A friend recently asked if I get goose-bumps while listening to or singing India’s national anthem.
Yes, I replied with gusto.
We had just finished a ceremony marking India’s 73rd Independence Day at RMIT University, City Campus, organised by the RMIT Indian Club in association with Student Life and RMIT University Students Union (RUSU).
Some 400 Indian students rocked up, dressed in traditional garb, their enthusiasm representing the true spirit of the day.
The Indian club forms the biggest cultural club in the University with more than 1200 members, and is led by 12 executives, including yours truly as General Secretary. Amazingly, we only started last year as a small bunch of 40! No doubt this spike in numbers is due to the efforts of the new executive team who delivered two fantastic events in one semester last year (Independence Day 2018 and Diwali party). Along with these,
our Fresher’s Party and End-of-Semester party have seen large attendance as well.
The club is more like a family where we help fellow students in settle in, find accommodation and job references, and offer support wherever needed. The objective is to go beyond University boundaries to establish our name in showcasing culture, excellence in academics and sports within the community.
Like last year, the Independence Day celebration was organised on Bowen Street on 15 August within the city University campus. What better way to kick-start this event than with a flash mob – it gathered everyone’s attention. The energetic drumming presented by the Janagarjana group had everyone tapping their feet, including our chief guest for the day, Mr. Shashi Kochhar (founder, Friends of the Children Foundation).
The official ceremony saw the hoisting of the tricolor and the singing of the national anthem. It was a proud moment indeed, to see the Tiranga flutter proudly next to the Australian flag at a University campus: the feeling just cannot be captured in words.
The moment touched every student there.
Of course we had to follow this up with laddoos – just like Independence Day at school back in our childhood.
The Chief Guest Mr. Shashi Kochhar thanked the organizers for this opportunity to remember his mother country and laud its future citizens.
He advised the student community to look after their new adopted home, respect its laws and rules, and promise to work together to create a better tomorrow for our coming generations by developing trust, love and respect.
“India is still riddled with problems of disunity, distrust, lawlessness and we still being slaves to prejudices and blind faith but all of this can be overcome by working together for the same common goal,” he said.
He also requested the youth to work towards building a better future for a coming generations.
The event was paused to enjoy mouth-watering Indian food sponsored by our food partner, Dosa Hut.
Post lunch, we were entertained by some wonderful traditional dance and music performances by fellow students. A group of students presented the diversity of traditional wear on the ramp with utmost grace. The best was left for last, when the floor was open for all to shake a leg on some desi music.
Snacks and tea came on later.
Every detail of the event from tricolor decorations, the extravagant traditional wear, and the enthusiasm of the attendees, all added to make the event memorable. The efforts
put in by the executives paid off wonderfully, especially as they juggled study and work commitments to deliver this latest event.
Special thanks to the staff at the University for guiding and supporting us, and also to our team of volunteers. We look forward to organizing more such events and create memories of this time at RMIT.