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Press Release: NPPA 8th IHI Ceremony


 NPPA's Eighth IHI Ceremony – Press Release




NPPA successfully celebrated its eighth IHI ceremony on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at Washington Kali Temple, Burtonsville, Maryland. IHI is the most inevitable ritual in Newah Society to retreat Newah girls of ages between 5 and 11 years. NPPA organizes IHI program every year to accommodate the growing demand of the community. 15 girls from five different states participated in this year’s IHI ceremony.



The ceremony began with commencement Pooja, which was presided by Thakuli (senior member of the community) and NPPA Patron Mr. Dibya Ratna Hada, followed by “Laskus”, – traditional welcoming of 15 girls to Pooja Mandap, which was led by the traditional Dhime (traditional drum) and a group of ladies carrying auspicious symbols. The Dhime team consisted of Mr. Budhendra Joshee, Mr. Buddha Maharjan, and Mrs. Magan Shrestha. The “Laskus” team members comprised of Ms. Promita Prajapati, Ms. Kerisha Singh, Ms. Sarahana Joshee, Ms. Aishwarya Shrestha, Ms. Sahara Shrestha, Ms. Kriti Shrestha, and Ms. Hridayesha Tamrakar.



NPPA President Mrs. Saroj Prajapati welcomed the participant kanyas, their parents, and guests, and highlighted the importance of IHI ceremony in Newah community in the US. She stated that NPPA is the pioneer in preservation and promotion of important culture and ritual practices.



Priest Basav Rajopadhyay performed various rituals such as Purification Pooja, Mandap Pooja, Sindhuorhan, Kanya Dan, Mandap Parikrama, Kumar Pooja, Kumari Pooja, Barachhuyagu, Thayabhu, Avishek, Ashirbad, and Jal Prasad in an orderly manner.



The IHI participant kanyas in 2016 are:



Name of Participant Kanyas, State (Parents’ Name)
1. Miss Megha Chitrakar, VA (Parents: Mr. Rabi Chitrakar & Mrs. Shreeja Shrestha)
2. Miss Shisujita Karmacharya, CT (Parents: Mr. Jitendra Karmacharya & Mrs. Anu Shrestha)
3. Miss Aisworya Rani Joshi, VA (Parents: Mr. Manindra Joshi & Mrs. Bhagawati Joshi)
4. Miss Neha J. Shrestha, MD (Parents: Mr. Gaurab Shrestha & Mrs. Nina Shrestha)
5. Miss Aarya Shrestha, MD (Parents: Mr. Prashant Shrestha & Mrs. Shikha Budathoki)
6. Miss Brianna Segura, MD (Parents: Mr. Victor Segura & Mrs. Gargi Joshi)
7. Miss Melvina Ranjitkar, SD (Parents: Mr. Barun Ranjitkar & Mrs. Manisha Shrestha)
8. Miss Diva Shrestha, MD (Parents: Mr. Saroj Shrestha & Mrs. Sujata Shrestha)
9. Miss Abisha Shrestha, MD (Parents: Mr. Ajit Shrestha & Mrs. Bibta Pradhan)
10. Miss Sarah Rowal Shrestha, MD (Parents: Mr. Surendra Shrestha & Mrs. Sarita Shrestha)
11. Miss Parisha A. Shrestha, MD (Parents: Mr. Purushotam B. & Mrs. Anupa Shrestha)
12. Miss Arya Bijukchhe, WA (Parents: Mr. Anup Bijukchhe & Mrs. Rebika Amatya)
13. Miss Anika Bijukchhe, WA (Parents: Mr. Anup Bijukchhe & Mrs. Rebika Amatya)
14. Miss Ritika Thanju, VA (Parents: Mr. Rajesh Thanju & Mrs. Reetu Thanju)
15. Miss Riana Gopaju, MD (Parents: Mr. Upendra Kaji Gopaju & Mrs. Rekha Gopaju)



Three pairs of Nayo and Naki – Mr. Bijaya & Mrs. Minu Shrestha, Mr. Manohar & Mrs. Anjaly Shrestha, and Mr. Prabodh & Mrs. Sheila Shrestha helped to facilitate the ritual processes as directed by the Priest. In the ceremony, Master Sanskar Maharjan and Miss Sanskriti Maharjan were symbolized as Kumar and Kumari, respectively.



More than 400 attendees/guests and observers were present in the ceremony, who were excited and delighted to view a variety of tantrik rituals performed by the Priest. NPPA EC members and active members Mr. Ram Malakar, Mrs. Bisnu Malakar, Mr. Krishna Prajapati, Mrs. Saroj Prajapati, Mrs. Sukla Shrestha, Mr. Raju Joshee, Mrs. Shilu Joshee, Mr. Buddha Ratna Maharjan, Mrs. Ganga Maharjan, Mr. Allan Maharjan, Mr. Pancha Shrestha, Mrs. Shanti Shrestha, Mr. Nani Babu Shrestha, Mrs. Magan Shrestha, Ms. Sarita Dongol, Mr. Prabin Tamrakar, Mrs. Deepa Tamrakar, Mr. Kailash Singh, Mrs. Rita Singh, Mrs. Shaubhagya Hada, Mrs. Roshani Gorkhali, Ms. Manju Shrestha, Mrs. Niti Mathema, Ms. Elina Maharjan, Mrs. Anu Shrestha Maharjan, Mr. Sajan Maharjan, Ms. Sweta Shrestha helped participants and guests during the IHI ceremony. She also thanked the hard working youth volunteers Mr. Anugh Shrestha, Mr. Pukar Shrestha, Mr. Nayan Shrestha, Mr. Sweekar Shrestha, and Mr. Subhash Khatiwada.



Mrs. Saroj Prajapati also expressed her sincere gratitude and appreciation to all the participant kanyas, parents, guests, volunteers, drinks and food contributors, executive committee members, advisory board members, media, and Washington Kali Temple. She also presented Certificates to all IHI participant Kanyas. She credited the success of today’s event to the participants, supporters, and volunteers.



NPPA would like to thank and acknowledge generous food contributors by Mr. & Mrs. Ram Malakar, Mr. & Mrs. Krishna Prajapati, Mr. & Mrs. Raju Joshee, Mr. & Mrs. Buddha Maharjan, Mr. & Mrs. Manohar Shrestha, Mr. Allan Maharjan, Mr. & Mrs. Pancha Shrestha, Mr. & Mrs. Nani Babu Shrestha, Mr. & Mrs. Bijaya Shrestha, Mr. & Mrs. Ramji Prajapati, Ms. Sukla Devi Shrstha, Mr. & Mrs. Prabin Tamrakar, Ms. Sarita Dongol, Mr. & Mrs. Kailash Singh, and Mr. & Mrs. Ashok Jayanti Bhadel.



Please mark your calendar for the following NPPA’s upcoming events:



» August 20, 2016 - Sa Paru (Gai Jatra) and Summer Picnic @ Wheaton Regional Park, MD
» September 10, 2016 NPPA Patron/Life Members Appreciation Dinner
» October 23, 2016  Dashain (Maha Ashtami)
» October 31, 2016 (Nepal Sambat 1137)
» November 4-5, 2016 Nepal Sambat 1137 Bhintuna and NPPA’s 25th Anniversary celebration



After the conclusion of the IHI ceremony, NPPA members and volunteers served food to all the participants and guests. Overall, NPPA successfully completed its Eighth IHI ceremony. For more information please contact Mrs. Saroj Prajapati (





IHI is the most inevitable and ritual ceremony in Newah Society to retreat Newah girls at the age between 5 and 11 years. IHI stands for a certain time and age. According to the religious and astrological belief, IHI is an act of giving a virgin in marriage, but it is not a physical wedding. The main images at the wedding - provided separately for each girl - are the bya (in Nepali, bel) which is the fruit of the Bel plant (binomial name - Aegle marmelos), and a golden image (or flat piece of gold with an image engraved on it). The bya fruit represents Lord Shiva and the golden image represents Lord Vishnu/Narayana, also called Subarna Kumar. At the exact astrological time, called out by a priest, the father offers his daughter to the god as manifested by pressing her thumb against the golden image. The image is held against the bya, representing Lord Shiva as the witness to the marriage. This occasion, therefore, is popularly known as IHI (misinterpreted as Bel-bibah). The principle behind this traditional practice is that the girl having been married with human being, should her husband decease, she would not be considered “widowed” because she was married to Lord Subarna Kumar at her pre-pubescent age. It is performed to prevent widowhood of Newah women. Thus, IHI ritual is the most important ongoing ritual prevalent in Newah culture.