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Students host Nepali Night with dancing, food and music
Vibrantly-colored saris and kurtas, traditional Nepali music and warm smiles welcomed SEMO students and faculty to Nepali Night in the University Center ballroom at 6 p.m. April 2.
The Nepalese Student Association hosted the event, which included performances such as customary dances, a guitar solo by Nepali student Suraj Khatri and a short documentary showcasing Nepal.
Business freshman Simran Sijapati and nursing freshman Alisha Aryal welcomed SEMO students, faculty and guests with the customary Nepali bow.
“We are excited to see so many people come to our party,” Sijapati said. “We have put a lot of hard work into all the food and music. We are so happy for such a large crowd.”
Several Nepali women danced to traditional, folk and modern music while other Nepalese students walked in a fashion show modeling the colorful saris women wear and kurtas men wear. The fashion show included two small children wearing clothing similar to their parents to symbolize the importance of their culture to all generations.
President of the Nepalese Student Association Shruti Duraili said the Nepalese students have waited two years to hold this celebration, after cancellations due to the pandemic in 2020.
“We want to share, with SEMO, what Nepal represents,” Duraili said. “We show this in our dances, our music, our food and fashion. When you enter this ballroom, you are going to feel like you are part of Nepal.”
Duraili said the aim of the night’s celebration was to bring students from all cultures together and show how Nepalese students support each other.
“We come from a country that is miles and miles away, and our sole purpose is to have a community together, helping each other with even the small things,” Duraili said. “Those who can help, help those who cannot. That’s what makes us all family.”
SEMO President Carlos Vargas and his wife Pam Vargas attended Nepali night, and both received a red silk scarf from the Nepalese students. Carlos Vargas thanked the Nepalese students for hosting the event.
“This is so exciting to see these events taking place again. The Nepalese students bring so much richness to our campus, as do all our international students,” Carlos Vargas said. “I like that more faculty and staff came out, too.”
As the Nepalese music and dancing continued, guests were served an authentic Nepalese dinner with white rice and red beans, green pea curry and a spicy vegetable called sadeko.
Creative writing freshman Kelsey Mathenia said she attended Nepali Night to support friends she has made through Chi Alpha Campus Ministry.
“Chi Alpha has English clubs, and we connect with the international students. A lot of those are the Nepalese students,” Mathenia said. “I love seeing them dress up and see what their culture is all about.”
International student services assistant director Brooke Dearman came to support the students she frequently sees in her office.
“I always see the students in their normal street clothes,” Dearman said. “Anytime I can see our international students in their home country outfits, I am excited to come watch. Here in America, we dress so bland compared to other countries.”
To learn more about the Nepalese Student Association, visit their website.