I have seen my grandmother, mother and sister fast on Teej. They followed it traditionally,” senior journalist Bijaya Poudel expressed on August 27 at Hotel Annapurna, Durbar Marg about Teej fasting. “When I got married, I started to see it differently. My wife fasts for me but I don’t want her to follow the tradition blindly which usually happens. I don’t want her to stay on an empty stomach for the whole day.”
As per Poudel, Teej is more than the Shiva-Parvati myth, rather its celebration should be redefined as per time. He added, “Now Teej is about going to temple, women fasting together and enjoying togetherness. The traditional idea behind celebrating Teej is outdated. I don’t think today’s generation wants to fast to get a husband like Shiva, who like a hippie smokes weed. I don’t think people take him as the perfect husband, instead Lord Bishnu can be symbolized as the perfect husband.”
Giving a new definition to celebrating Hindu’s oldest festival Teej, Poudel stressed on modern ways to celebrate Teej rather than blindly following tradition at the programme ‘Teej Talks — Tweaking Traditional Tale’, organised by Saathi and Jayanti Memorial Trust where society’s prominent figures shared their ideas about the festival.
Actress Deepa Shree Niraula was one of them. To her, Teej plays a vital role among Nepali women. “It is not only the ritual of our sanatana (eternal) dharma but also a platform for women to express and celebrate their life freely in a patriarchal society. On this day, women get one whole day to themselves to wear new clothes, ornaments and enjoy life when otherwise they are busy in their day-to-day life in other days of the year,” she shared at the event.
Agreeing with the actress, Anju Sharma, Executive Director at CIWEC Hospital, shared her views of Teej by reciting a poem Teej. She also pointed out that Teej is “the day for women to express their sorrow and to share their happiness” emphasising “we should celebrate Teej in our own way without showing off money which has become the latest trend”.
Banker Anil Shah was also one of the four speakers at the programme. He talked about the superstitious beliefs and traditions of Rishi Panchami.
On the occasion of Teej, Jayanti Memorial Trust also provided free blood sugar test and heart check-up for women at the event which they have been doing for the last three years. Meanwhile, Dr Bhagawan Koirala shared a few tips on how to be healthy and to be safe from non-communicable diseases.
Sources: Himalayan Times