Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Asia Day

  Last Thursday (the 12th) was Asia Day at IIASA.  You may have noticed a theme among these parties; once again, the festivities centered around amazing food.  I didn't manage to photograph even half of what was cooked by the students and staff for this; it was a real blowout.  JThere was a lot of grilling:

  There's yakitori, satay, and onigiri on the grill there.  Yum.  Here's some non-grilled food:

  At this point I got drafted to set up tables and benches, and then I was too hungry to photograph, and so forth, so you don't get to see Hamed's staggeringly huge pot of Iranian soup, or the two whole tables full of Indian and Pakistani food, or many other delicacies.  I ate more than I have eaten at any meal since I came to Austria.  I ate more than I ate last Thanksgiving.  I ate so much I had trouble moving.  Ah, if only every day were Asia Day.

  People got quite dressed up for it.  Well, Arame is always dressed up.  Again, I kind of dropped the ball on the photography (did I do anything but eat??), but here are a few nice photos:

  Then the performances started.  First was a one-act play, a sort of melodrama involving an evil queen (third photo) and a hapless, manipulated king (second photo) and a banished prince and a lovestruck princess (both first photo) and palace guards (fourth photo) and various other characters:

  At some point, tensions got too high, and there was a fight between the men, during which Ariel had a wardrobe malfunction (just like Janet Jackson!):

  And the evil queen and the good princess had a bit of a catfight:

  Like all good melodramas, half the characters ended up dead at the end (although the performers seemed to have trouble striking the proper attitude of mourning):

  And that was it.  Roll credits!

  Then there was a series of shorter performances, bellydance and a Bollywood dance number and a set of Indian musical pieces that were really lovely, then a group tai chi lesson, and finally some beautiful guitar playing:

  Sarthak, the guitar player in the last photo, actually broke his leg just a few minutes after that photo was taken.  Really.  That's how good of a party it was.

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