Cultural Diffusion: Experiencing Something New at IU

I'm not Indian. I'm not even close. I grew up in a white, Christian family in a white, Christian community, and thus, my exposure to Indian culture was very limited. In fact, prior to coming to IU, I had never even tried Indian food. So perhaps it was a bit strange that I ended up at Diwali, the Indian New Year festival hosted by the Indian Student Association. Despite the fact that my friends and I stood out a bit (the majority of people were wearing beautiful, traditional Indian clothes) the entire event was amazing--students performed dance numbers to Bollywood songs, and there was Indian food provided for everyone. 

(Hoosier Raas)

I really enjoyed experiencing a culture so foreign from my own, and I came to realize that in the quote-unquote "real world," the opportunities you have to experience different cultures will be limited. Very few adults, or even college graduates, will go outside their "cultural bubble." It isn't particularly strange that people remain within their own culture once they leave college, which is why you, as a current college student, should try to take in as much culture as you can while you're at a school that makes culture and diversity so accessible.

Connect with your own culture

Though it's important for you to step outside your comfort zone and experience something new, there is definitely something to be said for connecting with the culture you were born into. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some clubs that may pertain to you:

(Song "Aashiyan"--Barfi; Reshma Patel, Adam Alamillo)

Experience a new culture

One of the best things about IU is the fact that it's home to so many different people. Chances are you've met or made friends with someone that has a very different background from you (if not, you definitely should!). See if your friends are involved with their cultural society, and try to attend one of their events as well as bringing them to one of yours. 

Through my friends, I've not only gone to the Indian Student Association's Garba and Diwali festivals, but I was able to see Holocaust survivor Sam Harris speak, through the Jewish Hillel House. 

College is the time to broaden your mind and really experience the diversity that there is in the world, and IU provides the perfect place to get in touch with your own culture, as well as experience the traditions of others.

If you're interested in culture, you may also be interested in

About The Author
Courtney VeneriJournalism and International Studies major, 2017

I am a freshman studying Journalism and International Studies with a minor in French. I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do yet, but luckily I have another three years to figure that out! I'm a native of Michigan, and though I'm a fellow Midwesterner, it's still interesting to experience the "Indiana culture" for the first time.

Aside from being a blogger for, I am also involved with IU's literary magazine, Labyrinth, where I am on the editorial board. I'm always looking to get involved with more clubs on campus, and am planning to write for the IDS newspaper as well as join the IU chapter of PRSSA.

I'm excited to share my experiences at IU with you!