Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Newari people are the dominant ethnic group in the Kathmandu Valley, and one of the largest ethnic groups in the country. Traditionally a highly literate, urban culture, Newari art and architecture tend to be the most visible part of Nepalese civilization.
The Newari are predominantly Hindu, although there is a large Buddhist minority, especially in Patan with its many temples and stupas. Newari architecture combines plain brickwork with fine wood carvings, and Newari architects claim to have developed Asia's famous multi-tier pagoda, examples of which can be found in Patan and Bhaktapur.
Newari culture has many colourful festivals and rituals. Many festivals are related to Hindu or Buddhist holidays, while others are tied to local seasonal events. Throughout their life, there are many rituals related to birth, life and death, and travelling in Nepal you may witness many of these celebrations.While walking down the lanes of culturally rich Thimi, the traveller may chance upon a place called a chapahcho where there is a traditional wooden cum brick gate adorned with flaring the traditional frills atop it. As the very gate denotes, this house belonging to an aficionado has in store real exclusive treasures for the lovers of culture. This small article attempts to give information of the very institution Akha Chhen - The Cultural Museum and its associates. The Cultural Museum“Akha Chhen” literally means the Newah traditional house for teaching, practicing and performing traditional and classical music and dances. It is also a sacred place for storing musical instruments, dance costumes and worshiping Nasah Dyoh - Newah god of music and dances. Akha Chhen can be thought of as amalgamation of both a theater and a museum. With the traditional concept of Akha Chhen, Mr. Ganesh Ram Lachhi started to collect traditional musical instruments, costumes and other cultural objects which are slowly being extinct. With this collection, he formed a small cultural museum and named the very museum as “Akha Chhen”.

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