Its refreshing to see that so many people unite over festive times. So far I’ve witnessed dancing in the streets, music playing loudly for all the hear and children walking in groups chanting into shop windows and restaurant doorsteps. Bihar is a festival lasting over five days where the nepali celebrate the crow, the cow and the dog. Day two is the day of the dog festival: Kukur. Each day has unique relevance within this Hindu festival. However, for me this festival has no religious connotations because, of course, I am not hindu. But it is amazing to be able to shed some light on what is going on here.
For once a positive dog festival! Typically you see and hear of the Chinese dog festival, where annually the population is shown how dogs are caged and slaughtered for eating and everything else. Leaving my thoughts on this particular festival aside. I want to speak about an entirely different story what is happening at the moment in Nepal. People offer garlands, tick (bindi) and delicious food to dogs and acknowledge the cherished relationship between humans and dogs. The loyalty and protection that dogs offer is such a beautiful thing anyway and it’s finally wonderful to be immersed in a whole village looking after the Kukur (dogs) treating them like kings.
In hindu dogs have a huge significance as it is believed that the dog is a messenger of Yama. Yama is the angel of death and dogs are seen to be the guardian to the doors of Heaven. Within everyday life dogs are the protectors of homes and human lives.
I hate to say that everyday is not like this for dogs. Having travelled Nepal for the best part of a month now I have seen a lot of stray dogs. But on this day I saw every dog, fed loved and treated like royalty.
In my opinion its not enough. but it is a start. And I would love people to be more aware of some positivity whilst being surrounded in the negativity of the media. At least for one day dogs have a great day in Nepal.