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Digital Dakshina During Dashain or any festivities is becoming a trendy practice among smartphone users and should be no exemption this year too. The ease of access and availability of the internet makes it a convenient mode of offering Dakshina this Dashain. We believe many smartphone users during the Tika ceremony could integrate the idea of digital transactions for all the right reasons.
Ever since COVID-19 struck our lives, we have resorted to alternatives that exclude physical contact. And cases such as Dengue are making more aware of remote transactions. Nowadays, work from home has flourished, online teaching has become a new normal, and virtual business meetings are more prominent. However, there is one thing we Nepalese can add to it during our festivities, and that is digital Dakshina.
The idea is celebrated by bankers too. The Vice President of Nepal Bankers Association and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NMB Bank Sunil KC says he has resorted to cashless transactions ever since digital banking started. This Dashain too, he is not offering physical cash for Dakshina. He is going digital. “We are promoting digital Dakshina; it is also our plan at home. We ourselves need to take the initiative,” he said.
With Vijayadashami today and Tihar approaching, Dakshina will be a key factor for the celebrators. Traditionally, we offer Dakshina, (a form of monetary payment out of love, joy, and respect) hand to hand or in an envelope. But with the non-negligible COVID-19, Dengue, and other health sensitivities, we can resort to the benefits of electronic offerings that could be convenient to us.
In the last few years during Dashain and Tihar, social media witnessed something unique, and logical. Some Nepalese posted videos and pictures of them receiving a virtual tika on their smartphones and laptops.
Relatives, however distant, found a most immediate hack in turning to technology. On Zoom, Messenger, or other video calling platforms, people observed the auspicious Tika ceremony with ultimate joy. Obviously, the experiment does work for all. On the surface, the idea of a virtual Tika sounds merely a trend in pop culture but it works as a great alternative. The idea is to keep ourselves connected during the festivities; be it physical or virtual. And Digital Dakshina completes it.
Besides, not everyone is with cash these days. You can attribute it to our habits of digital payment, and lack of cash from the banks (liquidity) or something else. This is why the idea of the electronic transfer of Dakshina can be a necessity as well as a new cultural experiment.
Check out: How to get a Virtual number in Nepal?
On the other hand, there is a whole set of merits to not using paper bills. Let’s rephrase, digital money has many advantages over physical paper money. Let’s enumerate some reasons to establish why digital Dakshina will have the upper hand over their real-life counterparts.
Here are the advantages of Digital Dakshina over the cash Dakshina in the Dashain festival.
Most of us became habituated to digital payment during the harsh times wrought by COVID-19. It did instill in us a need for cashless transactions as part of evading possible viruses, and bacteria. Paper bills incur touches from many hands and from many surroundings. Therefore, not using the physical bills would be rational thought for the health conscious.
The major advantage of digital Dakshina is the ultimate convenience. No need to carry cash in your pockets. You don’t have to worry about keeping cash in your pockets, dropping them, or possibly theft. Just wire the amount over the air and you are good. If you have a smartphone, an internet connection, and a digital wallet app or a mobile banking app, which is very possible these days, you can do it in a few clicks. Similarly, you can transfer money via scanning QR codes, which is not that easy!!
Sparing the blushes:
Although Dakshina is merely a blessing, it is a thing for many, especially the younger siblings. So, it can be awkward at times in regard to how much one is offering.
Transferring the blessed money over the air would spare the blushes of both the giver and the recipient. It also helps avoid awkward stares everyone gives while you open start counting the paper bills or draw it out of your pockets.
Sustain paper bills’ life:
Paper bills also have their life span because they are made of materials. The cool thing is by not using them, you will be helping expand their life span. Time and again, Nepal Rastra Bank issues requests to people to be careful with paper bills and not cover them in red tika and puja materials. To no avail, those poor notes get drowned in tika during the celebratory days. This deteriorates the physical condition of those notes and their validity gets shortened.
If you don’t use them during the Tika ceremony, it will help them stay from those “adverse situations” and help prolong their survival, saving the federal bank huge sums of money.
A new experiment:
Going digital is fun and cool. Digital payment is mainstream these days and having some loads in our mobile apps does help. Some of the best digital payment platforms like eSewa, Khalti, and FonePay are helping many of us pay online. Receiving Dakshina over such mediums will add some value as via digital cash we could redeem while shopping, top-up, or for other purposes. Let’s just say that we could do it just to break away from the convention and bring noble fun to it.
These are some of the reasons we believe digital Dakshina could become a trend this festive season. Of course, there could be more, and depending upon your choice of transaction, you could adopt any form.
Feel free to add more to this opinion piece in the comments below.
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