Connecting culturally in the Grampians

June 20, 2022 BY

Togetherness: Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria members, including those in the Ballarat group, visited Halls Gap for mindfulness, yoga, dancing, socialising, and hiking. Photo: SUPPLIED

FIVE members of the Didi Bahini Samaj Victoria Ballarat Unit have descended on the Grampians as part of a broader cultural meet-up.

The small group, including unit coordinator Bimala Pokeral, attended a two-day retreat in Halls Gap, where 53 Nepalese women from across the state came together to connect, make new friends, bond over commonalities, and explore the theme of ‘beyond happiness.’

“We did yoga, heard a talk about happy hormones and how to release them, mindfulness, dancing, and got to know women from other parts of Victoria,” she said.

“We also did hiking and went to Clematis Falls. It was so nice listening to everyone and finding out about them. I am so grateful to have connected with more ladies.

“It’s really important to connect with women in our culture, gain lots of friends, and share things with those who have been through the same things, and understand.”

The Ballarat branch of DBVS launched in 2020 with a volunteer project supporting international students at ACU and FedUni affected by the pandemic, offering them food, resources, and assistance.

DBSV aims to offer a community for Nepali women and their families, engaging them in programs where they can socially connect, enjoy nature, learn methods of self-care, like meditation, and develop a stronger sense of self love and respect.

In 2021, DBSV Ballarat organised small gift hampers for women across the city as part of a local Nepalese Festival, and took part in The Clothesline Project, taking a stand against domestic violence.

About 150 Nepalese people live in Ballarat, contributing to the medical, hospitality, research and education sectors.