DMU Malayalee society awaiting approval

By Isobel Rix

The Malayalee society, made up of students from De Montfort University, has been running since 2019, but they are yet to receive official recognition as an established society.

The Malayalee people originate in the south Indian state of Kerala. Currently the university society has around 100 members, most of which are second generation Malayalees who meet to celebrate their culture.

President of the Malayalee society, Levitha Baji, a DMU Broadcast Journalism student, said: “There’s a lot of Malayalees in DMU and University of Leicester, it’s a great way to bring the culture back together.

“Because we’re all second-generation kids our parents are all really strict, so they don’t know half the stuff we get up to. We can all just relate to each other and speak the language, Malayalam.

“If we need anything or anything happens we know that we’ve got each other.”

The society has already held several events.

Levitha said: “We have a football tournament, play badminton, we’ve had games nights, get to know me gatherings and Malayalee nights out.”

Members of the Malayalee society at a meetup.

The society also has a great relationship with the Tamil society.

Levitha said: “Tamils and Malaylees are really similar, they’re basically in the state next to us.

“The language is a little bit different but it’s not too different so if we need anything, they’ll support us and if they need anything, we’ll support them.”

Due to the society not being confirmed by DMU they cannot book rooms for events and do not receive any funding.

Levitha said: “Tamil society actually has to book out rooms for us, it’s a bit annoying.

“We have a committee and everything with a president, secretary, treasurer but if we want to put it on our CVs, there’s no paperwork to prove it.

“Because there isn’t funding, we have to put in money from our own pockets. At the games night there was traditional Indian food, so I had to put the money in first and we charged everyone £2.”

The group have paired up with Malayalee students from the University of Leicester, who have a university approved society.

The society hopes to put on an end of year ball and dinner, but without funding it is unlikely they could afford a deposit.

“If people didn’t turn up our money would be flushed away basically,” Levitha said.

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