28th May 2016, was a historic day for Sikkim University (SU), one of the youngest yet the highly debated ‘Highway’ University of India. The focus this time was not the usual debate or debacle between the state and the academia nor was it the issues pertaining to research fellowship grants, reservations, campus land tussles but it was solely the victory of the university officials and students in institutionalising the association, a consensual co-ordination of SU students with specific aims and objectives. The day was special for it was the closing ceremony of ‘Ramilo-SU-Khim’, a month long first fest organised by the Sikkim University Student’s Association (SUSA).
SUSA, the brainchild of the present Vice-Chancellor of SU Prof. T.B. Subba and the MS-18 Team, through their hard work, dedication and commitments laid the foundation of the student body and framed its constitution with 18 articles. SUSA organised the first student fest of the university with the theme “Ramilo SU - Khim” where Ramilo stands for Happy, SU is an abbreviation of Sikkim University and ‘Khim’ means Home in Limbu language. Thus, SU-Khim means Happy Sikkim University Home/Family in particular and in the broader context SU-Khim means a ‘New Home’ in the Himalayas according to the historical account of the Limbu Queen of the erstwhile Kingdom of Sikkim, the sweetheart of the noble Bhutia King – Tensung Namgyal, the second Chogyal of Sikkim. Very true, Sikkim University has today become a new home not just for the Royals but for students across and beyond the nation. The national university boasts of having students from the Indian states across Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat towards the extremes north east via Guwahati.
|Ramilo SU-Khim: The Sikkim University Fest|
The tune and tone of ACDC’s TNT – sung by the first year students of Horticulture Department went to be an inaugural super-hit among the ‘Rock Music’ loving fans. Chimey and the band was too blue to make the mid-summer night so bright and beautiful with a touch of jazzy Joplin and the pinch of trendy Soulmate’s. The Lazy Fingers brought the classic rock and its charms back to life just before two minutes to midnight. The Doodles, a unified heterogeneous music project constituting of the young hill music maestros hailing from ‘Kalimpong’, the land which in Lepcha means ‘the ridges where we play’ did fiddle the musical ridges in all possible ways – superbly played in between the scales of bass to alto and soprano. Doodle’s way of singing ‘Wonderful Tonight’ with their originals ‘Nakkali’ and ‘Jhilkey’ made everybody go gaga in the steps of Elvis Presley in the land of Maruni and Madal. The fest did shake and kept the Tadong hills of Gangtok alive till the midnight and successfully accomplished the mission of ‘Ramilo SU-Khim’ in the modest manner. SUSA with the emphasis on the local terminology ‘Ramilo SU-Khim’ has surely produced a ‘new culture’ of integration of diverse communities and cultures with a space and sentiment to accommodate all across and beyond borders and frontiers in the new home, in the happy family of Sikkim University.
*Animesh Rai is a Research Student in the Department of Sociology, Sikkim University.