Indian Club fosters community, teaches cultural heritage

The+Indian+Club+works+to+spread+information+about+Indian+culture+and+provide+a+community+for+Indian+students.+%22I+was+a+freshman%3B+I+was+new+to+the+school.+Joining+seemed+like+a+good+opportunity+to+try+and+bond+with+other+people%2C%22+said+Avantika+Swaminathan%2C+a+sophomore.

Anika Marino

The Indian Club works to spread information about Indian culture and provide a community for Indian students. “I was a freshman; I was new to the school. Joining seemed like a good opportunity to try and bond with other people,” said Avantika Swaminathan, a sophomore.

Cultural clubs play a pivotal role in Carlmont’s student life; the Indian Club is no exception.

Every school year, the Indian Club sells samosas at the Club Fair during the first semester and performs at the Heritage Fair during the second semester. According to Indian Club President Anjali Mehta, the club is involved in as many on-campus events as possible to spread awareness and educate people about Indian culture. 

“It’s always important to learn about other cultures,” Mehta said. “High school has been the first place where I’ve gotten to learn about other cultures.”

According to Saya Deshpande, the club’s vice president, they also focus on teaching others outside of the culture about critical historical events in Indian history and discoveries made in the Indian community.

Important Indian holidays by Anika Marino

To help spread knowledge about Indian culture, the club participates in Fortifying Bridges, where cultural and religious clubs meet and discuss prejudice based on race and religion. Fortifying Bridges allows different clubs to educate each other about their own cultures and religions.

During the Heritage Fair, the Indian Club usually performs Bollywood dances typical for Indian culture. The club prepares for this dance for most of the year, and the president and vice president create the choreography.

“For Heritage Fair, I would do a lot with organizing the Bollywood dance that we would perform every year,” Mehta said.

Due to distance learning, the club has been unable to sell samosas, participate in the Heritage Fair, or participate in events like Fortifying Bridges. An event planned for Holi, the celebration of color and triumph of good over evil, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of having these in-person events, the club hosted a Zoom celebration on Diwali, the Hindu festival of light.

“We had a Diwali event this year because we had more time on our hands for that event,” said Avantika Swaminathan, a sophomore.

While teaching others about culture, the Indian Club provides a community for participants. Mehta, Deshpande, and Swaminathan joined the club in their freshman year to be a part of an Indian community within Carlmont.

“It was the first time I had a community where everyone was Indian and open to talking about it,” Mehta said. 

Deshpande agreed, saying that the Indian Club is a place where everyone can feel safe. 

“Everyone in the club is friends; we want everyone to feel welcome in the club. That was something that I felt when I first joined the club, and we want to continue that,” Deshpande said.

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