Raksha Bandhan at our Kathmandu refuge

IMG_2487 IMG_2488The annual Hindu ceremony of Raksha Bandhan is observed in Nepal, north and west India. It is also a secular festival which celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters and is popularly used to celebrate any brother-sister relationship between men and women who are relatives or biologically unrelated. In our case the “sisters” are the girls whom we have brought to Kathmandu from Tipling, Dhading District, to continue their higher education and, funds permitting, to start jewellery training in January. The “brothers” are of course the boys whom we’ve rescued from India who have had to remain at our Kathmandu refuge in the absence of family circumstances conducive for reunification.

In the ceremony the sister ties a rakhi (sacred thread) on her brother’s wrist. This symbolises the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her. ChoraChori observes the practice to allow children to build relationships where these are weak or have been lost altogether, restoring a sense of stability and security.

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Tying the sacred thread in Nepal

Birthday celebrations at the Kathmandu boys’ refuge

Birthday celebrations are important at our Kathmandu refuge as they’re more than an excuse for a party (not that this is needed!). They also serve as a statement of identity and individuality for our lads. Each month there is a party for the children whose birthdays fall within that month and here are July’s three celebrants. I think they missed the point that cake is for EATING rather than slapstick.

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