By Anira Barai.
I had a great conversation with the president, Shaksam Sharma of UH Indian society and found out what it’s all about, what does this new society have to offer to students and why the unique Indian culture could be interesting and important in someone’s life.
Diversity and difference in belief are present in most countries around the world. Yet, what keeps a country together is unity. India is one of the few if not the only country that stands united with a population of over a billion people, who may be categorised into one of the fourteen different official spoken languages or all sorts of different religions. Because India is the most diverse country in terms of religion, language and culture. UH Indian society is all about exploring the unity and diversity of the Indian culture at the University of Hertfordshire.
Background and culture play a vital role in one’s life. Especially, when you are away from your home country, it is nice to have a community of people around, organising events to celebrate your country’s main festivals, enjoy all the food and do everything you can as a society to make it feel like home again. More interestingly, in this community of people, not everyone is going to be familiar to Indian culture, so it is an opportunity for them to come and see what the culture is about and enjoy different food with together. As these society events are something Shaksam and I spoke about which can allow students take a break from their studies once in a while and put them into a relaxed position to continue with their studies throughout the year.
What society do you chair or participate in? What is your society all about?
I am Shaksham Sharma and I am the chair of the UH Indian society. At UH Indian we try to have regular meetings with committee members to plan our future events ahead in a way that everyone can enjoy their time and probably learn something by the end of the night.
As you know India is a country of festivals and we love celebrations and gatherings, but when I came to university, I realised there is no particular platform for students to celebrate these all festivals. It was then when I realised the importance of creating the society so people could come together and explore the Indian culture and tradition.
Finally, with the support of my friends, I managed to create a responsible team to start and run the Indian society, which I would like to thank them for providing that.
How much is it to join?
Membership is £5 for all year around. All events are either free or at most discounted for our members to try and keep everyone coming and enjoy themselves. Non-members of the society are more than welcome to come however they will be asked to pay a slightly higher fee to join our events.
What events are held and when are they held?
We had our first event, Meet and Greet on 29thof January, which was a big success. More than a hundred people attended and enjoyed our cultural performances. For our next big event, we collaborated with other societies of the University of Hertfordshire running the UH Love Island event on 13th February, which turned out to be lovely!
What are your future events?
We are planning to have a massive “Bollywood party” on 26thof February at Forum and we are also planning for a cricket tournament amongst the societies.
What is the best thing about your society?
The best thing about the society I believe is the unity and the brotherhood feeling that we create for students to make them feel at home. Personally, I had difficulties to make friends and socialise with new people and this society will give an opportunity to all students to stay connected and close to the culture and perhaps for many others it will give them an opportunity to learn about the Indian culture closely.
What can your society offer to students, even if they may not think it is for them?
The only thing I’d suggest is to give it a go as a non-member and come to any of our events. Our events are open for everyone and each will be a good social opportunity for anyone.
If you want to know more about the UHIndian society and their future events, check out their Facebook page or Instagram account. Keep watching Trident Media’s own Facebook page and our awesome website too, for updates from us as well. Happy reading