By Shubashakthi Manikandan, Chairperson
Vibrant costumes🥻, tantalising food 🍛, superhit songs like ‘Why this Kolaveri’ 🎶 — do these come to your mind at the mention of Indian culture? Well, there is certainly more to it than these pop culture staples, and RI’s Indian Cultural Society (ICS) will give you a fantastic opportunity to experience and learn about the rich and multi-faceted Indian culture. Read on to learn more about our CCA!
ICS convenes once a week, usually on Fridays from 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm. CCA sessions typically last 1.5 hours, but time flies by when you’re having fun, so sessions can last longer. Almost every session is fun and games, even when planning and rehearsals are conducted for upcoming events!
So, what do we do in ICS? We organise competitions for other schools like Sangamam (Confluence), which is a highlight of our CCA. We participate in competitions like Sorsilambam (Word martial arts; the play of words) – a national Tamil debate series for students from various institutions and polytechnics. ICS also conducts school-based events for festivities such as Deepavali and Pongal 🥳!
Kalaichaaral is a competition-based event organised by RI ICS. In 2021, it was conducted virtually over Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions. We organised three competitions: Stand-Up Comedy, Acapella, and Thirukkural (Tamil proverbs) stating competitions for non-Tamils. Participants welcomed these competitions for their novelty and were very hyped to participate in those competitions.
This year, we plan to organise a similar event on a much bigger scale! As it will be conducted physically after a long time, and RI’s ICS members will also be performing, it will be a special event, so please look out for it! Preparations have already begun, and we are actively gearing up for it.
We will also be participating in Sorsilambam this year. Those who can express their ideas in Tamil fluently and deliver arguments coherently will be given an opportunity to participate in this competition with the Tamil Language Literature (TLL) students!
Celebrations in school
We also plan activities for our school to celebrate Indian festivities, like Deepavali and Pongal. Some of the many things we do to make the school glisten with a celebratory mood include fun games for everyone to play, and activities like tying Thoranam.
Last year, we set up a booth in the canteen for Deepavali, with many traditional games like Palanguzhi (Mancala) and Aadu Puli Aatam (Lambs and Tigers). We managed these booths during our breaks and after school, and we are happy to announce that it was quite successful 😊. We served Murukku to those who visited the booths, as well, which became a hit!
Plans for 2023 🗓️
In 2023, ICS will be actively involved in various activities. In January, we will be preparing for Pongal celebrations and Open House. In April, we will hold many events and activities for Singapore’s Tamil Language Month and conduct Sangamam. In May, we will be performing for the RI 200 Expo event, a huge event commemorating RI’s 200th anniversary!
Finally, ICS will be getting ready for Deepavali celebrations from October to November. Throughout the year, we will also be involved in school-based initiatives, such as the ones for RI’s bicentennial, and we are also looking to volunteer with community partners!
Now that you know what we do during ICS, you might wonder why you should join us. Given that many of us have dropped our mother tongue languages after Year 4, we do not have a tangible avenue in school which allows us to appreciate our mother tongue languages and culture. Fret not; for there is ICS!
Interested in movies 🍿? Well, we watch them together during sessions! Love taking part in Indian festivities 🪔? ICS enters a joyful mood during these times and organises numerous activities for its members and the school to participate in actively. Major food-lover 🥘? Be prepared to participate in debates that argue over which is better – Jangiri or Jalebi (Indian sweets).
If you are open and curious to know more about Indian culture, ICS is the place for you! More than just about learning and appreciating Indian culture, our members eventually bond to form a loving second home, and you can expect to forge meaningful friendships in our CCA.
So, do you want to experience the joy and fulfilment of learning about Indian culture while having loads of fun? In that case, you should join us; we will welcome you with open arms 🤗!