Buying Tihar gift is big deal for sisters and brothers

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Nov. 7: Puja Pande of Pepsicola, Kathmandu 32, was in a hurry on Tuesday to buy gifts for her brothers to present on the day of Bhai Tika. But she was not sure what gifts she would buy as she was also preparing to leave for Jhapa in the evening.
“I am unable to decide as one of my brothers wears Dhaka Topi and another never wears it. However, Dhaka Topi will be one of the gifts to buy this time,” she said.
Of course, in villages, Dhaka Topi is still the main gift of sisters to their brothers in Tihar. Similarly, in villages men give Chawandi Cholo or shawl to their sisters as the Tihar gift. However, in the cities the gifts vary.
The older generations of the cities do tend to buy topi as a gift, but the younger generations have their own style of gift giving. The Tihar gifts also vary according to the ages of the brothers and sisters.Bibek Adhikari, a civil servant, recalled that his sisters used to give him a topi in each Tihar when he was in Ilam.
But when he gave up the habit of wearing Topi, she started giving him shirts.
“Still I have a few Topis given by my sisters two decades back,” he said.
Anupama Poudel, a bachelor level student, however, said that she would give only Bhai Masala to her brother.
“I give only Bhai Masala to my brother, and he gives me money,” she said.
Normally, before tying their nuptial knot, the sisters do not give much importance to Tihar gift. But after their marriage, the gift gets changed and their brothers start getting more.
Anita Sharma, who married three years ago, said, “I will buy a jacket for my brother.” Brothers also buy gifts for their sisters, although many brothers tend to give only money in place of gift.
Tekendra Tiwari of Chabahil is planning to buy kurta for his only sister. But he didn’t disclose the money he had set aside to buy kurta.
Topis, caps, handkerchiefs, towels, shirts, coat pieces are some of the popular Tihar gifts that sisters buy for their brothers.
These are a few examples which show a changing trend in Tihar gift. Initially, gifts were rather modest-fruit, nuts and sweets, but now they have no boundary. Ranging from daily necessities to the items of luxuries, people have found their own way of expressing love for each other, especially on the day of Bhai Tika.
“The types of gifts make no difference in the bond between brothers and sisters,” Sharma said.
No wonder there is always a spike in sale during this time, with attractive discounts put on stores all across the valley or an 11 per cent increment in the gold price due to the festive demand. However, gold hardly falls under the category of Tihar gifts, at least in Kathmandu.
Conventionality or emotionality, non-traditional gifts have become popular, mostly in the cities. Maybe, a sweater a sister bought for her brother reminds him of her warm hug on exhausted days, or the red shawl the brother gifted her reminds how strong she is.
The trend of gift giving varies from regions to ages, but holds equal traditional and emotional value to all. The culture of Tihar is appreciation and acceptance of all that surrounds us.
Tihar is always about celebrating life and relations and gift giving has preserved its charm all these years, Sharma said.

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