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Photo by Scott Diekema, Nepal Semester.

Teej – the Dance and the Damaru

For a moment on this day I was shown a dream, rather I was sung and danced and drummed a dream. It was a small moment when our group first sat with the hoop of ladies in red and gold and green. Mallory, Sarah, Kenna, Sharon, our hostess Mitho, and myself strolled under the Peepal Tree to join the Teej festivities. After we exchanged greetings with the group of women, we sat  down and began to settle down from the jumpy excitement of walking into so many beautiful smiles of curiosity and intrigue. The ladies would chat lightly until the words would subside to quick spurts of spirited song and dance. Not knowing the words I focused in on the melody, when for a few moments the voices of the women seemed to be cascades of shining velvety gold. In my minds eye I saw a great swath of women dressed in Saris of red, gold and green.  Their dance was powerful and smooth, complex and effortless. I saw this and felt a moment of great power, I felt the dream of the song. Next moment my attention shifted and I felt as if I had fallen from heaven, greeted by the visage of several generations singing and dressed in red, together.