Nepal Festival

Nepal Festival

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When I learned of the Nepal Festival taking place this past Sunday at the Centennial Olympic Park, I was super excited to check it out. I have very fond memories of one particular childhood friend, whose family was from Tibet; though those are two distinct cultures, she taught me a lot about that region of the world and I've always retained that interest.

So with the festival, hosted by the Nepalese Association in Southeast America (NASeA), I looked forward to discovering some of the heritage of the Nepal-American community in Atlanta and learn more about their culture, music, and food.

First let me say, it was beyond cold on this day; I wouldn't be surprised if the temp was in the teens. When I tell you I had on tights, three (3) pairs of socks, jeans, a thermal shirt, a hoodie, a coat that was actually two coats zipped together, two scarves, mittens, and a hat... please believe me. I looked absolutely ridiculous. And I still wasn't warm. :-/

The kids were having fun, though. There was much tossing footballs around while waiting for the ceremony to start. I snapped this pic of the snow falling.

I was just a little too late to catch him with his tongue hanging out, catching the snow.

A rare moment of sunshine, as a choir in traditional costume sung the Nepali national anthem, as well as the American anthem

Such bright colors! This man and girl were decked out in full regalia.

For a first annual festival, this one did very well with the few challenges it faced.

It was impossible to discount the cold, and it was gratifying to see so many happy people there. Still, many of the costumes had to be covered up by heavy parkas to keep from chattering. (I felt especially bad for the women in silk skirts and no tights.)

There also seemed to be a fair amount of confusion throughout. The schedule was pushed back about an hour and a half, and then an exceptionally long speech-making ceremony began. Everyone spoke.

However, I did have a fantastic time. It was very cool to hear from a man named Pemba Dorje Sherpa, who set the Guinness World Record for climbing Mt. Everest in the fastest time (8 hours and 10 minutes) in 2004.

Pemba Dorje Sherpa, on left (photo courtesy of Chicago Tribune)

(Yeah, don't you feel like a failure after that? What are you doing with your life, while he climbs Everest in a work day?? *Sigh.*)

All in all, I had a great time with some new Nepalese friends. I am so glad to have been exposed to this example of Nepalese traditional culture.