The South Asian Student Association hosted Jalwa, a showcase of the South Asian diaspora, on Oct. 4 to celebrate all aspects of South Asian culture.
The event was open to students and guests and was filled with food, performances and a runway showcase of saris, salwar-kameezes and other formal dress. SASA represents South Asian student backgrounds from the countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Tavern was decorated with pastel decor, filled with fairy lights, candles and white garland vines. The rest of the room was packed with chairs, but by the time the performances started, all the seats were filled, with people sitting on the floor and in the aisles.
“This has been our best Jalwa yet,'' said sophomore Fahim Ali, SASA’s finance co-chair. “We had an amazing turnout, good food and great performances.”
There was a range of performances – from traditional dancing, singing and stand-up comedy to a visit from GW Chamak, an all-female multicultural dance team. AU alums Pooja Tilvawala and Roshni Sharma performed, as well as a cappella group, Pitches Be Trippin,’ and American Bhangra Crew. The fashion show was made up of students wearing their interpretations of formal South Asian outfits.
“It was way more than I expected between the performances and the food,” said Mel Dahman, a sophomore who attended Jalwa. “I really enjoyed this presentation of South Asian culture.”
When asked about future SASA events, the events co-chair, sophomore Akanksha Surve, said, “We plan to have some serious discussions about South Asian culture and what it means to be a South Asian on AU’s campus.”
“There’s definitely a lot more we can do as an organization to increase our reputation on campus and advocate for many of our South Asian students,” Ali said. “I think in the near future, it would be important to have Hindi classes taught here and more education on the region. Events like this help us do our part by getting everyone together and uniting each other.”