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tu delft delta fraternity Indian Student Association
The board members of the Indian Students Association in front of several famous Bollywood illustrations. (Photo: Chris Reichard)

Holi, the Indian colour festival, has become quite a phenomenon among students. It is one of the many events organised by the Indian Student Association. Six of the nine board members talk about what goes on behind the scenes of their fraternity.

  • Name: Indian Students Association
  • Associated country: India
  • Established in: 2007
  • Number of members: Open association  

Why were you established?
Abhinav Sharma (30), president: “The main reason was that more and more Indian students were coming to Delft. As the community grew, we saw an opportunity to experience some of our culture from back home here.”

You are an open association, meaning you do not have members. Why is this?
Sanjay Vermani (18), events manager: “That goes back to our culture of welcoming anyone. We are all one family. There is no membership to the family.”

Who can participate in events?
Akshay Budhihal Ashokkumar, external affairs: “Anyone. We are very international!”  

You do not receive membership fees nor do you charge for events. How do you manage?
Vishruth Krishnan, general secretary (23): “Being an international student is already expensive enough, so we only charge for the food. Without membership fees we have to find sponsors and free venues.”

What are some of the difference between the Dutch culture and the Indian one?
Pritish Bose (28), student mentor. “In India we are used to working overtime. Here we are forced to work within a set timeframe. This actually makes you more efficient and enables you to enjoy your free time.” 

Holi, the Indian colour festival (May 12th), is super popular among students. What is the meaning behind it?
Sanjay: “It is a traditional festival, related to the god Vishnu. You can put colour on everyone. Afterwards you say: Bura Na mano Holi hai, meaning ‘don’t mind [the colour], it is Holi’.”

What other typical Indian events do you organise?
Mythili Ezhilkumar (24), events manager: “Diwali, the festival of lights, is also something all students look forward to. A Bollywood DJ plays music and we have traditional food and performances. Last time over 200 students attended.”

Do you also organise professional events?
Pritish: “We organised the ‘Stepping Stone’ event on March 25th together with HOITalent this year. We wanted to give students an opportunity to learn about the Dutch job market and Networking. Also, for the first time, we are organising an alumni event ‘Milaap’ on May 25th in collaboration with TU Delft Alumni Relations.”

  • In this series we meet TU Delft‘s student fraternities. These fraternities are called gezelligheidsverenigingen in Dutch, which translates as social clubs, but in fact they’re far more than that. If youd like to suggest a fraternity for us to cover, please email us at delta@tudelft.nl.

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