Jamia Millia Islamia,New Delhi:
Celebrating Indian diversity on the campus, Jamia Millia Islamia organized a two-day Kerala Fest ‘MUZIRIS – ‘15’ in collaboration with SMRITI – the Malayali fraternity in Jamia on April 20 & 21, 2015. The holding of the Kerala Fest assumes significance because of the rich diversity that obtains on the campus which the university administration wants to showcase to all its stakeholders.
MUZIRIS – an ancient Kerala sea-port – represents numerous trade and cultural transactions in Kerala since ancient times. Under the aegis of MUZIRIS, events like Film Festival, Food Festival and Cultural Evening were organized in Jamia Millia Islamia. A large number of students from Kerala gathered at the venue to celebrate the cultural bonanza that performers had promised to deliver. The Film Festival, spread over two days, was on Kerala’s culture. Films were screened with English subtitles. The Food Festival ‘Salt N Pepper’ was an instant hit. Students, teachers and staff were seen thronging the stalls to enjoy the delectable delicacies. Items like Appam, Fish Curry, Biryani, Poratta Tapioca, Vada and Dosa were made available to visitors at affordable prices. That certainly didn’t take away the rejuvenating aroma of the spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, dried turmeric that were put on sale besides a range of exquisite handicraft items.
There was also a Photo Exhibition titled ‘Life in Delhi’. The Cultural Evening was marked by presentations of cultural forms like shingari, theyyam, fold dance, kathakali, kolkali, nadanpattu, etc.
Delivering the Valedictory Address, Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia Islamia said that it was imperative to appreciate the rich diversity in a plural society like India. He said that appreciation of other cultures would only contribute to social harmony. He proposed to hold many more cultural events in Jamia that would give students and faculty from different parts of India and an opportunity to showcase their culture to the Jamia community at large. This will generate, he felt, greater understanding and cohesion between people of the nation. He expressed his happiness to see that Jamia was receptive to the celebration of diversity that India represents and which was so thoughtfully envisaged by the founding fathers of the institution. He was joined by teachers and students of the university at this cultural event.
It is worth noting that Jamia has a large number of students from Kerala besides several faculty members in various departments and centres. The event saw felicitation of the Vice-Chancellor and his wife in the customary manner reminiscent of Kerala.