Nepali community's dance debut

ACCORDING to Nepali family, the Khaniyas, in their culture a party isn't a party until everyone is up and dancing.

And Yudaraj and Anjana Khaniya along with other members of the Australia Nepal Friendship Society can't wait to pull out the traditional dance moves at the Carnivale Multicultural Festival this Sunday.

They join dance and song performances by many local multicultural groups including communities from Macedonia, Indonesia, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Samoa, Korea, as well as African drums and Morris dancers. 

There will also be food from many corners of the globe including Greek, Serbian, Sri Lankan, the Pacific Islands and Croatian sweet cakes. It's the first time the ANFS has been involved in the local festivities after many years of performances at the Canberra Multicultural Festival. 

"We went to the festival last year and after seeing everything we thought, 'Why not? We should try it as well'," Mrs Khaniya said.

"We're really excited, we want to try our best because it is our first time performing at the festival and we want to impress," Mr Khaniya said.

The ANFS will perform the Nepali National Anthem as well as three traditional dances accompanied by music sung by children.One of the pieces will be the traditional and well-known love song called 'Resham Firiri'.

"It's a party song, very popular with tourists because it's easy to sing," Mr Khaniya explained.

"It's about a story between a boyfriend and girlfriend. The boy follows her but she doesn't know if it is she that he is following or not. Until he makes a big sign, he points to her and she knows and finally they will be in love."

he Khaniyas moved to Queanbeyan two years ago because of work and said they love the area as it is a quiet, peaceful, safe and multicultural place. They estimate another 10 to 12 Nepali families live in the area and hundreds more in Canberra many of whom are members of the ANFS.

The family said they want to share their culture with other people as well as get the chance to learn from others at the Festival."We basically want to show our dances, culture and dresses," Mr Khaniya said. 

"People are very happy because many have been to Nepal and they know the things they have seen there is the same thing as our performance so they're really happy."

The Khaniayas said in the future they would like to provide patrons with a taste of their food including momos - a Tibetan dumpling with Indian spices and Sel Roti a bread or rice donut. But for now they are content showing others how to move it and shake it.

"Yes, we love to dance and we love to sing," Mr Khaniya said.

"We enjoy music and dance at every party," Mrs Khaniya added. "Without dance there is no party in our culture and it's the same here too."

* The annual Carnivale Multicultural Festival will be held Sunday, February 24 at Queanbeyan Park from 10am to 4pm. Free entry.

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