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India Nite: Community gathers to celebrate the Association of Indian Students’ 15th anniversary

November 12, 2015

 

Members of the Association of Indian Students close out the event and thank contributors–Photo by Devin Dronett

Members of the Association of Indian Students close out the event and thank contributors–Photo by Devin Dronett

 

FREDEDREIA WILLIS

Staff Reporter | flw005@ latech.edu

 

Brightly colored dresses, new sounds and tastes of food swept through the city of Ruston as the Association of Indian Students presented the 15th Annual India Night Saturday at the Bridge Community Church.

 

Journals Mathews John, a geographic information analyst, said every year India Night has brought a part of his culture to Ruston, but this year it has taught him about traditions from all across India.

 

“India Night is great and necessary; I have been coming out for the past two years,” he said. “Since all of the Indians in Ruston are from different states in India, this night helps us to come together and learn about each other’s differences and cultures, while showing our own diversity.”

 

John said it is important for all cultures to come together to help better the community with relating to each other and hosting India Night gives everyone a new experience.

Lauren Clayborn,  a 2015 summer graduate, performs a dance during India Nite–Photo by Devin Dronett

Lauren Clayborn, a 2015 summer graduate, performs a dance during India Nite–Photo by Devin Dronett

 

“And for students who come so far to study, coming together helps create a very much needed family atmosphere,” he said. “Another one of my favorite things about this night is the food with bold new tastes and flavors.”

 

During the event traditional Indian cuisine was served, such as naan, a type of flat bread; shahi paneer, cottage cheese in creamy sauce with cashew nuts; chicken chattinad, chicken in spiced sauce; vegetable pulav, spiced vegetable rice and a desert consisting of gulab jamun, milk cake ball drenched in sugary syrup.

 

Chance Allen, a sophomore Spanish major, said he enjoyed attending the event because it gave him the opportunity to learn more about India’s culture.

 

“It is so neat to see different cultures around Ruston which I did not know so many existed,” he said. “When I expose myself to new cultures, I don’t see color anymore, there is no racism or boundaries separating us to learn from each other’s diversity.”

 

Allen, a teacher for English as a Second Language, said through coming to India Night he has learned the world goes to Louisiana Tech.

 

“India Night shows me I do not have to leave Ruston to experience new cultures; it’s right at my doorstep, he said. “These types of events helps Tech students learn a new point of view of life.”

 

Christiane Olinga, a junior medical technology major, said India Night gives all of the students and the city of Ruston a chance to understand the amount of diversity they have around the community.

Food was provided by the Taste of India restaurant–Photo by Devin Dronett

Food was provided by the Taste of India restaurant–Photo by Devin Dronett

 

“We have a had a large body of Indian students at Tech for so many years now,” she said. “And yet, there are still people around who do not know a thing about India and its culture.”

 

Olinga said India Night is a glimpse of a major part of the world for Tech. She said though her curiosity brings her to India Night every year, she never gets tired of it.

 

“I love to see other cultures and change my atmosphere,” she said. “I enjoy everything that makes me learn something new, and India Night is one of those things.”

 

Olinga had the chance to perform a mix of Indian dances in front of people in Indian attire. She said it was exciting and intimidating as well, but she said she had a great time.

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