Cambridge University Hindu Cultural Society’s annual showcase Mastana is now in its 21st year, going from strength to strength. I was able to speak to co-presidents Sajan Rajani and Rathin Pujari about the society and about the event this weekend.
Mastana is a wealth of culture, it incorporates drama, music, dance, fashion, and comedy, and has become a “platform of people of [Indian culture] to showcase the best of their talents and keep them alive”. This year BBC Television comedian Paul Chowdhry is headlining the event, marking the first time Mastana has featured an external act. The point is to acknowledge and “showcase what immigrants have brought to this country” and so the event isn’t just a magical blend of diverse Indian culture, with the program featuring acts in both Hindi and Tamil, but is also a fusion of our local context too, with plenty being done in English.
Hosted at the Corn Exchange, this cultural show promises to be a fun night, full of colour and song. It’s a sit down affair, with acts performing on the stage. All profits raised go to charity; Wintercomfort and Akshaya Patra being the focus of this year’s event.
The ethos of Hindusoc is one of inclusivity and widening participation, “a celebration of the best of Indian culture in Cambridge.” From events such as Mastana, which gets a wide non-student audience, to Holi on Queens Backs, which has been a massively popular end of term-event, Hindusoc manages to live up to this. It welcomes Indian culture with open arms, and packages it as an accessible and attainable part of life in Cambridge.
Mastana will be hosted at the Corn Exhange on Sunday 5 March, 6.30pm. Tickets can be bought online: https://www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/cornex/events/mastana-2017