The South Asian Student Association hosted HOLI, the Indian Festival of Colors, on April 8 from 11 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the Cardinal Gym.
Associate professor of economics and economics department chair Kaustav Misra said the Festival of Colors is an ancient festival that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
“This is the time of the year when people come together regardless of regions, color, caste and class to welcome the spring,” he said. “The main attraction of this celebration is throwing colored powders on each other to show brotherly love and affection.”
More than 600 people attended the event on campus. Tickets were $10 for students, $15 for non-students, and kids 6 and under could enter for free.
The South Asian Student Association is a club that started in 2013 and represents the culture of South Asia. It acts as a forum for South Asian students to present their views and promotes cultural exchange.
For this year’s event, the South Asian Student Association added a special segment named “Color the President,” which started at 3 p.m. and included the “Only Color Throw” outside the Ryder Center.
President of the South Asian Student Association Ipsit Patki said the festival celebrates the spring season by playing with colors and water, and she said there are many positive aspects of the event.
“My favorite part is after the cultural event, we go out and play with colors,” he said. “There is DJ music, and we just apply colors to each other and have a blast.”
He added, “We celebrate this event every winter semester, and we also celebrate the Festival of Cultures in the fall semester, where students from different South Asian countries display their cultures through various performances.”
There also were dance and painting competitions based on South Asian songs and the theme of “Festival of Colors.”
Dance groups featured two to five participants with music, costumes and a set time limit of five to six minutes.
Paintings, meanwhile, included all types with three contestant age groups, from six to 12 year olds, 13 to 18 and 19 and older.
Misra said students learned how to organize a big event, how to raise funds, how to market and promote an event and how to connect and work with others on and off the campus community.
“The biggest takeaway would be working with a diversified group of people across campus as a team and take on this big challenge,” he said.