It was a cultural evening with a difference – one that showcases facets of Indian culture, but the performances are not by Indians. Instead, the performers are students from the US and Europe who come to the University of Hyderabad (UoH) as part of its prestigious, one of its kind, Study in India Program (SIP)
At the end of both Fall and Spring semesters, SIP has the convention to organize this unique cultural evening. This year too, April 9, 2013 saw the SIP students put up a colourful cultural evening at DST auditorium, performing for their Indian classmates, faculty and the campus community. The evening was an impressive show of talent that combined what the students had learnt in India with what they brought back from home.
The evening exhibited many flavours of India, which blended perfectly with some of the performances from the western countries. It all started off with a short film, titled All is Well made by the students on their daily routine at the Tagore International House where these students stay. This was followed with an elegant Kuchipudi dance recital choreographed by Dr. Aruna Bhikshu, a faculty with UoH, which set a high standard for the rest of the evening. To enhance the cultural experience, there was some superb poetry recitation. The students also performed on Tabla and Sitar keeping the audience glued to their seats.
A spirited and sparkling Kathak Dance routine was followed by graceful performance to the famous Bollywood numbers Ek Do Teen… and Disco Deewane…which had the audience in stitches of laughter and glee, hoping this evening would come back soon. A 2010 batch SIP student Sara who is presently in Varanasi on a Rotary International project came back to visit UoH and shared her experiences on the programme and how it helped her to grow in her career. At the end of the programme the students felicitated the Director, SIP, teachers and trainers who helped them to learn and perform Indian music and dance in the cultural programme.
The University’s Study in India Program (SIP), which began in 1998 with only 8 students, is an interdisciplinary initiative, emphasizing on heritage, continuity and change in India. The program has expanded considerably in recent years and now draws about 200 students every year. The SIP students take up regular University courses with Indian students in different schools alongside SIP courses, especially designed for foreign students.