The bar where it all began for Miriam and Tan

East Slope bar bedecked for Miriam and Tan's wedding (Photo credit: Jacqui McSweeney)

Miriam and Tan Sharma (Photo Credit: Jacqui McSweeney)

East Slope bar will always be a special place for Tan and Miriam Sharma. It’s where they met in 2005 – and also where they celebrated their marriage this year.

Tan was a second-year undergraduate in engineering and working behind the bar when he served Miriam, then a fresher in English literature. “I was infatuated from the start,” remembers Miriam.

Twelve years later, the couple are still very much involved in life at Sussex. Tan, who stayed on to take a PhD, now works in ITS.  Miriam went on to work for the University’s student services and is currently a residential support manager. Her job, which involves giving support to new students, means that they also live on campus.

“Sussex is an integral part of our lives,” admits Miriam. “It’s the backdrop of everything – of us as individuals and our relationship. And the bar is where it all began.”

The couple, who married on 9 July at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, carried on their celebrations in East Slope bar with traditions reflecting their own cultures. Tan was brought up as a Hindu and his father gave a blessing in Sanskrit, while Miriam’s Jewish father gave a blessing in Hebrew.

They have no immediate plans to leave campus, and both enjoy the community in which they live and work. “It feels like a very safe place to be,” says Miriam, now 36.

But the new focus on integrating into the local community, with recent initiatives such as the Community Festival that showcased the campus for the benefit of local residents, has been also been a positive move, says Tan, 32.

He adds: “It would be nice to go away and come back after two years and see the changes. When you live here you’re not always aware of them.”

Next year East Slope bar will be demolished, along with the flats in East Slope, to make way for new student accommodation. While the loss of their first romantic meeting place makes them feel a little sad, the memory of the bar will live on in their hearts.

“I’m so pleased we were able to have our wedding party here,” says Miriam. “It was the perfect place.”

By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Monday, 18 December 2017