Wednesday, October 29, 2008

India and Nepal Edition: Dance Party

In my opinion, the best way to get to know a place is to have someone you know show you around.  Nikki knows Nepal, and she knows Nepalis who know Nepal.  Not only did we have some built in friendships waiting for us (as in waiting with marigold necklaces at the airport), we also we had the best tour/culture guides for our time in Kathmandu.

So, we got the guided tour of Monkey Temple, the personal invite to the Newari festival, taxis hailed, drivers sent. . . we felt very taken care of and pretty darn VIP.

From Dance party

But nothing solidifies friendship like a spontaneous dance party.  After a very hot day of VBS at Mendes Haven and Shyam's church, we (a little begrudgingly) accepted an invitation to have dinner with Shyam (different Shyam than above) and his wife Amrita at his family's home.  First thing to note, Shyam and Amrita live in a massive house with his mother, five brothers, five sister-in-laws, and lots of nieces and nephews.  This living arrangement is very common in Nepal.  Second thing to note, dinner with Shyam and Amrita meant dinner with Shyam's family and the rest of our Nepali crew.  And third, Shyam's older brother is not only a former Nepali boxing champion, he's also a Newari singer.  And just like that, we're all standing in a circle being entreated to dance and sing.

From Dance party

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  I would first like to say 'Namaste.'"

From Dance party
Sorry Nikki, no other photo displayed the absolute hilarity of the night.

From Dance party

From Dance party

Even the kids got in the circle.

Needless to say, it was a a very fun night.  Out of all my experiences and adventures in Nepal (some I still need to share), this night was special.  It was fun, funny, a little bit awkward, but above all it made me feel very much at home.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

that looks like fun - that's great you had an insider to guide you around and give you the full on experience. luck you! :)