Festival of colors welcomes spring

The Indian Student Association celebrated its second annual  Holi Festival on Saturday, April 11, in the Cardinal Gym.

The traditional Hindu religious festival is a way to  say farewell to winter and enjoy the abundant colors of springtime.

The festival sold out, as more than 325 people, including students, faculty, staff and community members, attended.

“This year the program for the Holi Festival is much the same (as last year’s event), but it is bigger,”  Indian Student Association Vice President Hope Gantner said.

Only about 275 people attended last year’s Holi Festival.

After being welcomed by President Donald Bachand, attendees experienced a traditional Indian lunch catered by Bombay Grill, henna tattooing, shopping vendors and a cultural program, consisting of a fashion show, Bollywood dances and Hindi, classical and contemporary songs.

The fashion show highlighted various styles of sarees,  and association members explained whether each was worn in formal or informal situations.

When student Chris Sweet played a dholki, a Northern Indian drum, attendees broke out in an impromptu dance.

The five-hour Holi festival ended with its central ritual: a color throw. Attendees celebrated the many colors of spring – blues, yellows, magentas, oranges and greens – by spreading colored water and powders out in the sunshine.

“The color throwing is fun, but I really like learning about other cultures and meeting people I normally wouldn’t have,” Gantner said.

According to President Eshwar Shivalingamurthy, the Indian Student Association acts as a forum for Indian students to meet and present their views, unites students of all races by celebrating and learning from diversity, serves as a conduit for Indian students to experience American culture and encourages connections across  cultures.

Often referred to as the festival of colors or the festival of love, Holi is primarily observed in India, Nepal and other regions of the world with significant populations of Hindis or people of Indian origin.

However, the  festival has grown increasingly popular across the world.

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