Several initiatives have been taken by the West Bengal Newar Development & Cultural Board when it comes to preserving the community’s culture and tradition, office bearers of the Board have said.

Talking to reporters, the chairman of the Board, Sunil Pradhan, said that since the formation of their board, several initiatives have been taken to develop the Newar community and to preserve and promote the different cultural and traditional rituals, the language, the traditional musical instruments, the traditional attire etc.

“We have been working with our different units and groups, like the construction unit, the cultural unit and the educational group. All these units are working in their respective fields for the all-round development of the Newar community,” Mr Pradhan said.

Recently, members of their board visited Kathmandu in Nepal to collect the different Newar cultural and traditional items, so that they can preserve them here. The items included traditional musical instruments, ornaments, and attires.

“All the items brought from Nepal have been bought from the funds given by chief minister Mamata Banerjee during her recent visit to Darjeeling,” Mr Pradhan said.

“We have also managed a typical Newar dance teacher from Nepal, who, after her marriage is currently staying in Kurseong. She is a diploma holder and a dance teacher in typical Newari dance,” he added.

According to him, they held a ‘puja’ (ritual) at their board office in Kurseong yesterday, with the different cultural and traditional items. “Almost everyone in the Hills often talk about the Lakhey dance. The people know that it is a Newari danceritual, but there are several other rituals or programmes like the Bhalakhey and the Bhucha-khacha. Our culturual unit will perform and showcase the different cultural items on the occasion of Nepali New Year-2075 on 14 April in Kurseong.

He added that the New Year programme is being organized by the Gorkha Sanskritik Sansthan, Kurseong, and that they have been invited by the sansthan to perform Newari cultural and traditional items.

“Not only this, the same cultural group will also participate and show the different cultural programmes, including the Lakhey and bhuchakhacha dances in Kolkata on the occasion of Buddha Jayanti,” he said.

Mr Pradhan also said that the Board will soon bring Newari experts from Nepal on different fields to teach different Newari tradition and culture to the people in the Hills.