In celebration of the diverse cultures of the Himalayas, the first Himalayan Cultural Festival will take place this Saturday, Nov. 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. in Wilson Commons’ Hirst Lounge.
The festival strives to expose the campus community to the unique traditions of the mountainous South Asian region, featuring performances ranging from Bhutanese songs to Tibetan and Nepalese dances.
“By celebrating these cultures, we can unite people together,” said Se Hoon Kim, senior and founder of the festival. “This will lead to the overall happiness of all people.”
None of the performers are from UR. They are from New York City and Rochester.
The headliner will be Rashmi Kharel, a Nepalese dancer who lost her left leg in a bus accident as a child. According to the Nepalese Times, while walking home from school at age 7, Kharel was hit by a bus. After initially running into Kharel, the bus driver then attempted run over her a second time: medical compensation costs in Nepal are higher for injuries than for deaths. She survived, and after after teaching herself how to walk again, she began to dance as “a test of her independence.”
Since then, Kharel has performed at cultural festivals around the world.
The creation of this festival, Kim says, was inspired by the Bhutanese ideology of gross national happiness. When the idea was first popularized in the 1970s by the fourth king of Bhutan, Jingme Singye Wangchuk, it was initially intended to promote economic development based on the principles of Buddhism as an alternative to Western monetary policy that focused on gross domestic product. With such high levels of ethnic diversity, the notion of unity has become an important theme among Himalayan societies as a way to culturally mobilize the citizens of Bhutan, a country which has recently undergone transitions towards more political democratic processes. Today, it is invoked by the current king, as a way to unify the Bhutanese citizens both culturally and economically.
By featuring numbers from Tibet, Bhutan, Nepal, and Northern India, the festival offers a glimpse into a variety musical traditions. The event, sponsored by the Black Students Union, is free and open to the public.
UR wins Quiz Bowl, scholarship: The UR Quiz Bowl team competed last weekend at ACF Fall at the University of Pennsylvania and won the tournament as well as receiving the Undergraduate title. The winning team consisted of Henry Hawthorn, Jack Zhang, Paul Jaquish, and Jahnavi Iyer. Also, Henry was the 2nd highest indivudal scorer for the tournament, and Dan was 18th (out of 93).
Sandra Au, a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, was awarded the 2015 Study Abroad Scholarship valued at $5,000. Furthermore, 341 individuals applied for the award but only seven were granted.