Indian Heritage Week

Apr 29, 2016 | Events, Features

During the week of April 25th, Nueva celebrated Indian Heritage week. The Bay Meadows campus was awash in colour. Bright traditional Indian cloths decorated the building. Students walked around the campus happily considering and discussing a culture that is rarely discussed.

More organized and inclusive talks began on the 27th, when graphic novelist Keshni Kashyap visited the campus. Kashyap is the author of Tina’s Mouth, a coming-of-age tale that discusses culture and philosophy. The story follows sophomore Tina M., as she traverses the difficulty of high school life. Kashyap came to Nueva on the 17th to discuss her novel, cultural identity, and to share stories from her own high school experience.

The next activity in this week of cultural awareness was a screening of Aziz Ansari’s “Master of None” on Thursday. The episode shown was “Indians on TV”, an episode in which Ansari’s character, Dev, experiences some of the racism and stereotyping that Indian actors typically experience in Hollywood. His character refuses to do the stereotypical Indian accent that is asked of him for the role he is auditioning for and ends up losing the part to his friend who is willing to act out the stereotype (Ansari himself says he is unwilling to portray stereotypical Indian characters on TV. However, he said that he understands why some Indian actors take the parts, as it is hard to make much money in Hollywood without being willing to fulfill the stereotypes expected of your race). After watching the episode, students discussed the stereotypes that we all live with and how they affect our lives.

I liked being able to represent my culture.

- Ishani G

The final and most anticipated event of Nueva’s Indian Heritage Week was the celebration of Holi. Students ran around throwing powdered paint at each other, laughing, and trying to cover their teachers in as much paint as possible. Mike Peller participated and was immediately attacked by paint-wielding students. Of all of the events, the Holi celebration had the most participation.

In response to a question about what she liked about the festivities, Emma D. said she liked seeing the “students dressed up in cultural clothing.” Om G. and Ali McLafferty both agreed that more people should have attended the events, as they were very interesting. Ishani G. said, “I liked being able to represent my culture.” Ali noted when asked to describe Indian Heritage Week at Nueva that it was “pretty, interesting, and delicious.”