Tihar Festival honors bond of dogs, owners

Maggie Eubanks

Dogs and humans have always held a deep

bond, and the Kukar Tihar Dog Festival honors

that bond. This Saturday, students and

members of the community were encouraged

to bring their dogs to Bayou Park to

celebrate their furry friends for their friendship

and protection.

Originating from Nepal, the festival honors

dogs for keeping people safe from intruders

and wild animals. In keeping with tradition,

each dog was adorned with a bright orange

garland and given fun toys and treats to enjoy.

Their owners were also invited to give

them a blessing by rubbing red tika powder

between their eyes. The garland and red

powder together signify the dog as important

and an object of devotion.

Manish Katuwal, a sophomore computer

science major and student worker for the

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion said

the festival was held as a part of the office’s

effort to incorporate different cultures here

at ULM. He also said the festival is an opportunity

to get donations for the local shelters

taking care of rescue dogs.

“The shelters are doing so much to rescue

the dogs and save them,” Katuwal said. “We

are trying to gather some donations for them

because it is so difficult to gather all of the

stuff they need.”

Several students took part in the festival including

sophomore marketing major Ansley


“I love meeting new dogs and meeting other

people who have dogs and just letting my

dog hang out, play and have fun,” Long said.

Nepali student Deepmala Vhomi also enjoyed

bringing her dog out to socialize and

take part in an important festival from her


“I really like how they encourages other cultures

and they incorporate it and introduce it

to the community,” Vhomi said.

Each dog left with a new toy and a renewed

sense of its importance. Local dog shelters

also left new toys and supplies for the dogs in

their care just in time for the colder weather.