Mahendranagar, 25 October: The Tharu community residing mainly in the Terai region of Nepal has a distinctive dance form called the Tharu Stick Dance, also known as Sakhiya Naach. The dancers, holding sticks, perform a sequence of rhythmic steps, symbolizing the community’s agrarian lifestyle.
The dance is initiated on the Agana of Badghar’s House and performed by young boys and young girls especially those who are unmarried. Sakhiya Naach reflects the stories of Lord Krishna and Ramayana and is performed not only during Dasain but also at various fairs and cultural events. During the dance, the one who plays Madal is called Madaria and the dancing girl is called Sakhiya.
In recent times, Sakhiya Naach has gained popularity among Tharu girls who have started dancing it in different villages during Vijaya Dashami and Diwali, the great festival of Nepalese. The dance is especially performed on Dasain and Diwali, which is the season of Sakhiya dance. At first, the Sakhiya dance is performed in the house of Bhalmansa and later on in the houses of other people in the village. In the Tharu community, from Dasain to Tihar, the Sakhiya dance is performed with great fun.
On the day of Ashtami, Tharus prepares the necessary materials for puja from house to house, and on the day of Navami special puja is done and sacrifices are made. The women of the Tharu community say that it is customary for them to worship their ancestors along with the worship of their clan deities for the salvation of their ancestors.