Women’s day (Empowering Women)
Women’s day – Teej (Empowering Women)
Teej is the most popular festival of Hindu-Nepali women celebrated for abiding happy married life. A typical Teej is when a wife fasts a day for a long life of her husband. However, Teej is more than just a day of fasting and wishing long life of a husband. It is the occasion that women (married or single) in the Hindu culture gather and dance to Nepali Teej songs wearing red-green sarees with gorgeous jewelries. Along with dancing comes puja, where a priest delivers the script and women perform rituals while praying to Lord Shiva, who represents the aspect of the Supreme Being.
This year, BCAP planned to make this event more than just a festival but more, in order to empower women. It was hosted at Saint Anne School, 4040 Willow Avenue in Castle Shannon. Many women from the Bhutanese community took full responsibility to manage the event. They were involved in developing ideas for the event, creating flyer, manipulating food recipes, designing entertainment, and hosting the overall event. Some of them were also managing sound system, and registering the attendees. About 450-500 Bhutanese and Nepali women, men and children attended the event that lasted from 11:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon that day, 12th September 2015.
It was important to come up with such plan for an event like this. So, BCAP with the help of some women leaders from the organization set up an environment where more women from the community can participate in organizing the event. And thus, they would learn and develop confidence in organizing and take a lead role in the days to come. BCAP was always alongside with these women leaders to provide any support they needed although those women did everything from planning out the event to cleaning out garbage in the end.
The venue was availed by Saint Anne School for free. We, BCAP, deeply appreciate them for the generosity.
Also, the program was partly funded by Jefferson Regional Foundation to whom BCAP would always remain appreciative.