April 4, 2014, by International students
Fun, festivals and flavour at Nottingham’s cultural societies
As the saying goes, “All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy!”
None of us wants to become that dull Jack – not me anyway! What do you plan to do at The University of Nottingham other than studying or doing coursework? Partying, visiting new places, watching movies? Sounds good! But are you aware of that there are societies at The University of Nottingham which can help you get the right balance between working hard and having fun?
These societies make sure you actively participate in their events (which I’m sure, you cannot resist). From trips to places as beautiful and spectacular as the Lake District where you get to cherish Mother Nature to Europe tours (yes! Euro trips take place twice a year at the prices that don’t disturb your student budget too much). And that’s just one society I’m talking about – the Travel Society!
I still remember Freshers’ Fair during my first week at Nottingham. Hundreds of students were heading towards the sports centre excited to know what was on offer. It was only when I entered the fair, it struck me, that The University of Nottingham is a global university. From juggling to baking and a huge variety of cultural and religious societies, they are all here at Nottingham.
What’s more, you will get to meet and interact with new people from your own culture, tradition, religion or people who have similar interests with you and you’ll love it all because it’s not just about joining a society, it’s about making a new community. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to try new things and learn about other cultures. For example, if you’re a Sikh you can come along to one of the Islamic Society’s events and learn about Islam, and you are made to feel as important as all of the other members.
We all have that one special festival or celebration back in our home country and you might just sulk or feel gloomy thinking you’ll miss out on it all, but not at The University of Nottingham. Whether it’s the Diwali festival, Eid celebrations, Chinese New Year or Thanksgiving, to name just a few, all is taken care of here by these amazing societies.
Last November I logged in to my Facebook account and saw Diwali. The festival of lights is celebrated by each and every home in India. Houses are decorated with lights and at night, there are fireworks throughout the country. I saw pictures of my friends with their families, happy, excited and all ready to celebrate Diwali.
I felt sad that I was missing out on it. I decided to go to the Diwali Ball here in Nottingham, which was organised by the Indian Society. Overcoming the sadness of not being home, I dressed up in my traditional Indian attire for the first time since I had been in the UK. That cheered me up straight away, and when I met my friends, they were all dressed up too. We had all the ethnic Indian dishes provided by Tamatanga (yummy!) followed by a wonderful belly dance by the Belly Dance Society and a performance by Break Dance Society.
Soon I forgot I was away from home. All that sulkiness and sadness went away as we all got together as friends, danced and celebrated Diwali away from home with a different flavour! It is still one of my favourite memories of Nottingham, and I know I will cherish it for years to come.
Nanki Sahota, international student from India studying a masters degree in Electrical Engineering at The University of Nottingham.