CSU transforms for Nepal Night

The Kearney International Center sponsored Nepali Signature Night Saturday by decorating the three levels of the Centennial Student Union to represent the three regions of Nepal and serving traditional food and showcasing live student performances.

The first floor had two student-created model monuments depicting different temples in Nepal. According to Nepalese Student Community (NeStCom) President Saurab Maharjan, the monuments’ creation was stalled due to the blizzard closing down campus Thursday and Friday. However, they were completed in time and displayed in their designated “regions.”

“It was a lot of fun, though,” Maharjan said about completing the monuments Saturday morning.

The basement had the buffet and posters showing pictures and information about the plains region, known as Terai. The other two regions were Mountains, featured in the second-level CSU Ballroom, and Hills, featured on the main-level. The event’s theme was “Ekata,” meaning unity.

The food options included rice, lentils and curry, as well as fried dough balls coated in syrup and served in sweet yogurt called “Gulab Jamun.” NeStCom chose the basement level to serve the food because Terai is “the heart of agriculture in Nepal,” according to the group’s president, Saurab Maharjan. About 25 international student volunteers worked to prepare and serve the food.

Ojashwi Adhikari, a Minnesota State University student from Nepal, said she enjoyed the chicken and rice with Nepali pickles (known as “achar”) and decor that reminded her of home.

“The performances, of course, but I’m also excited to see the booths. They have worked so hard on the monuments and everything and I’ve been hearing about it so I’m also excited about that. The performances are also great, and the food, too,” Adhikari said.

“I am most excited to see the performances and try the food,” said MSU domestic student Sierra Roiger, accompanying Adhikari.

Game booths were also part of the main level itinerary, one of which was hosted by Karan Sreste.

“After a long time I am going to eat some Nepali food, I have missed it. I feel like my home here (tonight),” Srestse said.

The CSU Ballroom doors opened at 6 p.m. for the performance showcase. All of the performances were Nepali inspired, some being modern-fusion and others more traditional, including music, dance and speeches, and ended with a fashion show. One of the performers was Maharjan, who sang three songs and played the guitar accompanied by band members.

“My job is to monitor everything from the top. So I help with monuments, I help with promotions, even decorations. So I’ve been overlooking everything and then helping everyone who needs help,” Maharjan said.

The event went from 4-9 p.m. Signature Nights are hosted every year, excluding those affected by COVID, and are on a rotating schedule with different countries every year. This Signature Night was the first Nepali Night since 2018, during which there were roughly 500 attendees, many of whom traveled, according to Maharjan.

Header photo: Over 500 students filled all three floors of the CSU to celebrate Nepal culture through dancing, game booths and performances. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Carly Bahr at caroline.bahr@mnsu.edu

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