DU Culture


The tote bags, the kurtas, the jhumkas, the sandals, the Sarojini of it all!

Diversity is possibly the primary thing that counts as a niche when it comes to DU. While it is claimed proudly, the inherent urge of wanting to belong and recognize another as one of your own has quite conveniently led to one of the most diverse and heterogeneous institutions developing its own separate, sense of style.

Beginning with the one that has aesthetic pages in a universal chokehold, the tote bag. While, in my own humble opinion, backpacks are more convenient, tote bags have gained popularity by targeting the need to be seen as individuals. Instead of a generic-looking backpack of primary colors and zips, tote bags can be customized to reflect your politics, your interests, or your favorite Taylor Swift lyric. (Also, for us introverts, isn’t it convenient to have something to hold?)

This arm accessory, which goes well with everything, is frequently paired with a kurta. It can be simplistic or bold, plain or intricate, and not expensive. From Sarojini to Lajpat, shops abound in every color and design you can think of, all for a low price (lower still, if you know how to haggle).

And of course, no good outfit is complete until it is complemented by the right footwear. Flip-flops, sandals, and sports shoes are the most prevalent kinds on any varsity, and with good reason. People often underestimate just how much of college life is essentially just walking. And as much as I’d like to show up in fabulous boots, just the idea of having to endure that pain that excruciating is enough to make me reconsider. Style loses yet another battleground to comfort and sandals reign as the supremely preferred and situationally appropriate choice of shoes.

Once your basics are good to go, in comes jewelry. Rings, bangles, oxidized jhumkas, the works. Just pop on one (or all) before leaving your house and you will have succeeded in guising yourself as a DU student.

And despite all these, the best part of the DU aesthetic is its affordability. Of course, you’re free to turn up in your Louis Vuitton but know that Sarojini is going to the showstopper. While money doesn’t dim entirely here (or anywhere), any judgement you might get from strangers in the corridors does not exist.

It’s impressive how the massive student body has found a style in which they can all come together and exist as one, while also retaining their individual identities and celebrating them as often as they can.

Naina Priyadarshi Mishra

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Be it the accommodation of a traditional tribal necklace in the outfit of a North-Eastern student, fasting before Eid, or bringing with us the post-holiday ghar-ka-khaana, we all have managed to keep a bit of home alive in us.

The University of Delhi (DU) invites students from all over the subcontinent, and therefore, becomes a microcosm of what the spirit of diversity is all about. In any given college, there would be students from not just every single state of India, but from various neighbouring countries, enrolled. As such, you are able to differentiate one from the other, but certainly not in a divisive way. These different students all come together, bring with them their specific points-of-view, and works towards a common, shared goal.

Be it the classroom, or a society – the amalgamation of various ethnicities is what sets DU apart from the rest of its counterparts.

While it is essential to become one with our peers, we must also not forget that we all have our unique stories, and that is what keeps us interesting, and in some cases, even relevant. In the bid to fit in, we must not let go of where we come from, and maintain our culture – be it art, food, music – people want to hear about it.

In DU, the inquiring of the other cultures is an enormous part of the everyday conversation. On asking Bengalis about Durga Pujo, South Indians about their food, Marathis about Ganesh Chaturthi, we unknowingly, yet enjoyably, become more aware of other cultures, and become truly cultured.

It often does away with the stigma that we might have harboured about a given community, and they always seem less intimidating that they must have appeared.

Besides the educational aspect of it, maintaining the identity of your home(town) lends an aesthetic, almost artistic look to the ambience because the campus has that much more multiplicity.

All said and done, if there is a certain piece of jewellery, a certain harmony, a certain way of greeting people that is characteristic of the place you come from, make it a part of you. Embrace it and embody it, because trust me, identity is more than what it is given credit for.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives


Maumil Mehraj

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The history and importance of protests and political expression in the University of Delhi (DU) after Vivekananda College released a notice warning students against taking part in political rallies becomes more significant.

DU is known for having an active and politically engaged student body, with protests, marches, and parades for various issues being an integral part of college life. Being a part of DU means being a part of a student body comprising people from all parts of the country, all sections of the society, and ideologies across the whole spectrum. In the varsity, students actively use responsible and peaceful forms of dissent to get one’s voice heard and bring student issues to the forefront. However, this freedom is slowly coming under attack due to certain groups of people trying to enforce their ideologies and stifle others who go against them. Recently, with Vivekananda College issuing a notice warning students against taking parts in political rallies and promising a disciplinary action for those who disobey, this suppression of voice has become more apparent and real.

Aahil sheikh, a first-year student of B.A (Honors) Political Science from Kirori Mal College, when asked for his opinion on Vivekananda College’s decision, stated “The current decision of Vivekananda College to ban political activities on campus takes away the autonomy of college students which completely goes against the right to protest. I believe that the Constitution has given everyone, including college students the right to mobilize and try to get something they believe in, so I am completely against the decision taken by Vivekananda College.”

On the importance of youth activism at college, Manvendra Krishna , another first-year student from Kirori Mal College said “Since the youth is the future of the country and college is the final stepping stone for students before they enter the real world, the exposure to politics at the college level is important because it produces educated student leaders and empowers the students to question the system, and provides them a medium to voice their opinions on the policies that impact them and fight the oppressors by making them aware of their rights as well as that of others and bring about a positive difference in the world.” Krishna quoted an example of Joshua Wong, who at a tender age of 14 was the face of the umbrella revolution: a pro-democracy movement that barricaded itself in downtown Hong Kong to emphasize that there are many such Joshua Wongs in the world but they according to him don’t get enough opportunities to speak. He also added that “This snatching away of student voices is aversive to the fundamentals that bind a democracy. Thus, I believe in advocating for a system that fosters the growth of many such young and educated student leaders so that the system becomes more responsible and accountable.”

College students are of the age and maturity to know how to show dissent and protest responsibly. They should be allowed to voice their opinions on campus since that is the fastest way to reach the eyes and ears of the administration. Democracy is constantly changing and evolving and students can and play an integral role in keeping the administration and the government in check.

Feature Image Credits: Noihrit for DU Beat

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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