My Adventures with Cultural and National Societies (Weeks 1-4)

Namaste friends!

My name is Ishita and I am the South Asian rep for ISC and I have set a challenge for myself.  The challenge entails attending an event, cultural showcase or campaign of each of the fifty plus cultural and national societies at the university of Sheffield. I will be writing this blog about my experiences and about the beautiful national societies. So here is how I’ve done in the first 4 weeks of university.

Eid Milan by Pakistani Society

Fashion show of traditional costumes.
Fashion show of traditional costumes.

On the 5th of October I went to a ‘Milan’ (which translates to gathering in urdu) organized by Pakistani Society which included delicious traditional food and exciting

Starting a traditional Middle Eastern dance
Starting a traditional Middle Eastern dance

performances from both PakSoc and other societies. USIC (University of Sheffield Islamic Circle) gave an informative talk about origin and significance of Eid, SMSA (Sheffield Malaysian Students Association) played traditional music and Bangladesh society produced a video about Eid. The organizers did an excellent job of engaging the audience and many in attendance participated in the fashion show and traditional Arabic dancing (lead by ArabSoc). PakSoc’s Eid Milan was a fantastic event that was so successful in immersing attendees in the culture and traditions of Eid and it was a great way to start the year.

Hong Kong Society’s Campaigning

If you visited to the students union in the first weeks of October you are likely to have spotted Hong Kong Society’s stall in front of the union. Here, members of Hong Kong Society were raising awareness about the current political situation in Hong Kong and the ongoing protests. HKSoc also collected signatures supporting the peaceful resolution of the situation and even took their campaign to the city centre.

Diwali Celebrations by Indian Society

Attendees listen to prayers
Attendees listen to prayers

On the 23rd of October I attended ‘Agni 2.0’, organized by Indian Society to celebrate Diwali, also known as the ‘Festival of Lights’  where the lights or lamps signify victory

Sparklers were handed out during the firework show
Sparklers were handed out during the firework show

of good over the evil within every human being. This event started at the Hindu Samaj (Temple), where participants were shown how the prayers for Diwali are conducted.

Following this, we went to the Gurudwara, (the Sikh place of worship) where we first participated in prayers and also enjoyed ‘Langar’, traditional Indian food served voluntarily by members of the Gurudwara. Since fireworks are a traditional part of Diwali Indian Society also organized a stunning firework show. Indian Society did a fantastic job of providing Indian students with a sense of home and home and other international students with a brilliant new experience.

Impact of these events

I come from a country where Eid and Diwali are celebrated. However I realize now that I didn’t know very much about background of these events and I usually associate these occasions with the food my friends who celebrate share with me.  Thanks to the events recently attended I have learnt a great deal about their origin and significance of these festivals. I think it’s amazing that, by travelling thousands of miles away from home, I was able to learn more about my own country. I am truly thankful to the societies who have made this possible. I am also impressed by Hong Kong Society taking the initiative to raise awareness of the situation in their country and contribute to helping those in Hong Kong.

Challenge Progress

So far I have attended events, showcases or campaigns by;

Pakistani Society, Arab Society, Bangladeshi Society, SMSA, Hong Kong Society and Indian Society.

In addition to the events I mentioned, many Cultural and National Societies have organized great events. I am so proud as a regional representative and liaison to be able to support these brilliant societies.
To all those who are lucky enough to study at Sheffield, why not take part in national society’s event? There are so many languages, cultures and traditions to experience at Sheffield.

That’s all from me for now. Thank you for reading.

 

Khuda Hafiz
Ishita

 

Upcoming Events

Here are some upcoming events organized by National Societies.
Latin American Society organizes Conversation clubs every Tuesday at  Arts Tower -LT08 from 6 pm to 8 pm, and on Thursdays  a weekly social at interval bar from 6pm and everybody is welcome in both (both are free by the way).
LatAm society are also celebrating the Day of the Dead at the end of this month and  have a traditional altar at the Students union, will also be doing a dance presentation at the Activities Zone at 11 am on Friday.
Latin American Society:  https://www.facebook.com/LatAmSocSheffield
Latin American Society Conversation Club: https://www.facebook.com/events/1490210667924285
Latin American Society Day of the Dead Campaignhttps://www.facebook.com/events/376566612519661/?ref=22

Bangladeshi Society have a meet and greet dinner, so if you’re a Bangladeshi student looking to meet people from home or if you’re interested in learning more about a new culture do take a look at the society and their event.
Bangladeshi Society: https://www.facebook.com/groups/962334693780175/
BanglaSoc meet and greet event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/375558685927741/

Interested in spending an afternoon solving riddles, exploring the city centre and picking up a new language? Italian Society are organizing a treasure hunt this Sunday (2nd of November). It sounds like a lot of fun and I hear there will be prizes. You can find details on the event page.
Italian Society: https://www.facebook.com/pages/University-of-Sheffield-Italian-Society/519290468109442?ref=br_tf
Italian Society Treasure Hunt:  https://www.facebook.com/events/485619878247334/

About Ishita Ranasinghe

Ishita represents students and societies from South Asia and will also serve as the Cultural National Societies Liaison for Societies committee and works to support and represent national societies.

One thought on “My Adventures with Cultural and National Societies (Weeks 1-4)

  1. Please can you contact me regarding 14 august pakistan independence day events in city centre.

    Will speak further

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