Culture is something that is very integral and therefore indispensable for a huge body, say a nation like India or even a state or a province. The cultural values manifest itself through it’s lifestyles. The importance of culture lies in it’s a close association with the way of thinking and living.
The situation is no different when it comes to the largest and the oldest IIT, the institute is known for it’s service to the nation, The Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. In fact, the diversity in culture is further intensified here and is really appreciable. It is a matter of great pride and destiny for the KGPians here. It’s interesting to take note that being called a KGPian is also a reflection of the KGP’s culture itself.
With the perspective of the freshers, the first thing they are more fascinated about is the KGP lingo. There are several lingos under practice but those most frequently used are ‘peace’ for everything running nice and well; ‘load’ when the people are having hard times; ‘machana’ for performing well in any field; ‘makhana’ for failing or performing badly in any field; ‘bandi’ as a synonym for a girl and like this the list goes on and on.
The freshers after being accommodated into their Halls of Residences and getting acquainted with their academic and extra-academic activity are more concerned about the various societies running here. The importance of the societies is more pronounced than what it is actually for because it provides the students an exposure to the field apart from the department they have opted for. This is a more significant perspective of the societies at IIT Kharagpur because the greater number of choices for department compared to other IIT’s is likely to lead to the case that the students might not have got the department of their choice.
The societies like SpATS, Technology Robotix Society, Formula SAE, KRSSG, etc serves this purpose.
Moreover, the societies related to dance, music, dramatics, filmmaking and photography, literature, adventure, quiz, business, etc deals with wide range of personal interests apart from academics and serves as a stage for the students to learn and grow their talents and for sure these kind of platforms are integral to one’s all-round development.
The purpose of having a society is not limited only to give the KGPians an edge over others but there are some social initiatives that are ‘dedicated to the service of the nation’ as the institute’s motto says. These social initiatives includes Gopali Youth Welfare Society (GYWS), Aarambh, Child Rights and You (CRY) which helps and promotes the people beyond the campus especially the children in their education and all-round development by all means.
Apart from the societies, there are festivals and celebrations throughout the year which plays a vital role in creating a sense of belongingness among the KGPians.
This sense of unity in the first place comes from the Hall Culture. This belongingness among the boarders is so intensified over their stay at KGP that the students cherish more to be identified himself/herself as a resident of a particular Hall than being called a KGPian. The Hall Culture is inculcated among the boarders through various intra-Hall as well as inter-Hall events throughout the year such as General Championship and Open IIT events in the fields extending from technology to social and culture and from quiz and olympiad to sports and games. The students puts their best efforts and tries hard to make place in every single event not only for their personal identification but more because they find themselves as a representative of the Hall and their win would mean the entire Hall winning.
The most beautiful and remarkable inter-hall event is ‘Illumination’ popularly known as ‘Illu’. This event is held every year on the eve of Diwali and more than an event it is a purpose of inculcating spiritual emotions among the KGPians. In this event, the students show up their talent by creating an abstract image out the diyas and candles. The entire campus seems out to be flowing in the river of sentiments.
Besides these, there is Fresher’s day to welcome first-year students to KGP and also the farewell celebration for the final year students to bid them a goodbye and to wish them a good luck for their future and most importantly to thank them in making KGP a better place by their innovative ideas and thoughts.
One event that the KGPian are most awaited for is the ‘Hall Event’ for one interesting reason. This event provides the opportunity for the boys and girls to get into each other’s Halls and have fun and lots of memorable moments.
The culture in KGP is not only shared inside the campus but KGP shares it’s cultural glory globally and therefore sets up an example of the amazing diversity of the nation at the national and international platform.
This purpose is served through two popular fests called ‘Kshitij’ and ‘Spring Fest’. These are the very integral reflection of the vividness and the perplexing culture of IIT Kharagpur. With reputed personalities from India and abroad, ‘Kshitij’ stays the Asia’s largest techno-management fest while ‘Spring Fest’ covers the diverse fields of social and cultural events providing absolute ecstasy and thrill to the audience.
Apart from the common fests for all the KGPians, there are department fests which are organized and managed solely by the students of that particular department. The KGPians encourages the students from all over India from the variety of colleges to participate in their fests and thus bring honor and gratification to the institute.
The practice of dealing everything in terms of ‘Technology’ is also a very abstract culture here. Starting with the ‘Technology Students’ Gymkhana’ this enactment extends to ‘Technology Market’, ‘Technology Post Office’ and ‘Technology Swimming Pool’. Even the festival committee is prefixed with the word ‘Technology’. Further, most of the societies running here have the word ‘Technology’ in it.
A culture among KGPians worth mentioning although no way appreciable is the way in which the birthday is celebrated. The GPL practiced here is famous even beyond the campus. This fun, however, takes sometimes a serious course when practiced unethically and therefore should be discouraged. The fear of being the victim of this kind celebration makes it mandatory for the students to hide their birthdays from their profiles and make sure by all means that birth-date is kept away from the knowledge of their friends. The thing get worsen for the birthday dudes who are forced to give treat for their birthday after the pain they get through GPL. In a single sentence, birthday, which used to be a special day before coming to college becomes a day of sobbing and bawling.
Despite of having an efficient channelized anti-ragging cell, the KGPians have found out a safe solution to practice this evil by giving it a different name called the ‘Orientation Program’ shortly called as ‘OP’. To make it further more different, it is not implemented on the 1st years students but on the 2nd year students. These things sounds to be captivating only till practiced ethically and is made sure not to be offensive.
It’s very likely that the lecture by the professors seems to be lot boring for the students so the practice of proxy in attendance has come up as the solution of their problem. Although there is limitation to this practice as it could not be practiced in the lab classes or even in the lecture classes where the teacher takes the attendance personally, yet it gives some sort of relief to the KGPians. Taking mess food without mess card very smartly is another practice that could be seen here.
It is expected from the KGPians not to use the words like ‘bhaiya’ and ‘didi’ for the senior students whatsoever the year they belong to. Infact, these words are considered abusive to use. The fun of having useless talks around 2.2 popularly known as ‘Bhaat Marna’ is like the birth-right of the KGPians. They enjoy it thoroughly.
The culture of night outs is very frequent among the students. Be it the exam time or much before the exams, night outs is an indispensable part of the student’s culture. The only difference is the change of place i.e on a day far from the exam, the night outs is likely to take place at the overnight special canteens and the time before the exam the night outs is done at the Central Library as it is open for 24 hours during the days of the exam.
Moreover, studying in groups before the exam is something that the students have found to be useful and these things gets more frequent as the exam approaches.
Talking about the kgp culture among the students would be incomplete if the ‘tempo shout’ is not mentioned. Forming a circular ring, matching each other’s shoulder together and shouting out ‘kgp ka tempo high hai’ is something which bring the KGPians further together and the feeling of pride and honour of being a part of IIT Kharagpur is further reinforced.