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 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.