NSAS raises money for Dashain celebration

The Nepalese Student Association at Southeastern does many things on campus to promote Nepali culture. Last week they were in the War Memorial Student Union giving henna tattoos for $5. All the money raised goes to put on the Dashain Festival, a highly anticipated festival celebrated in Nepal.
The NSAS sold tattoos in the War Memorial Student Union from Tuesday, Sept. 10 to Thursday, Sept. 12.
Henna ink is a paste made from the twigs and leaves of the henna plant, which is common in southern Asia and India. Nibha Manandhar, a junior sociology major, has been a member of NSAS since she arrived at Southeastern two years ago and was one of the two henna artists.
“I’ve always been into art and drawing,” said Manandhar. “Henna is kind of similar to India and their wedding traditions. Men and women get them on their wedding days and women wear them on their hands.”
Swastika Sharma, a sophomore computer science major, stopped by the NSAS table to support the cause and get some stylish art drawn on the inside of her forearm. She chose a peacock, and Manandhar drew it for her.
“I just chose this peacock. I thought it was really pretty,” said Sharma.
According to Manandhar, henna ink will always be a brown or reddish color. The rich tradition of henna art dates back to India in the 15th century AD. The ink has cooling properties, so it dries quickly and leaves behind a stain that will last for up to a week. It is drawn on the body with a small needle-like dispenser and is completely painless.   
Dashain is the longest festival of the Nepali calendar. It is celebrated in late September and early October. The celebration lasts for 15 days during the bright lunar fortnight and ending on a night of a full moon. Dashain symbolizes the rise of good over evil. For NSAS, having their own celebration in the Student Union Ballroom will be a way to feel closer to home while having fun with friends.
For those interested in joining NSAS, the cost to join is $7, and the Dashain celebration, including food, games and music, will take place on Oct. 20 in the Student Union Ballroom. For more information contact NSAS on Facebook by liking the page “Nepalese Student Association at Southeastern.”