Friday, June 5, 2020

Celebrating Diversity at University of Delhi – You Aren’t Alone

“In this multitude of colours,

I am not alone;

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Among a thousand mirrors,

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I am not alone;

In a world of dreams and adventures,

Yes, I wander, not for solace,

But to seek the ones alike

For I am not alone.”

College life at the University of Delhi is one remarkable experience. From fests to college societies to all kinds of rendezvous and what not, all these things contribute to your personal growth (don’t let the candies fool you first year students; it isn’t as sweet as it seems). But what makes the DU experience unique is the rich diversity among the students.

Diversity has become an extremely important issue in today’s ‘woke’ culture. Diversity and representation is major topic upon which our youth has laid emphasis yet the pop culture casually ignores certain credentials of this subject. Bollywood has refused to consider several cultural backgrounds as well as non-heterosexual orientations and gender identities but instead creates offensive stereotypes that lead to misconceptions among the masses. However, in DU the situation is quite the opposite of the atrocities we see in movies and TV shows.

Delhi, being the country’s capital, has people belonging to different cultural backgrounds, making this city a boiling cauldron of diversity in all its forms. Consequently, the University of Delhi too provides outstation students with a large deal of exposure in terms of diversity. Since students from all over the country arrive at Delhi University, there is an exchange of different cultures.

The diversity is not only on the basis of cultural aspects such as religious beliefs and regional backgrounds, but also perspectives. Though it may feel lonely and away from home in the beginning since some find it hard to find their tribe, you soon find yourself in a place where you’ve kept yourself in tune with all the cultures you are surrounded with. This not just provides you with a chance of befriending people from different communities, but also being creates a certain sensitivity and respect for their beliefs and practices, which is necessary for the growth of your cultural capital.

Additionally, you are provided with a platform where you can showcase your own cultures and tradition. You are informed about certain cultures which have been secluded and marginalized and also about their struggles. You learn about certain stereotypes and how inaccurate these stereotypes actually are. Due to the international exchange programs in certain colleges of Delhi University, you are provided with exposure to foreign customs.

Apart from the cultural diversity, there is a much needed revelation regarding gender and sexuality in Delhi University which you will come across. Since the portion of section 377 that criminalized consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex has been ruled out by the Supreme Court, it has been quite a turning point for the LGBTQ+ community (preach). Thanks to the verdict, many closeted queer people have come out to the world which is worth appreciation.

Not only does the interaction among students of different sexual and gender identities create an exchange of knowledge and awareness, but it also allows heterosexual people to sympathize and realize the struggles faced by the Queer community. It helps you see beyond the ugly stereotypes we have witnessed growing up.

Yes, it feels really strange when you are in a new place all by yourself. But beyond all kinds of differences, you will find some of the best people you will ever come across. You will grow with an immense amount of awareness not just about the world around you, but about the world within you too. Not only will you see the people and their perspective but where you fit in those perspectives. And as stated earlier, you are not alone. Till then, peace out!

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Sarthak Chauhan
Somewhere between Romantic poetry and Nihilism. 19 | DU' SBSC | Shimla~Delhi

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