when not physically possible to be with them responded their invitations in acknowledgement with remarks wishing I were there and the function be a great success like always and excelling the previous ones. Proof of the pudding is in the eating and being with them all day long that day, meeting the people, seeing the work in action, enjoying the cultural evening and having the feast together in the night. My experiences shared earlier too (June 2010 post Celebrating the Newah Organization of America on www.karunaguthi.com/Thinking local) this account could be an update to familiarize our readers of their good works worth replicating back home in Sikkim and elsewhere.
During these five years their sincere dedicated efforts continued with renewed fervour and zeal every time they come together to celebrate an occasion but for the preservation, promotion and protection of the Newar culture, custom and tradition including the language - one of the most threatened languages in the world. I find their communication with the tagline We are better and
stronger when we work together quite appropriate and apt enough to send the message across the cross-section of our community. Here at NOA a person once entrusted with the task heading the Organization does not just cling on to the chair promoting himself and for his personal interests/gains year after year well beyond the prescribed term. In a routine manner, he has to quit and the mantle passes on to another equally enthusiastic, efficient and able hand taking the baton alit to go further up, fresh blood instilled, to enlighten and spread the message and good works they have been into together. NOA has no provision called second term in office as such that gives them ample opportunity to reunite, bond firmly in solidarity to further their efforts celebrating not only all the major festivities but also performing religious rites like Mha Puja, Kyeta Puja, etc. at a community level for greater social cause.
NOA was established and registered in 2001 in the state of Maryland, USA with the main objective to preserve and promote Newah culture, heritage and mother language and to unite all the Newah people for generations to come. Since the time has come for the Newah community to understand and recognize many important issues and developments taking place around and the impact they have on the community here in America and in homeland Nepal and to face this challenge and answer the needs, aspirations and demands of the community in the 21st century, NOA aims to represent Newars living in America and provide a democratic forum for the Newah community to advance in all fields of human activity, keeping in perspective the rich historical heritage of the past, working creatively and collectively with friends and well-wishers to resolve important issues of the present and to secure the future for the coming generations and for the country Nepal. NOA intends to advance the Newah community into the mainstream of American life and foster strong ties with compatriots in homeland Nepal. It aims to provide able and effective leadership and enhance the historical, socio-economic, cultural, lingual, literary, educational and techno-scientific bases of the community in order to help develop an intelligent, compassionate and creative Newah contribution and people.