Celebrating South Asian culture: Desi Club holds Desi Night


By Hannah Simon, Co-Copy Editor

After receiving requests to host more events representing Indian culture, leaders of Desi Club decided to organize Desi Night to raise awareness and honor South Asian culture.

“Many people came up to me (after the Holi celebration) saying that they enjoyed themselves and that it was nice to see South Asian culture being represented at Conestoga,” said junior and Desi Club president Maanasa Gogula. “They wanted more events where they could enjoy themselves and feel as part of a community.”

On Thursday, May 25, Desi Night took place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Conestoga’s cafeteria and small gym. Desi Club invited community members of all backgrounds to share and learn about South Asian culture, with tickets running $10 per person.

“It’s nice to address the culture and spend time with people that also are part of my culture, and get to know each other,” junior Kavya Ragothaman said. “I think it’s really hard to do that around school.”

Traditional South Asian food, music and dance were at the forefront of the night’s festivities. Students arrived in traditional Indian attire, including lehengas, saris and kurtas. Desi Club leaders ordered food from Godavari, a local Indian restaurant that featured food from South and North Indian, Nepali and Sri Lankan culture. The most popular food was the fountain of pani puri: an Indian street food consisting of crispy, hollow dough balls filled with a mixture of potatoes and sauce.

“Everyone looked really nice tonight, especially since they wore traditional clothes. It’s fun seeing everyone’s different attire because we don’t really see it that much,” freshman Vibha Besagi said.

In the dance room, attendees listened to music from Bollywood and other film industries in India. Additionally, there was a henna station where attendees could paint intricate designs on their hands.

“It is important to hold events like these because it spreads awareness of not only South Asian culture, but other (Indian) cultures as well. These events basically create more of a community,” Gogula said. “Conestoga’s already so diverse, and it’s important that each person knows and learns about each other’s cultures so that they can understand other people as humans.”

Hannah Simon can be reached at [email protected].