The beginning of Fall is a great time of the year! The weather is great, our campus town – State College starts buzzing again with students. The new batch of students bring in a new wave of energy and positivity to the campus every year. It makes everyone reminisce about the first time they came to this country with new dreams, hopes and aspirations. The Indian student community at Penn state goes an extra mile to make sure the new students have a smooth transition to their new home. Students always look forward to a greater social experience, especially in a new town, and AID is an amazing platform for that! It’s where I have met some of the best people I know and it’s fulfilling to know that you are contributing to a good cause back home. This has always been my pitch!
Every year AID organizes events at the beginning of the semester to engage students and let them know what working with AID is all about. It’s an AID Penn State chapter tradition to host the Indian Independence day! This years’ I-day celebrations turned out very memorable! I am sure many were nostalgic and some were teary eyed when Asavari Thatte-Pendharkar, an Arts Education PhD student and an active member of SIMA (Society for Indian Music and Arts), sang ‘Akhanda Vande Mataram’. Suparno Bhattacharya, another member of SIMA, sang a beautiful patriotic song in Bengali. It was great to hear the talented new students participate with an Indian students’ band. The crowd was a mix of students, community members and a few curious students from other nationalities. After an introduction to AID, our sponsored projects, and our year-round events, we had an engaging rapid fire quiz on fun facts about India.
Students engage in a rapid fire quiz during I-day celebrations PC: Jatin P Haibat
Soon after the Independence day event, AID hosted a picnic at a park close to campus. We began with a game of Saakhli. After a lot of running around, an exhausted crowd then sat in groups and discussed realistic projects that they would like to take up, innovative ways of fundraising, and the impact of the project. Each group had one core AID committee member to guide the discussion. The idea behind this exercise was to interact closely with new students – the future of AID Penn State – and to give them a glimpse of what AID does. This fun event concluded with delicious homemade Paav-bhaaji, rice delicacies and cupcakes made by our very supportive community members of State college.
Fall 2015 students with their copies of DISHAA newsletter. PC: Karthik Srinivas
These two events were a good start for AID Penn State and we are glad that there are 5 new students who are now an integral part of our AID family. We are soon hosting another event: ‘Sanskriti - A Cultural Night’ on November 6, 2015; a night of full of music, dance and Indian food! AID Penn State invites all readers!
Such social events have helped us generate a bank of volunteers who we believe would be happy to help out AID for future events, and may very soon be substantial contributors to the reserves and to the vision of AID!