Community Connections and BUiLD students were treated with the rare opportunity to meet a Guinness World Record holder last Tuesday, appearing as giants as they greeted the world’s shortest man, Chandra Bahadur Dangi.
Dangi, as he’s affectionately been called, is in Sydney this week on a whirlwind tour thanks to Nova 96.9’s Fitzy & Wippa show, touring the city with the radio personalities and meeting with community locals and fans who’ve been struck by a severe case of ‘Dangi Fever’. Measuring at a mere 54.6cm, the pint-sized figure from Nepal is meeting Australian animals and primary school students who are often double his size.
Students were invited down to the Nova 96.9 studios in Pyrmont on Tuesday morning with the opportunity to meet Dangi, Fitzy and Wippa and ask him questions about his trip to Australia and life back home in Nepal. Greeted by the Nepali ‘Namaste’, Dangi was sat on the table and was first bestowed with some gifts from UTS (a UTS jumper, scarf and Aboriginal painting which we’re sure his family will love back home!!!) Usually with the aid of his translator, Mr Llama, Dangi was able to communicate with students through the help of one student, Mandira Panday, secretary of the UTS Nepalese Society who enjoyed using her native language to ask questions and make jokes with him.
Dangi was appreciative of the BUiLD students that has travelled to Nepal and encouraged more students to experience the culture of his homeland. He was asked about barriers to development in Nepal, answering the lack of a constitution to date had prolonged any acknowledgement of the right to development. Students also learnt of his plans for a future “world tour” later in the year to spread awareness about Nepal – his next stops will be Cuba and the USA!
After questions, students posed for photos with Dangi, embracing the Nepali flag and wearing ‘I’ve got Dangi Fever’ t-shirts which they were able to take home with a handful of other Dangi merchandise.
It was a different but exciting experience for students and something the group will never forget! Many students also talked about a new interest in travelling to Nepal after saying goodbye to Dangi, and BUiLD and Community Connections looks forward to further opportunities with the Nepalese society and community but locally and in Nepal!
Community Connections is a new program at UTS that seeks to engage students with local events and volunteering, such as the opportunity to meet Dangi! For more information head to the Facebook page, where you’ll also find more photos from the day.
The BUiLD program has supported travel to Nepal through short term volunteering programs – check out some photography from a student’s trip to Nepal, featured in the BUiLD exhibition on Level 4 of the UTS Tower Building.