Buddha Krishna to pierce tongue for 6th time

By Binu Shrestha
Kathmandu, Mar. 28:
Buddha Krishna Baga Shrestha, a resident of Bode of Bhaktapur, is again preparing to take part in the tongue piercing ceremony during the Bisket Jatra festival of this year. This is the 6th time Shrestha has opted to pierce his tongue during the biggest jatra of Bhaktapur.
Nine years ago, Shrestha had his tongue pierced for the first time, and he volunteered for consecutive four years. Later, he stopped giving continuity to the daring adventure.
But Shrestha again took part in the tongue piercing ceremony from last year after Juju Bhai Basan refused to do so.
Shrestha will pierce his tongue with a metal skewer on the second day of the festival, which is celebrated as the beginning of the Nepali New Year.
Earlier, the festival used to be celebrated by the community with much devotion, without collecting any monetary assistance. But lately, the festival has turned into an opportunity for the clever persons of the community to collect money, which Shrestha does not like.
“The tradition of collecting financial assistance during this festival is wrong,” he said.
Now, many people think that tongue piercing has becomes a means of collecting fund. And this has discouraged us from taking part in it, he said. “We are ready to pierce our tongue bearing all the pain just to preserve our age-old culture,” he said.
During the festival day, Shrestha walks across the Bode village for more than three hours carrying the Mahadip after piercing his tongue with a 13-inch metal skewer.
If blood drops off his mouth while inserting the metal skewer into his tongue, it is considered a bad omen.
He is conscious not to let blood drop lest it upsets the villagers, he said.
Shrestha said that three days before piercing his tongue, the fasting process starts, and he needs to stay away from the animals and women.
It is believed that something wrong will happen or the villagers will face difficulty if the man whose tongue is pierced feels pain and bleeds while piercing the tongue.
A big crowd of people gather to observe the tongue piercing ceremony.
It is believed king Jagajyoti Malla started this festival and has been popular since then.

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