Namaste Manipal is the flagship event of IAESTE LC Manipal, where the idea is to bring people from all over the world together, celebrating colour and diversity. Here, the attendees are all members of IAESTE who have served their tenure as part of the organisation and the foreign interns hosted by international organisations on campus.
The 3-day long event was from 26th August to 28th August, 2022, comprising the following:
Sanskriti (26th August)—An glimpse into the Indian culture and activities.
International Cuisine Night (27th August)—Playing games, making, and tasting food from all over the world.
The Ball (28th August)—A splendid night with one’s partner in crime.
Day 1 of Namaste Manipal was a culturally enriched evening—Sanskriti.
Our beloved interns were seen mingling without any awkwardness amidst all the celebrations. The venue was auspiciously decorated. Paper swans on each table, along with our beloved Ganpati Bappa in the centre.
Guests were greeted with Badam Milk, a welcome drink loved by all. The Director, Office of International Affairs and Collaboration, Karunakar Sir, with many other esteemed faculty members, graced the event with his presence soon after the ceremonies began.
The evening began with the foreign interns making Rangoli at the entrance. Other festivities included the painting of Diyas, and the application of Mehendi onto the palms of attendees. Multiple photoshoot props such as crowns, flutes and other Indian artefacts were available for guests to capture memories with. A Diwan was set for a traditional picture, too. Interns played games where they had to guess the prices of Indian commodities to win them, and a few prizes were Aloo Bhujia, Bindis, Kajal and Kurkure. These activities were followed by the lighting of the lamp by our esteemed guests, and next was a glamorous ramp walk, enjoyed by everyone. Interns were dancing in circles along the tunes of Garba, and the crowd couldn’t resist joining in. Performances such as classical singing were made by guests, and our Junior Board were the cherry on top with their closing dance act. Undoubtedly, they won our hearts.
The foreign interns and the Local Committee members enjoyed games, ramp walks, dances and traditional Indian food towards the end. The buffet had an assortment of Kebabs, Biryani, Curries and Naans, with vegetarian, non-vegetarian as well as Jain options for people to relish. Needless to say, Gulab Jamoons were the perfect sweet ending to a blissful day.
Day 2 of ‘Namaste Manipal’—International Cuisine Night—was truly an evening to remember. Hosted at WGSHA’s renowned premises, this event was being held after nearly three years, which further added to the sense of anticipation and celebration in the air.
Sitting in the main hall on the top floor, one is oblivious to the preparations going on in full swing in the bustling kitchen downstairs. Interns from countries all over the world worked tirelessly making dishes of their home culture, giving us the privilege of tasting an array of global specialities. From the delicious Greek Moussaka (a traditional eggplant casserole), to the Polish pizza Zapiekanka, and finally to the homely Indian Gajar ka Halwa—it really was a feast for our tastebuds.
The night ended with a few words from the interns themselves, and one of them summed up its significance perfectly. The interns from Greece and Turkey had worked together on their dish, the moussaka, and they highlighted that their friendship would thrive irrespective of global politics—and it was this glaring reminder of our fundamental commonality throughout diverse cultures that brought this memorable event to a close.
Day 3 was the most awaited one in Namaste Manipal—The Ball. All couples were dressed for the occasion, ready to have a fantastic evening with their partners. The event began at about 6:30 p.m. when we could see the dance floor crowded with couples, waiting for the games to begin.
The first one was a Couples’ Bingo—with tasks like announcing your guilty pleasures on the mic and figuring out who owns the funkiest pair of socks in the room. It was followed by a couples’ dance, beer-pong, and the classic Newspaper-Folding game. Then, prizes like the Best-Dressed, and Mr and Ms Ballentine were announced and given sashes. One could see the creative minds behind the preparation, ranging from various props to photo-booths people couldn’t let go of.
The attendees danced their hearts out until their feet gave up. The most energetic were foreign interns—who danced with vigour to all the Bollywood beats until their perm allowed them. The party went on till midnight when the music stopped, but their enthusiasm made them sing, pouring their hearts out for a member’s birthday. The ending was wholesome, where we could see people unprepared to let go of this 3-day event that an organisation so close to their hearts made possible.
The event was an overall success and a great effort put together by the people at IAESTE LC Manipal. Especially for the interns—it made them feel welcomed in a very traditional, Indian way.
Written by Parva Mehrotra, Ayuttam Abhiram, and Udeet Mittal for MTTN
Featured Image by Ashwath Nagulavancha for MTTN