The Association for the Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent is an organization whose goal is to promote awareness of and appreciation for Indian culture. “Our purpose is to promote awareness of South Asian culture and to preserve our traditions, with membership extended to anyone who is interested in these goals,” President of ADITIand senior Sid Shenoy said.

The enthusiasm that UR’s campus brings to ADITI’s events motivates the group tremendously according to senior and cultural chair Meghna Kumar. “This campus and community really embraces our culture to such an extent, otherwise I don’t think we’d be so successful,” she said.

ADITI holds several events through the year designed to celebrate South Asian cultures. Mela is ADITI’s signature event, planned for April 19 in Strong Auditorium. The word “mela” means “festival” in Hindi.

In this celebration of South Asian culture, the club puts on skits about the daily trials of being South Asian. Following the show, all are invited to a catered dinner in Douglass. Later that night, ADITI, the Black Students’ Union and the Korean American Student’s Association will host Meltdown 2003. Each organization hires their own DJ who plays different types of music to foster appreciation for their differences in culture.

Another significant event for ADITI is the South Asian Expo, which was held Nov. 16 in the May Room. Different booths were set up around the room, each featuring different aspects of South Asia, including religion, sports, language and fashion.

There were also performances by the BSU, D’Motions and the Spanish and Latino Student’s Association as well as South Asian food vendors.Other events that ADITI hosted include a Diwali dinner. Diwali is the festival of light “to vanquish ignorance that subdues humanity and drive away the darkness that engulfs the light of knowledge,” according to the ADITI’s website.

ADITI co-hosted a Ramadan dinner in Douglass with the Muslim Student’s Association in November. Like all ADITI events, it was open to everyone who wished to participate.

“I feel ADITI is an organization that helps to increase the awareness of the South Asian community on campus,” sophomore Rahul Gupta said. “Not only does it get members of the South Asian community involved, but it also tries to include members of different cultural backgrounds,” he said.

ADITI also participates in the National Gandhi Day of Service, where they perform community service in the Rochester area.

UR Bhangra, a Punjabi folk dance group is also a part of ADITI. They perform throughout the year, at both national and international competitions. Most recently, they competed at the University of Michigan. They will also be at Mela in April.

Freshmen Simone Sidel saw the bhangra troupe perform and praised their talent. “I had never really experienced anything like them before. I really enjoyed their colorful costumes and music,” she said.

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