From Ireland to India

Did you know you can squeeze Ireland and India into a weekend and be back in time for work on Monday?

It may not be possible everywhere, but this miraculous journey is feasible in Iowa City. In fact, I did it last weekend without ever leaving town.

On Friday night, my friends and I met at Donnelly’s Pub for some Irish stew and sweet potato fries. Then we headed off to the Englert to see what the Irish Herald calls “the finest traditional band in Ireland.” Danú did not disappoint. The band featured some of the most talented musicians I’ve ever seen, including a Uilleann piper and a bodhrán drummer. During the sold-out Hancher show, Danú played everything from toe-tapping traditional songs to sleepy lullabies. You can check out a video of the band here.

Fresh from Ireland, I geared up for India on Saturday night. I waited in a line stretching all the way from the front doors of the IMU Main Lounge to the box office to see Nachte Raho, the largest intercollegiate national dance competition in the Midwest. The UI Indian Student Alliance hosted the packed show, which included schools from Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Georgia. Isn’t it a great testament to the university to have people from Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago coming to Iowa for a cultural event?

The dance teams put on creative and energetic performances in the Dandia-Raas, Bhangra, and Bollywood Fusion styles. Afterwards, I marveled at how they could sustain their vigorous dancing for several minutes when I couldn’t even walk up a few flights of the IMU Parking Ramp without losing breath!

Shelbi Thomas
Associate Editor

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