By Indian Cultural Society EXCO’22
When we say Indian Cultural Society, what comes to mind? Heated discussions about Indian epics? Bantering about Indian movies and shows? Or perhaps… EATING good food? Well, that may be part of the deal, but there’s also much more to ICS than just that!
Indian culture is dynamic and multi-faceted. As a performing arts CCA based on Indian culture, we place great importance on spotting the latest trends in Indian culture, and transferring it to the stage (or for now, Instagram!)
That’s a lot of big words… But what do we actually do?
For many of us, Mother Tongue lessons from our primary and secondary schools were a way to learn about and celebrate our Indian roots and heritage. However, since most of us dropped MT after joining JC, we have lost this avenue.
This is where ICS steps in. We aim to provide students with the opportunity to explore, understand and appreciate Indian heritage and culture–and beyond that, celebrate them in fun and tangible ways!
Also, in the midst of a hectic, stressful and short JC life, ICS hopes to foster meaningful and deep connections between members that last a lifetime. Want to take a break from all your studies, and just chill with a fun bunch of friends to talk about anything? ICS is the place for you! In ICS, we talk about anything under the sun, from deep topics like the meaning of life to entertaining stuff like the latest movies and songs.
The ICS journey usually starts off with an orientation. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we had to resort to an online one, which was just as, if not more fun! Other than just learning more about one another (like how someone did not know that gluten was not gelatin, and how some of us discovered our shared passion for Ponniyin Selvan, an Indian novel series), we also played Antakshari, an Indian parlour game, to strengthen our bonds and just have fun.
Sangamam (English: Confluence) is the highlight of our CCA, and is an annual concert, composed (usually) of a musical drama. Rafflesians and non-Rafflesians alike invariably look forward to viewing this concert. Provided COVID-19 restrictions ease up and concert preparations are feasible, we can look forward to participating in Sangamam in 2022!
In the past, ICS had rather intense rehearsals nearing the date of Sangamam–but fret not about the workload! Batch after batch, a major part of Sangamam preparation has always taken place in the holidays and in the first term of the year, and rarely affects our members’ personal lives! (or time set aside for mugging!)
New Ventures: Keeping up with the Kumars and many more!
Hmm… sounds familiar doesn’t it? Akin to its namesake, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Keeping up with the Kumars is a series of short episodes/skits, of the (quite melodramatic) Kumar siblings. Uploaded on the @rj.ics Instagram page, these episodes not only help to unleash our members’ creativity in hilarious ways, but also aim to spread cultural awareness to both Indian and non-Indian students.
A still from Episode 1 of Keeping up with the Kumars (series uploaded on our Instagram!)
Apart from this series, our members are given complete freedom to discuss and choose the activities they would like to participate in or organise. This makes the way we spend time during CCA to be flexible, and suited to everyone’s preference. With our CCA customised to our members’ needs, talents and interests, ICS is just as dynamic as the Indian culture!
All in all, when you join ICS, you can expect to kindle close bonds with peers, who are just as interested in Indian culture, and spend your time in a meaningful way with like-minded individuals. (P.S. As long as you bring in an attitude of curiosity and non-judgement, we will welcome you with open arms, regardless of race or ethnicity!)
*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.