Proposed global mandaa street festival venue

To mark the Nepal Sambat 1142, the town of Thecho in Godavari Municipality hosted a competition to create mandaa – an art form that symbolize us and our relationship with all that is around us. The creativity of young people was on display and it took them a whole day to come up with their most beautiful designs by evening. There were trophies, cash prizes, certificates and applause from all those gathered for the competition.

The event is unique to Nepal and has potential to put Thecho on the world map. The local youth who put on the competition for the seventh year with a break last year due to the pandemic, clearly have the appetite for this and desire to be at the “center of the universe” during this unique event.

It will be a five day event. The first day will be the recap of past events, seminars and workshops, that all can join, to warm up. We can have prominent speakers and artists talk at events designed to create awareness so that the media can take the story of the mandaa and Thecho to the whole world.

The second day could be dedicated to Tibetan style mandaa and the Indian style “rangoli”. The third day will be competition among school children and young people. The fourth day will be dedicated to international participants so that Nepalis can learn about the mandaa tradition around the world. The fifth day will be the annual competition that is a bigger version of the one we saw in Thecho this year for swanti and mha puja.

The families of Thecho will have to upgrade, release and put out two to three rooms for the festival through Airbnb and open up their home for global participants and the media. The municipality will clean up and repair the local infrastructure for the annual global event. The youth will be the organizers and ensure everything works smoothly and serve as tour guides.

Thecho will have food stalls, traditional music and dance performances, heritage walks for the visitors to the built and natural sites. The five days will raise the economy of Thecho and place it squarely on the global cultural map. The monuments of Thecho are getting a facelift and being renovated. The annual and twelve year dances and music festivals are being performed

We will need to do a large media campaign to let the world know about Thecho, the event and the wonderful people of this unique town. We shall need partnership across the whole spectrum of heritage do–gooders, businesses and government agencies. There is a lot already happening, we just need to add to what already exists.