London’s Tamil student community held an evening of elegance and fun on Feb 10: a ball. The Valentines Soirée Boat Party was held on the 'Dixie Queen', a stunning replica of a 19th century Mississippi paddleboat and now the largest entertainment boat on the river Thames.
Queen Mary's University (QMW) and University College London's (UCL) Tamil Societies jointly hosted the sell-out event. Demand prompted a last minute change to a larger venue, students said. The Dixie Queen can host 500 guests.
Embarking at St. Katherine's Pier, Tower Hill, the four hour cruise proved a memorable night for London’s Tamil students, dressed in a mix of traditional elegance and contemporary fashion. Several young ladies dressed in sarees or gowns and dresses, while the young men came suited and booted in a range of styles.
“This event was aimed to include everyone regardless of age,” said Tharsan, QMW's Tamil Society President. What he meant was the student body, ranging from freshers to recent graduates.
The night began with music being played by DJ's from the popular DJs from 'Rebelstar Records'. A slow and mellow compilation was used to set the mood as the guests explored the vessel, with its historic splendour decorated elaborately to a Valentines theme.
Old friends were met and new acquaintances made. Thamarai, QMW and UCL's Tamil Socs’ media partner for the night, captured memories. (See their pictures, taken by Suren's Photography, above and right, and the entire gallery here)
Guests posed for photographs whilst others danced to music being played by the popular DJ, Bruce Wayne.
An unexpected delight on the night was one of London’s surprisingly rare sights: Tower Bridge’s giant arms swinging open to let the brightly lit paddleboat sail through.