After renditions of the Nepali and American national anthems, performed one after the other, Tenzin Dulal told audience members she didn”t want Taste of Nepal, held Saturday evening in the International Ballroom, to feel like a history lesson. Still, in order to understand Nepali culture, she said it”s important to understand the history.
Dulal, who hosted the event with Anushka Karki, said Nepal is located between India and China with Kathmandu as its capital. It has a population of 29 million with over 100 languages and ethnic groups. In 2015, it created a new constitution, making it a democratic country. It is also the only nation represented by a non-rectangular flag.
As Dulal explained the five regions of Nepal, University of Idaho and Washington State University students performed Nepali dances in traditional clothing to represent each region.
Song and musical performances also aimed to teach the audience about Nepali culture.
In order to keep the audience engaged, Dulal asked questions about the culture or history of Nepal after a performance. If a member of the audience got the answer correct, they would receive a prize. There was also a ticket raffle that gave audience members another chance to win prizes.
About halfway through the event the audience received a dinner of traditional Nepali foods, including momos, mixed vegetables and aalu achaar – a dish made up of potatoes, cucumbers, sesame seeds, green chili and lemon juice.
A dessert of dudhbari followed dinner, which is made with milk, ricotta cheese and cream, along with the dessert-drink lassi, which is milk, yogurt, mango nectar and cardamom.
After dinner were more musical performances, along with a traditional costume show and an open dance for the audience members.
Anup Chitrakar is the president of the Nepali Student Association (NSA) and helped coordinate this year”s Taste of Nepal event. He joined NSA last year as the dance coordinator and became the president of the organization this year.
Chitrakar said organizing the event could be hectic, but the team of student volunteers was a great help. He said he didn”t just manage the teams but also helped the team by providing hands-on work with them.
Chitrakar said he hopes the event will educate the audience about Nepal and help them know more about Nepali culture and traditions.
“Food was just a medium to bring them all together here,” Chitrakar said.
Marisa Casella can be reached at email@example.com