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Keertana Chary

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at KU chapter.

KU is home to a variety of clubs to celebrate culture and diversity- one such club is the South Asian Student Association (@KUSASA12), an organization designed to celebrate the south Asian culture through events such as Garba, Holi and our annual talent show (Jayhawk Jhalak). Keertana Chary, a junior from Wichita majoring in Finance and Accounting, is the Co-President Elect of SASA for the 2014-2015 school year. Chary, a transfer student from Ohio State University started at KU her sophomore year and was eager to get involved in an organization on campus. She applied for the SASA exec board and was chosen as one of the two liaisons in 2013. 

KU SASA 2013-2014 Exec Board at Garba

Chary was born in India and moved to the United States with her family at a young age.  “My biggest inspiration is my family for sure. My parents came to America when I was 3 years old. Ever since then, I have felt the need to try to keep my culture alive in my life. I’ve done that through learning classical Indian dance and going to different Indian events like Diwali,” said Chary.

Keertana and friends after her senior dance recital, called an Arangetram, that is the final event in a dance students training

Next week SASA is hosting it’s annual talent show, Jayhawk Jhalak. This event will feature a variety of acts of traditional and modern dancing, singing and even a fashion show. SASA members split up by class (freshman-senior) and each choreographs a dance for the event. Jayhawk Jhalak hopes to engage non-SASA members to learn more about South Asian culture. “Our events are really fun and it’s a great way to learn about the south Asian culture. For instance, Jayhawk Jhalak is a great way to see different dances and hear different songs that all come from south Asia,” said Chary.

In the next year, Chary hopes to expand SASA’s reach on campus and to engage more students in their activities. She also wants to host more events that focus on many different South Asian cultures along with the major events they already hold.

To learn more about Keertana and the South Asian Student Association, make sure to check out Jayhawk Jhalak next Saturday, April 19  at 4 p.m. at the Lawrence Arts Center. 

Laura Lyndall Fagen is a junior at the University of Kansas majoring in Strategic Communications and Theater. She is a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters and loves all things volunteering.