On Friday the 21st, Bruce Hall was home to the Indian Global Café organised on behalf of PARSA for the evening.
The event was funded by PARSA, but organised by the ANU Indian Students Association. Attractions included an evening of entertainment from performers such as the Canberra School of Bollywood Dancing, as well as a range of song and dance from throughout India’s many regions and cultural groups.
Guests were invited to participate in some Bollywood dancing, as well as engaging in an impromptu fashion show displaying the range of Indian fashion that was worn to the event. There was also an Indian meal provided to all who attended at no cost to the attendees, and a dance floor opened up to a soundtrack of Indian contemporary pop music.
Roughly 200 people attended the event, many shuffling in between Fellows’ Oval and the Café throughout the night.
PARSA’s International Officer Dominic Nadvillaveetil told Woroni that Global Cafes have been running for at least a year, and that PARSA’s aim in facilitating them was to give an opportunity to a range of student associations to hold large events, and to bring a platform for cultural awareness across the board at the ANU.
“It’s actually aimed at strengthening and benefiting the local, regional associations which occur at ANU,” said Nadvillaveetil.
The associations, once selected, are provided with the resources to realise the event by PARSA, but are given the freedom to organise and run the Global Café how they see fit.
“The food is theirs, the music is theirs, everything is theirs,” said Nadvillaveetil of the Indian Association’s running of the event.
He said there is no criteria for selecting which association will be given the next opportunity to hold a Global Café, except that “it should not have happened before.” He said that there is an effort made to ensure that it goes to the ANU’s less active groups, in order to ensure a diverse range of experiences.
“The International Officer is solely in charge of picking out countries… and trying to spread it out there,” said Nadvillaveetil, adding that he’s “looking at Russia, maybe, and maybe something from the Middle East, because these are things which have not been picked up.” He says it’s too early to say for certain which association will host the next Global Café.
Other associations which have held Global Cafes previously include the Indonesian Students’ Association. Nadvillaveetil says that PARSA provides excellent support and funding to the International Office.