Wish you all a happy new year, Subho nababarsho [Bengali], Sawatdii pimaï [Thai], Hnit thit ku mingalar pa [Burmese], Naya Barsa Ko Hardik Shuvakamana [Nepali], Nav varsh ki subhkamna [Hindi], Iniya puthandu nal Vazhthukkal [Tamil], Suba nava vasarak wewa [Sinhalese]
This is an amazing time for many countries in South Asia and Southeast Asia when most of us celebrate the traditional New Year. The New Year is celebrated between 13th to the 15th of April in India, Nepal, Myanmar [Burma], Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
In addition to being united by the dates of the celebration that runs across all these countries, all of these cultures have common rituals such as cleaning their houses, cooking fresh new food, dressing in new clothes of designated colours, visiting relations & friends, enjoying traditional music and taking part in religious rituals.
There is beautiful diversity in the variety of traditions being used in different countries and states. From lighting small oil lamps and dressing in flowers in India, taking a ritual wash or bath in the Hunumantay River in Nepal, Mehendi body painting and face painting in Bangladesh, the water festivals in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia and following of the auspicious times to light the fire, boil milk, take a bath, exchange gifts and go to work etc. in Sri Lanka.
These rituals that are diverse as well as similar brings together a variety of people from Punjab to Tamil Nadu in India, from Muslims to Buddhist in Bangladesh, from Maoist to the Monarchy in Nepal, from the civilians to the military rulers in Myanmar, from red-shirts to yellow shirts in Thailand and from Tamils to Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.
This is an excellent opportunity for us to remind ourselves to celebrate our diversity and re-discover our unity.
I believe most of the conflicts and disharmony in families, society, organizations, countries and the world are due to the fact that we believe that our attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, rituals and points of view are correct and far superior to anyone elses. If anyone else, be it another family member, another political party, another colleague or department at our workplace or another country has different attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, rituals and points of view, we think they are wrong, inferior, crazy or even immoral. Some of us believe that listening to those different to us tantamount to agreeing with them. We sometimes refuse to communicate with them until they change their point of view.
Therefore isn’t it natural that we have all these conflicts. Isn’t it better to communicate with others, listen to their point of view and try to understand them? Isn’t it better to discuss differing areas and try to find common ground or agree to disagree? Wouldn’t such an approach help us to understand each other better? Wouldn’t such an approach help us to find solutions and resolve the conflicts together? Wouldn’t such behavior improve our behaviours and make the world a better place?
So let’s not waste the opportunity we have to communicate, let’s not waste the opportunity we have to break walls and build bridges, let’s not waste the opportunity we have to celebrate the diversity and rediscover our unity.
I feel happy that the mission statement of the company I belong to, Sensei International [ www.sensei-international.com ] is in the same lines; to be the best possible global catalyst for sustained organizational and personal transformation. To help the world celebrate diversity while rediscovering its unity, That’s SENSEI.
While we at Sensei continue our mission to make the world a better place, we wish all our clients, friends, well-wishers and the world at large a new year where we celebrate our diversity and re-discover our Unity!