Indian Subcontinent Student Association to host first Baylor Baraat

By Olivia Eiken | Staff Writer

Baylor’s Indian Subcontinent Student Association (ISSA) will be hosting their first mock shaadi, “Baylor Baraat,” from 7 to 9 p.m. on November 11 on the 5th floor of Cashion Academic Center.

ISSA is a South Asian multicultural club, founded with the goals of connecting students with fellow South Asians, finding a community on campus and further learning more about South Asian culture. ISSA allows South Asians to celebrate their culture, but it also spreads the culture to others who may not be familiar with it. They hold many events on campus celebrating different South Asian traditions such as Diwali, Holi and their statewide cultural showcase of Gateway to India.

The term Baraat” is used to describe a festive occasion of South Asian customs, traditions and culture. Essentially, Baraat is a gathering of friends and family to celebrate a loved one with the coupling of delicious food and extravagant dancing.

Dublin, Calif., junior Ishita Bakshi serves as president of ISSA. Bakshi said energy and vibrancy are what one should expect if they are unfamiliar with the nature of traditional South Asian celebrations.

“Expect to see South Asian attire, dances, music, cuisine and cultural activities,” Bakshi said. “It is a rich celebration of vivid colors and traditions and truly just a small glimpse into the South Asian culture.”

Hosting events like Baylor Baraat on campus is crucial to fostering community among all students, faculty and staff.

Los Angeles junior Shreya Patel currently serves as treasurer of Kappa Phi Gamma, the first South Asian interest sorority. Patel said she believes that promoting and allowing space for culturally-rich events strengthens one’s educational foundation.

“It’s vital for promoting diversity, fostering understanding and nurturing a sense of inclusivity among students and faculty,” Patel said. “These events contribute to a broader educational experience and prepare students to become global citizens with a deep appreciation for different cultures and perspectives.”

Bakshi and Patel agreed that one of the best ways to foster that sense of understanding and community is by encouraging people that are not South Asian to attend with an open mind and the desire to experience something they previously haven’t.

“People that aren’t South Asian should definitely attend. It never hurts to learn more about other traditions and values,” Patel said. “The population of South Asian cultures on campus is growing each year, so by others attending, we can continue to create a more globally-aware campus environment.”