Despite snow and slush piling up outside, the annual Indian Student Association dinner continued with its multiple festivities.
International and local students, as well as community members, traversed through the weather to eat traditional Indian cuisine, watch various performances from Indian students and interact with fellow students Dec. 1 at the Student Union Ballroom.
The doors opened with medley solo performances byKotyada Durga Sushmitha and Kattekola Nishika, followed by a presentation on the various Indian festivals celebrated.
For junior Caitlyn Bland, this was her first time experiencing the ISA dinner. She loves trying new things and learning about different cultures.
“I think it’s really cool that our campus is so diverse, but I think it’s up to us to go to different events and want to learn about other people’s cultures,” Bland said. “I think it’s easy to get trapped in your bubble day-to-day… I feel like all these students come here and experience so much of our culture so it’s really cool to learn about theirs.”
After the presentation on Indian festivals such as Vinayaka Chavithi, Diwali and Dussehra, more medley group performances ensued along with a performance of “Cheliya Cheliya,” a song from the Telugu movie “Gharshana,” which was sung by student Sai Kiran Peddachappali.
Following the performances, the ISA initiated their new executive board members and showed their appreciation for their faculty advisor, SafeRide and others before showing their end of the year slideshow. Then came the lineup for the much-awaited food.
With 12 different Indian cuisines like vegan dish corn manchuriya, fan favorite chicken biryani and desserts like gajar halwa which was a sweet carrot mash, there were many options to choose from.
Bland said she had a hard time choosing one entree, so she tried a little of everything.
“Thanksgiving prepared me,” Bland said.
The event concluded with more medley group performances.
While many people came for the food and culture, some came to say their last goodbyes since many international students will be graduating in December.
Graduate student of applied computer science Srinivas Pakala came for this exact reason.
“I’m going to miss everyone because I am going to be graduating from Northwest; so I just want to refresh everything,” Pakala said. “I would like to see everyone for the last time and say goodbye. This is a goodbye thing for me.”
The goal of the ISA has and always will be to “feel closer to home” for the international Indian students, but for many international students, they have made many friends at Northwest thus creating another home.
Previous President of the ISA Vipul Chandoor said he and the ISA members were very pleased with the outcome of the event.
“A few came up to us and said like, ‘Please can you organize this with regular intervals like bi-monthly or once in three months,’” Chandoor said. “So this means to us that people are so happy, enjoyed it a lot and had a great time. If people are happy, we will be happy ... Even alumni gave some reviews saying that this is the best ISA dinner in the past few years, which made our day.”
The ISA organization’s dinner had 260 people show up.