The Newa Cultural Society of Alberta (NCSA) recently organized a cultural program to commemorate annual Yomari Punhi cultural festival, one of the greatest festivals of Newar community, amidst a special function at Lansdowne Community Hall on Saturday February 4, 2017. This was the 4th annual Yomari Punhi cultural event organized by NCSA in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The Yomari Punhi cultural event commenced with a welcome speech from Dr. Hemanta Joshi, President of Newa Cultural Society of Alberta (NCSA). Dr. Joshi highlighted on the importance of Yomari Punhi festival and significance of Yomari in the society. According to Dr. Joshi, Yomari Punhi festival not only reflects the identity of Newa people but also reflects the identity of Nepal and Nepali people in the world. Yomari, a unique Newa delicacy, prepared and consumed mainly in the Yomari Punhi festival is made from sweet rice flour, roasted ground sesame seeds and molasses. According to Dr. Joshi, Yomari is the principal and essential item on the menu for performing many Newa rituals and traditions like birthday ceremonies of children, old age ceremonies, baby showers, and some religious worship.
Ms. Bejuna Joshi, a senior lady from the Newa community in Edmonton, performed Puja of Annapurna, the Goddess of grains, offering freshly cooked Yomari, as a gesture of acknowledging her for good harvest and for blessings. Yomari Punhi is celebrated each year on full moon day (usually falls on mid-December) after the end of the rice harvest.
At the end of the cultural event, participants were served with freshly cooked Yomari along with delicious ethnic Samay Bajee. Participants were then entertained with cultural quiz related to Yomari Punhi festival. Meanwhile, NCSA is a not for profit organization to practice, promote and preserve Newa culture and traditions in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It was established in April 22, 2013 under the Societies Act of Government of Alberta, Canada. Dr. Joshi is the founding President of NCSA. Video: Hemanta Joshi