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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Campus infused with Indian flavors

Friday night’s theme at Lynn Eusan Park hosted was the Bollywood film “Bride and Prejudice” — not to be confused with Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”

Not only did students watch “Bride and Prejudice,” but they experienced an entire Indian affair. The event, hosted by Council of Ethnic Organizations, included henna, a plant that is crushed and made into powder, then paste. The paste is used to temporarily tattoo hands or palms.

Pizza from Bombay Pizza with special blends of Indian spices was also included in the fusion. A favorite of students and the first to go was Gateway of India, which combined ingredients like tandoori chicken, crabmeat, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, provolone and cilantro to top it off. Feasters were also offered a similar pizza with spicy red curry and, to chill fiery tongues, iced coconut water. Once students had their fill of Indian cuisine, Bollywood dance troupe Houston Jannat decorated the stage with their fluttering, brightly colored skirts.

President of Houston Jannat and supply chain and logistics technology sophomore Christene Thomas was delighted to share about the Indian culture’s dances and introduce the newly founded group.

“We are Houston Jannat. We are a Bollywood dance team, the first on campus — that we founded this year, actually. We do a lot of Bollywood dances, so today you’ll actually see us doing a couple of mixes from Punjab — dances like Bhangra and Raas — and then we’re going to bring in our Bollywood fusion and also do a little modern hip-hop,” Thomas said.

“Everyone is always talking about Bollywood, so we want everyone to experience what this is about, because it’s very rare that you get to travel to India to experience it, so we are bringing it here for them to experience it through our style of dancing.”

The lively music and the hypnotizing colors caught the attention of biotechnology sophomore Anaissa Ruiz, who was on her way from dinner when she decided “to check it out.”

“They just made me want to dance. I think they did a really great job; they seem to be super-energetic. The music is amazing as well,” Ruiz said.

In light of what students want, CEO director and French and Spanish senior Erica Tat, along with other members, organize “events that promote diversity on campus.”

“We (wanted) to showcase more of the Bollywood movie scene, because we know that not many of our students have seen a Bollywood film or know about foreign films as much. You know, we all know Hollywood, but we want to help them gain exposure to films that are being made in other countries,” Tat said. “Rather than just showcasing a movie … we thought it would be great showing the dance itself, so that when they see it in the movie, they can sort of relate and say, ‘Oh, I just saw a group of students perform, and now I get to see it on the movie,’ so now you get a real live showcase in the movie as well.”

Undeclared freshman Maria Sifuentes was appreciative of the event’s success and marvelled at every aspect of the night.

“It made me happy that I could connect to it. I was just like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’ I have never seen the movie before, and so I was a bit surprised,” Sifuentes said. “It was just all exciting. It made my Friday night better. Instead of being in my room, watching Netflix, I was here with friends and Indian culture.”

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