When I was applying to colleges, one of the most important things I had to take into account was whether or not I would have an outlet to share my culture and learn about others. Some colleges were too small to have a large enough South Asian/South Asian American population to offer organizations that would put on cultural events/shows. That for me was a make or break.
Northeastern had exactly what I needed – a large South Asian/South Asian American student population as well as a South Asian Organization, called Utsav. I went to a very small high school where I wasn’t able to keep up with Hindu festivals and traditions. For the last three and a half years I have been able to celebrate every religious holiday with my friends, even if I am not able to make it home to celebrate with my family. I have also danced at several culture shows. Most importantly, I have made friends who share a similar background and who I am able to relate to in a way that I can’t with others.
Before graduating, I wanted to take the chance to understand what it takes to bring South Asian culture to an American college campus and how it impacts students. I interviewed four Northeastern students who hold different connections to the particular festival of Navratri, three of which are or have been on the Executive Board of Utsav. They shared their knowledge on the festival, their experiences, and their views on the impact it has on students.