HDh Nolhivaran Bileh Gas

Bileh Dhafi: A Symbol of Nolhivaram’s Culture

Betel Nut Leaves hold a profound connection to the customs and heritage of Nolhivaram. They are deeply intertwined with the island's culture and traditions. Bileh Dhafi, also known as Bileh Gas, is presented as a warm welcome to visitors and plays a pivotal role in celebrating the island's achievements during special and official ceremonies. It stands as an essential tradition of the island, embodying its cultural identity.

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Betel Nut Leaves hold a profound connection to the customs and heritage of Nolhivaram. They are deeply intertwined with the island’s culture and traditions. Bileh Dhafi, also known as Bileh Gas, is presented as a warm welcome to visitors and plays a pivotal role in celebrating the island’s achievements during special and official ceremonies. It stands as an essential tradition of the island, embodying its cultural identity.

 

The cultivation of Betel Nut leaves has been a significant source of income for the people of Nolhivaram in Thiladhunmathi Dhekunuburi since time immemorial. Although the production of these leaves has diminished over the years due to changing times, they continue to contribute to the island’s livelihood. Betel Nut Leaves from Nolhivaram have enjoyed fame throughout the Maldives, passed down through generations.

HDh Nolhivaran Bileh Gas

While Betel Nut Leaves are closely entwined with the island’s customs and history, Bileh Gas or Bileh Dhafi takes on an essential role in welcoming island visitors, celebrating local achievements, and participating in official functions. It is an integral part of the island’s heritage.

This exceptional item, celebrated as a source of pride for the island, compels me to share the process of crafting Bileh Gas or Bileh Dhafi.

HDh Nolhivaran Bileh Gas

Materials Needed:

Stem of a papaya tree
Ribs of palm tree leaves
Temple flower
Betel leaves
Betel nuts
Cloves
Cardamom

How to Create Bileh Dhafi:

Begin by obtaining the stem of a small papaya tree and cut it to the desired size for the Bileh Dhafi. Remove any leaves and stems from the papaya tree stem.

HDh Nolhivaran Bileh Gas

Proceed to cut the betel nuts required for the betel leaves. Add these cut betel nuts, cloves, and cardamom to the betel leaves. Each betel leaf is intended for consumption, so add additional items like cinnamon and slaked lime. Fresh betel nut leaves are preferred for this preparation.

Prepare the palm leaf ribs used to attach each Bileh mix and the decorative flowers that adorn the Bileh Dhafi. Cut these ribs to a length of eight to ten inches from the base of the rib. Using raw ribs enhances the perfection of the Bileh Dhafi.

HDh Nolhivaran Bileh Gas

Next, place the ingredients into a betel leaf and seal it is using a special technique. Thread the temple flower from the end of the rib to the middle. Hang the previously prepared betel leaf with its ingredients onto the rib, ensuring it remains secure and the items do not fall off. Attach a temple flower to the tip of the rib and insert a bougainvillea flower inside the temple flower. In ancient times, various other types of flowers were used to create the Bileh Dhafi tree.

HDh Nolhivaran Bileh Gas

Attach the prepared ribs to the papaya tree in a way that gives it the appearance of a miniature tree. This forms the main part of the tree.

Fill a container, large enough to plant the tree and hold it upright, with soil. You can personalize the container with a name of your choice.

In the past, flower garlands were also prepared to wrap around the tree, with specific flowers used for this purpose.

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