Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Dhaka topi

Dhaka topi  

The Dhaka topi or Nepali topi is a hat which is popular in Nepal, and which forms part of Nepalese national dress, worn by men on celebrations.

Dhaka ko Topi literately means a "headgear made of Dhaka cloth", a fine cotton cloth once exclusively imported from Dhaka, the present-day capital of Bangladesh.

The Dhaka topi was a part of the Nepalese national dress, and a symbol of Nepalese nationality. It became popular during the reign of King Mahendra, who ruled between 1955 and 1972, and made wearing a Dhaka topi mandatory for official photographs for passports and documents. Dhaka Topis are given away as gifts during Dashain and Tihar festivals.Dhaka topi was also worn by government officials as a part of the national dress. In the times of king Mahendra Dhaka topis for rent was available near the Singha Durbar (literally Lion Hall) in Kathmandu. The badge of kukri cross is worn on the cap largely by officials in Kathmandu or when a Nepalese visit the Palace, and not the lay Nepali.

Although Dhaka clothing no longer dominates Nepalese fashion, it remains an integral part of the society and Nepalese identity. While many Nepalis now seldom wear a cap unless they are attending some cultural programme, many other men and women still wear costumes made from Dhaka on a regular basis, as it remains common sight on the streets of Kathmandu. Dhaka cloth still play a role in rituals, such as weddings and funerals of many ethnic groups living in the valley. Despite many hand-loom establishments that producing it, they still struggle to meet the constantly increasing demand for Dhaka topi. According to Tejeswar Babu Gongah, a columnist, cultural activist and cultural expert, "The topi which is round at the base, with a height of 3 to 4 inches, indicates the mountains and the Himalayas of the country. The Dhaka topi is said to represent the mountain after the melting of the ice. The melted ice enables the growth of greenery and vibrantly coloured flowers in the lower regions of the mountain."

International Nepali Dhoti and Topi Day is an day celebrated by Nepali people globally on 1 January to keep Nepali traditional fashion alive. Nepalis of Madhesi and Tharu ethnicity wear Dhoti, while all Nepali people wear Dhaka and Bhadgaunle topis on that day. Though topis are more prevalent in the day than dhoti, Madhesis have taken the opportunity to promote their distinct identity. Madhesis and Sikhs in Nepal are often discriminated against because of their refusal to wear Dhaka topi.

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