International alums reunite in India for wedding

UW-L international alumni at wedding in India

UW-L alum Tanmaya Singh, of India, and his bride, Priyali Choudhary (center) are pictured on the last day of the wedding in Varanasi, India. Twelve UW-L alums attended the wedding. Nine are pictured here with others who attended. From front left, Svenja Thieme, of Germany; UW-L alum Ha Nguyen, of Vietnam; UW-L alum Tanmaya Singh, groom; Priyali Choudhary, bride; Kumar Siddhartha, of India. From back left, Richard and UW-L alum Pauline Boue, of France; UW-L alum Stefan Luhrs, of Germany; Lisbeth Reynertson, UW-L former foreign student advisor; UW-L alum Kamil Kaczmarski, of Poland/ Gemany, Abhishek Rathar, of India; UW-L alum Altaf Rizvi, of India; UW-L alum Onur Lutfu Erdem, of Turkey; UW-L alum Dmitry Vasenin, of Russia; and UW-L alum Edgar Romero, of Mexico. The three other UW-L alumni who attended the wedding, but are not pictured are Jackie Cheng, of Hong Kong; Mandy La Breche, of the United States; and Kenshi Setoguchi, of Japan.

 

Oceans and large land masses really can’t keep UW-L’s international alumni apart.

Twelve former international students who are now living throughout the world reunited in India in November to celebrate the wedding of their college friend, UW-L alumnus Tanmaya Singh, of India, and his bride, Priyali Choudhary.

“It was just magical. No one could believe it that we could all make it to the wedding from all over the world. And it was just a pure joy to hang out like the old times,” says Ha Nguyen who traveled from Hanoi, Vietnam. “We each have grown up and moved on with our lives, but when we were together, it was just like when we were at La Crosse.”

Singh is pictured here with his parents and the Poojari ( Hindu priest).

One day of the celebration was at the ancestral home of UW-L Alum Tanmaya Singh’s grandparents. Marigolds were everywhere throughout the wedding. Singh is pictured here with his parents and the Poojari ( Hindu priest).

Over the course of the seven-day traditional Indian wedding, the group stayed with the groom’s family in Varanasi, India, on the Ganges River, and traveled together back and forth to Patna, India, where the bride’s family lived. They didn’t see the bride until day five of the wedding and the official wedding lasted until 4 a.m. Then all joined in a final party with about 2,000 people.

The group of friends traveled to India because of the strong bond formed after all of the events, classes and organizations they participated in together at UW-L.

From left, Lisbeth Reynertson, a UW-L former foreign student adviser, is pictured with the groom, UW-L Alum Tanmaya Singh, and Singh’s mother, Indu Singh.

From left, Lisbeth Reynertson, a UW-L former foreign student adviser, is pictured with the groom, UW-L Alum Tanmaya Singh, and Singh’s mother, Indu Singh.

Lisbeth Reynertson, who was a foreign student adviser at UW-L for 20 years and hosted many international students with her husband, Richard, considers these international students “part of our family.” Nguyen agrees.

“We are basically a family, and the fact that Lisbeth and Dick have been our second parents in the U.S. has kept the family bond even stronger,” says Nguyen.

Since they’ve graduated, they have each made a great effort to keep in touch through notes and visits over the years.

“If you really want to call someone a friend, both sides completely have to be dedicated to each other,” says UW-L Alum Onur Erdem, of Turkey. He adds that means sharing the good times and the bad.

One day of the wedding was the Turmeric celebration. Turmeric, a symbol of antiseptic and cleaning of the skin, was used to purify. Here friends are pictured putting Tumeric paste on the groom. Lisbeth says after a while all covered in turmeric paste and danced.

One day of the wedding was the Turmeric celebration. Turmeric, a symbol of antiseptic and cleaning of the skin, was used to purify. Here friends are pictured putting Tumeric paste on the groom. Lisbeth says after a while all covered in turmeric paste and danced.

At the wedding they discussed the next wedding this summer when they can be together again, says Lisbeth.

“The whole trip and the wedding was fantastic, but the most amazing thing was being part of the close family and meeting all my ‘old students,’” says Lisbeth. “This group of UW-L alumni will be friends forever.”

Connecting Alumni

UW-L alumni groups are connecting around the world in countries such as Korea, Taiwan Vietnam, Japan, France and Germany. The UW-L Office of International Education is working with the UW-L Alumni Association and UW-L Foundation to formalize these groups into alumni chapters. If interested in connecting with other international alums contact the UW-L Office of International Education 608.785.8016 or the UW-L Alumni Association at alumni@uwlax.edu or 608.785.8489.