Bhutan's pan flutes prove a delight

AN INAUGURAL New Year's Day celebration by the Australian Bhutanese Society of Northern Tasmania yesterday had cheerful pan flute melodies flowing out onto George Town Road.

The celebration filled Newnham's Uniting Church complex with a biting aroma of spices and the thunder of stamping feet.

More than 500 people attended the society's Cultural Program 2014, which acted as a colourful showcase for Nepali and Bhutanese culture.

Australian Bhutanese Society's Rup Koirala said performers had come from as far as Hobart to join in with the event's activities.

"Everybody had a holiday today, so they are all here," Mr Koirala said.

"It is a good chance for us to expose our cultural music."

Nepali momo dumplings, khurma, donuts, fried rice and an abundance of fruit were served to guests of the day - each greeted by a welcoming committee on their arrival.

He said singing and dancing were vital parts of their culture, and were at risk of being lost due to a lack of opportunity.

Continuing cultural expression is part of a focus for the group, which encourages its younger community members to learn the dances and traditional music.

Mr Koirala said he was very pleased with attendance and shared plans to continue the program as an annual event.

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