Nepal comes to Ruston

May 12, 2011

by Naomi Allison, STAFF REPORTER

More than 450 students were able to land in between India and China and gain a refreshing perspective on Nepal’s culture as the Namaste Nepal Association presented its seventh annual Nepal Night May 7 in the Student Center, Second Floor.

The event, which was themed “Naturally Nepal, Once is Not Enough,” commemorated Nepal’s largest tourism year and highlighted its rich culture through songs, instrumental performances, skits, traditional dances with burning candles, and a diverse fashion show featuring intricately colored saris, bangles, wedding dresses and a daura suruwal, a male garment consisting of a pleated tunic.

The night began at a rapid pace as Sanjog Bikram K.C., a junior biomedical engineering major, and Arun Bhandari, a senior computer science major, performed a modern hip-hop dance to “Matlav Chaina.”

Nepal’s culture was highlighted as guests read bright red, blue and white pamphlets that revealed more than 12 facts about Nepal and asked their table hosts questions about the country, while watching Nepali students perform “Rasham,” a flirty love song.

Many found their taste buds experiencing flavors they had never encountered before as they tasted traditional Nepalese cuisine, such as Basmati, a butter flavored rice; Chicken Choyla, a traditional Newari dish; mixed vegetable curry with potatoes, cauliflower and green peas; Dal fried, lentils combined with butter; Aloo ko Achar, a spicy potato and carrot salad; and a fruit salad, a dessert composed of creamy yogurt, grapes and chunks of apples.

Nathan Lapp, a junior computer science major, said he decided to attend Nepal Night because he enjoyed tasting momo, meat dumplings, at the International Food Day and wanted to see more of Nepal’s rich culture.

“I know a few Nepali students, and they wanted me to see part of their culture,” he said.

Lapp also said he might visit Nepal in the future because their pamphlet and their presentation mentioned that Nepal has eight of the 14 tallest peaks in the world.

“If I ever have the urge to climb a mountain, I would visit Nepal,” he said.

Lapp also said overall the event exceeded his expectations.

“I would like to thank the Nepali students for putting the event on,” he said. “I had a fun evening.”

Amrit Awal, a junior journalism major, said he enjoyed attending Nepal Night because it made him feel proud about his country.

“It made me feel proud to be a Nepali,” he said. “I was happy that I got a chance see others from the community perform and watch American students become interested in my culture.”

Toward the end of the night, Parajuli asked Emily LaFleur, 2010-11 Student Government Association president, to say a few words.

“Events such as Nepal Night, which are sponsored and put on by international students, present a unique cultural experience to the mudane American way of life,” she said, “not only to students at Tech but the community of Ruston as well.”

LaFleur also said it was important for others to become openminded about international events.

“I might not get the opportunity to travel to Nepal,” she said. “It’s awesome that I can get a glimpse, a taste and musical sample of Nepal that I might not get to experience in my lifetime. Events of this kind should be embraced. I feel sad for those who didn’t go because they are not aware of what they’re missing out on.”

Email comments to nsa008@latech.edu.