Sunday, July 14, 2024
CivicsHeritage

Deusi Bhailo: A Vibrant Tradition 

अ है भन मेरा भाई हो, देउसुरे!

अ है राम्ररी भन,  देउसुरे!

श्वार मिलाई कन, देउसुरे!

भन न भन, देउसुरे!

देउसुरे भन, राम्ररी भन..

Deusi Chant Lyrics

You have probably heard groups of people singing and dancing along to this chant during the Deusi Bhailo performance in Tihar. Have you wondered about the meaning behind these words? Deusi Bhailo is a vibrant tradition that the people of Nepal observe during Nepal’s five-day Tihar festival. The belief is widespread that the joy experienced by Deusi-Bhailo groups brings happiness to the goddess of wealth, Laxmi.

Group of performers playing Deusi
Group of performers playing Deusi

Historical Background

The exact background of this tradition is still not exactly known. It is popularly believed that Deusi Bhailo finds its roots in Hindu mythology, tracing back to the celebration of King Bali’s return from the underworld during the five days of Tihar. According to the Vaman Puran, King Bali was renowned for his unmatched generosity. His people adored and looked up to him. However, due to his demonic lineage, a prophecy suggested that he would transform into a demon if he achieved ultimate power through a ritual. To prevent this, Lord Vishnu, in disguise, approached the ritual and requested three steps. With two steps, he covered the entire Earth, and for the third step, he asked for the head of King Bali to step on.

The term “Deusi” is derived from ‘deusire,’ where ‘deu’ means give, and ‘sire’ means head. King Bali did not comply. This act led to Lord Vishnu confining King Bali to the underworld, only to return to Earth during the five days of Tihar.

How is it celebrated?

In the Bhailo tradition, women actively participate, while men of diverse ages engage in Deusi. These groups typically receive offerings, including flowers, fruits, sweets like sel roti, and money collectively called “Dakshina.” The hosts present these offerings are on a thali or nanglo illuminated with diyos. The tradition involves exchanging cash or souvenirs among performers, community leaders, elders, juniors, and priests. Host households offer Dakshina to the performers, who, through dance and song, symbolize blessings and fortune.

Performing dance during Deusi
Performing dance during Deusi

Cultural and Social Significance

The music, dance, and traditions highlighted in Deusi Bhailo offer the youth of Nepal a cultural insight, providing them with the opportunity to understand and cherish their cultural heritage. This transmission of knowledge plays a crucial role in preserving Nepali culture for future generations. Deusi Bhailo culture fosters social mobility by offering a platform for individuals from diverse economic backgrounds to engage in social events and festivals. 

Beyond its cultural significance, Deusi Bhailo contributes to the economic landscape of Nepal. Performers utilize the Dakshina they receive to establish community clubs, acquire musical instruments, furniture, utensils, and recreational tools. Additionally, citizens invest their money in new clothes, toys, foods, and gadgets during the festival, creating a positive impact on the local economy.

Conclusion

Recognizing the importance of these traditions, it is  crucial to make efforts to safeguard and uphold them. This cultural practice not only preserves traditional customs but also promotes increased generosity and compassion among individuals. Did you participate in the vibrant tradition of Deusi Bhailo this year? Share your experiences in the comments. Happy Tihar!

Appsha Digital

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