KATHMANDU, Nov 3: President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday evening hosted a state dinner in honor of her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.
The 60-member delegation led by President Mukherjee and officials of the Indian Embassy in Nepal participated in the state dinner.
President Bhandari, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, ministers, leaders of the opposition party and chiefs of the constitutional bodies were present in the state dinner. Soaltee Crowne Plaza was the venue for state dinner organized for President Mukherjee.
Similarly, office bearers of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), industrialists and editors of mainstream media of Nepal were also present in the dinner reception.
When the dinner reception started at Megha Malhar Hall, President Bhandari welcomed Mukherjee. Then the Indian guests started taking appetizer while watching Nepali arts and culture dances.
The guests enjoyed Nepali cultural dances including Kumari Nach, Tamang Selo.
After the soup was served, President Bhandari gave a welcome speech. Appreciating India’s assistance for the development of Nepal, she said that Nepal is willing to augment the bilateral economic ties.
“For good health, happiness of His Excellency President Pranab Mukherjee, for happiness, peace and prosperity of the people of the Republic of India as well as for the long-lasting friendly ties and cooperation between Nepal and India, I would like to welcome you to the dinner reception,” President Bhandari concluded her brief speech.
Finally, the main course was served. The main course included Grilled Norwegian Salmon infused with Dill, Mustard and Citrus, served with baby carrots, buttered Zucchini, Broccoli Florets and Green Peas Mash.
It is a common practice worldwide to serve the guests the special dishes of the host country in the state dinner. The state dinner is also an opportunity for the host country to introduce its cultures and foods.
However, the menu for the state dinner for Mukherjee did not include any Nepali dishes.
Why did the Office of the President and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs choose European dishes instead of Nepali or Indian dishes? Many, including some of the VVIPs present in the dinner reception wondered.