Unique Nepalese culture displayed by arts, cuisine

Monroe and Nepal have almost nothing in common,

but hundreds of Nepalese students know ULM as their

home halfway across the globe. To keep their lively

culture intact and create a reminder of home thousands

of miles away, the Nepalese Student Association hosted

the Dashain and Tihar Banquet Saturday evening in the

Hangar.

!e banquet served as a celebration for Nepalese students

as well as a learning experience for local students.

!e Dashain and Tihar celebration usually lasts a month

in Nepal. But in the U.S., the celebration takes on a different

setting.

“It means a little bit more over here,” sophomore

Prazwol Pachhai said. “In Nepal, you’re having more fun,

but over here it’s more emotional.”

Dashain and Tihar are two of the biggest celebrations

in Nepal. Dashain references the conquest of gods over

demons. Tihar—also known as Deepawali—is a festival of

light celebrating light over darkness.

Niraj Shrestha

As soon as the banquet began, there were multiple

musical and dance performances set on display. Students

like Sushant Kairala, Gaurav Rijal and Hemanta Pathak

shook o” their stage fright and delivered a memorable

show for the crowd through song. Leading o” the show

with traditional Nepalese dances which were students

like Nishu Shrestha, Biraj Sharma and Sapana Chaudhary.

!e music of Nepal is quite di”erent from the music

many are accustomed to in the western world. It features

more acoustic instruments including the madal, the

bansuri and the sarangi—unfamiliar instruments to many

Americans, but they are responsible for unforgettable

sounds that are cornerstones in Nepalese music.

!e banquet featured a variety of di”erent foods including

Pulao, which is steamed basmati rice and chicken

curry, which features regular chicken with a Nepalese

twist.

Niraj Shrestha

“All of the food at the banquet is authentic Nepalese

food,” sophomore Manish Katuwal, the vice president of

the Nepalese Student Association, said. “We’re trying to

bring our food over here and let people know about it.”

!e Dashain and Tihar banquet is one of the many ways

the NSA connects with ULM students. While the RSO is

for Nepalese students to connect, it also seeks to reach

out to American students and enable them to learn about

the culture.

“We want people here on campus to know what Nepal

has as far as the traditions that we celebrate,” Katuwal

said. “!is way it will be easier for them to understand us

and where, with the NSA growing in numbers, the Nepalese

presence on camps will only continue to grow.”