On August 16th 2009 SONSIK (Society of Nepali Students in Korea) had organized a cultural program in Seoul National University. The main sponsors of the program were the Seoul Global Centre and Hi Seoul. For more information about these organizations please visit these websites : http://global.seoul.go.kr/ and http://english.seoul.go.kr/. You can also find a lot of useful information about Seoul city in these websites. Anyway, back to the program. The program kicked off with a Nepali welcome song by the Nepali cultural troupe in South Korea NKCF (Nepal-Korea Cultural Forum) www.nkcf.or.kr.
The MCs for the evening were Ms. Jung Yeon Lee of South Korea and Mr. Prakash Dhamala of Nepal. Mr. Dhamala is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Health in Seoul National University and Ms. Lee is doing her Bachelors degree in business administration in Donguk University. They did a splendid job of hosting the program. This dance represents the mythical story of how Kathmandu valley was created by Manjushree. According to one of the legends, Kathmandu valley was a lake surrounded by hills during the Pleistocene era. It is believed that Bodhisattva Manjushree, a divine saint from China, had come here for pilgrimage and saw a huge lotus emanating bright light at the centre of the lake Nagarad. It represented Swayambhu, a manifestation of the Adhi Buddha, the primordial Buddha. So he cut a deep gorge allowing the water to drain from the lake because he wanted to observe and worship the lotus.The base of the lake became the present Kathmandu valley and the gorge is called Chobhar gorge now.This dance represents the Gurung community of Nepal. The Gurungs traditionally inhabited the Central and Western hilly regions of Nepal. The gentleman playing the traditional Nepali flute ‘Murali’ is Amrit Poudel. He is currently a PhD scholar in Pharmacy in Seoul National University. This dance is from the Tamang community of Nepal who originally inhabited the North central hilly regions of Nepal. This lady is Punamaya Maharjan (Suwal), a PhD scholar of Plant Biochemistry at Seoul National University. She is doing a Newari dance. The Newars are believed to be the original inhabitants of the Kathmandu valley. The two ladies above did a dance representing the Magar community of Nepal whose homeland extends from the western and southern edges of the Dhaulagiri section of the high Himalayas range south to the Mahabharat foothill range and eastward into the Gandaki. This dance represents a popular modern folk song in Nepal ‘aadhi khola urlera ayo’. The lyrics talk of the rush of water in a river and how the woman is compelled to come to meet her love because he beckoned her. Watch the original version of the song below.
There were people from all over the world in the audience. Including a lot of kids as well. This is Olivia from Poland. She won a prize in the quiz by correctly answering that the height of Mt. Everest is 8848 meters.Even my teachers from the daycare came to watch the program and I was so thrilled to see them. (명지 어린이집 원장님과 선생님)Some more Nepali SNU students with a visiting Professor from Nepal and Korean audience.
Check out Roshan Bhattarai’s website - http://www.anrosh.com Gentleman on the left is Yadav Khanal, Deputy Chief of Mission, Counselor of Nepal Embassy here in Korea. Gentleman in the middle is the President of NKCF, Mr. Prem Gurung.The songs had a lot of people up on stage dancing away to their hearts content. Gentleman on the left is Mr. Park from Gwanak Gu- Namyeong-dong community center.Executive director of Seoul Global Center on the left, President of SONSIK Mr. Tek Ghimire is currently doing his PhD in Seoul National University, and Mr. Yadav. Last of the Gala was the folk song ‘Resham Firiri’. It had everyone tapping their feet and the audience joined in as well to shake a leg.The cultural program ended with the cutting of the cake ceremony and there sure were a lot of candles on that cake.
Also, if you need more information about Nepal Korea Cultural Forum (NKCF) you can visit their website http://www.nkcf.or.kr. Here’s one of their introductory videos -