London- Nepalese around the globe, today are celebrating 5th de facto “International Dhaka Topi Day”. The celebration today indeed brings a joy and hope for tomorrow that we remain united against all odds.
In fact, traditional dresses are cultural remains, rooted in contemporary and history of any country. It strongly suggests Nepalese are proud to wear it today and millions will feel the same tomorrow. It can be integrated that “Topi” is not just a simple cap; it’s culture, tradition and today a celebration, which reflects our history, values and unique identity.
But contrary, Nepalese Madhesi, Muslims, and Kirati indigenous population saw the act of wearing “Topi” to gain citizenship as a discriminatory provision which ended after the Maoist revolution.
Though the wider Nepalese population perceives “Topi” as a national identity, it can also create a cultural hegemony if imposed by our federal state.This raises few questions.
Will wearing a “Topi” on January 1st generate a wave of “National Identity” across all ethnic identities or create further division? Should state impose a constitutional statement to bring back a “lost identify”? What about our Prime-Minister’s and diplomats who often wear suits and ties during the foreign visit? Are we rejecting our identity in the name of modernity?
The Dhaka Topi is so called because the design of the print can be traced to a traditional weaving and design style originating in Dhaka, Capital City of Bangladesh.The attached picture is not “Dhaka” its called Bhadgaule.
It has been circulated that the campaign was initially initiated by an international Nepalese student RC Marahatta from London back in 2012. This makes him the de facto campaigner of “Topi Diwas”.
Today’s celebration might help to preserve Nepal’s heritage and teach generations about their antiquity. But, at the same time, we must understand and appreciate the level of diversity of our society with tolerance.