Culture and religion are two dishes which taste better when they are shared. The nourishing South Indian floral rangolis along with the well built pandals, decorated with the most divine ornaments brought together South Indian, Gujarati and International students in this harmonious celebration of good over evil, through Durga Puja.
Along with the festivities of Navratri, the Parul University campus was filled with an atmosphere of reverence and worship through the holy idols of goddess durga, brought to the campus in honour of the South Indian religious and cultural festivities. The occasion was successful in creating more than just a platform of worship, as it also became a way of integrating cultures, with Gujarati students and faculties, along with international students from Africa and Bangladesh coming together in celebration of this sacred festival.
Durga Puja is a 10 day festival, which is commonly practised in West Bengal, Kolkata, along with other States on the Indian subcontinent. From these 10 days, the last 5 days of the festival are of great significance and the festivities are held simultaneously with Gujarat’s Navratri and Dussehra celebrations. The South Indian students of Parul University, were of no exception in organising this festival with the same auspicion similar to that of South India, attracting students from other cultures to join in celebrating these festivities.
“Being from Kolkata, Durga Puja is of great significance and importance to me, and coming all the way to Gujarat, I never thought I would be able to celebrate this festival here. I am very thankful and fortunate for the rich diversity Parul University has, which has allowed me the chance to experience not only a vibrant Navratri, but also a graceful Durga Puja”, said Sneha Panja, a student from West Bengal.
As a way of honouring the lives of the female child, the South Indian students also went on to celebrate Bathukamma, in respect of the rich essence of value within the female students. The festival originates from the State of Telengana, and it is popularly practised as a way of forbidding female foeticide, by making a social display of the value within the women, through a colourful display of elegance.
PU’s South Indian and Gujarati female students, came together, and were dressed in the most elegant sarees, with beautiful floral decorations and ornaments. The students were singing and dancing in harmony, with the boys also joining in to show their respect and value to the women.
The University’s South Indian community has continuously grown, therefore making cultural integration a very essential part of the learning process. The University has been organising various cultural and religious festivals for all the various student communities, as a way of celebrating the rich essence of cultural diversity within the campus.
”I believe having such a wide blend of student diversity from across almost all the States of India, puts on our shoulders an obligation. This is an obligation to constantly create platforms where students from all of these diverse cultural backgrounds get to come together, and share their cultural and religious diversities. These past days have done just that with the Navratri and Durga Puja celebrations, our students have gotten the chance to experience all the cultures under one roof”, said Dr Devanshu Patel, President Parul University.