Legacy Series | Yomari Making
Our elders have a wealth of knowledge to share, particularly the traditional skills which are in danger of being forgotten and lost. As a way to pass on these skills, we here at Aji’s collaborated with #MakerKT to kick off our first of many workshops called Legacy Series. The first one was on Yomari making and took place on 25 August 2019 at Raithaane.
The workshop started with a round of introductions and a brief background about the origin of Yomaris from our instructors - 72 yr old Necklace Devi Sthapit and 63 yr old Shantabati Tuladhar. For both instructors, it was their first experience of teaching the art of making Yomaris. “It was such a unique experience for me. I was nervous in the beginning but felt a strong sense of confidence later,” said Necklace Devi who is also one of Aji’s first makers. “I have been making Yomaris since my childhood days but today’s young generation find it fascinating and exotic. I am very glad to have shared this skill with others today. I hope they will be able to make Yomaris at home now”- Shantabati who is the newest member of Aji’s community.
Yomari is a delicacy of Newar community in Nepal. It is made of steamed rice flour and chaku or khuwa fillings and has a unique cone shape. They are a must on 'nirbuni' (second birthday celebration), ‘pyarbuni’ (fourth birthday celebration), for some even on 12th birthday celebrations and every year during the festival of Yomari Punhi/Purne, around mid December.
During our 3 hour workshop, the participants had great fun making Yomaris from scratch. By the end they had learned to make ‘special’ chaku filling and extra soft dough (join our next workshop to know the secrets ;). And after a few attempts they were able to make beautiful and smooth Yomaris.
In addition to learning the traditional skill, we had lots of fun, laughter and also got to eat and take home delicious and most importantly self-made Yomaris. There’s a better taste and higher satisfaction in eating what you have made yourself. And even better when it’s grandma’s recipe made together with grandmas!
A special thanks to रैथाने।Raithaane for opening their beautiful outdoor space and kitchen for our workshop. This is a place to fuel the body and mind with ethnic cuisines of Nepal. They have a very unique menu that promotes local nutritious grains and produce from across Nepal.
Big thanks to all the participants who joined and also those who enquired about future events. We will definitely have more Yomari making workshops and other traditional skills learning workshops soon. Stay tuned!
More photos in Gallery
Photos by Sumegha Shrestha, Aji’s Intern and Lorina, Aji’s Co-founder.