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Ƶ stages celebration of Holi, the Hindu festival of colors

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Ƶ students celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of colors on April 5, 2014

Photo by Ashlee Eve ’14

As festive music filled the air, so did a rainbow of powder when students and community members celebrated Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, on April 5. Dancing on Whitnall Field, participants indiscriminately threw powder on their friends and strangers, covering each other from head to toe.

“Holi celebrates the victory of good over evil as well as the arrival of spring, which was ironic for Ƶ this year, given the snow that was falling at the time of the event,” noted Scarlet Catu ’15.

The color celebration — with 250 pounds of powder — commenced after a gathering in the Hall of Presidents, where participants shared an Indian feast catered by Minar. The meal was followed by a short presentation about the festival’s significance by Shambhavi Sawhney ’17 and Nairuti Shah ’17.

“Indian festivals are very elaborate and community oriented,” explained Sawhney. “Celebrating it here with my friends helps me miss home less.”

The event was coordinated by the Hindu Students Association, which organizes prayers and other religious activities to help students maintain a connection with their beliefs as well as allows others to explore Hinduism.

“Holi is a big festival in India, and it is an important part of my religious heritage,” said Sawhney. “I wanted to be a part of it here so that I could still be in touch with my own culture and so that I could help share this with Ƶ and the greater Hamilton community.”

Catu said that she appreciated how “Holi promotes an openness to curiosity about cultures other than my own. It was a great way for people to come together and have fun with friends while learning something new about the Hindu religion in celebration of something that we can all support: the beginning of spring!”