Club Spotlight: Desi Student Union

Maira Khurana, Copy Editor

The Minnetonka community is well-known for its plethora of student clubs and organizations, a number that is only increasing. From the Women and Men of Color clubs to the Minnetonka Climate Initiative, the goals of Minnetonka clubs range widely, from supporting minority groups in the student body to community service. Founded just last year, Desi Student Union (DSU) is a relatively new club that aims to educate students about the Desi culture and hear from the experiences of Desis and the diaspora. 

            Desi is an umbrella term for any person descended from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. It is used to describe both the residents of these countries and their diaspora, including those in the US. Unlike how they’re frequently presented in Western media, Desis are by no means a monolith, boasting diverse traditions, languages, clothing and religious beliefs. DSU celebrates this diversity through a mixture of fun activities and educational presentations. 

           “We have weddings, watch movies and have a water balloon fight for Holi coming up soon,” said Sri Pulavarthi, ‘22.

            Holi is the Hindu celebration of spring and the triumph of good over evil, traditionally observed by throwing colored powder and water at friends and family. Water balloons are a great way to recreate the holiday, and DSU members are excited to share this experience with other students.

            Bhuvana Nandakumar, the adviser of DSU, explained that the club is not only for Desi students. 

“The number of South Asian students is growing, and it’s important for them to find a place to connect,” she said, “but the beauty of DSU is that it’s made for students of any background.” 

Non-Desi students are encouraged to join DSU to participate in activities and learn about Desi traditions and culture.

            DSU has continued to host semi-regular meetings online during the pandemic and uses GroupMe to discuss everything from South Asian current events to their favorite Desi foods. Their GroupMe is also used for planning and generating ideas for future meetings. 

            “It’s been a great forum for the students to connect,” said Nandakumar, “and it is very welcoming of any students who wish to join.”

             If any MHS students are interested in learning more about or taking part in DSU’s activities, email Kruthica Dama at [email protected], and they will be added to the GroupMe chat.