January 22, 2013

Two Inauguration Weekends, Two wedding Celebrations -- 56 Years Apart! --#1 - 2013

Lachhita Neupane and Raghav Chhetri
Mallika Neupane and Dipesh Karki

This photo was taken on Friday, January 18 at the Hindu Temple, where these two lovely couples were married. Lachhita and Mallika are sisters who live in Reston, Virginia. Raghav and Lachhita did their undergraduate studies at Truman University in Kirksville, Missouri. They are close friends of my housemate Nimesh Thapa, another Truman graduate.

The Friday wedding was followed by a Saturday night reception for about 200 friends and family. I was privileged  to be one of the invitees. I've learned over the years that Nepalese love to party with nonstop singing and dancing. This occasion was no exception.  

Before dinner, entertainment was provided by many of the couples' young Nepali friends. Much of it involved terrific dance routines. My housemates Nimesh and Bhawana provided a change in pace by singing a popular Nepali song. 

Here's a video I took with my i-Phone. It was my first venture as a cinematographer, and I'm pleased with the result. I'm even more pleased with their performance and the reception it got. As you'll see, toward the end, the bridal couples got so caught up in the music that they got out on the dance floor and then persuaded their parents to join them. It was a high point of the celebration.

My Nepal Involvement
My family and close friends get tired of hearing me talk about the role serendipity has played in my life.  An important example: prompted by my trekker son Todd, I suggested to my pals Terry and Patrick that we add a brief  visit to Nepal to our planned February 2001 trip to India. In those few days, I fell in love with Nepal and its people. For the rest of the decade, I returned there, usually twice a year, and toured other SE Asia countries. I adopted a family in Pokhara and stayed with them for weeks at a time. I began to feel part of Nepal, not just a tourist. And I became good friends with Nimesh's family in Kathmandu.

Becoming involved with another culture and acquiring many good Nepali friends, here and  in Nepal, has enriched my life immeasurably.

A quick aside on "six degrees of separation" theory: I also bore everyone by remarking often on the recurrence of the "it's a small world" phenomena. Saturday night brought another example. Raghav's father, a professor of anthropology at Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, will spend the coming spring semester as a visiting professor at Cornell University. His good friends, the Holmbergs, were sitting at the same table with me at the dinner. David Holmberg is a professor at Cornell, where he heads up the Nepal studies program. He grew up in Ithaca.

I grew up in Ithaca and went to Cornell.  How's that for "it's a small world"?

I'm writing these comments after listening to President Obama's inaugural address with its reference to our visa treatment of the many bright young people from other countries who come to the U.S  to get a college education. The room Saturday night was filled with them. I'll have more to say about this subject later.

But now -- on to the other January 19 inauguration weekend wedding celebration.


Kara F. said...

I just stumbled on your wonderful blog as I was searching for wedding venues which is somewhat random, I know... However I have been very much enjoying reading about your travels and recent life's adventures. Also I'm so happy to hear that you've misplaced your Final Exit book. Happy New Year! :)

gleeson1929 said...

Thanks Kara. It looks like it's going to be a happy new year -- but, I have to remind myself, it's one day at a time. Keep coming back! -- John

Lachhita said...

Its even a greater privileged making a headline on your blog, that too w/ a picture :) One of the best things that has happened to us through Nimesh is getting a chance to meet you and know you. We loved having you at the wedding. I, however, wish that we weren't as busy and had some chance to chit chat. The seating arrangement was very well thought out :) I hope you enjoyed the wedding and your company. Nimesh & Bhawanas' performance was undoubtedly one of the best. I am glad you captured it. Your cinematography skills are pretty impressive considering you've got 100s of likes on Nimesh's facebook :)
Thank you for making us a part of your wonderful blog.

John said...

I'm sure we'll all have many more occasions to get together in the future. 2001 is not remembered fondly by most Americans but it by me because that was the year I first traveled to Nepal and fell in love with the country and its people. Getting to know Nepalese like the "Reston sisters" and their spouses has enriched my life immeasurably.