Nepali Night shares culture and cuisine


Night of Nepali song and dance: Nepali Night invites students to experience
customs and cuisine native to the country. The event provides cultural entertainment.

James Meeks

Staff Writer 

The Cameron University Nepali Association (CUNA) hosted Nepali Night on Oct. 27 at the McCasland Ballroom.

The event was held to show people at Cameron Nepali customs and provide entertainment through dances, songs and cuisine.

Jinesh Niroula, the master of ceremonies, began the festivities scheduled for that evening by sharing the history of the organization.

According to Niroula, CUNA was formed in 2008. It took time for the organization to establish its presence and gain momentum on campus.

“It took us a really long time to be good at something,” Niroula said. “Our programs were not organized, but when I look today I would say we have come a long way and it is all because our friends and families.”

Niroula then introduced the officers of the organization and began singing the National Anthem of Nepal. The anthem was followed with a short film presentation of social activist Dil Shova Shrestra.

“We are glad to have some people who have sacrificed everything — money, their rooms, everything,” Niroula said. “We are fortunate to have them in this world.”

Niroula explained that Shrestra started taking elderly women into her home to care for them and give them a comfortable place to stay.

Niroula said proceeds from ticket sales that would be sent to Shrestra so she could continue her charity work.

Niroula then began showing the audience how the Nepali people celebrate and prepare for the Dashain Fesitval, an annual holiday that commemorates the victories of the god and goddesses over the demons. The 15-day festival is also known for its emphasis on family gatherings as well as a continued renewal of community ties.

During the presentation, Niroula had two members of CUNA demonstrate the tika. Elders placed the tika on the foreheads of younger family members to symbolize the blood ties that bind them together. This ritual, they explained, renews their community ties.

After the demonstration, dinner was served so people could sample Nepalese cuisine. Dessert featured Baklava, a desert pastry that had the texture of a cracker and the sweet taste of syrup flavor.

Dancers moved in unison to the beat of the music as the audience watched each of their steps. The singers provided energy and displayed emotion in their lyrics, giving the feeling that they were not in a university ballroom but were instead celebrating in the streets of Nepal, enjoying the music of their culture.

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