South Asian Club, SHAKTI, Takes Over Upper!

Ashlesha Bhagat, 807 Editor

Shakti, the South Asian Club on Campus, collaborated with UC Hospitality to plan a takeover of Upper Class Dining. In this, Upper was seen to have been taken over by the cultures of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives.

A variety of food was seen throughout. The main course included Veggie or Beef Momos and Chicken Thukpa from Nepal, Karchi Chicken Biryani and Beef Kebab from Pakistan, Butter Chicken and Paneer Butter Masala from India, and Aushak from Afghanistan. Variations in soups included Ema Datshi from Bhutan and Rasam from Sri Lanka whereas desserts included Kheer and Kulfi from India and Jehi Banas from Maldives. Other delicacies included Fuchka/Pani Puri from Bangladesh, Dal from Sri Lanka and Naan, Basmati Rice and Raita.

On being asked why Shakti decided to do a takeover, Shriya Balaji ’23, President of Shakti said, “We wanted to do this South Asian takeover to showcase the variety of foods across South Asia and represent the community as a whole. Shakti events usually stay within a certain community and we wanted to broaden that by doing a takeover of Upper. Representation is so important ata young age and even as we grow older. Representation comes in many ways and food is one of them. This event caters to the whole Union community by letting some people have a taste of home and some try something new. “

A thing to note was it could be seen from the overlapment of food between countries that how intertwined the whole South-Asian culture is.

Balaji also further said, “The biggest obstacle was the menu. There are so many dishes in South Asia and trying to narrow down a list is difficult. We were able to do that at the end but feel there can be even better menus in the future.”

To all the Shakti members, what made them the happiest about this takeover was when people were genuinely trying all the food and were taking the snacks. It made them feel like they did their job by giving South Asian representation in the community. It was also rewarding for them to see people enjoy the food and give their thoughts on the event. Seeing people enjoy enjoy the experience of music and food as much as the people of Shakti do was the icing on cake for them.

This event made everyone look forward to more such takeovers in Upper and the other events by Shakti.

Below are some of student’s thoughts on the event:

“I liked the variety of food available and this event provided a nice change from the food usually available at Upper. I thought the Butter Chicken was really good as well as the Mango Lassi which I don’t have a chance to eat elsewhere.” – Zach Lidl ’26

“It’s a really nice change of pace, and the food is also just really good.” Matthew Adner ’26

“I think this was an amazing idea. Diversification of the food at upper is always something I look forward to and to top it off I am a big fan of Indian food.” -Anonymous

“I approve!” – Anonymous

“I feel very honored represented and at home eating this food from my homeland. It’s a taste of home and I am very happy to be here. “ – Chakri Gudimella ’26

“The food is delicious and it feels like I am back home ! “ — Anonymous