Nepali students enjoying Dashain celebration in the Yehl Ballroom.
This year, The Nepali Student Association hosted a Dashain celebration for the Gannon community at the end of October. Former NSA president and Gannon alum Ravna Tandukar shares her insight on the joyous celebration - and view more photos here.
Dashain, the grandest festival in Nepal, holds a special place in the hearts of its people. Taking place over 15 days, with the most significant celebrations unfolding in the last nine, Dashain is a time of profound religious, cultural, and family significance. It commemorates the triumph of the goddess Durga over the demon Mahishasura, embodying the victory of good over evil.
For us Nepali, Dashain means more than just rituals; it's a time of family reunions, where homes are filled with the warmth of loved ones. The blessings of Tika and Jamara from our elders symbolize not just tradition but the renewal of family ties, and these moments are cherished.
Culturally rich, Dashain embraces various traditions—from the worship of goddess Durga to the symbolism of kites soaring in the sky, representing the victory of virtue. It's a time of joy, celebration, and unity among communities, creating an atmosphere of happiness and positivity.
Dashain also carries a sense of gratitude for the harvest season and contributes to our shared national identity.
Ravna Tandukar (former President of NSA)
Being a Nepali student away from home during Dashain stirs up a mix of feelings. As I see the festive lights back in Nepal, it's like hearing a familiar tune—bringing memories of family, laughter, and the special Dashain traditions.
Feeling homesick is tougher now, and the distance really hits. Dashain becomes my link to Nepal, a way to keep my culture alive here. Even though I'm far away, I make an effort to celebrate, cooking our traditional dishes and finding comfort in the familiar rituals.
Video calls become my lifeline to family celebrations. Each call is a precious moment, a way to feel the warmth of home through the screen. In Nepali communities abroad, we share the significance of Dashain, finding companionship in understanding the emotional weight of the festival.
Dashain is like a mirror reflecting who I am. It's more than just a festival; it's a reminder of my roots and values. While I miss our usual celebrations, I'm creating new traditions with friends and local communities, making Dashain feel like home in this foreign land.
It brings me immense happiness and pride to see that the legacy I started in 2022 is still going strong. Being part of the celebrations this year with my Gannon family is truly special. I can't express enough gratitude to the NSA team (Aashish, Sirapa, Ivan, Ojaswi, Ahana, Nishant....) for maintaining the momentum I initiated, to Gannon University for their unwavering support for NSA, and to my workplace, Erie Insurance, for accommodating my request to work an extra week at the head office so I could be with my family here.
I take pride in being associated with Gannon and now consider myself a Gannon alumni. The university's commitment to diversity, culture, and the comprehensive support it provides to students in every possible way truly makes it a place where happiness thrives.
Aashish KC (NSA President)
This year's Dashain event had traditional music and dance, talks about what Dashain means, and a fantastic feast with real Nepali food. It brought our members together and helped us share the festive feeling with everyone on campus. We're excited to do more cultural events like this to promote diversity and unity in Gannon.