Two famous facts about Nepal are that it is home to the world’s highest mountain, Everest, and the birthplace of Buddha in 623 B.C.Many Americans think Buddha was born in India, says Namrata Dangol, a Nepalese graduate student in agricultural engineering at the University of Idaho. “That’s the most common misconception about Nepal,” she says.
Sharing Nepalese culture, including its food, is a yearly event for Nepal natives living on the Palouse. The annual Taste of Nepal dinner Saturday night at UI is an opportunity to explore their culture.
Dangol, who hails from Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu, says she is one of about 30 Nepalese UI students. When you add their families that number nearly doubles. They all join together to plan the night’s entertainment and cook food for the event in the UI kitchen.
Among the curry and rice dishes in the buffet are momos, a kind of dumpling with turkey meat; and potato pickle, a spicy potato salad. Entertainment includes traditional music, folk dances and clothing.
About 400 to 450 people usually attend the event, Dangol says. Proceeds support the Nepali Students Association. A portion of the money is also donated to a nonprofit group in support of orphans or the elderly, Dangol says.
What: Taste of Nepal
When: 5-9 p.m. Saturday
Where: University of Idaho Student Union Ballroom
Cost: $15 general admission, $12 students, children younger than 10 are free