Anyone who walked into the Tonk Saturday for Nepal Nite would have believed they stepped straight into the nation’s captol city of Kathmandu.
Dressed in clothing native to their homeland, students of Tech’s Namaste Nepal Association hosted their seventh annual Nepal Nite with dinner and entertainment from the “Roof of the World.”
Swaraj Khati, a senior computer science major and president of the NNA, said every year’s theme for the event is different and this year the theme was “Ekyabadhata.”
“It means solidarity and promoting unity in the diversity in Nepal,” Khati said
Over the years, the International Student Office has grown to include more than 700 members from 69 different countries.
Two hundred fifty of those students are from Nepal, making Nepalese students the second largest international group of students at Tech.
One of the NNA’s objectives is to promote a better understanding of Nepalese culture and heritage for the community of Tech and Ruston. Thus, Nepal Nite was born.
The night’s festivities included several performances from not only students from Nepal, but other countries as well.
Students from Vietnam, China and the United States took part in traditional Nepalese dances like the Newari Folk dance.
Elise Endel, a Tech graduate who works as an intern with the International Student Office, said this is her third year performing the Newari dance at Nepal Nite.
“I love learning about a different culture,” Endel said. “It’s a great experience to learn what we have in common.”
Endel said she was one of the several non-Nepalese students included in organizing the event which took a month to prepare.
Kaitlyn Carroll, a senior human resources management major, said she was better able to appreciate Nepalese students and their culture by dancing in the event as well.
“There are so many international students at Tech,” she said. “It’s nice to learn more. It’s part of what makes Tech unique.”
Carroll, who also danced in the Nawari performance, said she hoped to honor the students from Nepal with her part of the performance.
Jwala Parajuli, a senior nanotechnology major, took part in hosting the event, and while the guests lined up to fill their plates with buttered rice pilaf and chicken choyla, Parajuli told the guests about how Nepal’s culture has been incorporated into western civilization.
“Yoga is actually a Hindu practice that comes from one of our goddesses, Bajrayogini,” she said to the crowd before introducing her sister, Jyotsaana Parajuli, to perform next.
Jyotsaana, a sophomore finance major, danced the Bajrayogini Vedic.
The dance is a devotion to the goddess with symbolic movement of the hands, skillfully timed with general body movements.
As the night progressed, guests were provided with more entertainment of song and dance from international and American students alike.
Near the closing of the event, Khati came to the podium to thank all those involved in making Nepal Nite possible and emphasize the night’s theme of “Ekyabadhata.”
“Let us all celebrate oneness and unity together,” he said to those in attendance as they met his words with applause.
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