Tri-Service

A Taste Of Gurkha Culture In The Falklands

The festival of Dashain is the biggest event in a Ghurkha soldier's calendar, and being 10,000 miles from home isn't reason to not celebrate...

The festival of Dashain is the biggest event in a Ghurkha soldier's calendar, and being 10,000 miles from home isn't reason to not celebrate it.
 
Ghurkhas deployed in the Falklands may be a long way from their native Nepal, but they've brought some of their culture, including Dashain, with them.
 
Following a feast of momo dumplings and curry they launched into an evening of celebrations recently, marked by dancing and stage shows.
 
Back in Nepal, one tradition during the festival is the construction of bamboo swings, which are meant to represent a sense of fun and community spirit.
 
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Bamboo swings in Nepal (image: Tejaswee.shrestha)
 
Included in the showtime line-up were four British servicemen performing a traditional knife dance.
 
The evening proved to be just a taster to the Falklands of the 15-day long festival.
 
Dashain is celebrated in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma), and parts of India, and is the longest and most anticipated festival in that region, symbolising good being victorious over evil.
 
Rituals and ceremonies come to a head on the ninth day, called Maha Navami, where many people in Nepal visit the Taleju Bhawani Temple.
 
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Taleju Bhawani Temple in Nepal (image: Tejaswee.shrestha)
 
Military rituals are also performed on this day, including sacrifices of buffaloes by the state under gunfire salutes.
 
The god of creation, Vishvakarman, is also worshipped, and many craftspeople offer animal blood to tools, equipment, and especially vehicles as it's believed this helps avoid accidents for the year.
 
With their performing and traditional food, this year the Gurkhas have certainly managed to bring a flavour of the festival to the Falklands.