Diwali celebration

The Hindu Society, with the Global Lounge, bring you a warm and welcoming virtual celebration of Diwali

Wednesday 11 November

Diwali, commonly known as the ‘Festival of Lights’, lasts between 4 to 5 days and, like Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year, follows the ‘lunar calendar’ meaning that the date changes each year.

Namaste

Diwali, in itself, is a celebration of the idea of India. Everyone celebrates for different reasons.’

This year, the Bristol Hindu Society celebrated Diwali with a virtual event which was open to all, introducing the festival to those who may not know much about it, whilst allowing those who would normally celebrate with family and loved ones the opportunity to come together and celebrate online. Akash, president of the Bristol Hindu Society, introduced the event, kicking things off with a beautiful Aarti – a type of prayer which the society typically start their events off with.

Akash went onto explain that while there may be many possible origins of Diwali, the core essence remains the same: ‘the victory of good over evil, and of knowledge over ignorance,’ going on to say that it is also not a festival ‘limited only to Hinduism and Hindus’ but that ‘Diwali, in itself, is a celebration of the idea of India. Everyone celebrates for different reasons.’

Some typical features of celebrating Diwali include:

  • lighting diyas – an oil lamp usually made from clay
  • fireworks – to guide the spirits of ancestors
  • rangolis – patterns made of coloured sand or crushed flowers to beautify the house and a sign to welcome visitors

‘Who needs measuring spoons when you have your hands!’

After the introduction to Diwali students talked about how it’s felt not being able to celebrate with loved ones at home this year, and shared with each other how they were celebrating Diwali during lockdown, which included dinner with housemates, Bollywood music and movies, and eating / making homemade sweets!

Students also shared with each other how they would usually celebrate with family – with a large focus on food, including an insight into Indian cooking and a mother’s tip when it comes to recipes: “Who needs measuring spoons when you have hands!”

The community-feeling really shone through during these conversations and even for those who don’t celebrate Diwali, it was a wonderful insight into this annual celebration.

‘Wear Indian clothes just to get into the feel of it. At Christmas people wear Christmas jumpers, so in the same way, wear some Indian clothing to get in the mood.’

Students ended the event by giving tips on how you can celebrate Diwali at home, including:

  • watching popular Indian movies (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gum is recommended!)
  • buying or making homemade sweets
  • lighting sparklers
  • celebrating virtually with family and loved-ones
  • having a go at cooking Indian food that you would normally have with family – or – treating yourself and ordering online
  • wearing some traditional Indian clothing to get you into the mood and playing some music
  • using candles or fairy lights to decorate your spaces at home

Check out the full event here, and be inspired to make Diwali just as special this year – where ever you are!

NHSF Bristol Hindu Society:

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Diwali

Namaste! Join us in celebrating Diwali, in collaboration with Bristol Hindu Society!

This year the Global Lounge brings you a virtual celebration of the Festival of Lights, alongside representatives from the Bristol Hindu Society and guest speaker!

This interactive event will be led by students, as they share their experiences and knowledge of this annual festivity.

Join in here on Zoom.

This event is open to all students and staff – home and international.

Hindu Society Diwali hamper

The Hindu Society is preparing hampers for people who want to celebrate Diwali but are away from their families – Diwali is normally a time to be at home and celebrate with loved ones and this year many will be celebrating alone for the first time.

If you would like to order a hamper – costing £6.99 – you can do so via the Bristol SU website. Limited hampers are available; please order by Wednesday 11 November.

Travel the World: Lebanon

Discover new places and destinations with our Travel the World series, every Tuesday from 1 pm to 2 pm (during term time).

Experience different parts of the world as fellow student and staff volunteers share insightful stories about locations across the globe, from famous landmarks to local hotspots. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about new cultures, including local traditions, celebrationsetiquettefood and much more!

Join us for this virtual event.

On 10 November, we’ll be talking about Lebanon!

Maria Chammas will be discussing tips on visiting Lebanon. Brought to you as an interactive presentation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have for our speaker!

This is a fantastic chance to broaden your cultural knowledge, learn something new and be inspired to visit new places in the future and engage with students from all over the world.

If you’re interested in volunteering and sharing your knowledge of a particular place; be it a country, county, city or region then please visit our volunteering page to find out more!

The information presented in this event represents the personal views, observations and experiences of the speaker. We welcome your diverse range of questions with cultural sensitivity in mind.

View all of our other upcoming Travel the World events.

 

Day of the Dead

The Mexican Culture Society and Global Lounge celebrate Day of the Dead
Monday 2 November

What is Day of the Dead?

Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is a Mexican holiday where family and friends gather to remember those close to them who have died.

The Mexican Culture Society explored and celebrated this annual festivity with The Global Lounge, with guest speakers delivering live and interactive presentations from both the UK and Mexico, explaining what happens during this annual festivity!

Although celebrations couldn’t take place in-person, the Mexican Culture Society planned a full programme of events to mark this important holiday, which honours and celebrates the deceased.

Speakers introduced the festivity and its importance in Mexican culture, including how it’s celebrated in the capital of Mexico, Mexico City (San Lorenzo Tenzonco) as well as El Xantolo in the Huasteca region. Speakers shared their experience of living in these parts of Mexico and what you can expect to experience during the Day of the Dead celebrations – which lasts several days – including music, shrines, and the cemetery! Also explained was one of most recognisable symbols of The Day of the Dead celebrations – a tall female skeleton wearing a hat with feathers – La Catrina, who was borne from illustrator José Guadalupe Posada.

Let’s talk about food!

Attendees got to find out about popular food, Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) and the significance of its shape and structure – find out how to make ‘Bread of the Dead’ by heading to the Mexican Culture Society’s video on YouTube!

They also talked about a traditional mesoamerican dish, made of masa or dough, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf – tamales! Not only available as a savoury and spicy food – but also sweet – this is a popular Mexican food with big cultural importance. Tamales, or ‘tamal’ in Spanish, are even mentioned in proverbs and phrases – ‘whenever something goes wrong, eat tamal. Whenever something goes fine, eat it as well’.

Like the sound of tamales? Have a go at making your own!

The event ended with an explanation of Calaveritas Literarias – short verses written in the form of epitaphs to mock celebrities, politicians, friends and family members! These rhymes or phrases – which were once banned – are popular in Mexico around October and November during Day of the Dead celebrations.

See the full event below, and discover more about this fascinating festivity.

The programme of events:

00:00 – 02:00 – Welcome from the Global Lounge
02:01 – 08:44 – Introduction to the festivity
08:45 – 22:35 – Celebrations in Mexico City (San Lorenzo Tenzonco)
24:15 – 41:07 – El Xantolo
42:03 – 50:22 – La Catrina
52:10 – 1:02:21 – Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead)
1:02:22 – 1:12:46 – Tamales
1:15:45 –1:21:33 – Calaveritas Literarias
1:25:02 – Event end

Find out more about the Mexican Culture Society:

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Travel the World: Dubai

Discover new places and destinations with our Travel the World series, every Tuesday from 1 pm to 2 pm during term time.

Join us for this virtual event.

On 3 November, we’ll be talking about Dubai!

First year Law student, Tala Youhana, will be sharing some interesting facts about Dubai, including popular landmarks, local hotspots and cultural differences between the United Arab Emirates and the UK. Tala is Iraqi, but has lived in Dubai since she was 4, and wanted to take the opportunity to share her experiences of different cultures:

“It was my interest in exploring different cultures that brought me here, and so I wanted to volunteer for this event to bring my culture to everyone else!

I’ll be sharing UAE culture, landmarks and popular activities that residents take part in during their time off, and will also be talking about the differences between being a student in England compared to the United Arab Emirates. As well as divulging some interesting facts about the country, I will be highlighting cultural sensitivities and laws unique to the region.”

All of this information will be brought to you in an interactive presentation, with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have for our presenter, Tala.

This is a fantastic chance to broaden your cultural knowledge, learn something new and be inspired to visit new places in the future and engage with students from all over the world.

The information presented in this event represents the personal views, observations and experiences of the speaker. We welcome your diverse range of questions with cultural sensitivity in mind.

If you’re interested in volunteering and sharing your knowledge of a particular place; be it a country, county, city or region then please visit our volunteering page to find out more!

View all of our other upcoming Travel the World events.

Day of the Dead

Join the Mexican Culture Society in celebrating Day of the Dead!

Guest speakers will deliver live and interactive presentations exploring this annual festivity. The programme of events includes:

  • 17:30 to 18:00 – Briefing
  • 18:00 to 18:05 – Welcome from the Global Lounge
  • 18:05 to 18:15 – Introduction to the Festivity
  • 18:15 to 18:30 –  Celebrations in San Lorenzo Tenzonco
  • 18:30-18:45 –  El Xantolo
  • 18:45-19:00 – La Catrina
  • 19:00-19:15 – How to cook “Pan de Muerto”
  • 19:15-19:30 – How to cook “Tamales” 
  • 19:30 -19:45 – Calaveritas Literarias
  • 19:45 – end of the event

Each talk will last around 15 minutes; participants can simply sit back, relax and listen – or get more involved in the chat while finding out more about this cultural celebration!

Join in the event on Zoom.

Meeting password: 387206

 

The Mexican Culture Society at the University of Bristol aims to:

  • Involve the student community with Mexican traditions via cultural events
  • Strengthen the integration of the Mexican community at the University via social events
  • Promote Mexican culture, history, art, literature and scientific research within the University of Bristol student community.

 

Travel the World: South India

Discover new places and destinations with our Travel the World series, every Tuesday from 1 pm to 2 pm during term time.

Experience different parts of the world as fellow student and staff volunteers share insightful stories about locations across the globe, from famous landmarks to local hotspots. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about new cultures, including local traditions, celebrationsetiquettefood and much more!

Join us for this virtual event.

On 27 October, we’ll be talking about South India!

Student Deepthi Nanduri will be guiding us through some interesting facts about the South of India, including things like local cuisine and travelling through the region. Brought to you as an interactive presentation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have for our speaker!

This is a fantastic chance to broaden your cultural knowledge, learn something new and be inspired to visit new places in the future and engage with students from all over the world.

If you’re interested in volunteering and sharing your knowledge of a particular place; be it a country, county, city or region then please visit our volunteering page to find out more!

The information presented in this event represents the personal views, observations and experiences of the speaker. We welcome your diverse range of questions with cultural sensitivity in mind.

View all of our other upcoming Travel the World events.

 

Our Music, Black Music

The Global Lounge has partnered with the BME Network to invite you to Our Music, Black Music, as part of Black History Month.

 

Join in with this virtual exploration of Black music, from rock to neo-soul to highlife. Hosted by students, in collaboration with Black cultural societies, they’ll take you on a musical journey – all you need to do is sit back, enjoy the music and cast your vote on which host you think has won each genre during this interactive live DJ set!

 

To join in with this event, simply head to @bristol_su on Instagram live at 6 pm.

 

This event is part of Black History Month. Check out the full programme of events on the SU website and follow the BME Network on Facebook and Instagram.

 

A statement from Khadija Meghrawi, Chair of the BME Network at Bristol University, about Black History Month:

 

“Black History is far too neglected and should be represented all year around. The purpose of this month is both to empower Black students and to refocus the energy on how to be an active ally, equipping non-Black students with the tools to educate themselves and question the structures around them. These discussions are particularly relevant in Bristol, which is facing the challenge of ensuring that Colston’s statue being taken down is not where the activism ends.”

 

Travel the World: Northeast China

Discover new places and destinations with our Travel the World series, every Tuesday from 1 pm to 2 pm during term time.

Experience different parts of the world as fellow student and staff volunteers share insightful stories about locations across the globe, from famous landmarks to local hotspots. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about new cultures, including local traditions, celebrations, etiquettefood and much more!

On 13 October, we’ll be talking about Northeast China! 

Join us for this virtual event.

Postgraduate student, Jin Song, will be sharing her knowledge of Northeast China for our first ever Travel the World session. Jin will discuss what’s unique about the northeast region and how it differs from the rest of China. You will find out about the Snow Festival and why the region’s architecture and cuisine are actually more akin to Russia than China:

“I really enjoy travelling and would like to introduce a place which is dear to me, Harbin, a moderate city located in the northeast of China. My presentation will open a window through which you will find a place that is totally different from the rest of China. If you are a person who loves snow or enjoys hearty food, you must attend this event!”

All of this will be brought to you as an interactive presentation, with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have for our presenter! It’s a fantastic chance to broaden your cultural knowledge, learn something new and be inspired to visit new places in the future and engage with students from all over the world.

If you’re interested in volunteering and sharing your knowledge of a particular place; be it a country, county, city or region then please visit our volunteering page to find out more!

View all of our other upcoming Travel the World events.

 

Cultural Societies Games Night

Join the BME Network in getting to know the University’s cultural societies by taking part in a bit of friendly competition!

They’re infamous for their games nights, but even if Fish Pong and banana-eating contests can’t happen in-person right now, there will be plenty of weird and wonderful games to keep you entertained!

Book your place to attend this event.

The BME Network exists to provide a safe space within the University of Bristol Students’ Union for self-identifying BME students on campus, and encourages empowerment for our communities through BME-led action and campaigns.

Find out more about the BME Network and what they do on FacebookInstagram and Twitter!

You can also check out their full programme of events for Black History Month on the Bristol SU website.