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The Antelope

Nepali Night brings cuisine, culture to campus

Sumina Limbu carries Nepal’s flag during the fashion show. Photo by Ricardo Hernandez / Antelope Staff

The Nebraska Student Association in Kearney hosted the annual Nepali Night in the Ponderosa Room of the Nebraskan Student Union. The event featured Nepali food and a series of performances.

Nistha Lamsal, a sophomore health science major, has hosted the event for the past two years as well as the Nepal segment of the International Food Festival.

“This is actually our second annual NSAK hosted Napali Night,” Lamsal said. “It’s basically representing our culture and tradition in a fun way. You can see the photo booth and different kinds of clothes and food.”

Nepali Night is always in the spring semester and Lamsal called it “Cultural Representation, but in a fun way.”

“We just wanna show people, shower love and have people come and have fun and see what Nepal is,” Lamsal said.

Performances at Nepali Night included several solo and group dances, Nepali pop and folk music, a fashion show and a surprise Lahke performance.

“[Lakhe] was our main attraction last year,” Lamsal said. “This time we made it more lowkey because I know a lot of people who came last time kind of expected it to come.”

In Nepali culture, Lahke is a demon and has a similar purpose to the boogie man where adults use it to scare kids who misbehave.

“That’s just a really Hindu belief, but at the same time it’s a cultural thing,” Lamsal said. “It’s not entirely religious, but at the same time it is a Nepali representation of culture.”

The food served at the event included pulao, which is a rice pudding with spices and added vegetables, a chicken roast, roasted peanuts and aloo ko achar which translated directly into potato salad. Shok Sas, a junior business and economics major, helped prepare the food, and said that aloo ko achar is usually prepared with rice.

“[Aloo ko achar] is like really popular in Nepal,” Sas said. “Out of every 10 houses, eight of them make this every day they could.”

NSAK worked with the Nebraska Nepalese Society to get funding from the school and arrange Nepali Night.

“As the Nepalese committee we help Nepalese people,” said Khadga Thapa, vice president of the Nebraska Nepalese Society. “We listen to the Nepalese community and if they have any problem we try to solve their issues.”

Thapa said that one of the most important things that the Nebraska Nepalese Society does is help get international students settled down, comfortable and a job to support themselves.

“As a student, when you are by yourself it is kinda terrifying, but UNK and people in Kearney have always been super supportive and very friendly,” Lamsal said. “I have never felt like I am in a different country.”

Lamsal also said that the population difference between Nepali international students and international students from other countries was a source of anxiety last Nepali Night.

“We were paranoid like, oh my gosh nobody has heard of Nepali Night,” Lamsal said. “Everybody knows Korea Night because there are so many internationals who are from their country, but we are a small group.”

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Lucas Ratliff
Lucas Ratliff, Reporter
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