Culture of using electric lamps in place oil-fed lamps in Tihar costing more

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CHITWAN — As the Tihar, also known as the festival of lights, which is celebrated for five days has already begun, people are busy purchasing electric decorative lights across the country including in Chitwan.

With the influence of globalisation, the ways of celebrating this festival are also changing. The culture of burning the oil-fed lamps during the Tihar (especially on the day of Laxmi pooja) has been replaced by imported electric lights.

In the past, locally available materials mustard oil, duna or plate or bowl made from Saal tree leaves by stitching the leaves using bamboo needles, for making and pala or the clay vessels for keeping oil for the clay lamp and cotton batti or wick, made by hand were used for oil-fed lamp to brighten houses during the Tihar.

But, switching to a different way or culture to celebrate this festival of lights with the modernisation has become more expensive with millions of rupees flowing out of the country for their import.

According to Federation of Electrical Entrepreneurs of Nepal president Tej Narayan Kharel, Nepal is fully dependent on the import of electric lights and around Rs 700 million goes abroad every year for this business.

Import from China makes up 90 per cent while the remaining 10 per cent is from India. Installation charge is extra. Likewise, its import by evading tax is also taking place. RSS