By Maria Trovato
A celebration for Holi, the Hindu festival of color, was held on Mckeldin Mall April 8 to ring in the spring season. About 100 students were gathered at the event, which was organized by the Hindu Students Council.
The sounds of laughing and screaming could be heard as students pelted each other with brightly colored powder. A rainbow cloud hung over the crowd while lively music played. A few minutes into the event, almost everyone was covered with different colors.
Co-president of the council Veda Ravishankar explained that there is a mythological story behind the event. “To sum it up, it’s the celebration of good over evil,” she said. “We celebrate by spreading colors and it’s just a joyous festival for everyone to enjoy.”
Ravishankar says events like this are important to have on campus, even though it’s so far away from India, where the festival is traditionally held.
“It’s just nice in a really big campus like this to have groups where there are people who are connected to Hinduism or even just want to learn more about it,” she said. “It creates a smaller community for them to share their ideas.”
Yasas Santharam, the other co-president, said that despite the Hindu origins of the festival, this is an event for everyone to enjoy. Celebrating the coming of spring is something that everyone can relate to, she said.
“It’s something that everyone can come to and enjoy, regardless of your religion or ethnicity,” Yasas said. “It brings everyone together and everyone just has a lot of fun.”
Johanna Ananth decided to go after learning the celebration was open to everyone.
“I’m not Hindu but I know Holi, I’ve watched it a lot in Bollywood movies,” she said. “It’s a great event to meet other Indian people and just other people in general.”
Bhavya Bashi said the event brought back good memories.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It brings me back to my childhood in India.”
The Hindu Students Council holds a Holi event every year around springtime. The group also meets regularly to have discussions that are open to everyone. To learn more, visit their Facebook page.