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Fest a platform to make friends

- Students from hills, plains bond over music & dance

Sixteen universities, as many cultures and a colourful display of talent — for students taking part in the East Zone Inter-University Youth Fest it was unity emerging out of diversity as they tried to understand each other’s cultures and made friends in the process.

While students from the Northeast impressed with their colourful ethnic dresses and students of Rabindra Bharati University left peers mesmerised with their performances, Jharkhand students too presented a slice of life in the state. But amidst it all, the spirit of competition slowly gave way to the spirit of friendship.

“Just before the last day, I am trying to make as many friends as possible. I will always remember this fest here because of all the friends I made here,” said Irailema Chanu, a second year MA student of Manipur University. She chose to keep the number of friends she made a “secret”.

The festival began in Hotwar on December 7. Over the next four days, classical and folk music, dance, skit, mimicry and poster painting contests engaged the nearly 500 participants. For many, it was their first visit to Ranchi, and they liked what they saw.

“I will remember the beautiful weather and the tasty vegetables that I ate here. When we came, we though that we would not be able to match the quality of other varsities. But we are happy participants actually focused more on cultural exchange rather than on competition,” said Anup Palit of Guwahati University.

Music appeared to be the biggest binder. “The folk music and dance of Jharkhand gave a different feel. However, the same was true for other regions too. For me, it was true national integration,” said Subhojit Das of Vidyasagar University, West Midnapore.

In the group song category, each university had to present a patriotic song and a folk song.