Group hosts event to support victims

Hurricanes, mudslides and earthquakes devastate cities and dig at the hearts of people everywhere. While many people merely think about the loss, some reach out, lend a hand and stretch beyond cultural borders.Students for Asian Indian Cultural Awareness will raise money today at the second annual India Bazaar for victims of the October earthquake in Pakistan.

The earthquake, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, left more than 73,000 people dead and many more injured, according to CNN’s Web site. The aftermath left thousands homeless this winter, which will likely increase the death toll further, the Web site said.

SAICA hopes to educate others about their cultures, as well, said Nishant Maller, SAICA president.

“We try to educate the TCU population just a bit about the Indian subcontinent each time we do an event,” said the junior biology major. “Changing a person’s view of a culture is difficult to do in one sitting, so we hold events each semester to work through that.”

Maller said the bazaar will feature handmade Indian items donated by students’ families living in India, which will sell for under $10.

Tunti Pereira, a freshman interior design major and SAICA member, said she looks forward to raising money for worthy causes.

Maller said he agrees and hopes the bazaar will also shed light on cultures beyond the U.S. border.

Claudia Vaz, a junior finance major and SAICA member said stretching past borders is exactly what SAICA hopes to accomplish.

“We want students to be a part of the Asian-Indian culture and see our style of doing things, how much pride we take in our heritage and culture, and what we represent at TCU,” Vaz said.

Vaz said she believes TCU students are slowly beginning to appreciate Indian-Asian cultures.

“I have seen how the membership of SAICA has grown and how more and more non-Asian students have become familiar with what we do and have learned about our culture” Vaz said. “I think we are creating a change slowly.”

People at TCU come from many races and cultures, but SAICA has one vision, Vaz said.

“What’s best is when you see all students, from all over the place, dance to one tune in the same manner,” Vaz said. “It just goes to show how we all can blend in one culture but still stand out to represent our own by adding our style. That’s what we hope to achieve.”

Vaz said the bazaar will precede Experience India, SAICA’s biggest event of the year, which will be Saturday.

Experience India will feature Indian food, live music, a fashion show and various Indian dances, Vaz said. The event will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday in the Student Center Ballroom. Proceeds from Experience India will be donated to the two charities as well.