AP PHOTOS: Elderly Hindus fete festival of lights in Nepal

AP News
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Posted: Nov 13, 2015 11:34 AM
AP PHOTOS: Elderly Hindus fete festival of lights in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Tihar, the festival of lights, is one of the biggest Hindu events in Nepal.

Every year, Krishna Tamang, 71, and Muktinath Regmi, 82, make their way around a neighborhood in Kathmandu singing "deusi" and "bhailo" songs for the festival.

Although the songs are typically sung at night, Tamang and Regmi set out early in the day because they are too old to walk in the dark. They carry a madal, a traditional Nepali percussion instrument, and a Taa and Newari, other traditional instruments. People love their singing and dancing and often donate a bit of money to seek their blessings.

Tamang has lost most of his vision, but Regmi helps him walk through the neighborhood. They may be old but they have mastered their art of singing. At times there is a bit of misunderstanding and some arguments as both are hard of hearing. But they are good friends.

Tihar celebrations are usually dominated by the young, and Tamang and Regmi say singing takes them back to their childhood.

At the end of their rounds, they return to the old age home where they live with 240 other elderly people, stopping on the way to give some of their donations to a blind woman begging for alms. They count their money with shaky hands and divide it between themselves.