March 20, 2019
The much awaited Momo Fest 2019 was celebrated last weekend in Melbourne with a bang. The fest saw a huge crowd of Momo lovers enjoying varieties of Momos, Nepalese dumpling, with friends and families.
The presence of multicultural crowd in the fest showed the craze of Momo is not just limited to Nepalese, it has gained international love and fame. It was more evident in the Momo eating competition during the afternoon, where competitors were seen devouring Momos as fast as they could.
The event was not just about Momo love, it was about Nepalese coming together and welcoming international communities to celebrate Nepalese food, music and culture. The event goers were seen enjoying the food and music. They were even seen smearing different colours to each other celebrating Holi.
Compared to the last two years, this year’s event saw a bigger crowd which shows that its popularity is increasing with years. It is understandable that it was only a one-day event, and the crowd was expected to increase this year because the previous event ran for three days. However, the number of Momo stalls shrunk this time, which led to many long queues in front of most of the stalls. Ironically, the queues lasted for hours just to eat a bowl of Momo in the ‘Momo fest’. People were evidently frustrated with the fact that there were not enough Momos for them after making payments. Their frustration escalated when their waiting period was repeatedly increased and had to wait until closure time. Some of them standing in line for quite some time were abruptly told by vendors that they were not taking orders any more. What is more upsetting than being told there is not enough Momos for Momo lovers?
The event also saw a stand out issue of difference in price for different customers from the same vendor. One of my Korean friends was charged $10 for five pieces of chicken momos. The fact that people were charged differently for same Momo is unethical and is completely unacceptable from customer point of view. Other than being unethical, vendors need to be careful on legal grounds in Australia where consumer law is very strong.
Additionally, now it seems that scuffling has become customary at most of the Nepalese events in Australia. Why has it become difficult for us to behave ourselves and not get involved in petty issues? I believe we have grown enough to solve issues in a matured manner and have respect for other event goers.
Fun filled inclusive event featured multicultural performances other than Nepalese as well. The main attraction of the day was much loved singer-song writer, Bipul Chhetri. Originally from Kalingpong, India, his songs have the contemporary vibe to Nepali folk music which have won thousands of hearts. The moment he staged the show, loud cheers and excitement welcomed him. The same excitement and pure joy lasted throughout his and The Travelling band’s performance.
Overall, the event left a positive and fun filled impact on Melbournians. There is no doubt that the recurring Momo Fest was successful in bringing Momo to mainstream. We, Nepalese living in Australia, appreciate the fact that our beloved Momo and Nepali music is gaining momentum here.
*The opinion expressed solely belongs to the writer and does not represent The Nepalese Voice’s view.