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South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

South Dakota State University's Independent Student-Run Newspaper Since 1885

The Collegian

India Night to make a comeback after gap of three years

File Photo
Students attending India Night at South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D. Sunday, March 1, 2020.

The Indian Student Association at South Dakota State University is gearing up for one of its biggest events of the year, India Night. After three years, on Sept. 17 at the Volstorff Ballroom located in the Student Union will host the event. 

The aim of India Night is to promote the culture and diversity of India through various delicacies, dancing, skits, vocal talents, and fashion shows in traditional outfits represented by both students and faculty of the Indian community. Considered as one of the largest cultural events on campus, both international and domestic students look forward to attending the event. 

ISA believes that India Night and other events would help bridge some cultural gaps by bringing the SDSU and the Brookings community together. 

India Night started in the 1980s and was first initiated by Dr. Chandradhar Dwivedi, a professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Since then, India Night has been hosted every year until 2020. 

“Historically, India Night has been a very big event in the university,” said Maneesha Mohan, adviser of ISA. “For 43 years of the Indian Student Association being here, every year apart from COVID, we’ve had India Night.” 

Attendees and participants of India Night get-together to celebrate and gain knowledge of various cultures and traditions showcased across different states in India. ISA is looking forward to hosting around 460 guests this year. 

“Around 14 years ago, the event was well-received by 300 to 400 people,” Mohan said. “I think that the main thing is the size of the hall that restricts the number of people attending the event.” 

Food is a main reason that attendees of India Night always look forward to it. Until 2020, Aramark had been catering the event, while this year, Sodexo would take charge of the catering. 

“The best way to connect with any culture is through food,” said Gurdeep Singh, treasurer of ISA. “We are expecting around five to six different kinds of dishes to be served during this event, keeping in mind about the spice level.” 

ISA looks forward to hosting this event through funds raised at concession stands during game day, fundraising held along Main Street in the Student Union and advance tickets purchased. Additionally, businesses like First Bank and Trust, and Flavor Indian and Asian Fare have joined hands with ISA to sponsor this event. 

“As far as the university is concerned, I think we get a budget every year for all the active organizations on campus,” said Sukhvir Kaur, president of the ISA. “Since we also have to pay rent for the VBR, they kind of cover the cost for the same.” 

Considered as one of the most anticipated events every year, ISA committee members make ends meet by putting in a lot of work to make the event successful. 

“It’s not a cup of tea, of course,” Kaur said. “For all the events we had hosted post COVID, we received great responses and decided to extend our tenure in the committee just to organize India Night.” 

Prior to her role as an adviser, Mohan herself has been a student at SDSU and has actively taken part in volunteering and participating in the event in the past. 

“Back in the days, we used to practice performances couple of months before India Night,” Mohan said. “There used to be a dedicated group of people who would prepare food and decorate the venue and similarly, back in India where people of various cultures come together to celebrate an event.” 

India Night tickets are priced at $17 for SDSU students and $22 for faculty and non-SDSU members. Children aged two and below enter free, while tickets for ages 3-15 are priced at $11.50. Although the event starts at 6 p.m., doors open at 5:30 p.m. 

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Kenneth Rebello, Asst. News Editor

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